Sunday, June 30, 2013

Mount Bhagirathi-II (6512M) Expedition

Synopsis:

Pinch darkness all around, Severe coldness because of very low temperature and we were climbing final ridge of Mount Bhagirathi II at a height more than 6000 M. It was very difficult to breath, I was realizing my each and every breath and Happy about it. Yes, I am Alive...!! that one thought itself was enough for being Happy and keep Climbing.

In day-to-day life we get so much engrossed in so many things that we forget to even realize our breath. We forget that Yes, I am alive..!! Don't you think so??!!

Anyway...We Successfully completed Mount Bhagirathi II expedition on 6th June 2013 at 8 am under leadership of Rajiv Ravat and Dhanendar Negi.
Everyone is healthy and Alive. Thanks to all team members including support staff whose great work made this expedition a huge success.
Also thanks to all family and friends who were praying for our safe expedition.


[Expedition Team]

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ALL PICS OF THIS EXPEDITION

The Full Story:

On 25th May our team (Myself, Rajiv sir, Negi Sir, Prashant, Nischal, Peter, Narendar, Rajee, Shashi Madam, Udisha, Nishant) assembled at Uttarkashi. I had participated in this expedition on behalf of Aberrant Wanderers (Mumbai). Rajiv and Negi sir briefed us about expedition plan.


[Rough map of route with camp locations]


[Flag of ceremony at Neharu Institute of Mountaineering (NIM) with principal Ajay Kothiyal Sir and some veteran mountaineers]

After flag off ceremony and equipment collection we packed all loads and started for Gangotri.

Gangotri (3140 M):

We stayed one day in Gangotri where we repacked our loads, went to Pandav Gufa for acclimatization walk. Also visited Gangotri temple and took blessings of Ganga maiya for safe and successful expedition.


[Scenic picture captured on the way to Pandav Gufa.]


[Baba inside Pandav gufa.]


[Ganga aarati at Gangotri temple.]

Gangotri to Bhojbasa (3500 M):

Finally we started our trek to Bhojbasa with team of 12 climbers, 2 Sherpas, 2 cook and 13 porters on 27th May. It was 14 km trek. On the way to bhojbasa, we had lunch at Chhidwasa.


[This was the first Bharal sighted on the way to Bhojbasa.]


[Setting up camp at bhojbasa.]


[First glimpse of Mount Bhagirathi II from Bhojbasa camp.]

Bhojbasa to Nandanvan base camp (4350 M):

On 28th May we started from Bhojbasa and after exhaustive trek of 7 hours reached Nandanvan. This was one the most toughest day of expedition where we crossed difficult Gangotri glacier and moraine. During this trek we spent sometime at Gomukh (Origin of river Ganga). After reaching Nandanvan, we established base camp. But everyone was so tired that after dinner, we just got disappeared in sleeping bag.

We did load ferry on 29th and 30th May from Nandanvan to Upper Nandanvan [planned ABC(Advance Base Camp) at 4730 M] and shifted lot of extra load, technical gears. Finally on 31st May we moved from BC to ABC.


[Our base camp at Nadanvan.]


[Inside kitchen tent at base camp.]


[Team playing dumb sheraz, Some lighter moments at base camp.]


[Frozen streams around the camp because of sub minus temp at night.]


[Early morning photography was like treat, Golden Shivling.]


[Colors of nature, This was taken during sunset at base camp.]

Upper Nandanvan (ABC) to Camp1 (5340 M):

Now real exam was about to start. Entire remaining mountain was covered snow. We did load ferry from ABC to Camp1 and shifted technical gears other stuff to Camp1. Initially walking on snow was quite difficult but it became little easy as soon as we got used to it.

We went to Vasuki glacier on 2nd June for a walk. It was beautiful view to see Vasukital, entire route of Kalindi Pass, route to Satopanth. On the same evening our cook prepared special dish Mamo's for dinner. ah.....What a day it was..!!!

Finally on 4th June we shifted to Camp1.


[Establishing ABC.]


[Vasukital]


[Negi Sir and Shashi Madam in masti mood, some lighter moments at ABC.]


[Load ferry to camp1.]

Camp1 to Summit Camp (5800 M):

We established camp1 around 5pm on 4th June. Rajee, Shashi Madam and Peter prepared Hot soup and tea. Something hot was much required in such a cold condition and they appeared like God to me at that time.

