July 23, 2008

Garhwali Bears with Tiny Bells


Some people live for the fortune, some for power, some for fame, and some to play games. Some say to achieve the purpose meant in their lives blah blah. What are you living for?

I can tell you what I am thinking of. I can tell that because I can think. Or at least I think I can think. I can think because I belong to the great class – the class of Homo sapiens. After all, we are animals (for sure!) with the best thinking process. Or at least we believe so. Why do I digress? Probably to discombobulate.

So, I'm thinking of taking a vacation. Did I hear you ask why?

When I applied for leave, I was asked the same. "Why do you need to go on vacation?" Though I thought, "I'd explain it to you, but your brain would explode," I replied calmly with a smile, "To travel." To that I was asked, "And how much of your earnings do you spend on travels?" I replied, "Only 90%." He would not understand the rest is wasted!

It's quite likely that he suffers from a zygomatic twist in the skull. Or what Dr. Mayer-Briggs would probably describe "analysis paralysis." I'm glad am not into assmosis. Oh wait. That has nothing to do with a donkey. Or ass either. It's more to do with the process by which a few so called humans seem to absorb success by sucking up to the boss rather than working for it. I neither want success nor wish to work anymore. I wanna travel, do you understand, Mr. Mustachioed spittlebug?

I should have asked him, "Tell me, as an outsider, what do you think of the human race?" but I did not. Diplomacy, after all, is the art of letting someone have your way!

So, why do I need to travel again?

• Because I do not want to be yearning so much while admiring mountain photography online while waiting and hoping someone would take me to those places.
• Because I need a change from the shituation I am in. Probably that's why I doodle more than work these days.
• Because I don't want to be thinking about the warm comfort of early death from job stress. Humor may be hazardous to your health. Hey, I didn't refer to mental health!
• Because I don't want to say a superficial hello or how are you doing to people around me right now as I feel I'm lacking patience to listen to their life stories.
• Because there are times when I feel I want to punch, choke, poison, if not flatten an unpleasant colleague's car tyres these days. Trust me, this has nothing to do with Schadenfreude tendencies.
• Because I've started spending my off time thinking about work, the rest of the time I am busy thinking of travelling.

Ain't that sufficient reason? I can be snarky!

I've decided to get moving. Yes, with just a small backpack, a tuque and a good pair of trekking shoes, and with no regard for day time clothes, or night time and no need for swim wear or matching shoes or matching wraps or a matching bag or a hat, or jewelry or make up. Yay!

Travel time. This trip shall be to the Garhwal region of the northern state of Uttarkhand belonging to the Indian side of Himalayas. Uttarkhand borders the Tibetan plateau in the north and Nepal to the east.

A minor part of the Himalayan range lies in Tibet, Pakistan and Burma. A greater portion of the range lies in Nepal, Bhutan and the Indian states of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarkhand. I’ve been to those states earlier except Arunachal Pradesh but I should make many more trips.

So, for now, I'm off to Garhwal, a place with spectacular mountain peaks and valleys that is described as Dev Bhoomi to mean, the Land of the Gods. Garhwal is the place of origin of the River Ganga (the Ganges). Garhwal is a place with a multitude of pilgrimage spots.

Don't look at me to elaborate on that. When it comes to proper knowledge on religious matters, I'm as useless as a condom vending machine in the Vatican. Or as useful as a grave robber in a crematorium!

For me, this trip should be stimulating as I intend to enjoy the culture of the new place, the beauty of nature there, its wilderness, the endless scenery of the rugged mountains and their deep valleys and ravines, the wildlife, camping and trekking and lots of adventure. With rains and landslides common at this time during monsoons, I do not know where exactly I'll end up. However, with the belief that destination is not as important as the journey, I am out to enjoy as much of it no matter where the road leads me.

Speaking of wildlife and adventure reminds me of this public service announcement:

In Garhwal, tourists are warned to wear tiny bells on their clothing when hiking in Himalayan bear territory. The bells warn away most Himalayan bears. Tourists are also cautioned to watch the ground on the trail, paying particular attention to bear droppings to be alert for the presence of Himalayan bears. One can identify Himalayan bear droppings because it has tiny bells in it.

