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My Trip to Taj Mahal

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I took this trip on 26 May 2k1 and this is a vestige from an email I sent to my group HOTOS.

I went there with my cousin Satya, mummy and Satya's mom.
Its a 227 km from my house(I made sure to reset the odometer beforeleaving ). Taj Mahal is in Agra. We left at 5:43am in the morning. I was not sure about the way but had enquired from one of my uncle who had told me to take delhi-mathura highway. Since this is the usual highway which I take when commuting from my house to office, I was not much worried of finding the way. After reaching the Delhi order
abut Faridabad I enquired again froma passerby who told us to follow the highway diligently and the road signs. Well Delhi-Agra has an excellent connectivity and it was easy. We stopped at 8:am around a road side hotel and took snacks after that we continued and reached agra by 9:15 am. There was a huge traffic jam and we later found out that it was due to sikh community serving cold beverges to passerby.
Each year sikh do this when they celebrate the birthday of one of their guru. Its a respite to passerby from the sweltring heat. They are always very enthusiastic while offering the drink and I myself have cherished that however it is not very sane to impede the traffic movement.
Taj is futher inside the city. I just followed one tourist bus and we reached taj around 10:am. We took some cold drink and sandwitches and bought the tickets. The ticket cost was just Rs 20 or about 0.5 $ for indian nationals. At the gates security guards frisked us and I realised that I was carrying my cell phone. You are not allowed to carry cellphone inside so I went back to put my cell in the car. By now the sun was shinning mercilessly and it was a pain to go back to parking and come again. Once inside it was surprising to see so many people having come to visit Taj. Taj is a white marble building with intricate daedal designs allover the building. These carvings are very beautiful. For ex to create a flower which usually contains 4 colors they use four different types of precious stones. These stones are individually carved into leaves, petals etc and than stick into the wall. To know more about this there is a small museum
inside the Taj premises which I feel one should visit though I didn't see many people there in the museum. Its a very small museum here you can find the name of all the stones. The various documents issued. The sketches of Taj.
One interesting thing was to know about the dishes which on contact with poison changed color and break. The entry fee was mere Rs 5. Taj has two more buildings on either side, behind taj is yamuna river and in front is garden with fountains. Taj looks wonderful and I pinched myself repeatedly that I was indeed there. I took lots of snaps as
usual. By 1 pm we were out of Taj Mahal and headed straight for the lunch. My mom and mamiji (satya's mom) were struck by heat. We had our lunch and wanted to go Fateh pur Sikri however due to their exhaustion we changed plan and went to see Red fort or Lal Quila.
Delhi too has its own Red Fort. The Red Fort of Agra is also magnificent though much dilipidated. It comes under world heritage site. It is being renovated but with cement which looks incongrous with the original sandstone construction. From Red Fort one can see Taj. It is said when Shahjahan was incarcerated by his own son he
used to take pleasure admiring the Taj from that very place. I took one more snap with me doing the same. There is also a bell though I didn't see any because no one is allowed to go there which Jahangir had setup. It was one of the classic example of getting a speedier justice. One can approach to king striaghtway bypassing all bureacracy by ringing the bell whose one end had a long rope.There is also one huge cup like thing which my mummy later told me was Jahangir's bathtub. After taking snaps we were back from Red Fort by 4:28 pm.
There is a new construction taking place on Delhi- Mathura highway it is an ashram of some swamiji. It is also a white marble building with a tomb and explicitly written no enterance fee,photography allowed to incite the curosity of passerby. My cousin told me that its a controversial building and UP(Uttarpradesh) govt has tried to raze it even. Whatever be the controvery its beautiful and I am sure it will become a land mark too however it is still
under construction. You cannot miss the building if you are seeing to your right while going to Agra from New Delhi. We reached Delhi by 7:10 and headed straight to my office in noida where I had some things to collect. We had our dinner in Noida and back to Delhi by 10:23 pm.

