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Dudhsagar - The ultimate experience

22nd May 2014:
It was an ordinary day at office. Birds were chirping, colleagues were working, cars honking... Just another day at work… But then, the mails came…
Three mails from Ajita, Chaitanya and Deepthy simultaneously hit our inboxes. For few minutes, everything around me came to standstill…Birds, colleagues, cars froze…I took a deep breath and prepared myself for the race against time…I knew I had only few minutes to make it…
Then it was just me, Viru’s bank account and the BTC Form. Money was swiftly transferred, Transaction ID was copied and pasted, form was duly filled out, submit button was pressed… It showed “Thank you for registering, we will get back to you shortly”.
I breathed, birds chirped, colleagues worked, cars honked.
Few days later the list was out. Pappu paas ho gaya!!

15th August 2014:
On some days I feel extremely hyper and excited. It was one of those days. Reached station at around 7:45 even though our train was scheduled to depart at 9:15. But I was not the only one who felt this way. Within 15 minutes I spotted a familiar face- Sushmita. Few minutes later we went to platform 8 and met Viru (the one who doesn’t need an introduction), Sagar (the one who hates to carry tents) and Rajeev (the one who was nicknamed as ‘John Abraham’ by some).
Soon Ritu (The photographer, female category), Monisha (Rapunzel) and Yogi (The one who was on her last trek with BTC), etc. came and we boarded the train. The train reached Yeshwantpur in no time and the remaining BTCians joined us. I was delighted to meet some of the familiar faces like Umang (the selfie-addict), Vikram and betal, oh sorry, Srikanth (the bhookkars) and of course Ajita – Sayeesha (The lovebirds), among others.
There was too much excitement in the air. Ajita inaugurated the event by distributing sweets for Independence Day. It was followed by chips, chocolate and yummy aloo parathas. After few rounds of usual leg pulling and pushing we called it a day.

16th August 2014:
We woke up at around 6 am. The first question asked was ‘kaunsa sab se saaf hain re?’. The common replies were ‘S1 mein right wala/ S3 mein left wala’. After freshening up at our preferred bathrooms we waited for the train to reach Londa. The weather was perfect- cloudy and windy but not raining. The plan was to take another train to Castle Rock and start walking from there onwards. After a quick breakfast of idli-vada/vada pav we boarded the second train.
This 40 mins train journey was extremely entertaining. 90 percent of the fellow passengers seemed to be in high spirits. They were singing and whistling continuously. Athira (the one who had come all the way from Kerala) rightly commented that it was like a Mexican wave. Some random person started whistling and then it was passed on from compartment to compartment. It was spellbinding!
Soon we reached Castle Rock. Viru warned us that it’s very slippery and we should be careful while walking. I am sure Vikram didn’t take him seriously as we heard a ‘srrrrruuuuuuuuttt’ and he was on the floor. We tried to show concern for few seconds and then burst out laughing!
We were divided into two groups- Fast and Slow trekkers. The task of fast trekkers was to reach the camping spot as quickly as possible and pitch the tents as we were expecting it to very crowded. The Slow trekkers had the privilege of enjoying the walk and click countless photos but had to carry the tents on the second day (However, that never happened).
Jyothi (the one who had the heaviest bag), Kamlesh (the Go Green guy), Amar (the thepla guy), Shree (namesake), vikram-srikanth duo, Viru, Sayeesha and I were to walk fast. Being a fast trekker was challenging and fun at the same time. Your legs and shoulders start hurting after a point of time but then you get used to it. The best part was overtaking others. Whenever we saw a group of trekkers ahead of us, we were like ‘chalo chalo overtake karte hain’ and increased our speed.
The journey was beautiful. Cloudy sky above, lush green hills on right, tunnels and endless railway track in front, streams and jungle on left. However, if you get too carried away by nature, you would step of fresh human shit below!
After completing 3/4th of the journey, my shoulders started protesting. By this time, even the fast trekkers had dispersed into small groups. I have to mention that the guys were extremely helpful and willing to carry our bags too (Thanks, Vikram).
Anyway, we reached the camping spot soon and as expected, it was as crowded as a mela. However, since Viru and Srikanth had reached very early and already reserved spots for us, we managed to pitch all the tents successfully. We then went for a quick bath in one the nearby falls. The water pressure massaged our shoulders naturally. By the time we came back to camping spot, the slow trekkers had already arrived and the feast had begun. There was bread-nutella/jam/butter (God bless the person who had got nutella), thepla and achar, roti-tomato gojju, paranthas and what not.
Post lunch we applied volini like moisturizer and then the usual rounds of leg pulling and pushing started. Viru never missed an opportunity to make fun of my brand new (supposed-to-be) water-proof shoes (I think he was just jealous); Ruwise explained that he had named himself and that the meaning of his name changed as per his wish (during the trek it meant ‘the intelligent guy’); jokes were cracked one after other while Umang was busy taking selfies in front of dudhsagar.
Soon it was chai time followed by a grand photo session. Keshav (photographer, male category) made sure he captured us and the waterfall from every possible angle. We spent some time in front of the waterfall, waved at the passengers whenever a train passed by, munched on something or the other and of course, smiled
at the camera whenever we got a chance.
The plan was to play some game but as it started raining so we took shelter in our respective tents. Inside the tent we (Ajju, Monu and I) were transported into a different girly world. Sweet smell of rain, chocolates, torch light, and our cute little tent made us feel like teenagers and we talked and giggled about boys, love, life, marriage, hair, hair oil, umbrellas and what not. I don’t remember much after that.

