As I boarded the plane to Bhadrapur airport, I was just relaxed and excited to start the holiday. But at the back of the mind, I knew that it would be impossible to keep in touch with AS via chat. The flight was not long and it was still afternoon when we touched down at Bhadrapur airport.
Our guide/driver was there to pick us up and it was going to be another couple of hours in a car before we crossed Nepal India border. He was going to be with us for the next 10 days throughout our trip in India and Nepal. We planned it that way so that we wouldn’t have to travel in public transportation and we would know we are safe with him.
I asked the guide if they have prepaid sim cards with data plans that I can buy easily. He told me that prepaid sim are easy to get but data is very expensive and the speed may not be very good. I decided to get the sim anyway and send AS a message with my new number.
That day we reached Darjeeling late at night. All of us were very tired after a long flight and the ride after so went to bed early. I was watching TV while my parents were asleep and my mobile rang. I was surprised and picked up thinking that it was our guide but it was AS. I was happy to hear his voice and glad he called. He had just woke up and decided to call me before he went to work. He told me that he was just checking the number so he could send me messages later. We talk very briefly and hung up. I went to bed after that.
The next day was fully planned with sightseeing in Darjeeling so we got up early. As I woke up and checked my mobile, I had a message from AS.
It said, “Good morning. Enjoy your day and have lots of fun. Will call you later.” It was a nice way to wake up in the morning. We had breakfast at the hotel and went out to see the beautiful Darjeeling.
For me Darjeeling was meant to be the clean, green and beautiful place but was a bit disappointed to see so many people and so much pollution. But I have learnt travelling to so many places not to be disappointed from any place but to do and see as much as possible.
So we visited the Peace Pagoda. The place was not only peaceful as the name suggested but beautiful, clean, elegant and impressive.
We spent some time there and then went to Bhutia Busty Gompa Monastery. From there went to a temple nearby and then visited Darjeeling Toy Train museum.By then it was afternoon so we had lunch and after lunch went to ride the famous Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.
We took the Joy Ride which was a 2 hour ride starting from Darjeeling Railway station, stopping for 10 min in Baptesy Loop and then going to Ghoom station. There it stopped for 20 minutes where you can visit the small Museum and then the train comes back to Darjeeling Station. The coaches were very old. It was a novelty and was interesting.
By the time we were back, the sun has set so we met our guide at the train station and went for dinner. I was having great time with my parents and my parents were enjoying the trip as well. As we were going to view the sunrise at Tiger Hill the next morning, all of decided to go to bed early and were back at the hotel by 7.30pm. As I was about to get ready to sleep, my phone rang.
It was AS who had just woken up. Because of time difference I was not expecting much communication with him but it was nice of him to call. We had our normal chat for a while. I am not even sure what we talked about after that but he was talking to me while getting ready for work and having breakfast. And then I was still on the phone when he went to work. Only when he was at his office, we hung up. I didn’t realise at the time that I was on the phone with him for over an hour.
After I hung up, my mum asked me who I was talking to and I just told her that it was AS. She didn’t ask me anything more so I went to bed.
Next morning, I was up again at 4 am to watch the sunrise. It was really cold but we had our quick breakfast and hopped into the car to go to Tiger Hill for the amazing sunrise. It was worth the wait when the sun finally rose and the sky turned orange. The view was astounding and as the sun rose, the mountains became visible and their colour changed from red to orange to yellow.
After sunrise when we were going to the tea garden, AS called me again. We had a short talk as he was going to bed. I wished him good night and we hung up. The tea garden was really nice and we had a great time in Darjeeling for next few days doing all the touristic things.
My parents and I enjoyed every moment we spend together.
I was wondering at that point if AS meant anything more than friendship but again the same thought kicked in that there is no way AS would think of me as more than a friend and I would look silly if I thought anything else as well.
From Darjeeling, we went to Sikkim. I really liked Sikkim as it reminded me a lot of Kathmandu. Even though we were in India, I didn’t feel like I was outside Nepal while we were in Darjeeling and Sikkim as everyone there spoke Nepali and we didn’t have any language problem.
Every time AS called, I would tell him our plan for the day and he would update me about his flight ticket issue. Then we would talk for hours about anything and everything. One of the topics we always talked about was marriage and finding a suitable partner. As my parents kept bringing that topic up every now and then, I needed someone to talk about it and AS was perfect as he was in the same boat as me.
I am sure he must have spent lots of money during that period as an overseas call doesn’t come cheap. From time to time I would tell him not to call so often but I loved his calls too. I have to admit, all the talks and texts had made us very close. I really liked him and was so glad I had someone to talk to.
One evening when AS was on the phone, I was telling him about our plan to go to Lake Tsongmo or Changu Lake, a glacial lake in the East Sikkim, some 40 kilometers (25 mi) away from Gangtok at altitude of 3,780 m (12,400 ft). We were having bit of trouble getting a permit to go there as it is China – India border crossing. Everyone had told us that it was a beautiful place so we really were looking forward to going there.
As we were talking, the topic changed from my trip to our school days. We were laughing remembering silly things we did in school and how it was so much fun going hiking and going to libraries. There were so much of memories from those days.
It was very early morning for AS so he was just walking in a park near his place. He was describing me how the sun had just started to rise and how beautiful it looked. He was really into the moment and describing very thing he could see and taking me there with him. I was lying on the bed after dinner as it was evening for me. When I closed my eye, I could imagine everything he was describing. I can’t remember how long we had been talking for but it was the first time, he said the words that stopped my heart. I really couldn’t believe what I heard.
He said, “M, I love you. “ 🙂 🙂 🙂
I will continue soon so do come back. Till then take care.
M from nepaliaustralian
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