Cheers
Sumant


I will try to add photographs of Taj I took. I hope this one gives you a first hand experience of Taj Mahal. One of the most beautiful monument ever build

My Trip to
Nainital, Bhimtal, Naukuchiyatal, Saattal & Ghoraghal

I took this trip from 14th July to 19th July 2k1

Day 0 "Planning the Trip"
Thursday around 1:00 clock after knowing that the demo for our product is done. I started searching the net for some place to visit. I was looking a cooler place nearby to Delhi. Pitthoragarh, Almora etc was in my mnid as one of my friend had told me that if you are
looking for glacier etc this one is must visit. I called up sandy "Sundeep" one of my great colleague who has a lust for travel and has visited many of these exotic places. Since he was leaving for his home town in Kharagpur he suggested that I visit some nearby
place as I don't have much time (Friday evenning till monday morning). We decided that when he comes back ie on 22 July we will make one more program of visiting the cold desert of Kinnaur in the western Himachal pradesh. Some how the name of Nainital came up and I got excited as Shivachitta (my previous room mate) had visited it and was mad about its scenic beauty. At that moment I zeroed on it. That this time its going to be Nainital. There is one more guy Rahul he is
a native of Haldwani near Nainital, so I went to the 5th Floor where his CMG R&D deptt. Fortunately Rahul was there. After listenning he suggested what all places should I visit. Since I was looking at a place where I could enjoy my time, sipping coffee and having a book
in my hand in the centre of a lake.

Day 1 "Making arrangments and bording the bus"
In the morning I phoned mummy to take out my swimming costume as I was going to Nainital and would prefer to try my luck swimming there. First she was angry asl I have never swimmed beyond a swimming pool but than I insisted, by the time I reached home it was around 7:30 am
she had it ready. So my bag was packed. A black Lee gaberdine, two shorts one water proof a towel , a small bag of toiletries a pair of nike and a blue wrangler with a matching blue shirt. After reaching office at 9:am the first thing I did was to book my taxi for ISBT (Inter state bus terminal). AT 12:30 I decided I needed some cash but found ATM in my office was not working. There was a white slip mentionning it is under routine mainanence and will start working by 14:30. I came back at 15:12 and still it wasn't working. There is a gaurd who sits beside that ATM I asked his extension number. It was 6530 just 10 more than mine. I called up at 16 something and he
replied its still not corrected. Now I was impatient I hadn't brought my car and this fu...... ATM was all down. Around 17:20 someone called my extension to enquire whether the ATM is working. I told her its 6530, its 6-5-3-0. After sometime I too dailled 6530 and gaurd said its working. Viola I rushed down. I knew the trip was a small one and I won't be needing much money. I withdrew Rs4500 (around $100) and I had 1500 ($30) in my cash. So altogether I had some $130
in cash. Around 8 pm I borded the taxi and was at ISBT. After some negotiation I selected one tour operator and borded the bus. I was seated on the bus at 21:45 and it left the bus stop at 23:00. Fortunately I had a book with me to pass the time. In b/w I had to
piss and I went to a nearby lavoratory, my god that was so filty I treaded carefully but lord wanted something else to happen and I knew the splash I made on the little puddle was. Eeks!! After easing myself I went straight to the corner shop bought a 2 Litre "Bisleri" by paying 3 Rs premium and washed my legs. The lady selling the bottle was surprised, I knew the reason and enjoyed her dumb stuck look may be I was in a mood of showing.

