Wednesday, July 23, 2008

This Day That Year - 23rd July 2007

Day 9

Wake upppp bellows the boss and the troops are marching to the Army mess for a sumptuous, high calorie breakfast of chana bhatura. We flout all defence norms by walking in wearing jeans/tracks/t-shirts and being a noisy bunch. Stomachs full, we're led to the viewpoint accompanied by Capt Munish who shows us Tiger Hill (of operation vijay fame) and tells us a bit about the Kargil war...comes across as a sweet but a slightly shy person. Soon we're on our way to Sonamarg, driving through Zojilla pass. Shortly before hitting Sonamarg, we're received by Col Deep Bhagat's men who escort us to the 5 JAK RIF camp at Sonamarg. Col Deep Bhagat - Nidhi's brother - is the Commanding Officer, more than a perfect host he's an absolutely remarkable person. He makes us feel at home instantly. After yummy food we're escorted to our tents - little do we know that we shall be staying here for more than the one night that we have planned! Col Bhagat is now convincing us to extend the trip and we are looking like little expectant children at Shashi...he's perhaps the kindest boss in the world because he encourages us to stay on. But one car will go back to Delhi tomorrow - with Shashi, Rohit, Saif, Ritwik and Divya and we get to stay on and visit more places! Needless to say we're elated! So basically all the bosses are off tomorrow! A little while later, we're off to do some river rafting...rain adds to the fun and chill! River rafting in Kashmir is an experience in itself...despite the chattering teeth, the soaked clothes you're left asking for more. Soon after, we're having cups of tea at the Army mess - flouting the rules of wearing formals yet again! This night we dine at the 'bhandaras' set up for the Amarnath yatris. The food is absolutely delicious and served punjabi style - with loads of ghee and warmth! And we have now decided to do the Amarnath Yatra tomorrow - all except Parul...she has asthma. She wants to go, says she'll go muleback, argues, is scolded and eventually agrees but is obviously upset. Time to sleep in those Army bunk beds! It's cold...brrrr...

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