We played a lot in snow and had full fledge photography session with Prashant's SLR camera. Slowly coldness increased and we  rushed into sleeping bag inside  tent. It was small tent but as we three (Myself, Prashant, Nishant) had squized in that tent, it created little warm conditions. We kept water bottle, inner of kofla shoes inside our sleeping bag and went to deep sleep.

We woke early on 5th June, packed everything and started moving towards summit camp with all the load. It was very strenuous climb where we struggled a lot while climbing with load. There was one point where I was about get fainted but thanks to Prashant who helped to recover with some quick food and water. We saw one well determined person approaching us slowly, he was Samarth. Samarth had started this expedition in alpine style on 1st June and met us directly in summit camp.

We reached summit camp around 4pm and quickly went to sleep as we had to move for summit attempt on same night.


[Camp1 established.]


[Tea, at camp1]


[Inside camp1 tent (L to R)-- Prashant, Myself, Nishant]


[In camp1, just before going into sleeping bag.]


[Summit camp]

Summit camp to top of Bhagirathi II:

We wake up at 10pm and started getting ready for summit attempt. Three layer of clothing, kofla's shoes, harness, jhumar, everyone got ready by wearing all the gears one by one. We started for summit attempt at 1am on 6th June. After lot of hard work we reached top of the mountain around 8 am. Peter sir flared of Indian flag and we were standing just few meters below him. Ecstasy of successful expedition was followed by agony of bad weather and we had to start descending down immediately because of complete whiteout. We reached summit camp around 12pm. Subsequently we descended to ABC on the same day and descended to Gangotri in next couple of days.

Everyone was very Happy because successful expedition, Our party had started from ABC and it continued all the way till Deharadun. As sir Edmund Hillary says, "It's not Mountain that we conquer but ourselves", we started journey to home with more confidence, new energy for Life. 


[Climbing in night for summit]


[First ray of sun at 4am]


[Ah....almost at top, very little is remaining.]


[Peter sir at summit]


[View from summit, Vasuki and satopanth behind it.]


[Whiteout after summit.]

Documentary:


-----
Sandy.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Pure...Happiness...!!!

"Come on Arnav, last few meters. Yes...!!! you can do it...!!!"....Aarushi was almost standing on her seat.
"Come on Arnav....!!!"...Aayush was also screaming with Aarushi.

Arnav was in his last lap in second position and just few meters distance was remaining for target.

"Arnav beta, just take deep breathe and couple of forceful strokes, come on..."...Aarushi was in action as if she is swimming.
Aayush had kept one hand on Aarushi's shoulder and he was screaming full in swing...."Arnav...Arnav....Arnav.....Arnav...!!!"

"Sunny is in lead position. Arnav is in second position and trying to take lead with all his energy. We should get our 200 meter freestyle swimming champion of the year within few seconds....."...Commentator also couldn't control his excitement and was standing on his chair.

                *******************************************

"Aayush...Aayush...."
"hmmmm"

Aayush was sitting on left side of the bed, near lamp and was checking some emails. Arnav was in deep sleep and next to him Aarushi was trying to sleep, patting Arnav.

"Aayu, are you listening to me?".....Aarushi said in little frustrating tone.
"Yeah....tell me"....Realizing Aarushi's mood, Aayush quickly kept laptop aside and turned towards her.

Aarushi had already turned on other side.
"Come on Aarushi, I am listening to you...."

"I wanted to discuss something with you".....Aarushi got up and started.
"Yeah...."

"When Arnav was small, I used to spend all my time taking his care but this June Arnav will go to Senior KG, Now he is quite grown up. I get lot of spare time. I am tired of reading books as well. so sometimes I feel bored."
"oh....thats why someone is getting frustrated these days...."

"Aayu, I am serious, please...."
"No..no..no...I was just kidding. Yeah.. your right. have you thought of anything?"

"No nothing"
"Do you want to start your career again?"

"NO. NEVER....I don't want to get into that corporate monotonous life again."
"oh..ok"

"Can you think of anything?"
Aayush kept quite for sometime and then started with lot of excitement....."One option is there".

"What?"
"Why don't you start swimming again? I remember your liking for swimming before marriage. You enjoy it like anything. I think you was district level champion in swimming. So please start swimming again, it will occupy your 2/3 hours. Also I would say, teach swimming to Arnav as well."

"Oh....What an idea...!!!"
"Yes, please start tomorrow itself."

                *******************************************

Next day morning, Aarushi got up with new energy. She went to nearby swimming pool, completed all the formalities for herself and Arnav.
On the same evening she asked Aayu to come home early and they did shopping for Arnav's swimming cap, goggle. she also got new swim suit for herself. Aayu was also Happy seeing new charm on Aarushi's face, that day they went out for dinner.