Day 2 "Arriving in Nainital"
It was 3 am and the bus had stopped to a roadside resturant "Dhaba". I brought 2 sticks of sprout chewing gum (each stick contains around 10 pieces)one mint and other grape, one stick of soft chew toffee + four chlormints for Rs 64. The rest of the night I spend chewing and eating. There was a couple newly married sitting on the seat next to the aisle, I guess they were going for their honeymoon. The boy had a mustache, strongly built the girl was lithe had a bengali look and
was real pretty. Behind me there were two northeastern girls and one more lady must be around 40 somtheing. The person sitting next to me was a resident of Ranikhet and he was full of praise for Nainital. He owned some publishing buissiness and was on a routine trip to Delhi.
Around 8:30 I was in Nainital. It was rainning heavily. I was on a shoe string budget. Though I had my credit cards ready for the emergency I knew I won't be pampering myself to some luxurious hotel. There were couple of people waiting for the bus to arrive and you
know that they are recruited by the local hotels to bring customers. I got inside the umbrella of one and enquired the rate. Rs 125 was his reply. Since this is now an off season I could get a fair idea of the room by the amount. The name of the hotel was "Meghdoot". ..
The hotel had a great view. It overlooks the Naini Lake and I knew this will do. There was a long common lobby for everyone in front of each room and from there one could appreciate the beautiful Naini lake. I checked in the hotel by paying Rs 100. Ordered an Omlette and
a coke, put my chair in the lobby and took out the book and I had just started that I saw two monkey grimacing at me. I was frightened, in defence I threw a piece of omlette but this seemed to make them bolder and they were now only few feet away from me. I left my coke
and entered into my room. Meanwhile the hotel staff came and ward off the monkeys. I had to content with having it my room. There were two rooms one behind the other. For 125 buks I would say it was good. I had my bath and woke up around 12:00. It was still rainning but one
of the staff member of the hotel insisted I should take a tour bus for Rs 100 and go to see other places, but I was admanant I wanted to visit when the rain stops so I could enjoy boating. Around 13:40 the rain stopped though the clouds were still there. I could see the fog
floating over the Naini lake. Naini lake is like a shape of "8" on one side and on other it's like shape of "D". So you can visualize it by combinning 8 with D.Its more than a Km long. The road which runs parallel to it is called Mall Road. ....

As soon as I arrive near the boating area. This guy offered to have a full round for Rs 80 and I readily agreed. The wind was cool and I could still see the clouds hovering around threatenning to bring rain anytime. After half the distance it started to drizzle. Fortunately he had one more spare plastic sheet to cover and it was amazing to see so many other people enjoying the boating. This guy who was now my guide (Mr Bohra) told me where to eat and buy things, where was tibetian
market, how can I go to china peak and snow view etc by the time my boating was over the little drizzle had changed into heavy rain.

I run across the road to find shelter in the corner post office building. There were many people waiting for the rain to get over. I saw one shop on the other side of the road and I knew that I must get myself an umbrella if I have to enjoy my holidays. I ran towards the shop like a small child cliching my paints to avoid getting wet in the heavy downpour. In a second I was in shop looking at the various fancy umbrellas. First I decided to go for a fancy one than I realized I needed a bigger one which should protect me and should be cheap enough that I don't mind losing one. Finally I brought a big, black and a simple umbrella for 75 bucks. I checked it and it seemed good. Now I was hungry I hadn't had anything besides two omlette and a cold drink in the hotel. I went to a resturant and ordered an egg fry, a plate of rajhma (I guess it is called mexican beans) and chappatis (tandoori roti). I realized how hungry I was when I had devoured 6 chappatis, all that for Rs 44.

The downpour still hadn't subsided but now I had a umbrella a big black umbrella. I took that out but the wind was strong enough and I could hardly save myself from getting wet on my feet, the school children were walking in front of me splashing the rain water puddle. My blue jean had soaked a litre of water and it was just clinging because of my belt. I trundle towards my hotel which was some 200 metres from the road than I too joined the children in splashing the
water realising that I won't get drench anymore. I reached my hotel around 14:00 hrs and changed into shorts. Around 16:30 when the rain had fairly subsided I decided to go to china peak. There appeared to be one more way straight towards the mall road, I decided to take
that one and yes it was much too small. After walking a km I remember that there was no camera in my waist satchel. I went back to hotel collected my camera and went back to the rope way for the snow pt. It was 17:07 by my clock and the last trolley had left. I cursed myself on not getting my camera on time therby wasting my time. Just in front of the lane I had a tuty fruity ice cream and there was a big ground where some local football match was going. I went to that
ground. It was still drizzling but the guys were sweating out there and it was a great match. The red jacket guys won by a margin of 9-0. Than I went to see the nearby mousleum and the tibetian market. After that I went to a gurdwara and did my prayer. There is also one Naina devi mandir besides the Lake just besides the gurdwara. Armed with my camera I had already exhausted a reel. Took more snaps and offered prayer. In the way I tried my hands on ballon shooting and savoured the road side "Imli". It was now 6:pm and I went to a nearby cyber cafe to announce that I am in Nainital. I went straight to my hotel had one more coke, read my book and I god knows when I fall asleep. The next morning when I woke up it was 7:am

