Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New Year Tour to Punjab & Uttaranchal....

It was Dec 31st again….. Following a tradition of travelling to hills which was laid down last year, we had been to Joshi Math, Uttaranchal this year. We meaning, Karki, Lucky, Kharbanda and Me. The tale goes something like this….

As our Uttaranchal tour was starting from 30th Jan from Delhi, I had been to Amritsar on the 27th and 28th of Jan to visit Golden Temple along with Lucky, his Sister, Jeeju and Harpreet. It was a wonderful experience to travel during winters full of fog and chilling cold. On 28th we visited Golden Temple, Baba Deepsingh Gurdwara, Jallianwala Bagh, and Wagah Border… Golden Temple was truly a mesmerising place to be, with so many people around but still so calm and quiet, and having food in Langar is another memorable experience. I stayed at Lucky’s place for 2 days in Jalandhar. Guess what, I had something or the other to eat every half an hour. They were so affectionate and caring, and so are most Punjabis….

We went to Delhi on 30th evening and a little rest, just to continue our onward journey from Delhi to Joshi Math on the same night. We met Jaggi Sir and Sahi in Delhi and started in a Toyota Qualis which Sahi had arranged. The Uttaranchal expedition has started. The fog was so high, some times it was almost blank and we had to stop the car and look around for a bigger vehicle which we could follow. The journey till Joshi Math was full of adventure but if the journey is to be explained hour by hour it will be more than an 2000 line essay…. Anyways, Joshi Math was around 500 Km from Delhi and we took almost 20 Hrs to reach and were there by Dec 31st night…..Jaggi sir had arranged accommodation for us in I.T.B.P Officer’s Mess ( Indo-Tibet Border Police). Thank you Sirjiiiiii…

On the first day this year, we went to Auli for which we have to take a Rope Way (India’s longest) which took us to a verticle height of more than 3000 mts over the sea level….There we could see the snow packed mountains, for which we were here so far from our work places. The Himalayan Ranges can be clearly seen from such a height. For people who do not know, Auli is a place which has one of those better skeing resorts in Asia, for hosting winter games. Almost knee height snow all over, we walked through it for hours just to discover that, they are never ending…. Slided over the snow a couple of times, enjoyed to the fullest and returned through the same rope way down to Joshi Math and back to the Guest House. The next day, we went to a place called Tapovan where we have certain Sulphur hot springs. There are some other places like Valley of flowers and Hemkund Sahib which can be visited from Joshi Math but unfortunately they were closed and the roads open only during June-July-August. So, we went back to our place, packed the baggage and returned to Delhi on 3rd Jan.

We went to Kharbanda’s place in Noida to freshen up, have break fast and moved to Jaggi sir’s place as it was his birthday that day. Met Brar sir and Sheoran sir as well in Delhi and moved straight to the airport to find some plane which would leave me in Mumbai, Karki and Lucky in Kolkata. Luckily got one of Jetlite and reached Mumbai at 2 am midnight on Jan 4th as the flight was 3 hrs delayed for Delhi’s foggy whether…..

It was a wonderful experience all through…. The pics below speak for themselves….

Wish You All A Very Happy & Prosperous New Year 2009

Smile Always,

Raja Gopal.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Celebrating 61st Independence of India ! ! !

"India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grand mother of tradition. Our most valuable and most astrictive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only!" --- Mark Twain

Proud To Be An Indian !..........

Smile Always,

Raja Gopal.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Happy Friendship Day ! ! !

"Sometimes in life, you find a special friend,

Someone who changes your life just by being a part of it,

Someone who makes you laugh until you can't stop,

Someone who makes you believe

that there really is good in the world.

Someone who convinces you that there really

is an unlocked door just waiting for you to open"

Wishing A Very Happy Friendship Day - 03rd August 2008

Smile Always,

Raja Gopal.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Three - Day Camp In Dubai ! ! !

