The Acclimatization

Thanks to having Jay guide us for the trip who has been to Leh several times we knew one thing, acclimatization was important to conditions of this high altitude and air that has a little less oxygen than the plains. However, its quite easy to be a little over confident and think and say nothing affects me. Well, for the first day we had planned to do nothing but to sleep and soak the cold in, sip in as much hot liquids and take it easy and just be happy that we reached Leh. So on day 1 whilst I caught up with a bit of the 3rd Test largely we stayed put in Siala Guesthouse the place where we were booked. In the evening we took a small stroll to Leh Market and fed ourselves some momo’s and thukpa to end the day on a content note! 😀 😀

The second day we had a group of another 4 people joining us, unlike us, they came a day late not giving enough importance to acclimatization, as fate would have it, one of the 4 fell sick, eventually they departed in another 2 days and could not enjoy their trip. I myself on the third night had an urge to leave the trip midway and actually head back. So my advice to all those who read this is, do not take the acclimatization bit lightly. People ask you to acclimatize in summers as well, this was peak winter. Oxygen is low in summers as well and in winters I assume it must be even lower because in the 11 days that I was there I did not see one green leaf!!!!! Yes, all trees are bone dry and no leaves are there in such a vast area at such an altitude no wonder the oxygen levels are low. You pant and pant and pant more. So take my advice, give your body a little time to acclimatize to the conditions and you will be able to enjoy the place like you should be doing.

Let me also tell you that we usually walked from 8.30 in the morning to 4.30 in the evening whilst in The Hemis National Park and climbed altitudes of about 2000-3000 feet every day with our base being almost 12000 feet and I did it without any Diamox or any other medicine. I am not a regular trekker or supremely fit and I could do it all just because I allowed my body to acclimatize. Just heed to the advice that Ladakhi’s or more experienced people of this terrain give you and you will not suffer or else the conditions could take you down. This is not to scare anyone but to inform about the care one needs to take.

I guess I have been enough of smart alec for the day, the next day we saw India save the 3rd Test Match whilst sipping lots of green tea and butter tea and that perked up to move about. We set out for Shanti Stupa and also managed to find a punjabi restaurant Neha Snacks that served really warm delicious Punjabi fare in a tiny place that seemed to attract a lot of visitors! With full bellies and slowly but surely getting used to the pace of life in Leh we were setting ourselves up for Rumbak in The Hemis National Park. We were to start early next morning and so we called off the day 2 early.

Here are a few pictures of around Leh and from Shanti Stupa! 🙂

A balcony to die for!!! I cannot imagine what wonderful views this balcony could give the year round! :) :)

A balcony to die for!!! I cannot imagine what wonderful views this balcony could give the year round! 🙂 🙂

At Shanti Stupa with Stok Kangri behind and a friendly dog who didn't leave us alone!

At Shanti Stupa with Stok Kangri behind and a friendly dog who didn’t leave us alone!

Shanti Stupa

Shanti Stupa

The architecture around Leh had us photo mongers hooked!

The architecture around Leh had us photo mongers hooked!

The dry Poplar tree's around Leh actually were also proving to be quite photographable! :)

The dry Poplar tree’s around Leh actually were also proving to be quite photographable! 🙂

Leh panaromic picture from Shanti Stupa

Leh panaromic picture from Shanti Stupa

Me enjoying the third India Vs Australia Test Match early morning! :D

Me enjoying the third India Vs Australia Test Match early morning! 😀

The things that helped us survive on the first two days!

The things that helped us survive on the first two days!

All 8 of us all set to leave for Rumbak in Hemis National Park on day 3!

All 8 of us all set to leave for Rumbak in Hemis National Park on day 3!

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teaser yet again…

Yes, thats what is on the cards, another humdinger, another free stress test for all cricket fans awaits. Cant wait for the clock to turn 9.30.

Tantalisingly poised is the second test in Bengaluru, I just hope we wrap up the first 3 wickets as soon as possible and another great chase gets on the way.

There is something very peculair about 4th innings chase. Even a score of 150 to get in the 4th innings has proved dicey and tricky for one and all. The beauty of Test cricket is such. It is very important for the fans to realise that 4th innings are not easy, not only does the pitch have wider cracks, foot marks and variable bounce more than anything its immense pressure on the players who have been stressing it out since 4 continous days in the sun. The hardwork of 4 days hinges on the last day.

