Latest Entries »

18th Feb 1.00 PM slot.

GD started late at 3 PM as the panel werent done with their morning shift yet. I later realize why so!

GD and WAT topic: Media has been criticized that they are not giving due importance to important news and views, but rather they concentrate only on the Sensational news. Is media justified in doing so?

Essay 15 mins: wrote about revenue model of the media and how they need to conc on trp ratings to survive. Hence their emphasis on breaking news and stuff. Then wrote about they over doing stuff. Wrote about their responsibility to shape things in a better way

GD: entered a couple of times

1. Revenue model is forcing media to take the breaking news route

2. 52 runs short of Sachin’s 100th century on AAJ TAK — is in not taking this a bit too far?

3. Rural mindsets vs urban mind sets. rural ppl are prone to getting addicted to flashy stuff

4. Child nutrition campaign by TOI — started taking and realized it was not connected to the topic at all!! :P

Was asked to summarize 2nd — meaning i did not do well in GD :(

Struggled with summary too.. ended up stating the same points i told before with some examples quoted by others.

result (expectation) Essay – 3/5; GD 2/5

Was the first to be interviewed! So i was called before i could take a breather !

3 member panel

P1 : Loud voice – Stress panelist

P2: Older guy

p3: HR

Me: his holiness Mr. Awesomeness

P1: Tell me about yourself

Me: blah blah blah

P1: Elec –> Accouting at MS!! waste of 4 years

Me: with my past experience i thought its not worth defending. So i did not defend. I told him prolly there is not co-relation but if you step back and see, I hadn’t wasted my time. grew as an individual. Developed deep bonding with my other friends and had a lot of fun.

P1: Do you work for cost center of a profit center ?

Me: cost center sir

P1: difference being

Me: explained.

P1: So engineers after govt spending so much on them work for cost centers!! (Laughing)

Me: Sir, that is the reason why i want to do an MBA and get into a profit center. That is where i can do justice to my skill set.

P1: What is so hard in what you do ?

Me: explained my tech stuff – over simplified a bit so that P1 might understand

P1: School kids will do that!!

Me: sir, told him the complications.

P1: did you build all that or you maintain systems?

Me: Sir i built some of it. Told my contributions to ledger engine.

P1: Ledgers is childs stuff!! Some one gives you what to build and you build it! where is your expertise?

Me: I had to learn everything very fast and that is where they need IITians to do the work.

P1: I dont think you learn “quick learning” at IIT. You might be born with that talent. Why IIT? and why accounting ?

Me: Silence. I gave up!

P1: Assuming you are good at accounting, account for all the money that Govt spent on you since childhood

Me: did some calculations and did time value of money and arrived at 3 lakhs!!

P1: Govt spent more than that on you. What is IITM spending per year ?

Me: Dont know sir.

P1: Try calculating. What is studnt to prof ratio

Me: told him 100 students around 20 profs so 1:5

P3: (Passively looking at certificates till now) tries to correct me. Your batch is the only one studying at IITM

Me: Sorry sir, its around 500 in all!

P1: is that the only cost?

Me: infra costs also add up sir

P1: You are a bad accountant. you dont even consider land costs!

Me: Gave up again

P1: Assuming you are good at accounting, why IIMC? What will we teach you here?

Me: Finance is not all about accounting. blah blah blah!

P1: what is the wall street movement?

Me: occupy wall street

P1: do you support it?

Me: Yes sir, ibanks have taken public money and misused it

P1: (shouting) do you have the guts to tell this at office?

Me: Havent thought on those lines yet sir

P1: (loud) you dont have the guts even if had thought about it. you would lose your job.

Me: silent. ( I felt so bad and pained in life! )

P2: suddenly interrupts and asks me to explain my childhood achievement (soln to farmers suicides)

Me: Felt that this was the moment to explain and bring things back on track. Explained with a lot of passion and energy

P3: where was this passion while explaining your job?

Me: (not again!!) told him my achievements at childhood gave me lot of satisfaction and shaped me as an individual

Next 5 mins on what i did and so on.. (the only good part of my PI)

P2: you seem to know a lot of rural india. what is the diff betn mentalities of rural and urban in your opinion.

Me: rural ppl dont have access to info. Even if they do, they dont know what to do about it. If an educated person goes and tells rural guys to do something, they gleefully do that. and then gave a reference back to the GD.

P2: why did you not tell this wonderful point in GD

Me: it did not strike me then sir.

P3: I will give you a HR seat at IIMC. Join there. all you need is to improve your PR skills and then do social service. It gives you satisfaction too right?

Me: Sir, PR skills are not my ball game. I like number crunching, logical stuff and I can use my quick learning to my advantage in finance. I wish to build a good social network of successful ppl who can contribute money for a social cause. As i grow in the organization i will also earn money and access to higher strata of corporates.Ended up asking P3, sir, if i asked you money stating i will invest this for a social cause with no returns, would you invest in me ?

