Mad May

Been too busy to write anything lately. First, there was this Table Tennis tournament I was organising at work. I also played in the tournament and lost in the Singles Quarter Finals. Also lost the Doubles Final match. People say it was the "Knight Rider" jersey we were wearing for the finals that did us in!

Got an award from our client for an initiative of creating an application. That made it two trophies in two days. Incidentally the application I built for a specific activity, became defunct that very day I got the award, since the activity itself was stopped that day!

I also took to a stricter diet last week. I was all health food and good habits for two days, when suddenly the food gods started showering parties and lunch offers. Since then, I have been on a diet of junk food, fried finger food, Biryani and soft drinks. I am extremely un-proud of my bloated self. I promise to refrain from overeating till weekend strikes.

Everything has two sides

There's always a bright side

My house in Kolkata is sandwiched between two other buildings with only the regulated minimum distance maintained. This means my apartment gets only a glimpse of sunlight any given day. But that also means that the apartment remains cool even in the harshest summer day.

And there's always a dark side

My mother-in-law resides in a house which doesn't have a building for at least 40 ft on either side. This means the house gets a lot of sunlight. It also means the house becomes a furnace during the peak summer (which is now).

Slice of Sikkim

Last year when I went to Sikkim, I had a funny mis-adventure where I took a very long detour to reach an easy destination. This time, I was back in Sikkim, and as luck would have it, I was in a slightly serious misadventure. Before you start worrying about it, I assure you that it all went well in the end.

This time the plan was to reach Yuksom in West Sikkim, stay there for a couple of days, and then trek up to Dzongri, part of the famous Goechala trek. Trekkers normally do this trek in four days, however, since my wife Smita and my friend Soma were doing a trek for the first time, we planned to do this in five days. The porter was contacted and provisions picked the previous night. Our rucksacks were to be carried by Ponies, instead of the more popular Yaks. We started at 8:30 in the morning (quite late for a trek), and soon left the village and were ambling up and down the trail. The trail itself was well marked, however, it was quite steep at times and had alternating ascending and descending stretches. It took us about four and half hours to reach our stopover for the day. All of us were tired by the time we reached the Trekker's hut, and the simple lunch prepared by the group of guides and porters was quickly devoured. It soon started to rain, and we were confined to the hut. The evening was spent in playing cards. By the time dinner was served, Smita complained of a shooting pain in her left knee. It got worse with time, and she was unable to walk properly. We gave her medicine, applied ointment, and bandaged her knee, and decided to wait till the next morning for further course of action.

The next morning, Smita was better, but still not fully fit. We decided to leave the group and go back to Yuksom. We left early since we were not sure how much time it would take for us to return. To increase our problem, I had to carry my own heavy sack. Further, we were on our own - without a guide. For the first one and half hour, we did not meet a single person. However, our pace was not bad, and Smita seemed to be doing well. We were also encouraged by sightings of two breeds of mountain goats, giant squirrels, and many birds which we had never seen before. We also found an injured Yak right in the middle of the trail. We took several breaks to adjust the bandage, my bag, or generally enjoy the view. Unfortunately, the camera battery was drained and we could not take too many photographs. We finally reached Yuksom at one p.m.

We were just glad that we could reach Yuksom safely. After the long trek back, we didn't mind the hot water bath, hot lunch and other "luxuries" at all. We soon started planning things we could do in the extra days that we had with us. We finally went and stayed at Ravangla (South Sikkim) and Gangtok (East Sikkim) for a couple of days each.