Aarushi started swimming everyday. She used to get out of world happiness while diving from first floor. Freestyle, backstroke, sidestroke, butterfly -- she was master of all the techniques. It was pleasure for everyone at pool watching such a technically perfect swimmer. She started helping other ladies for learning different styles. slowly Aarushi became sweet teacher on pool.

Initially Arnav was afraid of getting into water. Aarushi used to get him on back, give ride over entire pool. Arnav used to enjoy that ride like anything. Aarushi also got duck float for him. He used to just play in water. Slowly Arnav also got comfortable with water and started kicking and moving hands.

Aarushi was holding Arnav's hands and slowing walking in water, Arnav was kicking. 
"Mamma, I am tired"....Arnav was about to cry.
"Beta, one more round. My son is strongest. Come on..."...she took him for one more round.

"Beta, stretch your hand completely in front of you, then only water will move back."....Arnav used to listen to all instructions. Slowly sometimes crying, sometimes enjoying Arnav learned swimming. But Arnav was afraid of jumping into water. sometimes Aarushi used to throw him into water but then he used to cry. Aarushi got good idea for this.

She used to behave as if she is sinking into water and scream, "Arnav, please save me, save me."
Looking at his mother then Arnav used to jump into water. Because of this slowly Arnav came of his fear and learned diving as well.

                *******************************************

All these activities resloved Aayush's problem as well. He was Happy to see Aarushi in action.
Everyday he was getting new swimming stories during dinner.

"Papa, you know...you know.."
"Yes, beta."

"Today, Mamma was sinking, I jumped and saved her."
"My brave son....!!!"

Slowly, steadily, over the years Aarushi's effort started giving some sweet fruits. Arnav started liking swimming. He learned everything and started winning inter-school competitions.

Recently Arnav had qualified for "state level 200 meters freestyle swimming" in children group and winner was supposed be sent for International event.

"Mamma, tomorrow I will win".....Arnav said.
"Beta, as I always tell you. Yes, winning is important but don't get stuck over this. Enjoy your swimming best of your ability. Don't think about result.  I WANT YOU TO FEEL PURE HAPPINESS, I am not bothered about result. Do your best....then let anything happen."

Aayush had taken leave for the event. Aayush was sitting in front row of the stadium with Aarushi. 

Arnav came out. He was standing on the 11th number. On first whistle of instructor, he took the position. Looked at his parents. Final whistle and Arnav jumped.

                *******************************************

Competition was going full in swing.

Arnav slowly came in equal position of Sunny who was lead. Entire stadium hold their breathe, almost everyone was standing.

Finally within blink of eyelid, Arnav took lead and reached target. He won the championship...!!!

Everyone was clapping. Aarushi was just calm, resting her head on Aayush's shoulder. Her eyes were full of happiness and satisfaction.

-----
Sandy.

Friday, March 8, 2013

bachpan

"Suraj beta, please change your school uniform and get fresh. I am getting some biscuits and milk for you"......After opening door, Radha hurridly kept Suraj's school bag in table and rushed to kitchen.

Suraj changed his clothes and started moving out of home....."Mamma, I will drink milk after some time".
"Suraj.....beta...wait".....by the time Radha came out of kitchen, Suraj was on the ground.

While coming up with Mamma, he had seen some kids playing football. He was eager to join them.

"Oh...God....How to handle this boy?......Now he haven't had anything and once he comes back, he will dance back and forth for dinner....."......Radha was talking to herself and moved to Gallery with cup of coffee.

Suraj and other children in colony were playing football. It was little cloudy evening and suddenly its started raining in 5 minutes.
All children started screeming, dancing. Suraj was dancing like anything.

Radha also caught mood of the evening.......She started playing with water droplets coming in the Gallery. 

                            ******************************************
                           
Radha was simple, innocent and intelligent girl living in small villege of Satara. She had one the most beatiful eyes in the world. Dancing was breathing for her. She used to eat dance, sleep dance and drink dance. She had given many dancing performances in college festivals. Any kind of rythms was enough for getting her started dancing. She was living with her parents in her big house.

It was big duplex house sorrounded by coconut trees. In between of cocount trees, there were some other trees as well. On the first floor there was ample of open space and only one room. It was Radha's exclusive study room with Jhoola (Wooden swing). So after coming back from college, studying, playing jhoola and sometimes teasing villege people from first floor was kind of routine for her. From childhood itself, Everyone in villege was aware of her jolly going nature, they also used to love her becasue of her innocence.

