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Saturday, 22 November 2014

The Silver Lining

There are friends we make in school. There are friends that we studied together with in college and then there are the ones who started off as professional acquaintances at work. But the friends we have lived with (who were also neighbours) are special.

Every Cloud has a Silver Lining
What we share is not limited to school, college or workplace. We went to school together, played together, fought with each other, beaten each other, teased, had fun, had our first parties together, fell in love with same girls at the same time.... well we grew up with each other.

There was a time when we used to meet everyday, spend half the day with each other. Today we are at a stage where we meet after months and yet the bonding is intact. Its like there was never a time lag.

I met one such friend today. and yes we were sharing our situations in life.

Our concerns in life were so different. My friend was talking about his daughter, her varied talents, her brand new facebook profile, retirement planning, where to invest, loan repayment etc.

I felt very nice and proud that my friend was really doing so well in life. So much was really happening. He was looking to the future. Dreams Galore !

Once I was back home I just thought about myself.

I dont have much savings. Whatever savings I could do is spent on my treatment and medicines. I can feel my body ageing prematurely due to dialysis. (14 years now). There is so much uncertainty about the future that I cant even plan for the next day.

Frankly for me it is a fight for survival.

But like every cloud there was a silver lining.

I am living in the present , and enjoying each  moment !

I am living a full Life

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Tamhini Ghat - Roadtrip

When V Hikerz was formed, we focused on treks. But there was so much to nature that treks alone would not make it complete. Roadtrips were something that we had never done. So when one of our organisers suggested a roadtrip, all of us agreed.

Tamhini Ghat is an old trade route that starts from the Kolad in the Konkans to a point where one diversion takes us to Lonavala and the other to Pune. The road is not great after a point but the view awesome.

We set out early in the morning as we wanted to beat the sun (as usual). We had breakfast at Khopoli and then set out on our destination.

We had decided to take around 3-4 halts along the route and take photographs. Once we crossed Kolad the scenery got more and more mind blowing to such an extent that we took at least 6-7 halts. We took photographs of each other, some squatting on the highway, some in the wilderness, others near milestones etc.It was fun.

This was when we realised that we were hungry and it was past lunch time. We thought we would go upto lonavala and have food at some dhaba around there.

But there was this spot which was so breath taking. It also happened to be a dhaba that served rustic village food.

As I write this note, my mouth is watering remembering the yummy food that we had there. They cooked the food after we ordered, hence the bhakris and curry were hot, fresh and yes SPICY.

For some of us the spice was a bit too much, but no one disputed the taste quotient.

Incidentally these same people also offer camping and we plan to go there sometime in December.

On the way to Lonavala and back home, I could not but think about life and what it has in store for us. Contrary to what we plan in life, we get to not only experience something unexpected and new but also memories that we will cherish for the rest of our lives.

All we need to do is keep our Eyes and Ears Open !

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Ambernath - Lord of the Skies (Top of the World)

I had avoided doing strenuous activity due to two reasons

The first one was that it was summer and its too  hot to trek. The second reason being that my foot was bad and I was really unable to trek myself (I missed a few treks towards the end of last season)

But V Hikerz and myself needed to continue with our activities. So for the summer we planned a few non-strenuous activities. Four of them to be specific. They were the Velas Turtle Festival, The Camping trip to Pawna Lake, Photoshoot of heritage buildings at Fort area and the trip to Ambernath to see the ancient temple there.

I will share my experience about all the three starting with the last one, the Ambreshwar Temple at Ambernath

This was also the only event that was a private one (We didnt announce it on V Hikerz as we felt everyone might not be interested in it)

We left early in the morning at around 6 am. There was a slight delay on account of few members waking up late (normally never happens during a trek)

I drove my car and another sub-group travelled to a common point where we joined forces and traveled together.

The road was bad in patches and specially the road from Dombivali to Ambernath had so many speed breakers that we couldnt believe it was a state highway !

As we drove through the lanes and then the bye lanes of this idyllic town, we suddenly could see this beautiful temple carved out in jet black stone. The difference was too stunning to believe, as if we were suddenly transported into an ancient era. What stopped us from believing we were ancient is the other tourists / devotees who were also wearing normal attire of shirts and trousers :P

The temple itself is in decent condition. This is in comparison to other ancient temples I have been to and the amount of weathering / damage that has happened to its walls. Also the temple is still functional, which means there is a person who regularly worships the deity.

The vibrations inside the temple were indeed very energising and the whole effort of travelling so early in the morning seemed to have been worthwhile.

We took some photographs of the temple (incidentally forbidden) and left the place. We stopped by for breakfast at a restaurant and then drove back home (just in time for lunch)

While driving back one thought kept crossing my mind. Ambernath literally means the Lord of the Skies.

Well that was how I was feeling when we drove back.

Top of the World !!!

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Challenges Motivate

There was a time when doctors had told me that I shouldnt trek. Some had even gone to the extent of saying that I would not be able to trek. Never ever !

For a while I believed it to be so. This was I feel the worst thing to have happened to me.

But then Kidney Failure and dialysis are tough situations to go through. They sap you of all energy and it gets almost impossible to start believing in oneself. But I was not enjoying that life, in fact I felt I was not living at all.

I just was missing this so badly that I suggested a trek to some friends and they agreed.

I just went for a trek and it clicked. Yes it was tiring, it was a super effort initially, it was tough, but I made it. I could not live without trekking in the mountains.

The challenge of doing something that others felt was not possible for me to do kept me going.

Today there is another challenge for me. Vascular Calcification (deposition of calcium on muscles and bones) in my feet combined with Plantar Fascitis.

Well my feet ache and sometimes even pain as hell. I am doing some physiotherapy exercises to reduce the pain. They work but one fine day it all flares up again.

Frankly I dont know whether I will be able to go into the mountains again. But then I keep doing the exercises. Its just a matter of not letting go.

If kidney failure and living on dialysis could not stop me from going for treks, maybe this is a far less serious issue to stop me.

I am again not enjoying life. I feel as if I am not living to the full.

Maybe all I need to do is just join a trek. It would be tough, tiring, a super effort initially, but somehow I might just be able to do it

After all Challenges have always motivated me