Kushma 1/undefined by Tripoto


Vivek Khaitan
Since my childhood I traveled extensively to places with my parents. My father always carried his Camera, Lenses, Tripod to almost everywhere we go. So genetically the travel and the photographer bug was inside me. Four years back I was slapped with some false legal cases by my ex wife, I was totally shattered, exhausted and was left with no hope, I with intent started killing everything within me. But somewhere I was quiet sure that only travel can bounce me back to a positive life, but I was left with no inner strength to go out to travel.After my divorce in 2016, to revive me my mother bought me a NIKON DSLR with 2 separate lenses and insisted me to fulfill my fervor for Photography and Travel and live your dreams. It took almost 2 years of my divorce when I stepped out for my first Solo Trip to Pokhara & Kushma (Nepal).The idea of my first solo trip to Pokhara (Nepal) came immediately after watching a program on National Geographic channel about the World’s highest, longest bridges. The suspension bridge of Kushma in Dhaulagiri region of Nepal which is some 60 kms from Pokhara immediately created a flicker inside me and that was the first nail in the coffin for my trip !!!!I booked the train tickets to enter Nepal through Raxaul border (India) and did no pre-booking for my entire stay in Nepal. I thought to step out of my comfort zone by travelling alone & gain the confidence to discover myself again. THE TRIP STARTSI boarded the Mithila Express from Howrah to Raxaul (Bihar) and crossed the border to reach Birgunj (Nepal). This city is considered as the Gateway to Nepal. Birgunj is a busy & very crowded city but it plays a very significant role in the economy of Nepal due to its industries and its proximity with India.I boarded a Pokhara bound bus in the evening at 6:00 P.M. (Nepali time).The bus had “VOLVO’ & “FREE WI-FI” decals pasted all over but it was just a myth neither Volvo buses are imported into Nepal nor they have Wi-Fi connectivity in there public transports.While travelling in that so called Volvo bus for almost 12 hours, I managed a 2 hours sleep somehow. My co-passenger was a young boy from a village near Birgunj and was working as a daily wages labor at Pokhara, he was helpful and accommodating in nature, though apart from his mobile charger he was having nothing to offer me but he gave me a good lead to stay only near Lake side to enjoy Pokhara.Almost 5 hours into the journey, the bus stopped in a small hamlet called Ramnagar in the Chitwan district for dinner. Though it was February and at mid of the night with almost freezing temperature the small place was hustling and bustling with plentiful buses all making a pit stop for dinner. I could hear the Sound of Trishuli River flowing below while I enjoyed my hot Wai-Wai noodles and headed towards Pokhara to cover the balance stretch of the journey.At around 6:30 a.m the bus dropped me at Prithvi Chowk and the air was much crisp & chilled as it was a night before. I checked into a hotel near lake-side and was allotted a lake and mountain facing room. I discovered Pokhara is a paradise for Paragliding, so the nomad in me landed in the office of Pokhara Paragliding Pvt.Ltd.at lake side and despite it was cloudy I could not stop myself and booked a ticket for 30 mins. Tandem Flight, they transferred me to Sarangkot the take-off point approx.4500 ft. above sea level. All set to fly then the Fear Factor, Adrenaline rush, Butterflies everything started activating within me. A fear tried to pull me back but anything that gets your blood racing is worth doing, finally I was in the air like a bird hovering over the villages, terrace fields, the mountains, the lake, the car’s below, the air the view, the experience up there was so chaste that I would never want to go back to Kolkata again. The experience made me speechless.