P3: you have a point

P1: (oh no!! he is back :( ) How many ppl will actually donate stuff after earning well?

Me: sir, i have been able to convince my friends to do that. I think there are enough ppl giving money for a social cause sir. Ex: Nandan Nilekani

P1: he does nothing!

Me: Father ferrer, Industrialist in spain donates a lot of money for the well being of my district sir.

P1: I got it now! you want to finance social projects later on in life?? In that case its justified for you to do finance at IIMC. You may leave now!

Me: Thanks sir. (did not know how to interpret the last sentence!! – well think positive and live to fight another day is all i can do!)

 

IIMA interview is tomorrow and have lot to prepare if i should not get a thrashing like today!! :)

RESULT: Converted :) — April 15th 2012

 

 

Place: Mumbai

Date: 9th Feb 2012, 2PM

Essay writitng:

Topic: What are men without women.

Essay was mediocre. Made a blunder of writing Manmohan Singh as not having married !! Took an example of Mahatma gandhi and Kasturba Gandhi. Then wrote about Women supporting men in walks of life. and then about leaders who did not marry. Had just about time to write the conclusion.

Rating: 3/5

GD: Same topic.

Made the same blunder of Manmohan singh not married :(

Spoke thrice in 15 mins!! – very bad experience

1. Mahatma gandhi example

2. Women protesting against alcohol to keep men at bay in AP

3. Abdul kalam and manmohan singh spending their lifes for the welfare of the country with getting married

Interview:

Time: 10 mins

P1, P2: two panel members

P1: What does your name mean

Me: Lord Krishna

P2: Give me your certificates

P1: Tell me 5 similarities between you and Krishna

Me: Mischief when I was a Kid and a big smile follows :)

P1: What about now ??

Me: Childish traits have wearied off over time Sir.

P1: Is that bad?

Me: According to me NO sir.

P1: other 4 traits?

Me: Planning and Execution, Peseverance, Logic Ability and sometimes I am witty.

P1: Sometimes??

Me: Yes sir. I try to keep the teams spirits high when ever things are bad. Other wise i am serious :| P1 kept a face as if he did not understand

P1: Tell me how Electrical Engineering is helping you in your work?

Me: Told him math skills improved. What I was working in morgan.. Then carried away and started to boast about myself.. (Blunder)

P1: Am asking you how it helped??

Me: blah blah blah!! (P1 not convinced)

P1: You like math?? what do you like about it?

Me: I like application of theoretical math to solving practical problems..

P1: Example..

Me: Stutter.. P2 helps me with linear programming. I said OR. Transportation problems and stuff. Again stutter to explain what is a transportation problem

P2: What is North-west rule

Me: explained

P1: You have not mentioned Monthly remuneration

Me: wrote it down. (Not supposed to disclose that here :P )

P1: What if you may not get this much after MBA?

Me: Sir, Not interested in money. Want to work on the business side and  at the decision making end rather than the receiving end. Told him business is revenue generating and IT is cost saving. Focus on shifting from IT to business.

P2: How do you feel like to work at backend IT after studying at IITM and graduating with a good CGPA?

Me: My work has challenges of its own.

P1: explain.

Me. Told more about my work and stuff.

P1: Dont you think anyone can do all this stuff?? why an IIT-ian

Me: Tried to justify. P1 disagrees.

P1: As a layman i always wondered how power is generated? can you explain.

Me. Mechanical motion translated to Magnetic field. When it moves by Faraday and Lenz law, Electric current is generated to oppose this moving magnetic field.(inertia of motion)

P1: cant understand a thing.

Me: Tried explaining again. No effect :(

P2: How do you produce Mechanical motion to start with

Me: Burning coal for thermal Energy.

P2: How do you burn coal!!!@@

Me: By lighting it!! (God level) Everyone is laughing now!!

P2: how do you light it

Me: explained how to generate a spark. concept of current jump!

P1: using current to generate current !!?

Me: One time to start.. Once it starts, should be self sustaining.

P2: burning coal pushes the motor?

Me: Water is passed through. Heat energy is converted to Kinetic energy in Steam. That pushes the motor.

P1: Have you seen a power station??

Me: No sir.

P1: hasnt IITM taken you on field trips?

Me: no sir

P1: What else do you do?

Me: play chess and Bridge. I said these are incidentally the only mind games that are recognized by IOC

P1: Other games dont require mind??

Me: Misinterpreted this Q and replied that other games are not represented well enough to get the recognition. Probably he meant what about the other games recognised by IOC. Aren’t they mind involving.

P1: who is the world chess champion?

Me: Magnus Carlsen

P1: 2nd?

Me: no idea sir

P1: 3rd?

Me: Ahem. when i was about to say Krammik, P1 interupts and says what a dumb Q to ask. :(

P1: what place is Anand

Me: 4th Sir.

P1: What other calls do you have?

Me: A, B, C, I

P1: You may leave now.

Me: Thanks Sir.

