A few days back I received a call from Sterling Resorts to be a part of their FAM trip at their Mussoorie property.
I was a bit unsure due to some reasons, still said yes because my mind said “Why Not” (On the trip saw Aanchal Jee wearing the same phrase ki Topi and sharing the pic here) and I have heard that it is one of the best hotels in Mussoorie.
Bas uske baad koi khaas communication nahi hui and I went on a trip to Namah Resorts, Jim Corbett which I had already planned.
Jab wapas aaya I asked them if the trip was still on and got the ANSWER YES and that we are leaving on Wednesday Night. Now this is not what I had bargained for. Somehow we had discussed dates and my mind was conditioned that it shall be on a weekend (Fri-Sat)
And that got me thinking. Do I want to leave my work and go on a weekday type trip covering 3 working days? I got to know it was a group of 20 people and I asked myself again, do I really want to go to this trip where I may not know many of them, or maybe none of them.
Chalo doosro ke baare mein zyada darra nahi mein as I have been to 2 more such trip pehle bhi, ek baar to Namah Resorts, Jim Corbett in 2016 and then to Chariot Beach Resort in Mahabalipuram in 2017.
Ab somehow commitment bhi dedi thi and I knew they had 20 more properties. So, if one works out well, it would open our doors to other properties as well. Yes, I was being Selfish.
So I told myself, Tikku, “No U Turn” and I thought to myself that the best time to visit Mussoorie is during summers from April – July and in August the Monsoon season starts. So from April- July the climate is pleasant and the can be the perfect getaway from Dilli ki Garmi.
Got to know that 4 Passengers on the trip were Friends already.
We had to leave on Wednesday Night and it was the same night jab my Favourite place in Delhi Unplugged Courtyard, Connaught Place was having a Relaunch party. Ab yeh miss nahi karna chhata tha. Thankfully got to know ki we have to leave at 9 pm and that too from CP. Tabiyat Khush ki chalo sorted, Jaaunga, Khaunga, Milunga and fir will reach Hanuman Mandir ke saamne to catch a bus. On the Whatsapp group I was keeping a tab on others’ movements and that helped me stay back at Unplugged for a 30 more minutes and that mean more of “Sust Soya Chaamp” and More Amristari Fish with my favourite drink “Sex on the Beach”
Bas ab mein nikal parra and reached the meeting spot to see 12 anjaane chehre. I extended my hand and introduced myself. Shor mein na unko mera naam sunai diya na mere ko unka.
Gagan Bhaiya had come to drop me and I asked him to also fetch my Goggles from the car.
Pata chala ki nahi hai! Haaaaaaw, aisa kaise hoga, Trip par bina goggles ke to mushkil hogi. Na Pic acchi aayegi, Dhoop bhi lagegi and Style bhi nahi hoga 😉
Koi na, vekhi jayegi.
Anyways, thori der mein 2 tempo Travellers came and hum teyarr ho gaye.
Ab agar aap soch rahe hoge ki why 2 Tempo Travellers and not 1 Volvo Bus, then jawab yeh hai ki, Mussoorie tak to roads mast and wide hai, par from Library Chowk to the resort its a narrow road and at most of the places only one Car can pass by. Wahaan Volvo to ghus hi na paati.
Arre, maine aapko bataya hi nahi that I have stayed in this property some 10 years back , so pata hai mere ko. Darr lagta tha Innova mein bhi raat ko wapas jaate hue.
People started putting the bags in the bus and maine bhi ek bus mein rakh diya.
Uske baad pata nahi kya dimag mein aaya ki mein doosri Bus mein baith gaya.
Ab aisa sa hi hu mein, I don’t mind changing my decisions if Dil tells me to do. And I was glad I did.
Aisa gang ban gaya apna mast uss Bus Mein ki we became Family of sorts. I named it “Bus No. 2”
Ek to waise hi yeh bus picche kharri thi and uppar se it was my second choice.
