Saturday, July 19, 2008

This Day That Year - 19th July 2007

Day 5

Leh morning 1: Breakfast on the house. A hot water bath. Day's plan is set. Some confusion and irritating moments later, we're off biking. Sid & Runmee have smartly taken excuse & gone shopping. D & I are on a thunderbird, Rohit & Neeti on a scooter and others in the car. We drive on to Kargil road. The scenery is breathtaking. We stop for photo-ops. Lie on the road, do all sorts of things! Then drive on, see a mountain and decide to climb it. More pics - click click click! D is the only one to reach the top. My floaters are troubling me. I am tempted to climb up further but my feet are slipping in the floaters. I regret not wearing shoes & decide not to go up any further. Soon we're back on the road. Next target: reaching Nimmu (a place, not a person!) for lunch. One or two sandy patches and the bike skids. Somehow, I trust D's driving and am not jolted out of my wits like I usually would be. Food at Nimmu is better than Gesmo ke momos! And then we're back on the road. Now D & I excuse ourselves and decide to check out dirt tracks and narrow roads. So we ride down towards the lake. A man is getting an open, red, adventure car reversed while talking on the phone. D halts. Looks at him, says "I think I know you". The man looks at him, screams "Abbe tu....(some fond abuses that I choose to censor)". Himanshu - D's close friend, Assistant Director with Yashraj Films is here shooting for Tashan and tells us Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor & Saif Ali Khan are out there shooting - where we were headed. So D & Himanshu exchange hotel numbers, addresses & we proceed to the lake. Alas entry to the lake is banned because of the shoot. We wait a while, I listen to D's stories about Bollywood. He thinks I'm bored, I'm actually intrigued and thoughtful. Soon we're heading back and now we decide to take the little road leading to the Army camp. The view there is out of this world. D & I keep stopping for snaps & have a whole portfolio each. That was perhaps the best patch I saw in Ladakh. I'm so glad we went there. Biking in Ladakh is an exhilarating feeling - no drive in a car can make you feel like that. All thanks to D for that day. I can't put what I felt on the bike into words. In Ladakh, nature makes you feel small & insignificant. Sigh! Soon, we're heading back. Stopover at Indus viewpoint. Yet another photo-op! :) Back on the bike, enter Fort Road. We spot our innova and I shift places. Parul & I are off shopping. I buy a t-shirt and lots of silver jewellery - dirt cheap in our opinion! Parul indulges in silver as well. Then we're off to Monalisa for dinner. A yummy dinner & a walk back to Hotel Mansarovar. There's a prayer wheel on the way. I've always been fascinated by them. I love the concept. Seeing a Tibetan praying, ask him how many times I should rotate the wheel & he says any number of times. I do that. I pray. The night is beautiful. Millions of stars. I miss that in the Delhi sky. It reminds me of the nights in Shillong. We're back at the hotel. UNO again & 2 hours of sleep!

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