Now do not let that PJ make you angrier than a bear with a sore head!

I wonder now why did a post to convey a short, and hopefully, temporary goodbye to my sweet readers, turn out this long? To that, please answer me first: Why is abbreviation such a long word?

Broca's area is giving trouble today. Enough of gruntling. Logorrhea indeed! Right now I have the feeling that everyone likes me and wants to be like me. At least as far as travels are concerned. Am I right? No? Ah, then I better stop before I am defenestrated.

Won't you wish me well with a small comment? Don't give me the excuse that the keyboard is not attached to your PC, or that the mouse doesn't work! So what if it's not? You can still press F1 to continue. Or press any key to continue...no, no, no, not that one..haha!

I hope to be back in a few weeks. If you need to reach me urgently, please call me on my phoneless cord. Until then, keep smiling my friends. Signing off. Beep-beep!


Cuckoo said...

Ha Ha Ha... you are exceptionally funny my dear !!

Enjoyed your reasons to travel. I might try to use some of them as well... but but but.. don't accuse me of lifting your material.
Aah ! the copyright thingie once again !! ;)

Enjoy your trip Celine, would look forward to more stories & photos and will grumble that I could not go there. :(

Have a hearty & happy time there. Love ya honey !! Hmmm.. Today I am in mood I think.


*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

This made me smile broadly :)

You don't need to explain to anyone why you need a vacation.A breather once in a while is essential for the body and soul.

Have a fabulous trip dear.Enjoy Garhwal and watch out for the bears ;)

Take care.God Bless You.Cheers!

indicaspecies said...


By all means, go right ahead, and use some or all of the reasons. I'll file a separate law suit against you after you return..hahaha!

Jokes apart, do enjoy your holidays, wherever you decide to go finally. I'll surely share some pictures when I return and thank you for your warm and lovely wishes. Be in a good mood like this more often. *love* *hugs*

indicaspecies said...


I'm glad to could make you smile. The touch of humor was to make people smile, if not laugh. I don't need to give reasons but still I enjoyed writing out my thoughts.;)

Thanks for your good wishes and your warning too. Should I watch out for bear or bear droppings? Hahaha!

Lakshmi said...

lol...have fun...ive quit my job to travel and now I have 0 money to spend on it

Have a good trip...see you soon

indicaspecies said...


Thank you for wishing me well.:)

Are you discouraging me if I am toying with the idea to quit working? Isn't a "little" money enough sometimes to travel? The zeal to travel should be alive, that's more important than anything else I think. What say?;)

Lena said...

awww... your reasons for that really indicate you overworked. Glad you can enjoy now some time out of this all :)

Have a great trip and enjoy your time with no workstress :)

indicaspecies said...


Thank you.

There's a wee bit of exaggeration for humor. Work stress is not too bad actually. However, I love to grab an opportunity to travel.;)

Merisi said...

Oh, Celine,
you are wickedly funny!
I would give you an extra week of vacation time, if I were your boss. :-)

Some of your lines brought a poem by Naomi Shihab Nye to my mind, it's called "The Art of Disappearing", and goes like this:

When they say
Don’t I know you?
say no.

When they invite you to the party
remember what parties are like
before answering.

Someone telling you in a loud voice
they once wrote a poem.
Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate.
Then reply.

If they say
We should get together
say why?

It’s not that you don’t love them anymore.
You’re trying to remember something
too important to forget.
Trees. The monastery bell at twilight.
Tell them you have a new project.
It will never be finished.

When someone recognizes you in a grocery store
nod briefly and become a cabbage.
When someone you haven’t seen in ten years
appears at the door,
don’t start singing him all your new songs.
You will never catch up.

Walk around feeling like a leaf.
Know you could tumble any second.
Then decide what to do with your time.

My your travels bring you all you are longing for! I for one am looking to read and see about them here. All the best to you,

indicaspecies said...

Oh Merisi, why aren't you my boss? Haha..Wickedly funny is a compliment in my dictionary..thank you!

