(Finally my graduation exams are dealt and forgotten and I am hooked with world cup. Today we present blogpost 99 of the travel series. This is about the short trip which my elder sister treated me with, before exams. Since you have read I was so frustrated and irritated that it compelled my sister and brother-in-law to treat me to a pleasure trip. We took this short trip to Darjeeling, the world famous hub of tea)
After the general elections on 24th April, my sister and me we were seated on the train to our destination Darjeeling. This trip was something of a secret mission on part of my elder sister and mom. As we took this trip in whispers, my maternal grandmaD and grandpaD were misinformed and kept in dark. To them we were going to Phuntsholing for picnic. My sister who is apple of the eye for my grandparents lied to them like Yudhirster lied to Guru Dron for my sake.
We reached Shiliguri station early in the morning and soon we were in our private taxi and climbing up the green hills. We were gliding up and down, sometimes it was sharp turn other moment a sudden steep. The pines looked like inverted green ice cream cones. Half way up the road I had drifted to sleep since I am not the person who will claim she loves morning. But when we reached Kurseong I was woken up by the commotion in the market place and colourful buildings. The best thing about hill stations is that they never betray the imagination. Though the hills of Ruskin Bond are better, Darjeeling is none the less. The constant movement of clouds among the green and the colourful matchbox houses peeping in and out of nowhere add tp its charm. Each house decorated in various flowers and fury dogs peeping in and out raised my mood. The pretty girls curved out of the Korean and Japanese movies were a delight to my four eyes. Some girls are giggling their way to school, some are draped in outdated outfits yet they look pretty. While a girl bathes her brown hair on the edge of her stone roof another shines under the sunlight and her butter yellow skin appears translucent. It’s a mystery to me how these pretty women can walk the hilly roads with heel shoes taller than me. Deep down I my primal instinct wanted to bring them as souvenir back home.
|The inverted green ice-cream cones|
|matchbox houses peeping in and out|
|green you make me grin|
|the monastery is on the left|
|eyes can't stop staring|
|New at handling DSLR|
|Outskirts of Darjeeling|
After travelling up we finally reached the beautifully compact and colourful Darjeeling. Our Hotel Dekelling stood at a very good height and eye capturing position. The wooden hotel was authentic looking with its heritage from Tibetan culture. The whole interior was made done in wood and with first step the smell of furnished wood tingled my nose. The hotel stood for peace and the picture of smiling Dalai Lama proved it. The owner of the hotel the beautiful old lady in traditional Tibetan dress welcomed us with her sweet voice. If one closely looked at her face it seemed she had attained Nirvana. We were asked to enjoy the view in the recreational room and the Darjeeling tea as our welcoming drink. After almost an hour we found our room to be the cutest place ever. I had never been to such a cosy and adorable hotel room and as soon as my sister closed the door I was jumping on the queen size bed. Half of the room had huge French Windows and I could see the whole hill station from it.
|few from my hotel room|
|The path leading to male|
|Attempt taking bird's eye view snap|
After having bath and long desired nap we both sisters were seated in the restaurant below our hotel. My overzealous sister like always went berserk with the menu and ordered food beyond our stomachs capacity. But the devil never learns, we were facing a war with one huge bowl of Thugpa, another huge bowl ramen and momos. The victim of this war was me as I had to finish up all the food. Our choice of the food tempted the Irish couple sitting near us and we helped them choose the thugpa. After stuffing me like a turkey we were riding in the famous toy train. I took the window seat and soon I my glossed lips was cover in sooth from the chimney and now shoulder length hair was entangled with pulverised coal. I tried to take snaps of the beautiful greenery that was passing me by. We stopped at the Batasia loop for site seeing and my photo obsessed sister began her shooting with her husband’s DSLR . Though it was I who was greedy after the DSLR, after one finds the forbidden taste of DSLR, the normal digital camera looks inferior to eyes. But many snaps came I took were blurred because I could not focus them properly. After site seeing in Batasia our train began our journey to Ghoom station. In Ghoom station we drank coffee and had a quick round in the train museum. Ghoom station is one of those dream stations straight out of Dostoyevsky’s stories. We left Ghoom station to retrace our path to Darjeeling.
|Batasia Loop and our Toy Train rests there|
Once back in our place we walked towards male and in male we found tourists from all over the world. Some eating corns other sipping tea or coffee. My sister and me we both settled on the green iron bench. After our cup of coffee we both were feasting in the restaurant and I finished my sister’s vodka and food as she went berserk again with food. The mall in its darkness shines like a field with fireflies escaping from the glass jar.
