Monthly Archives: December 2010

Sattal- Niftians Into the wild!

Hey friends!
I don’t have words to write about this experience, but still I’ll try my best. It was the last day of our exams and then half of the class including me had our Minor Project presentation (which was not so minor)… and then began the time which none of us imagined would be like that at all… We went back home after some last minute shopping and most of us packed our bags in almost 10 minutes and left for Old Delhi Railway station. Some of my friends picked me on the way to the station and there began a journey that I can bet that none of us will ever forget. It was certainly a nice start with few almost hot or warm chicken nuggets packed by my mom for the journey.. It took us 30 minutes to reach the station.

I must say that Old Delhi railway station is a state of the art facility with a medieval look marked with contemporary eating joints and facilities.. Our class assembled at Comesum (a 24/7 eating joint at the station). You need to quote this, as for the first time our entire class was on time… 🙂 … The scene was worth being video recorded, as everybody was full of excitement and last minute jitters, there were a lot of ‘Hi’s and hugs and few emotional good byes too.. ;)… We finally embarked on our journey with the train departing just on time. The train journey was crazy as we talked, shouted and laughed the entire night, and almost half of the passengers sitting near us or trying to sleep abandoned their seats. By the time we finally decided to sleep, it was super cold and we somehow cuddled up in our blankets and pretended to sleep on the train’s not so comfortable sleepers. Upon reaching Kathgodam at around 6 A.M. we were transferred to our camp on jeeps. We drove through beautiful valleys and breathtaking landscapes, with chilled wind ruffling our hair. The expert driver cruised smoothly on that ‘almost a road’… Well the ride was totally worth it as when we reached our camp (Wildrift), the beautiful sight of a born fire place, wooden sitting areas and wonderful scenes of the hills making the backdrop made us fall in love with the place instantly. We were greeted by the camp’s instructor, Mr. Manoj, who introduced us to our daily curriculum and camp’s rules. We got some time to unpack and freshen up, and after struggling to be on time we left to take up some adventure sports like Kayaking, Rock Climbing and River Crossing. The class was divided into three groups and all the groups got to experience two adventure sports on the first day. This experience of learning new things, working together, encouraging each other and that urge to push you to take one more step was certainly one of the best. That hard work and few bruises paid off when we were served hot lunch that we all savoured together. After one more round of adventure sports we left for the camp and on the way we had an unusual and intriguing activity. We were suppose to accompany one of the least acquainted classmates to the camp, and one of the two people were alternatively blindfolded, while the other talked about himself/herself. Upon reaching the camps we discussed our day’s experience and then had a delectable dinner. The night was spent singing and chatting beside the born fire and then some more chatting in the tents.. That’s how we called the day off with some aching muscles, dead cold weather, so many new thoughts and so many new feelings inside our hearts.

The morning began with a hot water bath and a nice filling breakfast.. After which we left for another round of adventurous activities and a Kayaking competition between the three groups.. Our walk back to the camps was fun and memorable, when we chatted with our friends and made up the most foolish stories in the world… When you are tired and hungry, nothing can be better than hot pakoras and tea, and that is what the awesome camp people welcomed us with.. We had some leisure time in the camps and after dinner we all participated in treasure hunt.. Our only saviours on this stunt in the wild were our torches, moonlight and a map guiding us about the way to the flag and then back to the camp.. It was a crazy experience as we trekked on almost invisible path in dark, with scary voices from the valley… ok I am exaggerating a little bit, but I am not lying about those scary voices.. but it was our fault as our shouting and running woke up the poor animals.. Finally we returned alive to the camps. We relaxed a little bit beside the camp fire again.. This day we called it a night pretty early, but upon returning to the tents we changed our mood and went on chatting till 4 AM where there was no light beside from a beautiful gas lantern.. (However, half of the friends dozed off mid way and the rest of us went on disturbing all others in other tents)…