I enjoyed the absolutely adorable poetry especially the anti-social touch to it with the tinge of rudeness. Sometimes venting out what's within is fun, no matter what it is. Guess it's like how a kid blurts out, perhaps odd under the circumstances, perhaps embarrassing too, nevertheless, the truth.;)

Thank you for your lovely wishes my friend, and I hope to return with more stories and pictures. Until then, take care.:)

Anonymous said...

hmmm...are the bosses in every part of the world are the same...I just wonder sometimes...does travelling need any excuse or reason & still we have to spend hours waiting before the bosses cabin biting our nails & the when we go inside a sudden firing starts as if travelling is the most notorious crime in the world & it is done by some creatures from extra-territorial planets...

it was lovely reading your post celine...I got a bit carried away remembering my tryst with destinies with my bosses for applying for a leave to travel....one of my reasons fr travel is my mind just goes impatient when i don't travel for a long time.

Have a wonderful safe trip leaving all the stresses behind and just get lost in the beauty of nature of the Himalayas...& see you on return...happy journey!

Indrani said...

That was funny!
Wish you a safe and happy journey!

indicaspecies said...


It seems you've had unpleasant experiences when applying for leave. In my case its not bad at all. I don't call anyone boss (because I'm of the belief that I'm my own boss) but the person I report to is on a 2 month leave himself! Mr. Mustachioed spittlebug is someone else at work place I was referring to.

Yes, I intend to enjoy the mountains in the coming days and thank you for your good wishes.:)

indicaspecies said...


Glad you felt so. Thank you very much.:)

Saibal Barman said...

Celine, it's a fantastic post, particularly encouraging one for those who love not to travel. They will soon quit job and travel till they end up in bankruptcy !
I love the pertinent question about why "abbreviation" is so long a word...Maybe, only to inspire to go for shorter syllabled word....!!!!!!!!
It's also great that you have found out so many reasons to opt for travel....that's great....I haven't thought anything beyond "it just to happen, boss" before!
You are welcome back to sweet motherland...being comforted again in her cradle...being lost in her loving eyes and gentle smile !
Why to seek leave when you are already left ? Why to be impatient to travel when you are just journeying ? It remains an illusive aspect of life !
Best wishes and have a nice journey all through, my dear friend !

indicaspecies said...


Hahaha...I don't mean to discourage people from working and go bankrupt, but would certainly encourage them to travel. Being in love with Himalayas yourself, you are quite aware of the joy of travels to those regions, so you do understand my enthusiasm.

Thank you for your kind words my friend, for your good wishes and the welcome to motherland. Each time I land there, I feel very much at home and happy.:)

Lekhni said...

The "tell me, as an outsider.." part was funny! Wish one could say that!

Ram said...


The magician has done it once again.

Wish you a very happy journey back home and a great trip to Garhwal.

Take care.

Alok said...

Your reasons for travelling give a feeling that you are certainly on your way for the saying – ‘life is a journey’ :)

What more I can say about Himalayas, I believe for anybody it wouldn’t take much time to fell in love with ‘Himalaya’ with its first glimpse itself. The Nature God at its all forms. Good going … have a wonderful time enjoying the trips all around.

P.S. I added your blog to my blog-roll :)

Athena said...

Hey! didn't know you were off again! Hope you are having a great time. Waiting to see some pics when you get back. :)

GMG said...

Hi Celine!
Sorry for the absence and the delay these last weeks, but unfortunately it wasn’t due to some summer holidays… ;))
Thanks for your comments on Blogtrotter, now at the MoMA for Art and New York lovers! Hope you enjoy and wish you a great week! I’ll try to get back here to enjoy your pictures with some more time during the week!

PS: Sploggers? I wonder whether my pics are also somewhere around...

Anonymous said...

Haha, that was an entertaining post! And do keep those bears away. :)

Nandan Jha said...

Good luck. Be safe.

bendtherulz said...

Bon Voyage :) I am hearing from my pahadi friends that weather is beautiful.....but then we are so partial to Mountains....we wouldnt know what to say anything else...right !!

Need any help....?? let me know. Are you travelling alone...??

Zhu said...

Non-travelers don't understand why we travel... When I inform my co-workers I was going to Beijing for a few weeks, all they could say is "how can you afford it?".

Easy. I have the same paycheck as you but I don't have a house, a car, or a brand new T.V. I choose to spend money (maybe not 90% :$ ) on traveling, it makes me feel better than any object I may own.

