…Aaaaaaaaand We’re Back!

The short story is that the trek was a success. We all managed to walk the distance and we all pretty much enjoyed it. The kids, of course, fussed and cribbed at various points, especially on the first two days which were all uohill. If it had been up to me, I might have relented and allowed them to be carried. Amit, in typical military style, insisted that they were not really tired yet and in the end he was right. We kept them entertained with stories and they kept walking and when we finally reached around 3.30, they assured me they didn’t want to sleep and spent the rest of the day running around as if they hadn’t done anything extra that day. Nor did they seem to have any stiffness the next day. So in the end they managed the full 27 km uphill and 27 km back without any visible stress. On the last day of walking, we kept telling the kids that there would be a taxi waiting for us at the end of the walk, to take us to Purola, so they only had to walk to the taxi. The next day, we had to take a taxi to Dehradun and Mrini woke up in the morning and asked me matter-of-factly, “Do I have to walk to the taxi today?”

Kids adjust quickly for sure. They got only mild tummy upsets from the unfiltered water from streams, full of visible insoluble things. They got only mild runny noses from changes in weather that ranged from t-shirt temperature to snow on the ground and frost in the morning temperature. And apart from that, they tolerated a new venue each day, dank, dingy rooms, unsanitary indoor and exposed outdoor toilets, and various other departures from the norm with relative calm. They got tired and end-tethered every day around 7, but that’s hardly surprising, given everything. In short, they were champions and both of us were impressed by how well they did.

I did pretty well too, considering. As treks go, this was not a difficult one. For Amit, it was a walk in the park and even for me it was in no way challenging. But this was a good thing, because it meant I could focus on the kids and most of the time I had energy enough to spare. Only once or twice did I leave them entirely to Amit while I struggled with some difficult part of the route. But, though uphill was not difficult, my knees started to complain on the steep downhill stretches. Once, while holding Mrini’s hand on a particularly steep descent, I slipped and we both landed on the ground. Neither of us got hurt, but Mrini was understandably shaken (though later she could be heard bragging about it to Tara).

The rest of the time, I managed the walk without getting stuck anywhere. The uphill parts had me gasping, but that was to be expected. By day four, I had developed fluid retention and the familiar tightness and pain in the chest were back, but a single shot of Lasix took care of that. And yes, I survived on a gluten free, lactose free diet too. While the others stuffed themselves with puri and halwa and maggi and then snacked on chocolate chip biscuits to boot, I munched on peanuts and lunched on puffed rice. Breakfast was leftovers of the previous night’s dinner. The only thing I feasted on was onion pakoras on two occasions. By the time we got back I was ready to devour a kilo of nonveg and a litre each of ice cream and beer. And, a little over 48 hours after our return to the land of electricity and hot water, I’m well on my way to achieving those goals.

So that’s the short story. There is an unedited, unabridged version, but that’s in the shape of hand-scribbled notes which it will take me some time to transcribe (and decipher). Photos, hopefully, will be available sooner.

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8 Responses to …Aaaaaaaaand We’re Back!

  1. doug H says:

    Welcome home, Mika! Sounds like a great adventure for you and especially the kids.

    I’m a bit older than you, however, and find myself envious of your stamina. My ankles begin to lock up after a walk around the block.

  2. Supriya says:

    Just as I expected. The kids adapted well. But it is very impressive, nonetheless. Great kids. No doubt helped by some great parenting. Kudos. Awaiting details.

  3. Prakash says:

    Very impressive… great kids and of course credit goes to parents also…Welcome back!

  4. poupee97 says:

    Doug: 🙂

    Supriya, Prakash: The kids are way more impressive than the parents! I could never have done that at age four-and-a-half. I don’t think too much of the credit for their achievements is due to us either, but I’m happy to bask in the reflected glory anyway. 🙂

  5. Jiju says:

    I was expecting that they would do well and I told you so before you guys left… It does reflect on your parenting though you may not want to get the credits for it. They will grow up to face the world in the best and worst circumstances which I feel I have never given Ammini an opportunity to experience. I should take a lesson on two from your experiences. Kudos to Mrini, Tara and their parents!

  6. Sandhya says:

    Awesome! Was waiting to hear how it went. What a great adventure for the kids – particularly to tell others about it. Way to go, Mukherjees. (I wasn’t sure how to address your clan 🙂

  7. Anonymous says:

    Nice to see this blog. I am lucky to do the trek in the same time and watch the kids. I have couple of pics of your family in my album. https://plus.google.com/photos/103320959576867065645/albums/5602899654881204769/5602906663456476258?pid=5602906663456476258&oid=103320959576867065645

  8. Anonymous says:

    -Prasad Aruva, aruvap@yahoo.com

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