Day 3 "Sight Seeing Nainital and moving to Bhimtal" I wanted to go to Snow Point at the earliest however it was difficult to get out of the warm bed. I langoured for another one hour. Around 8:15 I woke up and started reading the book I had brought with me. The drizzle was no more. But fog was there over the lake. I kept reading till 10 pm than I had shave and took bath, bought a small lock for my travel bag. I had to vacate the hotel by 10 pm. I finally vacated the hotel and cleared all my dues it was mere Rs 84. I decided to kept my bag with the hotel staff so I could visit snow pt. Around 11pm I left for snow pt with one small sling bag having a water proof short clad in a sea blue sweat shirt, black gaberdine a waste satchel for camera and by big black umbrella. At the mall road I hired a rickshaw for Rs 5. On the mall road b/w my hotel and the alley which takes you to cable car there is a library. I had my eyes on that beautiful red construction yesterday but couldn't take snap as I was carrying a 100x and the light was not bright enough for it that time. I asked my rickshaw peddlar to take few of my snaps. I posed and this guy helped me with the snaps. I took one of this guys snap with him posing over the edge of the Naini lake. Around 11:15 I was there at the alley. I bought one more fuji camera role and headed for the cable car. The ticket for adult was Rs 50 for return trip and you are allowed to stay there only for an hour. My number was 21. There is a red led panel which flashes the number and all those people having the number board the car. When I reached the number was 19 when 20 came they were few short of people so I get a chance to go in the 20th trip. The cable car was small and at a time could carry around 10 to 12 people only. The view from the cable car was spectacular. You could see the whole of nainital the small houses it was simply fantastic. The journey was around 3 minutes. Once at the top there was still much fog so the option of using powerful binoculars to look at china border was ruled out.
There I found one photographer having various dresses which people could try and get themselves photographed. To try each dress it costed Rs 20. So I tried 5 different dresses that included
1) a wealthy sheikh in white wardrobe complete with head gear,
2) a dreaded dacoit with all black suit and the symbolic black mark in the forehead empty cartriges ,a rusted gun and a pink scarf,
3) a king in a red outfit with a shinning sword and the golden hat
4) a colorful rural punjabi villager in pink and green (yeah real bright !) outfit with orange headgear.
5) finally a village kumaon girl with their special gown and silver headgear along with a bucket in one arm. You can imagine for each of these dresses I got myself some 5 to 6 snaps. After that I hired the photographer for the rest of the trip there at the top and here we exhausted one more reel with myself posing with the goat "mini" and dog "hrithik" , kumaon children and local people. At the end I parted with Rs 240 to the photographer for all this shooting. I wanted to do roller skaiting there as they had a small skaiting rim there and charge was mere Rs 20 for half an hour but dur to lack of time I forfeit that idea. After roaming for some more time at the top I finally took back the cable car to return to Mallital or the alley I said earlier. I bought half kilo of "Litchis" and some half kilo of "Jamun" for myself. (Litchi and Jamun are fruits and sorry pal at present I couldn't recollect their english name). I than saw some yatches in the Naini lake. Immediately I decided that I wanted to try yatch. I spotted a local boatman and he said these yatchs are plied by the local boat club. We went to the boat club and the next moment I was sitting in the yatch. The yatch trip costed Rs 60 and it was one more exciting part of the whole trip. By now it was close to 14:00 hrs and I realized that my big black umbrella was lost. I left that in the cable car. I went back to my hotel give some tip to the staff for taking care of my bag and borded the jeep for Bhowali. The jeap was jam packed the 8 seater jeep had 11 people crammed in. In way to Bhowali it started rainning and by the time I got down at bhowali the drizzle didn't stop. In Bhowali I caught another jeap which took me to Bhimtal, fortunately this was not that packed. It was still drizzling and the driver was playing sme local kumaon song in which the girls were teasing each other that is what told to me by the fellow passengers sitting in front of me. They were four beautiful babes one knowing the kumaon language. Distance b/w Bhowali and Nainital is around 11 km and b/w Bhowali and Bhimtal is also some 10 km. To goto Bhimtal one has to first goto Bhowali and than Bhimtal. I reached Bhimtal around 15:30 and the drizzle was still on. Fortunately the Tourist rest house was just round the corner and I got myself a room for Rs 220 per day. The fellow who gave me the room was Mr. Satish. Satish was not a localite but had a good knowledge about the surrounding place as he was living in the Bhimtal for the past two years. My nose was running, I was sneezing and had a fever. I checked in the room. The tubelight was not working. Toilet was clean the room was spacious, so for 220 it was a good bargain. I was too tired to go elsewhere. I took the keys and I fall asleep in no time. I woke up around 18:00 hrs langoured for some half an hour enjoyed the cool breeze and the sound of rain. There was one more guy with Satish his name was Mahesh. Mahesh insited that I had my dinner served in my room. But I prefer to go into resturant and had there.

