Sathkhol (Or Satkhol?)


Log 1, Day 2 (12/10/2016, Wednesday)

So, well, my autumn break started like, a week ago, or somewhat closer to that time period. The main plan for these holidays was to visit the Himalayan Heartspot called Sathkhol—or Satkhol, I’m really not sure which is the correct spelling. Either way, the pronunciation remains the same.

Alright, back to topic. The first few days of my holidays were spent traveling and visiting the alleged “Queen of Hill Stations,” Mussoorie. Here’s another thing that used—used to, no longer does—confuse me, the different spellings of this hill station and the American state of Missouri. I got pretty clear on this, though. Okay, you must be thinking how I manage to drift from one topic to another this fast, and consequently never manage to remain on the initial train of discussion that I started out with.

Okay, okay. Right back again, and this time staying on track. Now, Mussoorie is not as “Queensy” as they claim her to be. It’s rather unimpressive…

And thus, I will not be elaborating anymore on the two or three days that I spent there, instead I’ll be moving on to my time in Sathkhol/Satkhol.

Moving on, Satkhol, “the opening to truth,” is pretty. Today, 12-10-2016, is my second day here. It’s 11:31am and not even half the day has passed by. Either time’s moving excruciatingly slowly, or I’m a bit too bored to be able to enjoy. Yeah, that might just be it. You see, we—my sister and I—did some voluntary work (Shramdan in Hindi), had some tea and our breakfast, sunbathed, trekked down to the gardens and someplace outside the Heartspot boundaries through the road not taken—Robert Frost, LOL—also plucked bright-orange fruits that we couldn’t recognize, returned to the kitchen-dining area to cut the fruits up, found out that while they looked like tomatoes on the outside, they had chickoo seeds on the inside, then had some more tea, got tired from all the treading through damp, mossy, un-metaled pathway snaking through mountainous vegetation and bramble… And now, we have nothing left to do, ‘cept laze around and that really isn’t our style.

This is my fourth visitation to Satkhol. All the prior visits were fun-filled and exciting and time flew on by with such speed… However, this one, on the other hand, is the ultimate boredom experienced by us.

I mean, the weather is nice, the flora and fauna are still beautiful, but the things to do and the people are simply U-G-H. Cue The Neighbourhood’s song #Icanteven.

It’s only 11:46am now, hardly any time’s passed as of yet… And I’m bored of writing this log as well. So, gonna wrap it by writing a few more things.

I am sitting on a table in front of the canteen, I don’t even know why it’s called a canteen when its functionality lasts only an hour (or less) per day. The people who were here before me were idiots, devoid of any consideration for the planet that’s sustaining their very existence, without any knowledge of the Swachh Bharat Abhigyan, or of the rules that said “leave the Heartspot clean for you found it clean”—they freakin’ dropped three empty packets (non-biodegradable material) on the floor when there’s a trashcan just two feet away… How much dumber can people actually get?

Blurgh… *dies*

*is revived* *screams in frustration* *dies again*

I’m done. Gotta go, walk around, see what’s there and what’s not. Will be back for Log 2.

Log 2, Day 2

It’s 9:01pm. Nighttime is here, took her long enough to arrive. But, she’s here finally, and that’s what matters at the moment. Another day gone by, thank lords. That leaves about three more days until we reach the ultimate day of our visit and are out on our way back. Honestly, I’d rather have spent my Puja (autumn) holidays in Kharagpur, enjoying the ten days away from the hectic college life just relaxing with my mother, sister, and nipaipai (nipaipai meaning beloved in a language that my little sister and I invented just ‘cause we could) Kuku.We could’ve gone biking around the campus, had puchhka at Tech Market, gone to the Puja gathering at the Tech Club in KaziNazrul Community Center.

Well, it didn’t happen and no use pining about it right now, when I’m miles away from home in the hills, and I know I should enjoy the present and so, that will be what I’m going to be doing tomorrow.

For now, let me just concentrate on today, because this Log is for today.

After that little rant inLog 1, my sister and I went trekking with four other people from a town in UP called Etawah. We followed the trail along to the walnut orchard, stippled in places by the patches of chili, spinach, marigold, and shilly-shallies. We collected some pines, some native fruits whose name we don’t know—but we’re certain of its edibility because we asked the natives about that. We spoke to the natives—the Kumounis—about other things too, like, their language, where they come from, what they do for a living (cut grass, maid-service, selling milk from their cows and goats, and apples from the three or four trees growing in their plot), and parallel topics.

We returned at around 3:30pm, went straight down to the kitchen to volunteer help in chopping vegetables for dinner. I gotta write it down here, I have become quite a pro at this job, especially if I have that large meat-cutting knife. I go chop-chop-choppity-chop! And really fast too, all without cutting myself. I find that activity very, very, very enjoyable. I’m planning on volunteering for it every day, like a scheduled thing for the next four spells of twenty-four hours that remain. Then, when I return to the hostel, I’ll put up one hell of a show for the sandwich veggies we cut every evening. I’ll be titled “The Demonic Dissector,” or “The Cutthroat Cyborg,” or “The Knife-wielder of Kharagpur,” or “The Lacerating Legend,” and other totally badass, macabre names!

I could say that I enjoyed a little today. Quite the contrary to how I’d assumed I’d be utilizing the time.

