Monday, August 15

Many the miles

Some time ago, I decided to cut down on the whining that seems to be a major theme on this blog. After having written a couple of short story posts and one interesting challenge, I found that more commentary on life, its machinations and assorted tomfoolery just did not interest me. For the moment, at least. That also thankfully means that I can't talk about the Indian cricket team's test saga.

Anyway, in recent weeks, a new trend has taken root in that fragment of the 'gang' that lives in Pune. Instead of meeting up and hitting the tipple every now and then, we meet and they discuss trekking to various forts in and around Pune. Notice how I'm not in these councils-of-war. Although I've played sports in school and college, I've never been a fan of physical toil. All these talks conjure up are images of waking up at some ungodly hour before sunrise, scooting to some random hill / fort and huffing, puffing, slipping & scrabbling around in near darkness while one's lungs scream blue murder and knees piteously beg for mercy. So of course, when asked whether I'd like to come along, I confidently reply in the negative, right?

Wrong. Much as I abhor these unholy callisthenics, they do promise an element of tiredly pleasant satisfaction at the end. Last weekend's trip to the Chaturshringi temple Tekdi and beyond was fun, involving a shortish climb and much walking and a sumptuous breakfast in the end at Krishna Dining on Law College Road. Ergo, when this weekend's trip to Sinhagad Fort was announced, I was reluctant about the 5 am time, but rather naive about the climb itself. While climbing up to Sinhagad is a Puneri institution, it'd been a long time since I was there, so it was almost like my first trip. And a quarter of the way up the boulder-infested, 35 degree gradient, with superb views of the misty verdant valley and Peacock Bay, I was overwhelmed. With nausea.

Not that it wasn't a beautiful view, mind. Just that I was breathing like an asthmatic on his last legs, which made any and all appreciation of the environment pretty redundant. Fortunately, my climbing mates, KS and GT are the cheery types, not showing a trace of annoyance or trying to bump me off a suitable rock spur. Somehow, I manned up and made it to the top. I suspect it was largely due to the fact that most of the trek was completely cloud-covered, giving spasms of hope that the damn thing would end around the next corner.

While the climb itself was not pleasant for me, the overall experience was lovely. The views, when they broke through the cloud cover, were breathtaking (figuratively speaking of course since I had none to spare by then) and the buttermilk & kande-bhajji  at the fort were excellent. To top it off, the restaurant's cat nonchalantly climbed into my lap and dozed off for the length of the meal. Since I love cats, this didn't bother me in the least. I'm not making this up. A photo exists which will be shared when KS (who was pretty flabbergasted) does so.

On the trip back down, we passed the customary testosterone-fuelled idiots screaming and hooting as they headed up. Methinks the climb would take care of any spare energy eventually. Wearied but generally pleased with both the effort and the fact that we managed to miss the crowd heading up (heaven knows why these chaps want to spend a holiday swarming up to the fort), we made our way home.

There's talk of another such trek in 2 weeks time. Heaven help us all.

Song for the moment: Everybody wants to rule the world - Tears for Fears  

P.S: You lot heading for the Sikkim trip. Practice. Way more than you're doing now.

14 comments:

Sush said...

Lovely post Girish! I won't mind admitting that you got me nervous talking about Sikkim at the end, but lovely post all the same ;)

G said...

@ Sush - Thank you. And the idea behind the last line is to chivvy you guys up. The Energizer bunny that masquerades as Kshitij was slightly shaken by the experience of climbing with a bag on his back.

Just a hint that resistance / slope training could come in handy.

Kshitij said...

Oh yes my man..Heaven help us for we our def on our way up there again to explore what lies at end of those steps for sure..i know your up for it dude..KAMAANNN!!!:)

Sangeeth said...

You guys should try doing a night hike...at the least it would beat having to wake up at 5am. :)

G said...

@ Sangeeth - There's actually been talk of doing this, so you never know :)

@ Kshitij - Dude, those steps are going to lead to some ghastly drop and we'll be climbing back to the original point. But let us never say never :P

Gobri said...

G, you can make even a hike up a road sound interesting.

G said...

@ Gobri - :) Having decided to take a Psmith approach, I'm going for the cheerfully dramatic in these situations.

Boshu said...

What talks of other treks? I am in whatever it is!

G said...

@ Boshu - You are more than welcome. The rumour is Torna, but it is on the same weekend that you guys are planning the Bangalore outing.

Cancel and join the circus :)

gt said...

@Boshu: Come, come! Torna happening on 3rd Sep. screw Bangalore :P .

In fact since the two Mallus are also coming to Pune why dosent everyone stay on and we all do a trek to torna instead of Bangalore. Binoy may be in town as well that weekend, we'll call Neha too. I think a Torna Mashup can happen! Will also be very good practice for Sikkim

@Sush: www.cleartrip.com :)

Its easier commenting on Buzz or G+

Kshitij said...

Gt brilliant idea my friend, might as well stick in pune, people..Torna is a brilliant trek...sush baby if you want to beat up someone, this is Gts idea..:)))

Gobri said...

Yeah, now that you mention it :) Who is Mike Jackson?

G said...

@ Gobri - Heh... not that he'll get the context, but I think Kshitij is a safe bet for Jackson.

Sush said...

hey this is really unfair! You guys can't make me travel again! I am broke till Sikkim happens people, so pls kindly adjust and come to Bangalore....