Around 18:40 I went to see their resturant. It was a small dimly lit room on one side Mahesh was cooking the other side four guys boozing. I asked what was for the dinner ? Mahesh said I will have to place an order and he will cook that for me. I borrowed Mahesh's umbrella and went to the nearby market which was just adjacent to the Tourist Complex building. There was a clinic of Dr B.C Bhakt. I went straight into the clinic and Dr. Bhakt gave me a cocktail of medicines. Some four tablet and a syrup. The bill was Rs 69. I purchased one more big black umbrella for Rs 75 and went to return the Mahesh's umbrella.Though I was not feeling hungry but I couldn't take the medicines empty stomach. So I went to a resturant and ordered chappatis and rajmah. The chappatis were all white in color and the rajmah was poorly cooked. I couldn't eat much.I had one more coke made a call to mummy and went back to my room. There I gulped all those medicines and the next day I wake up around 6:am. I was feeling quite well and the weather seemed to be good.




Day 4 "Bhimtal, Naukcuhiyatal, Saattal and Ghoraghal"

I had a bath. Took my chair out in the lobby which looked over the Bhimtal and there I started reading the book I had brought with me. There was a small garden with lots of flowers init. Around 8:30 am I went to do the boating, the rate was Rs 120 for full trip. I hired the boatman and his name was Naseer. Naseer had two children one daughter and one son. He had worked in Delhi and Nainital in Usha Sewing Machine company before settling back to his native Bhimtal. Bhimtal is a bigger lake as compared to Nainital. Naseer told me that the deepest
point of the lake is somewhere 120 feet. The water was quite clean. In the centre of the lake there is a resturant. After boating for some 20 minutes. I thought why not jump into the lake and have the fun of my life. I told Naseer what I wanted and convinced him that my rest house is nearby and will bring my towel and costume in few minutes and will pay him Rs 30 more than the agreed deal.
So Nasser took me to the shoar and in a couple of minutes I was ready with my towel and swimming coustume. After going into the middle part of the lake I took a small jump into the Bhimtal making sure that there is minimum reaction on the boat. The water was not
cold and now I was swimming in the deepest part of the lake which is around a mile long. This was the first time I ever swimmed into an open lake. Sooner I found that it was a different ball game to swim in a swimming pool and lake. Much more effort is required to propell oneself however with Naseer rowing on my side I had nothing to afraid of. Before the jump I had already loaded a new reel and naseer was taking my snaps swimming in the wide open Bhimtal. It was now 9:10 am I still had some 20 minutes to enjoy my ride. The lake is picturesque with mountains all the side dotted with cottages, hotels and houses. I enquired about the cost of owning the land and was told that it is sold in terms of "Naali". One "Naali" is 22 feet * 66 feet and the cost of one Naali is around Rs 2 Lakhs. That means for around Rs 12 Lakhs one could have a wonderful cottage besides the lake. This makes sense because new construction in Nainital is already banned and it won't be long when Bhimtal also comes under this rule.
I visulaised my colleagues signning in the attendance register and going back to their seats solving the problem and here I am admiring Nature in this lovely place. Around 9:30 I was back to my rest house. I dumped my wet costume and towel on the hanging rope and started towards my next destination. NAUKCHIYATAL