17th August, 2014:
The first thing that caught my attention was countless people walking in the direction of tunnels carrying water bottles in hand for obvious reasons. Again a grand breakfast buffet was set. Apart from usual stuff, poha was added this time. We quickly packed our tents and bags. I happily passed our tent to Sagar who didn’t look so happy and kept cursing me till the end. (He is still scared of me btw).
We walked till Sonalium station where Sayeesha managed to strike a deal with the station master and 4-5 lucky people were allowed to board the goods train to reach Qulem. All the tents were also dumped. The only guy who was not allowed was Umang :P
After sonalium we took the forest route. It was such a relief. We enjoyed walking without the fear of stepping on you-know-what. Moreover we had to cross some streams which felt awesome. The singers suddenly became active and I could hear ‘yamma yamma’, ‘jeena yahan’ and other classic melodies.
After an hour or so we reached the chota dudhdagar! This was by far the best part of the trip. We went crazy. We splashed, dived, swam, sang, danced, slipped. It was one of those moments when you forget everything and just live. We lived…
In an hour or so we reached Qulem and were reunited with the ones who came by train (surprisingly Sagar had not lost our tent). Suddenly we felt famished and hogged on biriyani, chapattis, veg kolhapuri. The train journey from Qulem to londa was again a different and a rather scary experience. It reminded me of Mumbai locals. But thankfully we had got seats. Viru and I even managed to get a window seat and enjoyed the majestic dudhsagar one last time from the train.
After getting down at Londa, we had a situation. We could not find one tent. We searched everywhere including the train compartment, our bags but it was nowhere to be found. The train was on the verge of leaving and we panicked! But then, minutes before the train left, Amar dramatically appeared with the tent in one hand from the other compartment. We cheered and applauded for his heroic deed!
After feedback session at londa we boarded our train to Bangalore. And now my second favourite part of the trip (aftr chota dudhdagar) comes. After a lot of request and on public demand, Sayeesha agreed to narrate how he had propsed to Ajita!
Suddenly there was so much love in the air. Ajju was blushing a bit; Sayeesha went into every small detail regarding his mental condition, the ambience of the place, expression of bystanders etc. We listened to him with rapt attention. I was so touched by their lovely love story and so in love with their love for love, that I became really hyper and broke my specs!
Time flew and it was late. Most of us had to work next day so we decided to go to bed.

18th August:
Monday blues...

There are so many other stories, jokes, incidents which I wish I could write about…but my boss is getting a little suspicious as he caught me smiling on my own while writing…

So, that’s about it I guess. Each and every one of you, Thank you so so so much for making it memorable!

Written By      : Sreemoyee
Organized By  : Ajita & Virander
Date of event  : 16th Aug 2014
Place              : Dudhsagar, Goa
Pictures          : FB Page

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