Via Darjeeling ;)

 Whew..What a month it has been. I’ve finally got a new cell phone for myself – Moto Rokr E6 . Regular reader(s) would know that I’m not the splurger, but I decided to get this for three reasons:-

  1. The no 4 dial does not work, I had to hit it with a jackhammer every time to get it to work. And frankly, you don’t get the 4” x 2” jackhammer now-a-days in your local hardware store. I guess customers just found a better way.
  2. The guy in my office who hierarchically is 2 levels below me hinted that I replace the ‘cover’ of the    phone..Then in a flash whipped out his N 73 and showed me where we were eating in his GPRS map application. The map also showed a dog under the table that I couldn’t see otherwise.
  3. I had the sinking feeling that I was going to be deported to some other God-forsaken in Bengal and might as well capture the images of the same

So after much research and reviews, I finally got my new phone. But I had to sell off my beloved sony ericsson k510i to them..I asked the nice people what they would do with it, but the store manager whispered in my ear that the process is too painful for attached old phone I let it go. Not before Atul took the final departing pics..

TIll a new phone do us apart..fond memories..

I was to head to siliguri for my next fmcg stint and turned out to be quite an interesting place (atleast according to wikipedia. Yes, I wiki everything!). It connects China, Nepal, Bangladesh and Even Bhutan if you take the right turns ! And since its such an economically well connected place, you can buy anything from electronic gizmos to Nike shoes. I got a Kingston pen drive (32 GB) for 400 /-..yes, GB.

Darjeeling beckoned my assistance ASAP and since there was no one else, I was the man deputised to go tame the flames. Well, actully in case of darjeeling, its more like clearing the fog. The sumo trip from siliguri to darjeeling was amazing and is even better when your top of the car taking pics 🙂

Taking Pics from the top of the car!

Darjeeling..what a beauty!

Buddhist Temple in Darjeeling

With Tibetan Refugees..cute kids!

At 9 am in the dealer point after the business talk, the store boy offered us a round of tea, which instinctively I refused (given the horror stories I’ve heard about the water used and more than 121^5 ways you can die in FMCG)- saying ‘Chai nehi chahiye ji’ . Little did I know that it was the authentic darjeeling tea that the world (well the stuck up brits atleast) crave for. I then saw a chain of events that unfolded right in front of my eyes.

1.The Gorka Land protestors stopped chanting slogans of freeing their land and tuned to look at me. They had a pretty catchy tune, but that’s not really relevant now.

 2. The old venerable dealer nearly had a stroke and was about to fall off his stool

 3. My manager who came with me had a look of incredulity and awkwardness on his face and tried his best to signal to the others that he did not know why he came along with me in the first place

 4. I stared at all of them stupidly.

Then the bulb finally lit up and I tried to cover up my big faux pas by actually having 2 cups and tried to make desperate small talk on how the aroma is intoxicating and the colour is something that Da vinci would like to have had on his canvas. I actually thought it was a bit too thick and might have been made from a billy goat that I saw a mile back on the road. I let that thought disseminate in my head.

Talking of tea, we entered a joint called Nathuals (named possibly after the pass connecting china and sikkim?) which had a motley of Tea samples. I pretended to be a connoisseur and sniffed the sample jars to select some to send back home and decided on the Ruby Coral . The dukaandaar after giving me a quick double take seeing me in my rag-tag-100 rupee -jeans-from-palika-bazzar & politely informed me that a kg of the same would set me back by Rs 6,000. I realized that maybe my folks would understand if I get something a little less fancy.

Ruby Coral Tea…most expensive tea in India..6000 rs a kg!

The hotel that I stayed had a very unique name- Hotel seven seventeen. My curiosity got the better of me and I asked the receptionist why is it named so? Apparently the 2 brothers who started this joint, 1 was born on the 7th & the other on 17th of the same month. I probed further asking him was it the younger one on 7th/17th? I guess most of the tourists stopped with why. He was stumped and promised me that he would find out and let me know. It became his #1 Agenda for the week.

