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Wednesday, 24 June 2009

The Whole Truth

The monsoons are here. Well almost and its started raining. We are already planning our first trek. This one is to a place called Kohoj.

Given the geography of Mumbai it is quite an exercise to plan a trek. Especially if we are travelling by public transport. This time too the effort is going to be huge. This is the first time we would be travelling along the Western Railway route to get to the base point.

Any group cannot revolve around only one person. I have been taking the initiative in deciding the venue, schedules etc for all treks till now. But its always better that there is someone else who can take it up. Knowing the brittle state of my health it is imperative otherwise the activity would stop if I were to get inactive.

Plus for any group to function, you need a cadre. I have always believed in playing for the long term and in this case too I want to do that. The Kohoj trek is also an event which will be organised by the other active members of the group.

The venue has been announced, photographs have been shared and the enthusiasm is very high. We need to now confirm participation and most importantly freeze a plan so that it can be circulated and sent to confirmed participants.

It is only then that the real confirmations would come in. Its always a fact.

Only the pictures are not enough. The real decision is taken only once the whole truth is clear.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

The Slog Overs

When we are under pressure, we tend to focus on the job at hand. One of my idols Swami Vivekananda had said that " If you are born make a mark before you leave" Through my behaviour and ethic, I have always tried to be pleasant and I believe that most people remember me fondly. I would like to believe that my personal credibility is high and people hold me in esteem.

Due to my illness I have cut off my love interests because I would not be fair to the person. Now my interests focus on doing well professionally. I need to make a mark in my professional domain.

It keeps troubling me that the person whom I am fond of will never know of my feelings and also that I will have a match with her.

Despite that I am doing all that I can to fight it out to the best of my ability. I am doing all that I can to professionally perform like a normal healthy person. It might not be possible all the time, but I think I am able to manage quite well.

It is very important to me. Even more important now. The slog overs have started. I need to hit at the maximum possible balls without getting out. I need to play out the maximum number of balls to win this match.

This may be the last chance to make a mark

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Monsoon is on its way

The monsoon has hit Kerala. It is just a matter of time when it will hit Mumbai. The heat would reduce. There would be more greenery in the mountains and trekking would become less streneous and more enjoyable activity.

In anticipation of the monsoon, we are planning a trek next weekend. We simply believe that it will start raining before the next weekend and we are planning a trek based on that belief.

This year the summer has been so bad that the temperatures have shot up to more than 40 degrees celsius in Mumbai.

It has rarely been this hot in Mumbai. For renal patient, it is even more difficult. I have a business development job and that involves travelling within the city for meetings and presentations.

In summer we always tend to lose a lot of water through sweat. But the problem about sweat is that it is difficult to estimate in ml how much we have lost and how much we need to replenish. Also we are losing a lot of salts with the sweat and again it is difficult to keep track of how much we have lost. For a renal patient who is active it is very difficult. We have to monitor both body fluid as well as salts manually between dialysis. Because it is difficult to monitor that I end up having fluctuating Blood pressure. Last week I had very low BP at work which was a very scary experience.

Last night I suddenly felt a headache which I realised later was due to very high blood pressure. I had to take an antihypertensive after several months.

It is even more important to be aware of what is happening within your body. This calls for very close interaction with your body. We need to watch the body carefully all the time.

When it starts raining it becomes much easier. It is a more beautiful time. And yes it is the most beautiful time to trek as well.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Meaningful Relationships - Our school friends



After meeting on facebook, we were all looking forward to meeting each other in person. Some of them after a whole 21 years.

After a couple of attempts that didnt work out due to busy schedules of everyone, we finally managed to meet up last night. We met at a club on the sea face. Everyone is doing well in their careers. But that was never even discussed. We were just talking about our memorable moments in school, our bondings, our good times and how we have changed over the years in looks, in mannerisms and everything else that encompasses our personalities.

Everyone has gone their own ways, but when we met there was a warm feeling of deja vu. There was a huge gap of time, but it was as if time had stopped and even retarded as we never felt as if we were out of touch. The bonding was there without any effort. The conversations flowed as if they had never stopped. It was like a dream.

I guess when we are in school, we make friends in the truest sense of the word. There are no strings attached. We are not looking for meaning in the relationship. Its just a relationship. It exists and we enjoy it. We dont question these relationships. We dont judge. We accept our classmates as friends without any "tangible" reason. Its plan and simple "friendship"

Isnt it so beautiful.

Relationships are really so much meaningful when we dont try to see meaning in them.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Cornered not Lost

Life puts you in strange situations sometimes. These are times when nothing is going for you.

There are obstacles in everything that you are doing. Your friends suddenly disappear. They either have their own issues or you simply do not figure in their scheme of things anymore. On a personal note, I do not have anyone who can listen to me, be there for me or even share their problems with me. At least that makes you feel better since you realise that you are not the only one with problems. Yes I feel lonely and uncared for.