Last Sunday, I had been on a short trip to Dubai, for a two-day business meeting. We left Mumbai at about 9:45 AM on 20th July and reached Dubai in 3 hrs. It took some time ( quite some time ) in Immigration formalities with eye scan etc etc and reached the Hotel in the evening at 3:00 PM. One of my college friends, Imran Khan, who is based in Dubai, had arranged for a Desert Safari on the same day. He came to the hotel to pick us and we started off for our leisure trip at about 4:30 PM. It was a Toyota Land Cruiser, and we first went through the beautiful roads of Dubai to a place for Desert Biking….. It was an absolute stunning experience. From there we left for Dune Bashing, a roller coaster ride of the SUV over the desert. It was definitely a breath taking ride and we kept wondering, why the car is not tumbling down….The roller coaster came to a halt at the highest point on the desert for having us see the beautiful sun set and we had a wonderful time clicking some gud snaps out of our cameras…….From there, we moved to a camp for dinner and a Belly Dance by a Russian Female…….There, we even we had hookah / sheesha, with different flavours…..Ooooh…. the safari came to an end and we were dropped at our Hotel in the night at 10:30 PM…. We rushed to our rooms and slept to be active for the meeting on the following day.

The next day, meeting started at 9:00 AM, and all the delegates from all across Africa, Middle East & Hongkong were present….It was gud, meeting all the big guns of the organisation and knowing how the business runs and it’s past performance, as I’m new to the organization. After the meeting, we were invited for a dinner in Grand Hyatt, Dubai. It was a real adventure having food there, bcoz, I had to search, understand and hunt for vegetarian food…. Went back to the hotel at night and slept as usual again for the second day meeting. On the second day evening, Imran came down again, and we moved to Deira City Centre, a big shopping mall to meet Adnan, my ex-colleague in Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd. We had a coffee in Star Bucks and left the place and went to Swati Mehta’s house at about 10:30 PM to have Indian dinner at her place….She is one batch senior to me in NIMC, Kolkata….After we had delicious dinner at her place and were about to leave, we realized that she had recently bought a Peugeot Convertible and it is so obvious that we wud go on a ride. In the night at about 12:30 AM we were racing the car at 130, 140 Km/hr on Dubai roads and it was I wud say, Sexyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy…..
Came back to the hotel with Imran, and picked up another colleague of mine to for another ride with Imran in his Honda Accord. After a couple of hours we came back to the hotel early in the morning to sleep for a couple of hours and get ready to fly back to Mumbai. It’s Imran again….. He is everywhere….. Came down to the hotel in the morning at 10:00 AM to pick us up and drop at the Airport…. The three day stay was wonderful and the cars in Dubai need a special mention….. Just glance through some of the cool snaps clicked in these 3 days……

Smile Always,

Raja Gopal.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Lonavala Trek Camp....

It was last Sunday, when I had been for first trek camp. I guess, my Mumbai masti has taken shape. On 29th June, early in the morning at 8:00 am, we started off our journey from Mumbai to Malavali, a place near Lonavla. The team included, Bhaskar, Mohit, Ashish, Anuj and Myself from Mumbai and Saptarshi and Madhavi from Pune. All of them were either juniors or friends.

At around 9:30 am, we reached the base of the hill, which is to be climbed. Parked the car there and started off straight. Because of rain, the path was slippery and so was tricky. With the help of the plants, trees, and rocks, climbed some part of the hill and reached a spot where we can sit and breath. Rested there for a while, rolled the digital camera all around and on ourselves as well and started the second spell. From that place, we could actually see the end point of the hill where we had to reach, which has lifted our spirits. The lush green grass over the hill was very soothing and refreshing for the eyes. While we were on our way to another resting spot up the hill, there was a mini dhaba which was offering some refreshments. So, rammed into it for some eatables and continued from there in heavy rain. After we reached a place on the hill, from where we could see the end point, everyone waited for a minute. It was a breathtaking view, and we realized that we had to reach the other end. But, everyone cud see the finale only and with full energy and no second thought took the narrow, slippery and sliding way to the end of the hill, which has remains of an old fort. It took us around 3 hrs to reach this place from the base of the hill. We were seven, when we started the trek and were lucky that even at the end, the number was same. Enjoyed the rain, fog and the view of the lush green hills around, clicked some cool snaps and started the descending journey. Reached the ground in a couple of hours and traveled back home.