                            ******************************************

Rainy season was Radha's favourite season. It was sunday evening and Radha was studying in her room while sitting on Jhoola. Suddenly she realized that its raining outside. tip-tip rythms of rain drops, ignited dancer in her. She peeped downstars and confirmed that her mother is still enjoying afternoon nap. She also made sure that no one is around in the area.

As soon as she realized that things are fine, she just came out of her room and started dancing in rain. She was completely drenched.

"Barso Re Megha Megha......... Barso Re Megha Megha......... Barso Re Megha Barso".....she was singing and dancing with ultimate happiness.

Almost after an hour when rain got slowed down she stopped, went into study her room. Changed her dress and immediately started studying again.

"Radha, Please come down for Tea".....Radha's mother called for evening tea.
"Yeah...aai(mother)"....Radha went down.

"Oh....you changed dress?"
"What aai?"....Radha fumbled.

"I mean, you had weared green dress in the morning and now its blue. did you changed it?"
"Oh...I just changed."

"ah...ok.."...aai just gave tea to her and moved to kitchen. Radha again came up and started studying.

                            ******************************************

"Lakshmi....Lakshmi...you there?".....Radha's neighbour Ganga came to her home calling her mother.
"Yeah...Ganga tai, I am in kitchen...Please come in"......Radha's mother said loudly.

"You need to control Radha, else she will get caught by cold and fever."
"How come?"...Lakshmi replied in worried tone.

"Couple of hours back, I saw Radha playing in rain. She do it frequently. I have seen her many times."
"Oh....really...Let me ask her."

"Radha...Radha..."......Lakshmi called Radha.
"Yes...aai"....Radha came down.

"What I am hearing this? You oftenly get drenched in rain. Is that true? Its not Good for your health Radha."
"No. no aai.....I mean....yes......sometimes after getting bored from studies, I enjoy dancing in rain".....Radha confessed in little nervous tone.

                            ******************************************

"No...no aai".....Radha was saying this and suddenly she realized that doorbell is rining since long.

She came out of her stream of thoughts and hurriedly came from Gallery to hall, opened door but on one was there.
Suddenly Suraj who was hiding just next to door, jumped in front of Radha saying....."bhooooo....bhoooooo"...and he was acting like ghost.

Radha was delighted with Suraj's surprise and she hugged him.

"Mamma, why don't you play in rain....its so much fun"....Suraj asked innocently.
"Should we play now?"

Little Suraj was surprised with his mother response but he started jumping with rejoice......"Yes...!!!....Yes....Let's go...yo yo...yo.."

Radha locked door and went to building's terrace with Suraj. It was still raining like anything.

Tip-Tip rythm of rain drops took out dancer in Radha and she started dancing with full on energy and little Suraj was also dancing and trying to copy his mother.
"Barso Re Megha Megha......... Barso Re Megha Megha......... Barso Re Megha Barso".

-----
Sandy.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

"LOVE IT".........."DO IT"......!!!!

Train was about to start from Mira road station. One thin person having little heavy sack hurriedly got down from 1st compartment and tried to get into 2nd compartment. Train had already picked up little speed. "Please give me hand"....he shouted and people in door pulled him inside.

"Be careful Man..."
"There are so many trains...don't be in hurry..."
"Be calm while catching train....life is more important..."
"why people are behaving like stupid when there is a train after every 5 mins......"

Many people in that compartment spoked something spontenously but that person was trying to catch his breath while standing near seat's entrance. Becasue of all these sudden noise Krishna's nap got disturbed and he had dull glance over entire compartment to know what had happened. he didn't got what had happened so again he went into sleep with head down.

As soon as that person felt settled, he loudly said, "Gentlemens, may I have your attention please...!!!"

                          ****************************************

Krishna was a hardworking and dashing marketing executive, struggling for getting head start for his career. writing was his passion. He regularly used to publish some white paper on marketing topics for which he used to get some good response from his reader friends. But for last 3-4 papers response from readers was below average. Worst thing was even his best friend Radha had not gave him any feedback for last couple of papers.
Last week he had started writing on one new topic but he was not able to complete it becasue of fustration.

In addition to this, even his marketing meetings on that day were average. He was lagging like anything for his sales targets. He was totally doomed and upset because of his screwed up situation.