I was quickly escorted to the Royal Suite which among other amenities had its own private movie video screening room, a library with the latest English paperbacks, a view of entire Darjeeling and the Kanchenjunga. Every room here is built for tourists so you the room is the bomb.

Kanchenjunga..from my hotel room!..

Hotel Suite..built for luxury!

I don’t think anyone would have even thought of reading a book from the library given the numerous other activities that are possible ;P Wanted to have some authentic local food and a plate of hot sizzling cheese Tibetan momo’s did the trick..simply delicious!

Tibetan Cheese MoMo’s..Yum!

Went to a Tibetian Refugee Center and also saw a couple of very well designed Buddhist Temples, followed by a very popular tourist spot- Rock Gardens. True to its name, It had a lot of rocks and flowers of all colours growing next to them. The main attraction is a stream that flows apparently from the Himalayas (We would have like to believe that)..had a plate of Y-Y noodles , (akin to maggi, more spicer and u can eat it raw with the onion paste and masala that comes along bundled). Ive bought like 5 packs of them and smuggled it across the border into siliguri..this stuff rocks! We were planning to see the sunrise from Tiger Hills but the fog was so thick at 4 am, forget seeing the sun, putting your pants on itself would have been a challenge!

At Rock Gardens…fresh air for once!

That ends my sojourn at Darjeeling….  next stop..Gangtok !!











14 Responses to “Via Darjeeling ;)”

  1. el bast****….wot life man…luxury!!!!
    do u wrk also?

  2. Chinese Singhal Says:

    I am not sure if any company in this galaxy (superset of all planets) will sponsor the honeymoon alike trip of an employee in such a scenic beautiful place. No doubt, Raghav has visited best of the best tourist spots… but, did he really deserved !!!! I am not saying about the trip to these places, but about the deputation from the company for the work to such places which are next-door to heaven…

  3. Finally the sucker has changed his mobile phone 🙂 … well seems like ITC is bringing out the best in u or maybe its because of West Bengal, ‘aamar Bangal’…

    Seems like ur darjeeling trip was great fun and u r ready for ur new adventure to gangtok. Make sure that u visit Chhangu Lake dude… and we all will be waiting to hear about ur gangtok adventure.
    Have Fun

  4. very interesting.This young man sees things differently.
    lookforward for more blogs….keep it up


  5. Exciting times dude!! Please visit all these places so that I know what to expect when I head there

  6. Nice Blogs
    The kolkata experience has definitely taken u places dude. Now u use fork instead of ur hands & sometimes elbows(when the sambar is dripping down there) for having ur food.
    for general info: I am being made to write this comment so that i can get a kingston pen drive at 400 bucks 🙂

  7. The STUD from ITC !!! Its amazing how he manages to learn anything and everything there is to learn and then capture these amazing photographs, write blogs and then come back to the branch and bamboozle the bosses with his fundae and concepts !! Truly Remarkable !!

    Dont get fooled by his blog and snaps .. He did work !! His laptop contains the market data of the north east with stunning details and accuracy !! It is rumored that he even knows a salesman’s pet dog’s name !!

    Raghav the STUD !!

  8. You bloody loafer, why is the company paying for all of this? :D.
    Great post.

  9. Boss… You rock!!

  10. This is my first visit to your blog.

    This piece was very interesting and informative for guys like me who have never been to Darjeeling.

    Especially, the information about Ruby Coral Tea, the Tibetian food, the hotel…

  11. kadaparai's periyaparai Says:

    I am officially jealous of you, kuttiparai :p

  12. Raghav…

    great posts ya…your humour comes out well…and lovely life!!!

  13. Mannn.. i can only say… M Jealous… bt i can also say…

    May god keep u in bengal forever .. hi ha ha

  14. Hey I loved the information you provided…but i needed some help regarding the same which i can’t place here..can i get ur contact info..if not here’s mine +91 9890336846..thanks in advance buddy..hope to hear from u soon..

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