So uss bus mein the, Bhavya Monga jee, Priyanka Jee, Shreya Gaba jee, Aishwarya Gaba jee, Sonal Mahendru Jee, Sumita jee, Karan Sehgal Bhai, Aanchal Sawhney jee, Kriti jee and humari Ring master aka Trip Organiser aka PR Person Drishti Jee.
Ab sach bolu to thora uneasy tha, means for First 30 Mins. The average age of Bus excluding me was 24 and my presence had increased it by 3 years to 26 🙂
Abhi baithe hi the ki a paper sheet was handed out to fill in the basic details.
Bhavya jee ne bhara, Priyanka jee ne bhara and then she handed over to me. I told her my handwriting was Super Bad (I was being kind on myself, par mujhe superbad se next level ka nahi pata tha) and requested her to fill it. She obliged. Naam Likha, Address Likha, Phone Likha and asked my age.
I whispered Four Zero!
And she said, you look very young. Made me comfortable and achanak hi kuch paani ki boondein chehre par aa gayi. It had started drizzling outside or was it an indication ki “bacche, zyada soch mat, Chill Kar”
Itni der mein Aanchal jee ne apna JBL ka Handy Speaker nikal liya and mast Punjabi gaane shuru.
Accha, Normally I don’t do raat ka safar on road. Par bus hai to tension nahi and uppar se yehi socha tha ki araam se so jaunga. Sach kahu to Unplugged se ek extra Drink laga ke aaya tha ki neend araam se aaye. But did that happen?
You guessed it right, Nahi 🙂
Abhi bas an hour hi hua tha and we stopped at Deepak Restaurant in middle of nowhere for Loo break. Doosri bus waalo se yahaan Roshni mein mulaqat hui and we got to know unka driver was driving rashly.
Ab dono driver ke naam to maine chalne se pehle hi pooch liye the and I approached Mahender jee with a Smile and told him and thori gappe maari and told him subtly. “Mahender jee, Koi jaldi nahi hai humko, aadha ghantta late bhi ho jaayenge to koi baat nahi, bacche thore se uncomfortable hai”
He smiled and said “Dhyaan Rakhunga” and uske baad poore trip mein he drove perfectly. Itna perfectly, ki on our trip back somehow his bus had become Bus No. 2 and we enjoyed our trip back home with him.
Deepak Restaurants se chale and kuch aur gappe shuru hui, Kuch pehle Pyaar ki, to kuch usme aayi Daraar ki.
Pata hi nahi chala ki kab Bikano aa gaye for a Food break. Ab humko to bhookh nahi lagi thi, but Drivers had to have their fill of Food and Chai.
Pata chal ki ab Mahender jee, Gaari sahi chala rahe hai and fir kisi ne Bhutta Khaaya to Kisi ne Pi Chai, Kisi ne Ice Cream khai (Read Tikku ne) toh Kisi ne coffee ki chuksi lagayi.
Pata chala ki agli bus Waale, Bhoot, Chudail ki baat kar rahe hai and I thanked my stars ki I am not in that bus.
Haan yaar Darrpokk hu mein.
Ab gaari mast chal rahi thi and achanak hi the driver took an Extreme Left Turn as if koi banda apni Girl friend ke saath jaa raha ho and saamne uski X dikh jaaye.
Par in my mind it was serious deed to go off the Highway. Mera GPRS bhi dikkat de raha tha, some of the passengers were sleeping and now I was on super High alert, trying to pre-empt anything that may be wrong.
Khaali Sarak, no Lights, Single Lane, Kisi movie ka scene hi lag raha tha.
And uppar se concern ki dono bus mein 5 Males and 17 females thi.
Jo thora bahut sone ka plan tha woh bhi gaya.
I kept reading the boards of Places we were crossing. We were crossing Sheher ke andar se and poori sarrke khaali.
Poora scene Reminded me of the lyrics of a song of Movie Gulaal.