Overall impression 3/5

Should have done better. Should reduce stuttering and listen to the Q’s carefully. Shouldn’t have answered more than what was asked.

Hoping to convert this! :)

RESULT : Converted :)

It had been a while since i traveled, my last trip being the himalayan trek in may. Mayur and Bhargav came to Mumbai on friday 16, Dec 2011. They reached home at around 10 in the night and early next morning (5:30 AM) we started on our way for an extended weekend, a long getaway. We had an Innova booked for a comfortable ride and for a reasonable deal (10 Rs per Km. By the time we reached Panvel, it was 7 and the sun had just begun to come out. We took the new Mumbai Pune Highway and were soon speeding in excess of 120 kmph. After a while took a diversion at Lonavala and took the route towards Bushi Dam. We went up the hill and were treated to some awesome views. The grass everywhere had dried up giving it a golden glow in the sun. The wind was cold and was blowing at speeds giving a strange roaring sound.

We went back to Lonavala and were soon on the highway to Pune. The entire highway was awesome and went through some spectacular tunnels. We stopped on the way to have some breakfast and then called Kaki to join us at a point on the highway. We wanted to Bypass Pune city and joined the highway to Satara. Kaki took some time to join us, as he had to literally travel the length of Pune. He joined us around 11 Am and we started toward Mahabaleshwar immediately. We took the highway for another 50 kms where we had to take a right diversion towards our destination. I was hungry and all i thought along the way was about Mapro Gardens and the wonderful sandwiches that Rajesh suggested we shouldn’t miss.

We stopped a couple of points along the way before we reached Panchgani. My hunger was getting acute and I started to get desperate about Mapro Gardens, just like the scene in the movie – Harold and Kumar go to white castle. Bhargav wanted to see a few more points after Panchgani, but i insisted we had food first. Like always, I won (rather bhargav cursing me :) gave up) and we were soon at the gardens. We ordered 4 sandwiches and the lady at the counter suggested, we actually took 2. After we placed the order, we took a stroll in the park that was filled with bright flowers. Bhargav then demonstrated his cam’s (Sony Hx 9V) awesome picture processing capabilities. The pictures were better than the original scene, reminding me of the English lesson, with the photographer by Stephen lecock.

Very soon our ordered sandwiches arrived: large, nicely grilled giving us a good smell of the cottage cheese used. They were yummy, undoubtedly the best i had in my life. Having these sandwiches on an empty stomach was a feeling that words couldn’t describe. We later had an Italian pizza which was equally tasty and topped it with the best Strawberry ice-cream ever had. I felt like having more, but my stomach couldn’t co-operate. I bought some ripe big strawberries and we continued on way to our MTDC resort.

The resort was 2 kms from Mahabaleshwar center and was very vast. The buildings were old but the campus was amazingly close to nature. We got a family suite which contained a hall and 2 bedrooms which were clean and tidy for 2800 bucks. After visiting the sunset point and the local market there, we crashed early after talking for a while.

We woke up at 7 the next day and left towards old Mahabaleshwar. We visited the Shiva temple and the starting point of the mighty Krishna River. There were ruins of an old temple from where we had an awesome sight of the Krishna valley. It being winter, the fog and mist prevented us from taking photos of the breath taking scenes of the river from above. We then bought more strawberries and took off towards Pratagadh. We reached the fort by 12:30 only to see the fort crowded with tourists. We took a stroll up the fort and tried taking the nice views from the top. The hills were brown because of the dried grass and there were distinct horizontal lines along the hill range adding more beauty to the scene. Like always fog again played spoilsport in taking good pictures.

We headed towards Raigadh, the capital of shivaji, at the time of his death. It was a 2 hr drive from pratapgad. We went to mahad and then took a 24 km diversion of the NH17 highway. We had to wait 40 mins to get the ropeway to the top. By the time we reached the top it was 5:30 PM and the fort was almost empty with no one around. The setting sun provided just the ambience for our DSLR’s to come out. Recollecting from my earlier trip to raigadh, we visited all the main points: ruins of the palace, Shivaji’s darbar, the marketplace and Shivaji’s tomb. It was a perfect place for trying out photography and felt bad for having arrived late.We wanted to stay back on the top for the night, but we did not have even 1000 bucks among ourselves to afford the night. Another lesson learnt for depending so much on ATM’s :’(

We abandoned our initial plan of trekking down owing to literally no light. I so much wished it were a full moon! We took the ropeway back down and in search of a night stay we went to Mahad. After some search, we found a hotel with a decent deal. It would have been economical and awesome if only we had carried enough cash with us :(

All of us woke up lazily the next day and we could only start by 10 AM. We extensively used GPS with google maps to guide us through some bad roads to Murud. We were treated to some awesome views of the fort that stood in the middle of the sea and some old tombs at Murud Janjira. By the time we reached the point where we had to take a boat ride to the fort, there was a huge line. We then took some snaps of the fort with the water from the outside and decided to go to Kashid. The route to Kashid was awesome winding through the green tree, parallel to the coast. We reached Kashid in 30 minutes and were treated to some awesome white sands.

