It was payback time to nature for me! 14 kms of downhill from Phalut to Gorkhey, which was going to be a picturesque, post card view of a place waiting for us at the end of the day. So there we started all geared up, though the day had not started exactly clear. This time it was Sandhya aunty, Lavi, Geetha aunty and me taking the lead. The best part of the journey was that it was total greenery and slopes downhill, forest and unseen birds – you get the general feel.
As the day became brighter, it was photography time. I went on shooting at every beautiful thing around me. There was this one specific bird. We named it the “Kuwi – Kuhu” bird. No one knows how it looks like, we were just hearing the sound it made. Lavi made a nearly good imitation of the sound / tune and it gave back an answer… and thus this “kuwi… kuwi kuwi kuwi kuhu….” conversation continued – and I got a beautiful video of this dialogue!
We walked the entire day through a jungle route – marshy and slippery due to rains, lush greenery. We all were very prepared for the rains, donning our rain gear when we started, but guess what! It never rained that day!! Lavi and me went on singing Karadi tales songs (we ran out of situation songs by then) 😛 We had sword fight… technically walking-stick-posing-for-a-photo fight. And one quick statement that would make her speed up her pace was, “I think I hear human noise nearby”.
It was Pemba in the lead and he used to walk ahead of us after marking our way. Marking here means drawing an arrow mark with the walking stick on mud indicating exactly which route to take. He would do that and vanish along a tougher shortcut. We walked all the 14 kms and came to this sign board “Gorkhey 2 mins” – Norbu was there waiting to show us the way.
From there it was around 20 mins (they should have missed a 0 on the board) of walk into the valley through beautiful corn field pathways. And there lay the village in the middle, surrounded by mountains on all sides, one side a gushing stream, a bridge on top, hens running amuk, well you can imagine. It was a typical postcard place and we were all secretly thinking if we could come back and settle there after retirement! Just one flaw, my batteries had drained out by then – I did not take a second pair, and my sister kept clicking an hour before that. And right when you needed it, my camera was not functional. However, the first view of Gorkhey is still fresh in my memory.
It was a recently built lodge and we got settled in groups of 3. The rest of the group – Nishanth, EB, Rohan, Tejasvi, Snigdha Swapna and Jyothi aunty came back an hour later. They had been playing this game on the way and we continued later that evening. We called it “Brain – Teasers”. Let me give you a hint of the game below:
1. Rich boy throws cash. He goes to a Muslim village where priest calls him “infidel”. He answers back that he is not infidel. What did he say? – Fidel Cash throw
2. There is a rat called Ann. How does her friend’s say bye to her? – Rat ann Tata
3. A mom teaches the kid how to light fire. She says “if you add more oil, there will be more fire”. What does she say? – Naraya enna More thee
4. A couple goes for hunting Condo for a long lease. They find one and go into it and find a bowl of rice. Describe the situation. – Condo lease-ah Rice
Lol, well that took us nearly all day, after which we played dumb c in mobile flashlight and candle light sitting amidst nature (and leeches), the smell of cardamom brandy overpowering. Well, as the game advanced, the couple in the next cottage came out to watch us. The girl wanted to join us, and we were anyways not equally numbered. So she joined my opponent team and played exceptionally well. She turned out to be none other than the foreigner who walked past me on day 3, in case you remember. One awesome couple we got acquainted with.
We had to cut short our game in order to go and have dinner, and the couple joined us for the meal. It was very entertaining, with us trying to introduce each other (though most of us knew the others 3 days before). We learnt that they Deborah and Adam) were teachers in Korea and got engaged recently.
The only sad thing that happened on that day was the children asking money. Well Gorkhey being a village has few families staying there. Children go around talking to the visitors, and we all love children, right? Yes, agreed. And we would not mind giving them anything like money or chocolates and the likes just because of their innocence. Agreed, again. But that does not mean they can go around asking for money from tourists. I did NOT entertain that, because it ends up in begging, and the kids would not mind doing the same even after they grow up. They need to learn that. I felt so bad to say no to them, and it took all my self control to not entertain this. All that said, please don’t let kids beg! Point made.
The last thing I remember about that day is that we had another dog out there following us. I named it “Compass” and I shall tell you in the next blog, why.
– Until next,