Next morning, most of us decided not to take a bath, and we went on for breakfast, after which we had some team building and leadership activities.. After lunch, we went trekking to Hidamba Temple, where we met a baba who had an unusual sense of humour.. Everybody there was very hospitable and they offered us hot tea, biscuits and bananas… Oh i forgot to mention about the way to the temple… Well this was ‘actually’ an invisible way ‘in the bright day light’… Only one person could walk on the path at a time, and at times not even that.. ;)…Well somehow we managed to reach the top and then to return back in one piece… Suddenly it dawned on us that it is our last day, in fact few hours left in the camp… there was a mixed feeling of leaving the camp where we had no sense of time and no time to get bored and now going back to our homes, to our cell phones, to our laptops, to facebook… We packed our bags, bid adieu to our tents and then celebrated Omar, Anir and Suhani’s due birthdays before saying bye to the camp’s staff and Manoj Sir… The drive back to station was no less scary than the one from it… Again the driver showed his immaculate driving skills on that kutchha road and then we boarded the train to Delhi from Kathgodam at around 8. This time most of us were low on energy and tired, though few of my classmates still had a little pack of energy left to sing and play on the way back… we reached Delhi at 4:15 in the morning.. Here we were, back in the capital city, back to our homes, but at the end of it all, we were a little more mature, a little more close to each other and a little more emotional.. This camp was not just an adventure trip, it was a place where we laughed, we sang, we played, we bonded, we cried and most importantly we learned a lesson called ‘life’.

With Love
Shivani

Advertisements

The Great Indian Wedding- the rest of the story!

Hey people!!

How have u guys been?… sorry for writing this blog so late.. but just imagine me being stuck in the middle of a great Indian wedding and the great Indian end-term exams…;).. I am gonna take you through four functions together,, Sagan, Mehndi, Chuda & Haldi and the Wedding…

Starting with the Sagan..

This day I had my professional practices presentation in college, after which i rushed back home and tried to make an unsuccessful attempt to study for next day’s exam, and then finally decided to pick my sister to go to the parlour (yes i finally know how to drive on Delhi roads)…. I spent unending hours at the parlour, where i realised that i have the least patience for such beautification. With all the parlours in Delhi overbooked and with all the Delhi roads bustling with the shaddi season in the city, I was an hour late to reach home,from where we started for the venue… Sagan/cocktail was a blast.. All the rush and frolic seemed to pay off when i saw a glimpse of Aanchal sitting in jiju’s car.. She certainly looked the most beautiful and the hottest bride ever… With all the ceremonies staring off, we cousins had a quick photo session with Aanchal in the bridal room, where we laughed our hearts out, discussing the  hot aunties and relatives at the party… Then came the moment!.. we all took her inside the hall, with every eye set on the bride and every heart filled with warmth.. We all guided her to the stage, where Ankit Jiju took her hand and the party began.. We cousins sneaked out for few drinks, and i almost had a mini heart attack when my dad came, and i pretended to be drinking pepsi,,,and then not waiting for long, me and my cousin gulped it down at once.. Being all set for the evening, we danced all night and not to miss the delicious food that you get at shaadis… the only hitch for the evening besides getting late from the parlour was my nephew Uday.. who fear or i should say dread brides, as they cry at the wedding.. (haunted memories from his mom crying in her wedding video)…lol.. but with all the efforts, my sister managed to get him back in the party mood.. (after all, moms know how to handle their kids)… There we were, drained of energy, but still full of spirit when we left for home to get in shape for the next days functions…

Mehndi , Chuda and Haldi

Well it was Tuesday and I had my  Economics exam in the morning and after going back home i lazed around for the day.. (that means not studying for the exam).. i finally went to market to get my jewellery for the wedding.. It was too last minute, but you can get anything at any time in Lajpat Nagar… after fixing one problem, the other aroused as when i went to pick the lehnga that i was suppose to wear for the Mehndi.. It did not fit me right.. I guess this is why they say that do not wait for the last minute… i finally landed up at cousin’s place.. everybody set in the sangeet and dance mood, we danced till our feet gave up and then the sangeet continued the entire night…

Next day was the wedding day, when i was off to college for my Organisational behaviour exam, the ceremonies of Chuda, Haldi and Ghadoli took place… Aanchal looked the most beautiful person on earth, and though i was not there, but i could tell from the picture, how heart filling it was for everybody to see her getting ready to take off to a new home and a new life….