Even though i had come to Kashid before, it was the first time i went close to the water front. On the previous occassion i just cam, took a nap and left early. But this time we decided to stay till sunset and put our photography to test. We relaxed on the hammocks until sun was in the horizon and then took to the water. The water was spectacularly clean and clear. I could see the land beneath even as i walked 50 mts into the sea. The water was warm and the breeze was cool. The feeling was just amazing as I tried to leap through the gentle waves that came towards me looking at the setting sun. Because of the winter fog, we couldnt see the sun set all the way down, but we had a very good glimpse of the sun fading out slowly producing all the vibrant colors in the atmosphere.

Bhargav and I tried some stunts after the sun had set and i ended up hurting myself trying to jump across bhargav. The sand was so soft that on landing my toes got struck and i fell almost face down. I was not hurt much thanks to the forgiving sands. We later had some tea and began our return journey to Mumbai. We had dinner at McDonald something Mayur had been longing for after his 6 month stay at Singapore. We dropped Kaki on a cab to pune and returned home late night.

It was an amazing trip through the hill stations, to the forts of maratha empire to the awesome beaches of the west coast. Hoping to continue the tradition of meeting every year and having some wonderful time, I long for more

 

November 26th 2011 witnessed another record go down to Vettlel. Nigel Mansell held the record for the maximum number of pole positions with 14 out of 16 races enroute to his world championship crown with Williams team. That year was one of the most single sided championship ever in F1′s history. With all the new rules and regulations in F1 trying to make it a competitive sport, no one ever imagined the record to be broken.

But here is Vettel, now a double world champion, broke the record with 15 poles at the Brazilian Grand Prix. When he equalled the record at the penultimate GP, lot of hype about him breaking the record put a lot of pressure on the 24 year old. It being the last race added more pressure as Vettel had only one shot at the record. This record just summarizes his dominance in a year which featured 5 world champions competing for the championship.

Friday’s qualifying was not that great for RedBull and the chances looked bleak. Brazilian GP is the only circuit where races drive counter-clockwise and has a lot of ups and downs making it one of the toughest races on the calendar. McLaren had a good car coming in to the final qualifying and Vettel had to produce an absolute blinder of a lap in order to make his claim on the coveted record.

In the final session, when all the world champions were making mistakes on the punishing circuit, Vettel kept his cool amidst all the pressure driving an absolute perfect lap and romped home in perfect style. He was the only one to break the 1 minute 12 second barrier just beating his teammate Webber by 1/10th of a second.
Just at the age of 24, the way he managed to keep his nerves and deliver despite the huge expectations to perform makes me feel jealous and at the same time look up to him for some inspiration!
– A Salute to the Master!

Wednesday afternoon, I was busy working in office excited about the trek to the Himalayas. Since a week i had been doing enough preparation, buying necessary stuff and keeping myself both mentally and physically fit. At 4PM Synti and myself started for the airport to meet Rena there. We had a flight to Delhi later in the evening. I had been wondering all the while as to what i had forgotten that day – only to realize i forgot my ATM card in the machine @ office!! Just for the record, I had not done atleast one trip till now without forgetting/losing anything!!

We reached Delhi by around 9 PM and in an hour we caught up with the rest of our gang (Polls, Bhargav, Jishnu and Ninoy) who were waiting outside in an Innova. We immediately took off from Delhi and went about talking in our typical IIT-ian way – lol!! We soon changed topic to philosophy and soon Bhargav and Ninoy were in the midst of all the action. We talked about passion, how and where we would find it!, and about what we learnt in the past few years after we all left for our jobs. We went on and on till we reached Chandigarh by dawn and then we had to change into a Tavera.

 

Chandigarh will need a special mention for being the most beautiful and well planned city I have across till date in India. The wide roads and tress on either side to it and hills on one side, with sun just rising over the horizon – It was just magical. Since i hadn’t slept all night I quickly dozed off after clicking a few snaps. I was trying to sleep at the rear end of the Tavera and thanks to the aweful suspension it had i couldn’t sleep at all!! The entire route was very scenic, with amazing mountains, beautiful valleys and rivers. We saw Sutlej and Beas, and close to 6 hydro power projects on them!

 

Then came the best part of the trip where we had to go through a 4 km tunnel just on the outskirts of the town Aut. It was spectacular and as we went through the tunnel freezing winds at 12 in the afternoon greeted us to the Himalayas. We later had lunch and slowly took off towards Kasol. We had to take a diversion at Bhunter from the Kullu – Manali Highway towards Manikaran.

The journey from Bhunter to Kasol was very scary. The driver started to drive rashly as he was getting late for another pickup. Synti added to the misery shouting and screaming every time the driver took a hard turn. The entire route was scenic as we travelled along the Parvati river till we reached Kasol by 4 PM. We were soon done with all the paper work and later we were given couple of blankets and a tent to stay. We had a very good dinner there and slept early as everyone was tired during the 15 hr journey!