After finishing last meeting at Virar, he caught slow train for Churchgate. Since it was evening time, there was not much rush. He got window seat and sat with head down, lost in cyclone of his thoughts.

Suddenly near Mira road station his nap got disturbed because of some noise.

                          ****************************************

"Gentlemens, may I have your attention please?'......salesman started with full enthusiasm as if he is standing on presentation dice infront of thousands of audiance. While talking, he took out one small book from his bag.

"I have got some treat for you. This is knowledge treat which will help you get more information about our country's Geography."

He opened small book in his hand and after unfolding it became big map of India.

"So How many of you know what are our neighbouring countries? Which are important rivers in India? How they flow? How many states India have? How National highways are connecting entire India? What is capital of Maharashtra or any other state?"
"All this knowledge can be gained by playing one interesting game on this map. So see we will play game and also get knowledge, Isn't it interesting?"

                          ****************************************

Though half the people in that compartment were sleeping but he was talking as if everybody is listening with full interest.
Salesman was looking so fresh that Krishna couldn't believe that five minutes before that person was struggling for breath. Krishna was amazed at his energy.

Hardly anybody was listening but still that salesman was explaning everything properly. His face was glittering like gold. eyes were shining like stars and hands were moving as if he is telling new secret to this world. overall it appeared as if he was enjoying highet state of Happniess.

Now Krishna forgot his sleep and was curious to know secret of energy of that person.

                                    ****************************************

"So I am about to start Game, are you guys ready?"...salesman questioned to all people in compartment.

"I am going to ask to find some place on this map, you just have search that place and show me."
"So tell me where is Mumbai on this map?......please take this map in my hand and tell me."

"Its there on east side of India"...one guy from college group sitting over there pointed his finger and showed it.

"Yes, perfect. Like this you can ask any question to your friend and let him search it. Isn't it a funny Game?"
College students smiled. Now few aged people also got some interest.

"Let me ask you little difficult question. Which Indian state is touching border of 4 other Indian states and 4 internation countries."

Now College group got real interest. They took map in their hand started searching but didn't got it.
"Please tell us answer"....students started shouting after some time.

he smiled and said....."Its Sikkim and showed it to everybody"......everyone was rejoiced. They again got lost into map to confirm the same.

"If you have liked this knowledgable game then you can purchase this map for just 20 rupees. Please let me know who want to buy it. Please check it and take it"...he announced.

Four college students and one old age grandapa bought it.

Krishna was just lost in whatever going over there. He was highly impressed by Salesman skills. Finally he came out of shock and bought one map.

                          ****************************************

By this time it was Bandra station. There was some empty space next to Krishna so salesman sat there for sometime.

"This map is really informative"....Krishna started conversation with Salesman.
"oh yeah....Thanks......I am getting down at Dadar. Bye"....he said and moved towards gate. Krishna also wanted to get down at Dadar so he also moved towards gate.

After getting down salesman got settled down on one nearby bench. Krishna also followed him.

"I want to ask you one thing?"....Krishna again started conversation.
"Oh...you?....please ask".....he replied while gulping couple of sip water from his bottle.

"You looked so Happy. What is secret of your smile? Energy?...When you were selling your maps, no one was paying any attention but still you talked from bottom of your heart. You gave lot of information....then finally only four people bought it. You hardly got any money out of it."

Salesman just smiled. he said, "I get some little money by selling these maps but I dont do this for money. Geography study is my hobby. Actually I work as a peon in one office at Vasai. Becasue of my financial situation and family responsibility I couldn't get higher education. So I get my bread-butter by that job and while traveling back to home I enjoy my geography hobby by selling maps. So I was Happy becasue I was enjoying it. Frankly speaking, We should not do everything for money. Somethings should be done for satisfaction. I like map reading. I feel great while explaining maps. It gives me out of the world Happiness. In your worlds, may be thats secret of my energy and smile....IF YOU LOVE IT.....THEN JUST DO IT....dont worry about the world."

"Great. Thank you."....Krishna replied with gratitude.
"Welcome. Bye...I need to go to central side and catch fast train for Thane".....salesman got disappread.

Krishna felt enlighted becasue of salesman's simple philosophy. He was standing among thousands of people at 7pm on Dadar station but still he felt deep silence..."Yes, I should write.....irrespective of anything....yes, I should write"....he was constantly talking to himself.

Suddenly he realized that his cell phone was ringing. It was Radha's call...."Hi Krishna, How are you? Sorry I couldn't call you since long becasue I was busy in some family function but your last write up was too Good."

-----
Sandy.