‘ek bakhat ki baat bataein, ek bakhat ki,
ja sheher hamaro so gayo tho rat gajab ki,
hai chahu aur sab aur disa se lali chahyi re,
jugni nache chunar oodhhe khoon nahayi re,”
Ab chainn ki saans lene laga tha ki ab shayad main Highway aa jayega and then I could see many trucks parked in the centre of road, Thankfully I could also see a train passing Perpendicularly to us. So samaj gaya ki Railway fatakk hai and train ja rahi hai toh 2 mins mein barrier khul jaayega. Waisa hi hua.
Somehow, It was not a good idea to take this kind of route, but confronting the driver at this hour at this place would have adverse effect, So I kept mum while some of the friends in the bus were dreaming of our Destination. The Beautiful Sterling resorts Nestled in a Hill, overlooking the Dehradun Valley and away from the Main city. I was on the Google Maps at all times and heaved a sigh of relief when we came back on the Main Highway at 4 am.
Now my mind was relaxed thora and pata nahi kab neend aa gayi.
Ab woh neend khulli jab ek zor ka jhatkka laga. We were crossing the beautiful Ghaatiyaan of Dehradun and the road was gaddedaar and one such gadda, got me back to reality after an hour of mast Ninni. So, the distance from Dehradun to Mussoorie is 34 kms (approx) that is just one and a half hour and ab manzil door nahe thi.
We were crossing the Paltan bazaar and Mast Rajpur Road, it would be around 5:15, Subah ka woh time jab na Andhera tha na Chandna, Jab Sab dukaanein band thi par one could see Morning Walkers taking their stroll under the still lit Street lights. Kuch Surreal sa lag raha tha sab.
Aas paas dekha to sab chehre khile hue the. I was seeing all of them first time in daylight. Dekh kar accha laga 🙂
Charrayi shuru hui and I prayed, ki bhagwaan kisi ki tabiyat kharaab na karna.
Mussoorie ki charrayi kuch alag hai, 40 Mins mein it rises from 437 feet to 2006 Feet and kayi jagah Hair Pin bends hai that is equivalent to U Turns on plains.
Nazare mast the and I was wishing ki Bhaiya yahaan rok denge to acchi pics aayengi. And that would be good for all Bloggers. Bas mann ki baat sun li Bhaiya ne and rok di gaari at a Picturesque spot.
We spent some 15 mins there and I knew yahaan par ek group Shot mast aayega and asked everyone to Huddle up. Dekho hai na yeh Pic kamaal 🙂
Bas fir nikal parre and Reached Library Chowk in a few minutes.
Ok let me tell you. Mussoorie ki mall road has 2 ends. One is Library Chowk Jahaan Gandhi jee ka Statue bhi laga hai. It’s called Library Chowk because of an old Library that was built around 1850.
The Other side is called Picture Palace. Mussoorie was a hill station and just 1 hour drive from Dehradun that also houses the prestigious Indian Military Academy. It’s said that People Serving in Services often used to come to Mussoorie for Entertainment and a huge Temporary Screen was set up there for them to watch movies and hence the name Picture Palace.
So our hotel was on Library Side and wahaan se a Maze of Patli galis take us to the Resort.
Somehow the driver took a wrong turn. I had been there before so knew ki SAHI raasta kaunsa hai and started guiding them. I was extra cautious to not take a narrow road as sometimes those roads end at a dead-end and wahaan se Bus ka wapas murrna mushkil ho jaata.
And while playing this cautious game I took one wrong cut. I knew I have taken a wrong turn and now have to rely on Passersby.
Logo ne jahaan bola waise chalte gaye, Jaan sookhi hi thi as risky to tha hi area uppar se it was me who had taken charge so gaaliyaan bhi mujhe parrengi.
And then road ek dum se steep ho gayi and very narrow too.
Tabhi I saw a board reading Sterling Resort – 1.5 Km
Bas jaan mein jaan aayi and it was not long before I could see a slew of Beige Buildings with green Roof all over a hill. Samajh gaya aa gaye and maine Mann mein WaheGuru bola and let my Body and mind relax for a few minutes before I de-boarded the bus that was carrying us for past 8 hours.
To be Continued……