Our next 9 days of Trek: Click on links to read more
Day 1&2 : Acclimatization, Orientation, Rock Climbing & Reppelling
Day 3 : Trek to Youth Hostel Grahan– Ht. 7700 ft. (09 kms) 8 hrs.
Day 4 : Trek to Youth Hostel Padri – Ht. 8900 ft. (10 kms) 7 hrs.
Day 5 : Trek to Youth Hostel RatnaPani – Ht. 10700 ft.(07 kms) 9 hrs.
Day 6 : Trek to Youth Hostel Nagaru – Ht. 12500 ft. (09 kms) 6 hrs
Day 7 : Trek to Youth Hostel Biskeri Thatch – Ht. 11000 ft. via Sar Pass (13800 ft.) (09 kms) 12 hrs
Day 8 : Trek to Youth Hostel Bhandak Thatch – Ht. 8000 ft. (10 kms) 7 hrs.
Day 9 : Trek up to Barshani Road – Back to civilization 6hrs

Links to Pics@ picasa

After chilling out at hotel Malabar for a day, we took the evening bus to Delhi. We reached Delhi at 7 in the morning. I went straight to IITD to meet my sister and went about a small tour there. We later took the evening flight back to mumbai. I was so relieved to be back home after an amazing adventure – By far the best i have had till now!!

I got up at 7 AM, pretty late for YHAI standards. Within an hour we were all packed and this time we did not have a packed lunch as they expected us to reach the base camp by noon. We clicked a lot of pics and i got a chance to enjoy the scenic beauty of the camp. I felt very sad i couldn’t enjoy the beauty prior day thanks to my fever. I got a few pics clicked while i was in air and started our descent almost by 9 AM.

 

 

The days trek was so easy and straight forward that there was no guide for us today. The awesome group that we are, Guess What!! – WE got LOST!! SP-12 we rock. It took an hour before we figured our way out again. On my way i was lucky enough to see a white horse and pat its back :) Since Karthik had to catch a bus early we all left others and walked fast. Ninoy was at his singing best with Bhargav and Jishnu helping him. 2 hr walk and we reached a village. We were happy that we reached civilization. One some enquiry we realized we had to walk another hour across the dam on the valley to get to Barsaani.

After a long walk in the sun it was almost 1Pm when we reached the bus stand. We met the Gujarati students there who asked us to wait till the entire group arrives so that we have good fun. I was so hungry that i wanted to take a bus to Manikaran and eat there. Due to some differences we stayed back and hoped to find some hotels there. After a half an hour we realized we had nothing there and took a cab to manikaran. There we had lunch and then decided to visit the hot water springs of manikaran. We went to the hot water springs and they smelled heavily of sulphur. The water were very very hot and bubbling. We all decided that it was too dangerous to take a bath in boiling sulphur water and then took a bath to kasol.

By 5 PM we reached Kasol and were greeted by Mithun.  We were waiting for the others to arrive so that we can shout and have fun. In the mean while we met Adithya, camp leader who suggested we leave the base camp immediately and go to Kullu/Bhunter where we can do White water rafting early in the morning. The water in Parvati river were all dirty because of a de-silting activity near the dam in barsaani and hence all the water at the camp were all muddy. Not risking any further damage we all decided to head to a comfortable hotel.

We all checked out by 6 and left for Kullu. We got onto the bus and then debated whether to go to Kullu or to Bhunter. Our debate was short lived as the conductor said the bus only goes till Bhunter. We reached bhunter at 7:30 and checked into Hotel Malabar near the bus stand. I had an amazing half an hour shower in hot water and really enjoyed a nice 12 hr sleep on the cozy bed. It was one hard earned lovely sleep to end the trip :) :) :)

 

 

P.S: My heart felt apologies for ditching the rest of SP-12 and leaving everyone without a formal Good Bye.

 

We got up late in the morning and for a change the camp leader was a chill max guy and he did not trouble us with the infinite whistles that we had gotten used to. We got ready by around 9 and started our trek to Bhandakthatch. We were briefed that Bhandakthatch was the most beautiful of all the camps and today’s was the easiest of the lot. We were excited about reaching the camp the earliest and then have some good time there.

I had already picked up fever that was draining me. But the briefing about the next camp gave me the courage to give it my all that day. We started with a very steep descent. Quite unexpectedly my knees weren’t paining, apparently knees are the one that hurt the most during a descent. But a few meters down we were in for a surprise. The aunt who was tugging along with us with an ankle sprain found it hard to get down and we had to wait an awefully long time for her. The guide and the group leader then suggested she went back to the camp for the day and then get a porter to get her down the next day. She then put a lot of senti stuff and Tanvir fell for it deciding to get her down with the group. The entire discussion took away 90 minutes and i was starting to get my fever and giddiness back!!

