I’ve traveled quite a lot in India, but this one was way more special than the others I’ve undertaken as it was with the person I really yearned to love and respect. A week away from the person I knew as myself, with nobody, to nobody, with no particular fixed itinerary, but with a lot of love and support from my close friends and family, I took it to see what I am when I’m at my vulnerable best. Shwetha had been kind in rationalizing it with me for over a month as to why it should be Sikkim. So I booked my tickets despite knowing that it could rain pretty good and to my good luck it did. I really didn’t feel anything while getting my baggage checked in at the airport, however the feeling was new. Another close friend while accompanying me to the airport shouted, “Don’t come before you’ve really found out something.”
I laughed, for my purpose was not defined at that point in time. However, I did have a hearty meal in the aircraft, and my Punjabi genes chose Shahi paneer over dal.
“Wow Kanika, quite bondlike haan!”, I giggled to myself.
Met a lady named Nilima at Bagdogra airport who got me acquainted with directions, shared an auto with me towards Pradhan Nagar taxi stand in Siliguri and to my surprise was gracious enough to offer me to stay over at her place in Siliguri where she resided with her parents. Not knowing what the next day would hold, I agreed to stay over and got treated to shrimps, chicken and rice.
Nilima’s mum (The woman in the picture), quite literally shoved food into my mouth, reminding me of my own mother. The next day, I took a shared taxi to Gangtok’s Siliguri stand from Siliguri’s SNT. The journey was not breathtaking, but never for a single moment did I take my eyes off from what I saw outside, “Of course Kanika, the terrain is different from Delhi. Calm down.”, I knocked some sense into my head again.
Upon reaching Gangtok, I booked a 3 days, 2 nights package for North Sikkim from the same taxi stand, rested in the hotel I had booked over phone the same day, treated myself to their local beer Hit (which was too much for me to handle), slept for a while, had dinner out at MG Marg’s ‘The Coffee Shop’ (On asking the locals) and kept awake the entire night.
Next morning I packed up and left to catch hold of my taxi for I was about to see something I had never seen before. It was here that I met 3 gorgeous people, Puja Roy, Rini Tarafder and JD (who is yet to accept my request on Facebook).
When you meet new people you realise how similar they are to you despite all the differences and it was quite intriguing for I was comfortable in a place unknown, in a jeep full of strangers who spoke Bangla all through. I was proud of myself that night.
The next day we had to travel from Lachen to Gurudongmar Lake and boy what a way it was.
Well, I lost my breath at the lake but managed to take a panorama of the beauty known as Gurudongmar Lake. “Shwetha was right all through.”, I said to myself. 🙂
Our driver Rabindra would play songs like “Surya Ast Punjabi Mast” and “Chaar botal vodka” to keep himself awake. On asking to shut the system down he would blackmail us by saying that he might doze off in absence of peppy songs. (My bad, please keep awake brother.)
In Lachung, we had this amazing water fall right in front of our shady hotel.
Yumthang Valley couldn’t happen for there happened landslide. It’s quite normal for landslides to alter your plans. One such we came across while heading back to Gangtok. When the clouds were below me while I stood on the ground.
Next day, stayed at Tashi Tagey Homestay in Tadong, went for local sight seeing, shopped at the nearby handicraft emporium, dined with a fellow colleague and her husband who was stationed at the Army Cantonment in Gangtok and booked my tickets for the chopper towards Bagdogra Airport. I took my flight back home the next evening. This Journey I’m Proud of.