Naukuchiyatal is around 4 Kms from Bhimtal and there are regular jeep service. I boarded one and reached naukuchiyatal around 11 am. There I met this guy Nandan. Nandan was also employed by the tourist rest house of Naukuchiyatal and he accompanied me to boating. We choose a blue fibre glass four seater pedal boat. Naukuchiyatal is also one of the big lake. It has its name because there are 9 corners of this lake. I tried counting but could count only 7 than Nandan told me that no one has been able to count all 9 !!. After sometime Nandan left to attend his shop that was on the periphery of the lake. I was now alone in my boat, peddaling. In the middle of the lake I met four gentleman who hailed from Delhi they wanted to had their snap so I obliged and had their photographs from their camera in return they also took my snaps from my camera. I spent around 1 and half hour peddaling my blue fibre glass boat. The one thing which I was now missing was my book. Naukuchyatal is bifuracated into two
the smaller part is called "Kamaltal" or "Lotustal". Around 12:30 I was out of lake had an orange mirinda with a corn flake bhujia.

There I got a jeep for Bhimtal. From bhimtal I borded another jeep to Bhawali my mom wanted me to bring the local sweet called "BaalMithai" and Satish my innkeeper at Tourist rest house in Bhimtal had told me that I will get it at Bhawali. In the Jeep one uncle told me the best shop for Baal mithai is Kuarn's Shop. I bought a Kilo of BaalMithai along with one more local sweet called "Sinhara" which is sold as wrapped in a leaf. Before eating we leave the leaf and eat the filling. The leaf is to impart taste but is not eaten. BaalMithai is really delicious and it costs Rs 80 per Kg. Sinhara too costs the same.

Now my next destination was Ghoraghaal. Ghoraghaal is a place where an old hindu temple is there. It is around 5 kms from Bhawali. In the way I asked the driver whose name was Naveen that if I hire the whole cab will he goto Saattal ? The deal was done for Rs 175. I went to
Ghoraghaal first had some snaps. The temple has numerous bells may be ten thousand I estimate could be more than that tied on various places. The temple is quite open and people come here to get their desires fulfilled and they tie the bell. From Ghoraghaal one see a
panoramic view of Bhimtal as ghoraghaal is at a much higher elevation than Bhimtal. I had few snaps and now I was ready for Saattal.

Saattal is made up of seven different lakes these are

1. Garur tal
2. Ram tal
3. Laxman tal
4. Sita tal
5. Nal tal
6. Damyanti tal
7. Sukha tal

There is a village called Mehra Village in b/w Bhimtal and Bhawali. From Mehra Village it is around some 7 kms. Saattal is very clear. Especaially Garur tal. There is a point from where one can see at least 4 of these tals at one go. Naveen ji showed me that point. In Saattall the charge of boating was Rs 100. I along with Naveen borded a boat. The boatman this time was Raju a guy who was 20 yrs old. I have done so much boating in the past two days that I asked Raju will he let me row the boat. Raju was generous enought to let me row it. So for the next 45 minutes I rowed the boat and believe me I was rowing it pretty well with directions from both Naveen and Raju. We traversed Ram, laxman and sita tal there was a small dam to get the
excess water out which was some 100 yrs old. Raju told me that the deepest pt of Saattal is some 80 Feet. It was 15:40 now and the time to return I asked Mr Naveen would he mind if I take a stroll around the place and he agreed. So I went into the nearby area which was under some missionary. I walked besides the lake admiring the bushes and the limpid water, watching other people enjoying their time.

Around 16:10 hrs I was back and Naveen ji was waiting for me. We headed straight to my rest house where I paid the money and said goodby to Naveenji. Mr Naveen was a bit elder to me so. He has been driving the cab for past 30 years and was a native of Pithoragarh. He
told me many other places around Pithoragarh which I will try to visit in my next break.