Next day we were on our way to Tiger Hill to view the sunrise and Kanchenjunga early at four o clock in the morning. In the dark of the night yes its night for me we were driving up the rickety road. We reached the hill top shivering under the cold breeze slicing my body. My sister was positioned to take the pictures and we were standing on the balcony and glaring at the clouds slowly being lit by the rising orange glow. We waited for long to view the sunrise and got a soft glimpse of the Kanchenjunga and the silver lining of clouds. The first streak of orange is like the glowing drop of honey that ends up on the plate instead of the bread. After our sun came to full view we were gliding down the hobbit valley and were followed by trails of various cars. The hobbit valley is the fielders green sailors dream but sadly it’s the fielders green of the hills. On return journey we visited Buddhist monastery and offered our prayers and in Batasia Loop bought souvenirs for our family and friends. At breakfast time my sister again assaulted me with sausages, meatloaves and sandwiches. Old habits hard die is a lesson she champions her soul with.
|A dog lover finds a dog|
|credit- my elder sister :- Sunrise at Tiger Hill|
|credit- my elder sister :- The sun in its glory|
|the path leaving Tiger Hill|
After breakfast we were visiting the Ava Art Gallery which exotic work of embroidery painting, oil painting, sketches etc. From there my sister went to climb the Tenzing Rock under the rain and she got bruised and me with my psychologically limp feet refused the adventure. After that we were in the zoo, where to our surprise the white wolves were sleeping under the trees without cage, the bear howling happily without cage, but a small fox was under massive cage. In the zoo under the sunshine we happily roamed around. Later we went riding in the Rope Way, in which around fourteen years back we both sisters had experienced something. But to my dismay I don’t recall it and my sister recalls the embarrassing and over fabricated version of the truth. The Rope Way ride took us in and out of the tea garden and we got the ariel view of the tea garden. Sadly my sister was called here ‘aunty’ it’s a very selfish word in my eyes when it is used against a twenty six year old married woman who looks way younger than her age. After that we went to visit a tea garden and where a Lama took my photograph in his Smartphone. But the most exciting part of the second day was Japanese Temple. In Japanese temple I jumped around barefoot in the clogged chilled rainwater. The Japanese temple is a very quiet place and my obsession with Japanese culture was on cloud nine. Later in the evening we both had yummy deserts and finally settled with bowl of soups.
|hobbitshire on the hills|
|Batasia loop in morning|
|more tea trees|
|the Tenzing Rock|
Next day we visited the Maha Kal temple and its rumour that if one visit’s the temple he or she will defiantly visit Darjeeling again. The temple is an expression of mix culture of Buddhism and Hinduism as both bells and prayers hang in the area. The temple is a safe haven for the monkeys who love snatching the camera and steal our shoes. After breakfast we went to the curio shops which had really not so curious items with price tag reaching the sky. Later we packed our bags and checked out in the noon. The Old Lady owner bade us goodbye with a pouch of her own tea leaves from her tea garden. Again we were back in the same restaurant where we helped the Irish couple choose the food; this time we were eating something we had no idea about. Gayanthup- pronounced as Gundruk is a famous Nepali dish which is made of radish. This dish ruined my sister’s trip to Mirik as poor girl had constant burps and finally vomiting happened. In Mirik we saw the Nepal border and beautiful Sumendu Lake blushing between the hills. We refused horse riding and we walked the whole bank of the lake. The lake is well governed in the laps of green and it raises a question as what would Wordsworth do here? At last we bid adieu to the green hills, the tasty food, tea gardens and pretty girls of Darjeeling. In station after long wait we got into our train to go home to face our grandmother who had been in dark for three days. I feel bad that she is so trusting that she believed everything my sister said and she believed we were three minutes away from her home. Well when have my stories been simple?
|maha kal temple|
|I lost count of colours|
|a pallet of colourful prayers|
|credit:- my sister|
|I was a scattered specturm|
|steps to god|
|he wanted to snatch the DSLR|
|in the recreational room of our hotel|
|Tibet lives in India|
|In an Attic Room|
|reminds me of the bridge scene from Sawariya|
|Boat stealing episode|
|too beautiful to describe|
|he followed us|
|green I love you green|
|woods are lovely dark and deep|
P.S- In this trip I met a cinematographer whom I had mistaken for a illustrator, a Hippie Indian who kept smiling and waving me hi and bye, I helped a French Couple decide their next destination. All this happened in the recreation room and I don’t know their names.
thanking you for bearing with me