Miraculously, I’ve also decided to be more productive and make substantial progress on my novels…

Resolutions that weren’t made on New Year’s…

I do not know how much value and validity they hold…

Am really too tired to care right now…

My laptop’s tired too, like, just imagine its battery running out as its diminishing energy and increasing exhaustion…

Good night. 10:00pm.


Log 1, Day 3 (13/10/2016, Thursday)

It is 11:30am, I woke up at 7:00am and toweled myself clean. I wanna take a shower though, and I think I might just do that. In a few moments. Fresh for some time, while I cannot wait to go back and take a proper shower… Well, just waiting for my sister to come out of the washroom so that I can in after and do my cleaning works. How about I go in see, like, now and finish off with her itself?

Yeah, that might be a good idea.


Log 2, Day 3

It’s been almost eight hours since I made my last Log… I do not know how that much time passed without me getting bored and turning to my laptop for engagement. My sister is staring at me creepily, very creepily. It’s a deliberate attempt at distracting me, and tell you what, it’s working. She just came over to my bedside and read the whole thing, now the acts of unnerving me is even more deliberate than ever. She’s crazy, just like me, just like mommy. We’re a bunch of crazies; even Kuku is, he just shows it a lot less than we do… Get me?

Okay, so, moving away from my creepy sister and going back to whatever I was talking about or was supposed to talk about earlier. Now, how exactly did I manage to cut by eight whole hours and proceed on to this time of the day, 8:38pm, without planning of or talking of killing someone out of sheer boredom?

Of course, the main part of our routine today consisted of trekking. We went trekking with some kids of the massive Etawahan clan that has also come to enjoy Satkhol. Turns out, besides being extremely annoying, they can also be extremely funny sometimes. Today, the funny character was predominant for some unknown reason. My sister found out that they had nicknamed us Blackies and Mowgli and Gundi (villain in Hindi). Oh well, not like we didn’t nickname them. We totally did, it that would be too inappropriate to put down here.

Bello hello bello bello!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

^That was my sister. Suddenly down to my keyboard to type whatever comes to her mind, which I believe, right now is the devil’s workshop!

Okay, back on track again.

Where was I?

Right, we made Etawahan friends. Or just… Acquaintances…. I’m not really sure.

Tellytelly bunkum box.

^The BFG ref. Again, courtesy, mah sis. Dork!

Oh ohooooh!

We went off trail again and found the dirt road that can be seen from the dining foyer of our Heartspot. We saw people on white shirts and black pants there in the morning, before breakfast, and then after lunch, we ourselves went there, reached that place by simply walking up and higher up the wild, brambly, rocky, rough side of the mountain. We saw a small stream further down. How pretty it looked… We really wanted to go down there, however, we’d stupidly taken the responsibility of a rather small child, whose causalities might’ve brought the parents’ machetes down upon our necks. You guessed it, we didn’t go, only marveled at its existence from our vantage point.

I think that’s all…

Good night.



Log 1, Day 4 (14/10/2016, Friday)

4:45pm. Didn’t write earlier because I didn’t want to. I am feeling lazy. Gonna show my sister a movie or something.

No… #Icanteven!



Log 1, Day 5 (15/10/2016, Saturday)

After lazing through most of yesterday, I am back today to write a properLog.

Okay. Soooo… Yeah, well, I woke up at 7:30am, after getting a butt-smack wake-up call from my mum for not having paid heed to my alarm which went off at 6:30am, and for rolling over and going back to sleep every time my sister called for me to awaken.

Right now, it is 10;13am, and my sister and I are sitting in the dining foyer, taking in a mountainous, green, beautiful vista, surrounded by birdsongs and the distant sounds of the natives going about their daily house chores, their hill-dogs and Sherpa-mutts barking and frolicking around.

I am hungry and am constantly thinking about the breakfast we’d had in the morning…

Fast forwarding to the moments after breakfast, whence mom, sister, and I went down to the Heartspot gardens and took pictures in the greenhouses. Mommy took my support for scaling the treacherous slopes and it was kinda scary. Mum’s navicular fracture is an attention seeking abomination and perfectly conforms to the line made by Peter van Houten (more John Green than PvH), “pain demands to be felt.”

Regardless, once mother sets her mind to something, she accomplishes it. And thus, we went to the gardens, took lots of pictures, came back up the sheer, uneven stone pathway. By then, mum was exhausted, yet above that, she was happy.

Today is the penultimate day of our stay at Satkhol, and while everyone is making one hell of a misery fest, I cannot wait to be back in college and working to be at the top of my class. I still stick to my initial opinion that I’d be having more fun if we’d all stayed back in Kharagpur. Nevertheless, mum wanted a break from her workplace and hence, here we are. Mummy had fun, so well, I had fun too, and that’s all that matters.

While every other abhyasi is out visiting the BabujiNilayam (a small residential complex just west of the Heartspot), we returned early and are enjoying the quiet, serene, people-less atmosphere just to ourselves. Getting a much needed alone time here… The annoying, noisy, nosey, absolutely enraging children aren’t here and it’s so unbelieveablyperfct that I wish they all get lost on their way back to the Heartspot… Yeah, that would be even more perfect.

Oh, and you guys will not believe the variety of mosses that grow on the sides of almost every organic surface. Their beautiful, like spongy grasses, and in such vibrant shades of green. I took tons of pictures. And had tons of fun.