From a distance, I just saw blue colour and it’s as if the blue land had merged with the sky which was my first view of the great Pangong Lake. Pangong means high grassland lake. The locals see this as a holy lake which was sent down from the heavens by the Gods. That’s it, my first view of its breath-taking beauty and I was hooked. I took out my power lens and started clicking through my Canon camera. One shot after the other, I could not keep the camera down, I was that hooked.
I must have taken over a hundred shots of the lake from every conceivable angle. The blue sky, brown dusty mountains and the lake with hues of blue all merging and emerging together. It was a dance of light and colour that I had never experienced before. Then I caught a glimpse of a white dove which flew over me. Instantly, I started taking pictures. It was amazing as the dove is also the symbol of my travelthon. A symbol of freedom, peace and the will to reach great heights. It was as if the Gods were cheering me on. It was a heaven-sent omen to tell me that I was on the right track.
As I was busy with my camera, I was approached by an army man in uniform. This is, after all, the front I realised of a battle and the man said to me rather sternly but friendly “Hi, I am Captain Sandeep Singh of the Indian Army and you are not allowed to take photographs of the helipad and army camps. Can I see your camera? We will have to remove some of your pictures.”
I looked at him and shook his hand “I am Anuj Tikku and I am a Bollywood actor from Bombay.” Immediately the captain’s suspicion turned into a deep set grin. “Yes, yes, I thought I had seen you somewhere “tum waha hotey to gaand phat ke haath mein aah jaati”. You were the guy in the plane with Rani Mukherjee.” I smiled and said yup, that was I.