The Wedding…

Finally i reached back home and then i rushed to the parlour with mom.. at the last minute again, I realised that i had missed something important, and i dropped my mom at the parlour and then ran in the market bare foot (could not walk in my stilettos of course),,, After getting 2 hours late from the parlour and with all the mini heart attacks and traffic jams we reached the wedding venue….

It was the finale evening and everybody looked their best (everybody giving tough competition to the rest)… but it was Aanchal who stole the show… (the bride of course)… with the eleventh hour jitters, extremely cold weather of Delhi and a long wait for the baraat, the Dulha or the groom finally arrived with all the frolic and bands playing full beat music…

The stage was set, and now with groom’s turn to wait for the bride, we cousins left no chance to tease our jiju.. (that is what saalis are for)..Dancing on the beat of Dhol and then grooving at the music played by the dj we all went Ga Ga again…

Finally the time arrived, all the brothers holding a beautiful flower sheet over the bride and the sisters walking beside her, she entered the bedazzled garden. Everybody held their breath and admired the beauty of the bride and the moment…. With the bride’s eyes looking for the groom and the groom’s for the bride, they both climbed up the stair for Varmala, to finally begin the journey of their new life… With a beautiful Varmala ceremony under the rain of flower petals and blessings from relatives, the bride and the groom walked on to the stage to receive everybody’s well wishes.. That is when we cousins took the chance of stealing Jiju’s shoes (a wonderful ceremony in Indian wedding, where u get paid for stealing)…  After freezing in cold, entertaining the guests at the party and enjoying the delicious food, we finally prepared for the feras…The bride and the groom finally took vows around the holy fire and were knotted in marriage for life… (or as they say, seven lives.. ;).. )… Amusingly i was studying for my exam the next day during the vows and at 6 in the morning the ceremonies ended and the bride and groom became a couple… Everybody from our family had a full heart when they hugged Aanchal before her doli took off… and  we finally bid farewell to the couple under the shade of stars….

Best wishes to Aanchal and Ankit..

Thanks for tuning in…
With Love…
Shivani…

The Great Indian Wedding- Cousins going Ga Ga!


Hello Friends!

Welcome back.. Yesterday was the craziest evening ever.. I landed up at Aanchal, the bride’s house for some crazy dance frenzy to find out that the rest of my cousin’s havent reached there. Well this is what happens when you make a last minute plan in this city. Roads in Delhi do not go without a jam even a single day during this season… But with all due credit to my brother and his super driving skills, they reached in another half an hour..

When we were all set for the party, we realised that the music system we had was not in a good state.. ;)…, and the cousin whom we had asked to arrange for another one had to go a party (thanks to so many weddings happening these days). So we all shifted one gear ahead to our craziest moods and went on partying at the lamest volume of songs playing on my cousin’s vintage laptop.. This is called having a positive approach to life… lol… Well at the end of the day, with all the energies drained out after dancing on all crazy punjabi beats and item numbers that are the staple of punjabi weddings, we ended up playing Dumb sheraz that is certainly the best game on planet. We all were in splits over the dumbest acting skills displayed by us all… but we were still better than Tushar kapoor (i have no idea why I said that)..

After all the fun and amazing time spent with my cousins I realized that I have to get back to study for my exams starting tommorow.. welcome to the world of reality!! so we called the day off with an amazing cup of coffee (courtsey Aanchal Ahuja)…. Here ends the second episode of The great Indian Wedding.. stay tuned for more…

With Love
Shivani Ahuja