M.Kate said...

Hello Celine, what a funny and good post, I love travelling too and I udnerstand how you feel. I NEED to travel, to be away from whatever I am doing, even away from the family if needed too. Not sounding like a uncaring mother or wife, but travel gives me so much satisfaction, its a learning curve, its a passion ...even obsession. I wish I could do it more frequently and for travel-holic like us, nothing beats the actual experience..no matter how nice it is to look at the screen saver. Have a safe trip, eat well and keep safe too. Hugs :)

Lakshmi said...

Not discouraging at all..Ive just come back from another longer trip..just telling you the reality as well..but do I care about the fact that Im penniless and am a vagabond..I think you know the answer :)

Mridula said...

Have a wonderful vacation Celine!

*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

Just dropped by to say Happy Friendship Day dear :)

Hope you are having a great time!

GMG said...

Hi Celine! Finally I found some time to come back and enjoy your excellent blog…
This is a great post. Loved to read! Now imagine how one would feel if you're told that your vacation this year will be from September 7th through September 14th... On the way to implode? ;))
Enjoy your vacation!

claytonia vices said...

Do let us know if u see any UFOs in Ladakh! ;)


di.di said...

can I tag along... please bring me with you.. pretty please....

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AJEYA RAO said...

Sorry for the off-post comment. But it would be great if you can give me some details on Sikkim. About places to see near Gangtok or any other...Best time to visit and resorts by mountains. Can you send me this to my email - ajeyar@yahoo.com....Thanks for your help.

GMG said...

Hi Celine! This one is for when you'll come back!
2008.08.08 is a very special day for Blogtrotter. So, before I start commemorating, let me just tell you how much I appreciate your comments on my blogs! Thanks a lot!
Have a great holiday!

Crazy Me said...

I just got back from vacation a couple of weeks ago and I'm ready to hit the road again too. I'm so jealous!

Priyank said...

You are back now and look at the number of comments you have to reply :) cheers!

indicaspecies said...

I thank each and every one of you who have wished me well, and apologies that I could not respond to your lovely wishes earlier. I shall be visiting your blogs as soon as possible, until then, cheers!

Haha..glad you enjoyed my attempt at humor.

It's been fabulous everywhere, thank you.:)

Thank you. You are so right, it doesn't take long to be in love with the magnificent Himalayas!
PS: Thanks for the blogroll.;)

Thank you. I had a lovely time. Shall put up pictures as and when I'm able to do so. I hope all's well with you sweet girl. Shall phone you later today. ;)

Gil, I shall visit your blog soon, and I know good things are in store there. Thanks for your nice wishes.:)
PS: I hope the sploggers won’t succeed in invading your territory.;)

I've escaped from the Garhwali bears and come back safe..haha!

Thank you. Your wishes did help. I’m back safe, and sound.:)

Thanks for your kind words, they helped me along the rugged mountain roads.:)
You are right, Garhwal was pleasant and the weather was not one bit harsh as I kinda anticipated. Your offer of help came too late yaar, but thanks nonetheless.;)

Absolutely. It's a matter of making the right choices;)
I wish you have a wonderful trip to Beijing.:)

Haha! We all have our reasons for travelling. Thanks a lot for your nice words.:)

I’ve noticed one thing: Travellers are generally happy people.:)

Thank you very much for your nice wishes.:)

Thanks, and belated Friendship Day wishes to you too. I had a great time, thanks.:)

@Claytonia Vices:
Haha..That's an interesting article, thanks for sharing.
I was in Ladakh last July, and this time, as you are aware, it has been Garhwal. Shall look out for UFOs when I go to Ladakh again, and trust me, can't wait to be there again!

Haha..welcome aboard, do jump in! The more the merrier.

That’s an attractive invitation. I shall be looking into it shortly. Thank you!

I’ve just emailed you. Glad to be of help, and feel free to be in touch.:)

Gil, I had to rush to your blog and find out. I just put up a comment there. Congratulations and all the very best to you on your 33rd. New York is indeed a wonderful choice.;)

@Crazy Me:
So am I ready! I hope you had a good time during your vacation. I shall visit your space soon.:)

Haha..yours is the last, and with this, I am just done with all. Cheers, my good friend.;)