Epic Ending Of My Leh Trip

Posted: March 20, 2020 in I Got Leh'd
Tags: ,

It was almost 15 days and I was little home sick, I was missing Bangalore already. That’s the speciality of the Bangalore, when you are around you hate it, when you are far away you miss it. “Around 1:00PM in Delhi, around 8:00 PM max in Bangalore, can order Meghana’s Chicken Biryani and next day boring office….”my thoughts were back to reality, working like machine, planning, well in advance for the upcoming journey.

Around 9.00AM Mika came to pick me up at my hostel , for a change I was glad I wasnt travelling alone “You all set?”, she was full of life and warm like always.

“Yeah”I said in a low voice. 

“You can always come back, you know that right.”

“Yeah true, may be I will.” There is something special about Leh, you cant get enough of it.

We were too early and managed to get window seat again:),(lucky me)separate though.

The weighing scale shot up when Mika put her bag.

“Looks like that stone is the culprit”

Mika had picked a big, beautiful stone, which she picked up when we had stopped the vehicle for a quick photo break,on the way to Nubra. She didnt open her bag and throw the stone when the ground staff raised his eye brows rather she opened her wallet and paid the money “It’s Leh souvenir, it has to come with me”. There were so many things I admired about her, simplicity, down to earth nature more than that she admired each and every tiny little thing”.

As Leh have only one airport ,we stumbled upon most of the people we met earlier, the Korean guys too and I had smiled at them”

How you know them” Mika asked me

“There were staying in the same home-stay where I stayed in Pangong. Never thought I will see them again”

“World is too small”

As the plane took over the run away I felt sad, my epic journey was coming to an end. The warm-hearted people, culture, the beautiful mountains,  the trek, fun loving trek mates, the cold crazy weather, the wind, the hostel, intolerable power cuts …I was going to miss dearly. “I will be back, may be I can do that Stok Kangri trek next year or explore Leh little bit more.” I was lost in my thoughts seeing the beauty of the valley and mountains .

We had crossed a great amount of distance when our flight faced turbulence. It was not pleasant one. It was like auto rickshaw ride, on a road filled with pot holes, always in air and never on the seat.

“God let me not die in the plane crash. My dad might beat the shit out my already dead body” scared of my dad, I was praying.

Meanwhile I stuck a conversation with a army guy  sitting on aisle seat, adjacent seat was vacant. His name was something like Urug, he was from Darjeeling, was on his way back home home,for a vacation. It looked like he was all excited, he told me few things about difficult army life, the problems they face in Leh, the food they eat. “Never go with the looks, there is always a catch”, some good gyan from the army guy. We were talking when the heavy downpour caught my attention.

“It’s raining”

“Hopefully will be able to land safely, I have connecting flight” he was all worried now.

To worsen the things there was thunder storm and first time I experienced super crazy turbulence.

We covered some more distance and entered Delhi, could see the tiny metro station, the roads.

“We are reaching on time. Good that I dont have to collect my crazy bag-pack in Delhi, hopefully the trekking pole is still there” my mind was a crazy horse wondering in all possible directions.

We were close, we could see the run way when it started to pour again. Our flight took left and then right, flew straight for almost 10 minutes while my eyes were glued on the wing trying to predict whether its going to take left or right, it was a fun game to kill the time and control the jittery nerves.

It was like constipated situation, you want to poop but you cant ,no matter how hard you try. Run way was few few inches below while Pilot announced that it is difficult to land as the weather is bad

“Give your best short dude and land the plane, like how Virat Kohli delivers a six when we need 5 runs to win with 2 balls. Give your best shot, I cant take another day off” I was grumbling.

Our flight flew, took some more turns, left, right, flew some more

“This will be the second attempt , if we cant land we will be re-directing the flight to nearest airport” Pilot’s announcement didnt calm my nerves.

“Nearest airport can be Bangalore?” I was impossible, logically and mentally both.

Uru was already going bonkers about his leaves and connecting flight

I dont know why I felt the pilot didnt tried hard enough to land the flight in the second attempt. We just flew like a bird which doesnt want to land .

“Regret to say…..we will be landing in Lucknow…”the pilot went on announcing while passengers started bombarding the air hostess with questions.

“We request you to remain calm….”

“Calm my as*”

I called my Google and Google assured me that airways have to take care of its passengers in situation like this. “They will provide the food, make necessary arrangement for your stay if you are stranded”. she was good that’s the reason I always call Mrs N as Google. I was sucking in the all information when I got some more web links, articles on whats app. She is smart and quick.

“When we can travel to Delhi?”, “what about our connecting flight?”, “how long we have to wait?”…….

The air hostess tried their best to calm the passengers but it was vain.  It looked like they had faced this issue n number of time unlike the passengers.

People were shouting, calling home, kids were crying, AC wasnt working properly, ……it was chaotic. After a great deal of 2 hours wait we were asked to get down from the flight. We were served with snacks before that.

Lucknow was nice, we weren’t allowed to go out , we were asked to stay inside the airport and self fill ticket. 

I had seen the South Koreans guys around, being a Korean drama freak I was drawn to them. There is no logical description for my mental state to be honest. They were alright on their own but I just checked on them and made sure they are doing alright. Blame it on my current role in office, I have this craziness to make sure all are comfortable and not facing any problem

Mika and I were chit chatting when the South Korean guys came and gave me a chocolate. I was pretty touched.  That’s me, half burnt mackerel in Leh’s sun with them. Their other friend opted to stay back in Leh for some more days. I dont know much about South Korean men (except from the dramas) but it looked like they are very good gentlemen.

I was lucky Mika was around else I would have gone crazy with boredom. We spoke for hours, roamed around, she admired Indian ladies dressed in all colors. We could relate the things. I was, still am glad that I met her on my trip.

Time was passing and we were going insane , sitting on the edge of the seat and waiting for the announcement. We were served refreshment around 9 and finally we left Lucknow at 11:30 in the night. By the time we reached Delhi airport it was 1. 

“You ever visit South Africa, always remember you have a friend there, you can come and stay with me” Mika said giving me a tight hug. Its hard to meet good people but when you meet them its difficult to part ways.

I was given a decent accommodation non-sharing(it was heavenly after the stay in hostel, in tent in the mountains) in one of Delhi’s hotel. It was almost 2:30 AM when I hit the bed. Worried, tired and exhausted I drifted to sleep in no time.

Next day when I boarded the jam packed flight to Bangalore around 11:00AM I was happy, didnt had any regrets. First time on my own, I explored a beautiful new place, stay with strangers, made some new friends, explored a trail, experienced a different culture, weather, food, hospitality, visited Lucknow too(short but sweet) with no expectations but with a open mind and my gigantic backpack like a hippie(that’s what I was called at the moment). It’s a total different feeling when you do things on your own term, it makes you feel like there is nothing you can’t achieve. At that moment I was the top the world and I didn’t feel like down.

Finally The End

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