I was happy that we then moved on at a healthy pace. We descended around 1000 ft in the next couple of hours without any big break. the Guide and Tanvir took turns getting the aunty down on their backs (Hats of to them!! ). Around noon we then hit a road block. It was a 200 ft steep descent followed by a 150 ft Steep ascend. But what lay between them was the most scariest part: A melting glacier gushing water at huge speed. We had to cross that on two logs which were placed on 2 boulders on either side. One slip and i would drop down dead some 1000 ft downstream. After yesterday’s trek i convinced myself that the worst of the trek was over and all i needed was a little courage to pull my self back to civilization. But the trail had other plans for me!!

Seeing bhargav and polls go by i finally decided to give it a shot. Firstly i had to rappel my self down 200ft. Which in itself was so scary that i kept embracing myself to the rock every step i took. The guide got irritated with the speed i was rappelling that he caught me by my backpack and asked me to drop down fast. Initially very scared i did as he suggested and then i could get down easily. The technique of rappelling really helps when you do it correctly. We had to lean back and not embrace the rocks like i was doing and keep our feet perpendicular to the surface and use the rope to get down.

 

Even before i could take a sigh of relief, i was faced with the next challenge, the one to cross the stream. I very nervously caught the hand of the guide who helped me cross the stream across the logs. The first few steps were very scary as the logs swayed for every step i took. Midway through the water level was higher the logs and i could feel the force of the stream as i waded my way through scarily with my heart in the mouth. After crossing on the logs i had to jump my way across on small boulders. I wasn’t that scared doing that until i stepped on a stone that moved and i lost my balance. Luckily someone lent me their hand i latched onto it in a flash. I cannot imagine where i would have been if he had not helped me.

I was scared and started to freak out badly. Even though i had done it safely, I was in a trans for sometime. The next 150 ft seemed nothing after what I had done. The lunch point was just after the climb. I got chance to relax, have food and start again slowly after lunch. I had a short nap and soon later i realized all my friends left after ditching me. I started walking at a brisk pace as the terrain was almost flat, with occasional climb over the trees that fell because of the avalanches. After half an hour i caught up with everyone but that brisk walk drained me. Ninoy had a twisted ankle and was struggling to walk.To make matters worse, the climate started to worsen and there were lightnings and thunders. One of the tree’s bark caught fire on a lightening strike and the visual of that was quite spectacular.

People stopped over to prevent the fire, but given my worsening body conditions i decide to move on without any rest. The trail then got a little steeper and that completely drained out any energy that i had. Luckily after that climb i caught up with bhargav, who stopped to have a change of clothes. We waited for a while before ninoy and jishnu had caught up. We kept walking and walking for an hour together under the dark clouds threatening to break lose any moment. I found it had to maintain the sustained brisk pace and very soon i started to feel the weakness in my body. Shoulders started to droop, I often lost my balance due to giddiness. I kept on having glucose and kept going.

Soon the rain started to pour in and for the first time in our trip we opened our ponchos and put them on. The rain was pouring in as we approached the final climb of the day. It was a 300 ft steep climb. Unable to do it i took a break and the rain soon became a hail. Balls of ice started to fall in and it felt we were being pelted by stones from above. Every hit started to pain and the force at which they came upon made life hell climbing up. I wanted to take shelter under a tree and the nearest tree was a few meters away. After some 10 minutes struggle i managed to get to the tree and for a while i looked up to see where we had to go and i got hit by a ice piece enough to knock the left glass of my goggles.

It was frightening and i was draining energy fast. The hail stopped after 20 minutes and i got a chance to climb. I climbed so fast that giddiness got better of me and before i could grab onto something i fell down unconscious. I slid down 20 ft and then my knee got struck in a root preventing a catastrophe. The jolt got me conscious again. Scared and drained i climbed up as the hail came back again. That were the toughest moments of the trip as i was gasping for breath and taking one step at a time. I pushed myself like never before and desperately wanted to make it to the camp. 20 minutes of struggle, 2 more slips later i could see the tents. That was by far the happiest moment of the trek. I managed to drag myself for the next few minutes and as i opened the flap of the tent i fell on my face right on the floor – “As people termed it – height’s of give-up-ness”

Finally gathered some courage to put a pose in hail :)

I must be very thankful to god to have helped me muster enough strength to make it in the end. All my friends had come in by then. I soon dried myself up and dozed off. Everyone had played football as i was sleeping peacefully in the tent. Apparently polls had kicked Synti’s football down the cliff and Synti then had an adventure of his own trying to get the ball. I was so tired that i can’t recollect any other things that happened to me that day!

I am in debt to one and all who helped me survive through this tough day! Thanks one and all!

This time for a change we were served bed tea at 2:30 and we were given an hour to get ready to start the mother of all treks till date – “THE SARPASS”. I got up and just took a stroll down the camp. The wind was strong and it was freakishly cold. Luckily the skies were clear and the stars still visible. Thanks to the near full moon the was enough lighting to see around. The snow reflected more moon light making an awesome sight.