Health never was a great ally for the last many years, but now it has donned an adversarial role. The situation is such that not much can be done about it but simply face it. No one knows what tomorrow has in store for them, but when today is so bad and there is not much that you can do about it then tomorrow is even more scary.

I might be sounding despondent, yes maybe I am. I have fought hard till now, never let my illness hamper my spirit, never let it hamper my professionalism. But now I feel that maybe I am fighting a lost cause.

But maybe its not the end of a story, it could be the start of a new story. One of hope, gumption and one of stretching my sinew till it is completely drained to its last drop.

Time will tell.........

Monday, 1 June 2009

Treks in Summer - Camping trip to Lohagad



Well this is my fourth post in a couple of days. It has been pending for long and hence I have to write before I forget the details.

Despite having been a regular trekker for more than 18 years, I had never gone camping. That was something that I always wanted to do. It was towards the end of April and extremely hot. I wanted to have a small camping trip to Savna lake.

Shyam and myself were planning this ever since he had got a tent as a gift. I had purchased a new trekking bag and both of us were quite desperate to make good use of our implements.

We touched based on a saturday morning, decided to go. But we decided to go to a known place rather than an unknown place like savna so we froze on lohagad. We took the 12 noon bus to Pune got off at Lonavala and started the trek at around 430 pm. We reached the base village at around 6 where we ordered some food for the night. We wanted to pitch our tent before it got dark. However, they took so long to cook the food that we reached the top only at around 730. It was already dark. We had not prior experience of pitching that tent. We had only 2 torches. It was extremely windy.

But we needed a place to sleep and a tent it would be. We had a choice of sleeping in the cave but no we wanted to put the tent to good use !

After much effort we finally managed to do just that by 830 pm and realised we were extremely hungry. It was pitch dark as it was a new moon night. We were told by some friends that there were a lot of reptiles that we needed to be careful about. But then what the hell, we had a tent. It was a modern one so quite secure. We just needed to be inside and not venture outside. :)

It was so windy at night that at one point we actually felt we would get blown away. We had the company of another ggroup form Pune and then late at night a noisy group owing allegience to Shivaji the great warrior king of the marathas. I am sure Shivaji himself would never have approved the acts of his followers cos when we woke up in the morning the whole place was littered with thermocol and left over food. Are the people really proud of our heritage. That was the million dollar question.

We woke up to a beautiful morning. Some shots of sunrise that we were able to get were awe inspiring. The sights of the Pawna lake in the backdrop of Tung and Tikona were something to behold.

We left from the top at around 730. Had kanda poha at the base village and then took the ricksha by the new road which took us directly to Lonavala. We realised that Lohagad was not a trek any longer , it was a drive and thus it was now open to general holidayers and picnicers that made it even more vulnerable to litter and other nuisance.

A live example of how not to preserve our pride, our heritage, our only connection to our illustruous figures who made history. A live example of how not to pay homage to them......


Treks in Summer - Karnala



In my so many years of trekking as passion, I have never trekked in the summers. It was a mental block that I wanted to get rid of.

I had attempted Karnala twice and had returned without reaching the top. Now Karnala was special. It was my first trek and it is a relatively simple one. I took it as a challenge to complete this. It was totally unplanned. It was a saturday evening. My friend Hem and me have been planning to trek together for a really long time but we have not been able to do so. We bumped into each other and he requested some support in preparing for his MBA entrance interviews. We were both free the next day and we jumped at the idea of a small trek. We plumped for Karnala as it was nearby and also relatively simple as I mentioned earlier. Plus Hem had never been to Karnala.

We set out very early. We targeted the 455 am train from CST and left home at 415. We reached quite early and saw the 423 am train waiting for us. We ran and caught it just in time. It reached Panvel station at around 540 after which we engaged a rickshaw and asked him to halt at any open restaurant as both of us were feeling quite hungry. After a sumptuous breakfast of omlet and bread, we started the trek at around 640. It was quite early and just about day break. In fact it was a bit dark when we started the trek. Now Karnala is a bird sanctuary and we could hear the chirping of birds early in the morning.

I was feeling quite low due to the sweat but I really wanted to complete the trek this time. It helped that Hem is a physiotherapist and he gave me tips on how to pull myself through. On the way we stopped around thrice to enjoy the beautiful sunrise, to dwell on the chirping of the birds, to meditate on the scenic beauty of the mountains.

We reached the top at around 840 which was a decent time to complete the trek. We had our snack and looked around the place. Finally at around 940 we started the return journey. We made this in one continuous walk and we were down at 1035 am. We got a bus to the station but we were surprised to note that the trains were not running due to some maintenance work on the tracks. So we made our way to the bus stand and took a bus home. We were home for lunch by 1 pm

Finally I had completed Karnala. In my third attempt this year.

Karnala is a relatively easy fort but it was quite another thing to trek to the top in the peak of summer. What a trek. What an experience. What fun!!