As we just saw, how Marcus North found after his first innings century tha the second innings was completely different. The ball he recieved would have dismissed many a left hander as Harbhajan just showed that he can still be as deadly as he once was. As much as Sachin & Vijay toiled for their double hundred & hundred respectively, they will have to do it again. It counts for nothing in the 4th innings. The opening stand will be crucial, early wickets can make people panic and this time we have no VVS. We have two newbies in Raina and Pujara which puts more importance on a good opening stand.

Australia already has 185 on the board and they will try their best to post over 200 for us to chase. A few early wickets and it will be really tricky from there. Sehwag can be the game breaker, if he can bat for about 30 overs, its game over… Lets not speculate too much and just let the match start.

India and Australia as Test opponents simply are the best that I have come across in Test Matches in the era that I have watched. The desperation between the two teams to win is unbelievable and the amount of excitement that these two opponents have created in the last 15 years has been awesome. Another riveting finale awaits… and I am like a cat on a hot tin roof !!!!!

office will have to be bunked today… someway or the other… !!!! Sigh….

O’ Sachin…

An encore once again, thats what we, the Indian cricket fans, want… tomorrow is another one of those days when millions of Indians will again put their entire weight on your shoulders… We have been proud of how you have carried us. Every sport and sportsman has his ups and downs, but you have given us more high’s than any one ever could give… on a depressing day, your flick through midwicket puts a smile on our faces, your smile after you pick a wicket with a googly can make us forget any problem, and yes there will be some fickle ones who, if you fail, tomorrow that is… well lets not mind them…

You have grown over it, and we are proud, atleast I am that you represent us, you never crib, you never tire, you never age, you keep on doing what you do best, play for your Beloved INDIA ! You will be supported by the team, who knows someone else may steal the thunder tomorrow… whether we win or lose, I must say this now, you have won our hearts long ago, you are our pride, whether or not you manage to take us over the line tomorrow.

I will never forget, the day in Karachi, when confronted with a bouncer in the face, you, with a bleeding nose, you all of 16 decided to say, “Paaji Main Khelega”, nor will I ever forget the reply to Abdul Qadir’s, “Bacche ko kya maar rahe ho, hume maar ke dikhao”. Memories you have given us are innumerable… Yes, we all wept with you when you wept uncontrollably, as we didnt manage to reach victory in Chennai against Pakistan, when more than the opposition it was the back spasms who got the better of you and a most spectacular effort could not bring victory to you Beloved INDIA !

I will always remember your ravishing square cuts in Perth, your desert storm in Sharjah, your swipes in Chennai against Warnie from the rough over midwicket, your blistering innings in Cape Town when you made the Proteas attack look like a club side, your blitz at the Centurion against Pakistan in the world cup or your double against the Aussies in the ODI’s or your stellar effort on the last day in Chennai against the Pommies in 2008 to win us the match. The list cannot be completely listed, your contributions are immeasurable

and yet, we require, no, we demand, another herculean task, from your timid frame that has mighty shoulders… There were times, when they said, Sachin goes, India goes… then times changed slightly, when you had more support, but then again we find ourselves in a peculair situation… Yet another challenge, for the GOD of cricket…

Sachin, tomorrow is another date with destiny, however, you are and always will remain one of the greatest and the most humblest of servants of Indian cricket… I will be holding my nerves, breathing and gasping with you as you complete each run tomorrow… Each moment tomorrow will be captivating, tense, adrenalin pumping for us, where you, no matter how many butterflies in your stomach, will be the calming influence…

Oh yes, this is a prayer, this is my love, my tribute, my salutation to you O’great Champion…

I will be watching you all the time, chewing my nails, as you wont be able to with your gloves on… its 161 still to go and I am gonna be counting each one with you… !

AMEN !!

a few random thoughts this morning

Its 1st… !! aaj pehli taarkih hai… and India plays Australia… and I really want to bunk office… !!!!!!!!! Seriously !!!!!!

Also learnt yesterday, that Mandir-Masjid no longer sell, no matter how hard the news makers want to sell it… it doesnt ANYMORE !! Thankfully so !!!! Phew…

Also do you know, no matter how ghisa-pita a story, if you package it well, it sells… Dont know why, but I just loved watching, Once upon a time in Mumbai… I absolutely thought it was a wonderful watch, though nothing new…

and yes… before I decide to go to office or bunk and stay home…

Alvdia Doston… Duaaa… mein Yaad Rakhna !!!!!!!