It took me a while to gather up the guts to answer to the longer version of Nature’s call. I should say it was an amazing experience doing that on snow under the moonlight looking at the never ending chain of moutains whose peaks glittered with snow. As i went to a trans admiring the beautiful and awesome sights. My fingers and my A** went numb. I couldn’t feel them anymore. I freaked out and walked back to the camp rubbing my fingers to give them any warmth i could get. After a good hot coffee served at the camp i could get back my fingers. It was my first coffee in my life and what a perfect timing to have one at an altitude of 12500 ft. That will be one coffee i will never forget.. Never..

In a few minutes we were served breakfast and were given some dry sweet to keep the calories running for the day. We packed and were all set to go at 4.00 AM. After we offered prayers to the Almighty we took off. The first few steps to the snow were amazingly difficult and many slipped and struggled to get past. After a few steps my confidence grew and i was now walking at a healthy pace across the snow. Slowly my body was perspiring and was able to maintain a good temperature inspite the freezing winds blowing across the face of the mountain. In a while we stopped in order to wait for the laggards of the group and then i started to feel the cold. I started shivering as i just had my track pants on. The cold started to get intense and i was pleading for the sun to come out and give me the warmth.

Luckily we started moving and my body temperature starting raising again as we climbed the 60 degree climbs one step at a time. A few more moments there sitting would have caused permanent damage to my feet!! As we climbed on and on the gradient got higher. One slip and we would have rolled on the hard ice surface several thousand feet into the valley. It was a scary sight from the top, but the only option i had to was to keep climbing. It soon was a 75 degree climb and i had to literall crawl along the surface of the snow with the help of the stick that i had been carrying since Padri camp.

The guide made grooves along the way with his ice axe where in we could pierce our stick and climb up using that as the fulcrum. Soon it was 6 and the sun had started to come out. With him were the warm and soothing rays that i really enjoyed after all the experience i had in the morning. This was probably the first time i really loved the sun rise and i was literally cheering him on. The sun posed another danger, the one of melting snow and thus getting a slippery track to trek on in the future. Bhargav and gang inspired me to finish the hard climb without any more stoppages and by 7:30 we were on sarpass. We were so happy, we congratulated one another and joined the gujarati gang who were doing Garbha. It was an amazing experience dancing at 13000 ft with snow all around and the glory of achieving the unthinkable – SARPASS.. Oh wait!!

The guide then said there was another 3 hour trek before we finished. We were still happy thinking what more could be there ahead. We had already done the steepest climb till now that too in snow and that gave us the confidence to move on for an hour. Soon the body was draining energy mostly to keep up the body temperature. All of us started to feel weak and after a small 50 ft climb that was ahead of us i started giving out. A good dose of glucose and a frooti brought my spirits up and for the next hour i was trekking at snails pace along the slope in what was a familiar scenario by now ( one slip and you are straight into the valley ~ 2000 ft deep)

We crossed a fools peak in between only to realise what we had a 80 degree climb before us. I wanted to give up but all i had done over the past week would just go to drain. I wanted to do it so badly and be home. I started the climb, it was more like climbing parallel to the mountain face literally. When ever i took a break and stood straight, Rena freaked out as if i were to drop down. The only consolation this time was that we knew we wouldn’t roll down and die, but rather had to do the entire climb again! The second proposition was also scary to think off!!

I crawled my way up the mountain and the end i took the help of the Sherpa who pulled my up. I wanted to stand tall and scream till the end of the world, but had only enough energy to curl up and sit at a corner. I could see the lunch point from the top. 3 kms down, but we only had to go down sliding as if it were a giant slide. I could see people sliding their way through sometimes reaching speeds in excess of 40 Kmph. Jishnu had made a mess of his slide and rolled spectacularly. It reminded me of massa’s crash in formula 1 last year. He was safe as snow was more merciful. I was sliding on my tracks and the guide asked me to brake hard with my elbows as my speeds may get uncontrollable. A few moments later i took off screaming my way down at amazing speed. I was down in a flash but i really enjoyed every moment of the slide wanting to do that again. It only took me another half an hour to do the remaining 2 kms sliding and running down slope on the snow. After lunch (omellette and maggi) and quick nap i took off for Biskeri camp.

It was a bad descent with sticky mud, melting snow and big boulders. All along the way we were treated to awesome waterfalls combining to form a bigger stream parallel to the path. By 3 we reached Biskeri camp and i went straight to bed. I had picked up cold and fever thanks to the one mistake of putting the tracks in the morning instead of the cotton pants.

After a nap, I had nice soup and some aloo bajji with a dose of Dolo 650. It got me up and energetic in a while and then we played Wolf and literature till we got tired and dozed off!

 

 

Even though we all had gotten up early, we couldn’t start till 9:30. Apparently yesterday’s extra climb meant that we had to climb even less. For the first time we had sights on where we had to go right from the beginning. It seemed too easy after all that we endured to get to Ratnapani. The entire climb was very steep and short. We only had to do climbing and very little walking. All throughout the journey we had breath taking views of the entire valley and the trails that we took the past few days.