I thought I would have a little sleep and than will return back to Delhi but I had many more adventures in store. Around 17:00 hrs I boarded a boat to the resturant in the middle of the Bhimtal lake. Had a couple of Omlette and Coke. A round trip to resturant was for Rs 30. After that I started a stroll around the Bhimtal. I discovered the back side of the dam which was constructed by britishers some 100 yrs ago, mind you now I am talking about the dam on the Bhimtal. The back side of the dam was a fabulous piece of architecture. I had few clicks of that small but gorgeous dam. It was around 18:00 hrs and I was strolling by 19:00 hrs I had covered
almost 3/4th of the Bhimtal. I was now at a place called "Mallital". This Mallital is different from the Mallital that Mr Bohra. the Nainital boatman showed me. Here I met two kids one was Pawan and other was Santosh. Pawan was in 6th Standard and Santosh in 9th Standard. Mallital was a fish hatchery plant so there were big cemented ponds. I gave my camera to pawan so he could shoot me walking over those cement ponds. Pawan executed the job. While
departing they told me that there was a fair going on in the nearby place. It was now 19:10 and I recollected Satish's advice that after 8:pm it will be difficult to get a bus but I was in no mood to miss this fair after having come so far. So I got myself a new kodak 100x loaded and headed straight for the fair.
The place was noisy with lots of people giving it a great festive look. There was giant wheel. A magician showing bengal's famous black magic, two daredevil motorcyclist and a car driver encircling a closed loop. The centrifugal force preventing them from falling in. Than there was a circus. I bought ticket for each of the show and had a real great time. The best item in circus was a donkey who could tell which person owns which watch from a group of watches
volunteered by people. The smart ass could also tell who is the oldest person etc. It was already 19:54 and now I could wait no more.

I headed straight to my rest house which was still a km away. On reaching the hotel I paid the remainning bill to Satish. It was dark now, my bag was now heavy with the additional stuff I had bought (remember those 2 kgs of local sweets). I had to walk a km carrying all that stuff. Few driver I met but they all demanded exhorbitant prices to got to Haldwani the place from where I had to catch the bus for New Delhi. At that time there was this thought in my mind which I had recently read "If I do what I can than god will do for me what I cannnot". Just as I reached Mallitala a blue Maruti Van came and there was this taxi which was going to Haldwani. Thank
god. First I thought the guy was drunk the music he was playing was Quawwali with real senti stuff and in full blare. He was Mr. Khan the wonderful man who made my journey from Bhimtal to Haldwani a once in a life time experience. He was real skilled when negotiating those
dangerous curves. It was rainning heavily with thick fog and at some places the visibility is Null. It is extremely dangerous to drive in those condition. But instead of fear a strange sort of feeling fo
adventure had crept in me. The Khan smoked cigarattes one after the another. While lighting the cigarette instead of stopping the van he would let it go. I don't know if it was the problem with his car audio player or the cassette it kept slagging and he had to rewind the whole tape time and again. This particular cassette was given to him by someone special and he told me that that's why he was keeping it. He was a big fan of Mohd. Rafi. I had already witnessed how a road was cracked in the middle while my way to Saattal. The crack was some 5 Feet wide and equally long.
Ofcourse it was a daytime that one could find in night it is impossible. The language of Mr. Khan was a real street style and whatever I had learned in my college could now be put to good use. By 21:34 I was at Haldwani Bus Stop. Thre was this bus going to Delhi. It was a semi deluxe govt. bus. There I met this guy Mayank. Mayank was a tall lanky guy. Bespectacled, He has recently done his 10 + 2 and was now in first yr college where he was pursuing B.Sc General in Computer Sciences. We chatted for long. He had a aiwa walkman with some 10 cassettes of all
the latest dance tracks. We talked for hours about so many things. Around 2:30 am I was woken up by shrill and loud call of a hawker selling "bread pakodas" and other snacks. The great thing about his voice was he must be yelling at around 80 Decibels but it was still very clear. I ate a "bread pokada" there had my medicines. Around 4:45 am I reached the Anand Vihar I.S.B.T (Inter State Bus Termainal). From there I caught a bus to my Kashmiri gate I.S.B.T and from there to my home. I was back at my home at 5:38 am.

Sumant


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