It was stunning and a very exciting experience. Rainy season is generally not the time for a trek but this is probably one of those few places where rain invites trekkers. Roll your eyes through some cool snaps clicked when ever we could free our hands on the way and sit down at a place……

Smile Always,

Raja Gopal /-

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

New Place | New Assignment | New People |

It’s almost a generation gap since my last post on the blog. There are a host of big things which happened in this space on my end. After a little short of 3 years, I have left Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd., Kolkata and came down to Mumbai. Right now, I am associated with LyondellBasell, w.e.f 02nd June 2008. Having led a life of almost 5 years in Kolkata, leaving the place, the company and the people is undoubtedly a pain……But, guess that is what life is ! ! ! This is a European company based out of Netherlands and I am working in Supply Chain function.

Taking a shift from being a Babumoshai, today I’m a Mumbai'kar….. It’s a wonderful feeling being in the business capital of the country. Life is too fast here and managing my expenses wud be a challenge, staying in the most expensive part of the country….

Having so many friends and relatives here, spending the weekends wudn’t be an issue and there has already been a get-together with my Juniors last Sunday……

I have just led a life of a couple of weeks in Mumbai and the company and let’s see how the new assignment and the place wud be treating me in life !.....

Smile Always,

Raja Gopal /-

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

My New Year Holiday In Sikkim ! ! !

After a long long time, could gather time to type some text on my blog. This time, it is about my holiday in Sikkim for celebrating New Year.

On the evening of 29th December, Ashok, Rashmi & Myself have started our journey to Gangtok from Kolkata. Rashmi has come all the way from Indore to Kolkata via Delhi. We have taken a sleeper coach bus from Kolkata to Siliguri and landed up there at 11.30 AM on the other day. Had lunch there and hired a car from Siliguri. The Journey on the beautiful roads along side the teesta river was the first great experience of the trip. Finally reached Gangtok at 6 o Clock in the evening of 30th December, feeling the temperature drop. The hotel arrangement was already done and we hurried to rooms to fresh up, have dinner and take rest to start our journey, the next day.

On 31st of December, early in the morning we got up from sleep and first of all, had a fabulous view of one of the Kanchenjunga ranges. Had breakfast, and started journey to Tsomgo ( Read it as Changu ) Lake and Baba Mandir, Ganesh Tok & Hanuman Tok. We almost went to a height of 12,400 ft hitting clouds at some points. In Baba Mandir, the water was frozen and Changu was melting to lake from ice. It was an absolutely amazing scenic beauty and can surely confess that, it was the best live thing, I have ever seen. Returned back to hotel at around 7 PM, packed very little liquor on the way to bid farewell to the Yr 2007. Ladies & Gentlemen, Cheers ! ! ! & Wish U A Very Happy New Year 2008.

On the following day, i.e first day of this year, we have booked a packaged tour of 1 night and 2 days to Yungthang Valley, which is around 150 kms from Gangtok. We started at 10.00 AM and halting at different places to have food, enjoy waterfalls and valleys, we could only reach Lachung, a place which is 25 kms before Yungthang Valley, wherein people stay in resorts as there is no provision to stay in Yungthang bcoz of the chilling whether. But, Lachung was no better. It was also chilling cold and the resort people have arranged for camp fire for some time, in the evening. The next day morning we started to Yungthang Valley and reached there at around 10.00 AM. There, I have taken a snap standing on the lake, flowing in the valley. Imagine the state of water. We were not at all in a mood to leave the place. But, as soon as we realized that there was another place 22 kms ahead called Zero Point, which is another wonder, we immediately jumped in to the car to go to that place. ZERO POINT, father of all places visited till that time, was a stunning beauty. It is called Zero Point, bcoz, Indian roads end there and 6 kms from that point, U land up in China. It is at a height of almost 16,000 ft and the temperature was much below subzero. One will feel that, breathing is probably the most difficult thing a person can do. Anyways, after almost sweating my Digi Cam by clicking snaps everywhere, we started our return journey down to Gangtok and reached at around 9.00 PM on 2nd January.

The next day, we got to start our journey to return to Kolkata. So, on the way to Siliguri, we covered Rumtek Monastery and also done River Rafting in Teesta for almost 40 mins. It was one of the most exciting moments, I have ever experienced. Reached Siliguri at 6.00 PM, caught the train at 8.00 PM and landed up in Kolkata the next day early in the morning, to come to the office, as usual.

Sikkim was unquestionably, the most beautiful and exciting places, I have ever visited and just check the snaps below, which speak for themselves.

Smile Always,

Raja Gopal /-