Midway we crossed the 11500 ft mark which meant we were in the terrain classified as extremely high altitude. The snow was so near to us now that made us all the more exciting. After some good no of pics on the way and some pretty steep climb we came to the Lunch point. We ate the lunch and started on a very dangerous and steep climb. When ever i looked down the view was scary, there was nothing on the sides – just an infinite abyss. Lucky to be at the start of the pack i could climb it without any fuss and just after the climb i was treated to an awesome view that i will not forget for a while. It was simply superb and mind blowing.

I stopped there for a while enjoyed the nature and the amazing wind that blew over. Then we started the climb again. In 30 more minutes we reached Nagaru at 2.30. The camp was in the midst of a snow ocean. Everywhere i looked I could see at least 3 layers of mountains all covered in snow. We were all tired and also happy that we had done a remarkable 6000 ft in 4 days. The remaining time was spent looking at the awesome skies, beautiful peaks and unpredictable weather. It rained for a while and within 10 minutes there were clear skies!! amazing!!

 

We had an early dinner at 6:30 and slept an hour later as we had to get up at 2:30 the next day for the mother of all treks the SARPASS!!


I got up thanking god that i was not eaten up by the bear at night. Thanks to Ninoy and his hypothesis of the bear, we all were shit scared. So scared that we had to go in groups for our morning chores :) After i was done i heard some weird noises deep in the jungle. I was so scared that i literally came running to the camp. A little later we were served good poha which i thulped before starting off for ratnapani. As always the initial part was a steep descent. Like always i was doing the math and something startled me. We had to ascend 2000 ft that day and we already descended like some 400 ft in the first hour or so!! That meant for the rest of the day we had to do an additional 2400 ft. Compared to the 1400 ft we did in the first day this was very scary.

For the next hour we kept trekking up and down until we reached a waterfall. The next climb was terrific. It was a 70 degree climb and that was by far the steepest i have ever trekked.  It was getting scarily steep as we climbed up and up. After half an hour of climb we all sat down till everyone of us gathered. Polls made the mistake of not sitting with us and then decided to go down and give up on the trek. He had a fever last night and that had a toll on him. I kindly offered to carry his sandals and everyone took some bit of his luggage.

We started climbing again and the trek started to get very tiring. The scenes were awesome from those heights but none of us had the energy to admire them. The sandals on my back started to become deadly. Rena had tied them to a side and everytime i climbed a rock, they sway and tilt the rucksack position. I almost lost balance once and if i had not latched onto a branch i would have been down a few hundred feet. Not losing hope we kept going on and on. The climb got steeper and more dangerous after a while.


Every time I convinced myself that the peak i see was the end and mustered enough courage to get to the peak, only to realize there was another peak up ahead. This must have happened some 10 times in all, before i gave up hope that the lunch point was any near. Every 10 steps i took, i took a long pause breathing heavily and then carried on. These long pauses started to make the trekking a lot easier. We were now in excess of 10000 ft and the dip in oxygen levels started to show. After trekking for 3 hours at such steep gradients, we finally reached the lunch camp at 2PM.

We were all so hungry that we thulped chapati and aloo (something i started to like now!!). We even got omelet courtesy a small shop where they sold everything at twice MRP. Still they felt cheaper than what we pay for maggi and omelet!! We started our way again at around 3.30 after taking few snaps and a short nap. We then crossed a couple of very scenic waterfalls and reached a very large meadow which was supposed to be the Ratnapani camp. But then we realized that the camp had been moved to a different location and we were up for a climb that would totally give a different perspective to philosophy all together. :P

Every step we took potentially had a life risk element and for a few steps we know there would be only one way to hell if we slipped. To add to all this the rain god wanted to make the trek more interesting. There were lightening and thunder but luckily the rain held on. We kept climbing up and up before Rena/Polls started to freak out a lot. I was already so tensed, that they freaking out got me to panic. To avoid more tension i got ahead and without thinking about anything and giving up any hope i still had of living i started climbing till I got to the top. I was greeted by the camp leader i was still surprised i had done it. I started to yell at the top of my voice. I was so happy, and the awesome views that awaited us at the top had me forget all the problems i had. The snow filled mountains were only a climb away from where we stood. We had a clear view of the entire panorama stretching from the Grahan Camp till the padri camp and a view of the Nagaru camp too!

I was the first to reach the camp and got to see everyone’s reaction when they finally finished it! Everyone looked freaked out and relieved at the same time. Just as we got to the camp site, the rain started to pour in. We all thanked heavens for the timing or else it would have been GG! The temperatures dropped abruptly after the rain. We were all frozen and shivering in the tents as they served some hot soup and bournvita in our tents. The tent had a slope and it was enough for me to slip from one end to the other hitting jishnu in the process. I freaked out even more thinking bear had my leg!! Rofl!! :)