Friday, June 16, 2017

Chp 665. Aizawl to Lengpui Airport alternate route

With the incessant rain causing havoc at my dear home sweet home Mizoram, landslides and floods seem to be everywhere. But despite these bad tidings, our Mizo spirit and kindred remain strong. And with yesterday being YMA Day, folks everywhere are out in full force helping the needy and victims left with no homes. To make matters even more heartwarming, our people smile and joke, trying to make light of the situation. Our Mizo humor can indeed help us pull through any grief or pain.

Since yesterday, my Facebook timeline is filled with people asking if the road from Aizawl to Lengpui Airport is clear or not. And there may even be more landslides in the coming days, so it is quite likely that people who have a flight today or the next few days may miss their flights if you go by the main Aizawl-Lengpui road via RV and Phunchawng.

So here is an alternate route you can take instead if the road to Lengpui Airport is blocked.

Instead of going towards Lengpui from Chanmari West or Vaivakawn, head towards Bawngkawn. Take the right towards Zemabawk and from the fork at World Bank road, take the left towards Tuirial. Yeah that's right, go towards Tuirial.

Maybe stop for a few minutes at Tuirial and think of all the good times and memories you had when you could easily land at Tuirial airport on a rickety old Vayudoot plane, or those few nights you spent at Tuirial jail due to a drunken brawl… whichever rocks your boat.

Once you complete reminiscing about the past, continue with your journey. You may face some landslides this side too, though there haven't been such reports yet. Anyhoo, if you do happen to be caught in the middle of a landslide, don't be this guy.

Currently he is Mizoram's most famous face :D The driver who posed for a selfie while a landslide was just occurring amidst his passengers shouting and urging him to drive away quickly. Luckily, nobody was injured and only the vehicles got totaled, so, yeah what could have been a disastrous outcome ended up being quite funny.

If you're fortunate enough not to face any landslides or roadblocks on your journey, keep going towards Champhai, passing through the idyllic towns of Ruallung, Dulte, Kawlkulh, Khawzawl etc.

Soon you'll see Champhai in your sight.

From here if you want, you can drive up to Kelkang and pray for those affected by nature's wrath. While praying at Kelkang, if you don't reach an epiphany, then remind yourself you're way beyond redemption so just continue with your journey. Go to Zokhawthar.

Cross the India-Burma check gate at Zokhawthar. Welcome to Myanmar.

Once you're inside Burmese territory, proceed towards Rih dil and skinny dip into the biggest lake in Mizoram that lies in Burma.

Once you are refreshed and rejuvenated, drive directly to Mandalay, the second biggest city in Myanmar.

Why Mandalay and not the more famous Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon? Well because the former capital Yangon is too damn close to the Thai border. From there it would be quite hard to resist the temptation to go to Thailand, book a sleazy motel room in Bangkok or Pattaya and never feel like leaving the country again. Hellooo, your aim is to reach Lengpui Airport as quick as possible, not to boom boom at some ping pong bars with hotties you're not sure their gender is.

From Mandalay, drive all the way to Hong Kong.

Don't ever get into an argument with the locals or tourists about whether Hong Kong citizens or Mainland citizens are better. If you happen to be caught in the middle of such a discussion, just politely tell them you don't speak Cantonese or Mandarin, which you most probably don't anyway. And then run like hell to the airport and take a flight to Los Angeles.

From here, things are a little bit easier. You can fly all the way to New York from LA, just make sure you don't take a United flight if you don't want to be politely bumped off the plane, and keep a look out for passengers trying to join the Mile High club, incidents like that are quite frequent these days.

You can also drive all the way to New York…

Or take the train…

Hell you can even walk all the way to New York from LA. 

I mean, they have the greatest airlines, the greatest roadways, the greatest rail tracks, the transport sector is YUGE, they have the best people with the best words travelling by air, road and railways, and yet some people are walking? Sad. Must be fake news.

Once in New York, grab a quick cup of covfefe and a flight ticket to Heathrow on the other side of the pond. American politics is too confusing right now so it's best to leave as fast as possible.

At Heathrow, convince the confused officials that you are an Indian citizen. Take a direct flight to Delhi. At Delhi, convince the confused officials that you are an Indian citizen.

From Delhi, it's just a matter of hours to fly to Imphal via Guwahati via Kolkata.

From Imphal, go by road and at Silchar, don't take the NH-306 (formerly known as NH-54) because that will take you through Vairengte and Kolasib, hence leading you to the same blocked road near Lengpui again, making your whole process of travelling around the globe futile. Instead, continue taking the NH-37 till you reach Tripura, and from there take the NH-108 and enter Mizoram at Kanhmun.

After that it is a straight drive and you'll finally reach Lengpui Airport. In case you haven't missed your flight yet, you can now travel peacefully to Kolkata or any other destination at your own sweet leisure.

Hope this guide was helpful. Feel free to leave your comments.

Cheers y'all.


Ps. In case you are still reading, this post was written in jest, but the situation back home is indeed grim. My friend Tanushree Hazarika along with her organization Eclectic Magazine have started a Ketto Fundraiser for the victims of flood in Mizoram. This is a link to their fund page, kindly do visit and donate whatever you can, as our small state is usually ignored by the central government and mainstream media, so you, my dear friend, is our last hope and you'll play a huge role in rebuilding the lives and broken dreams of people in Mizoram. I too have donated a small amount and I hope to see your name in the list of donors :) Hugs.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Chp 664. Weekend Getaway from Pune

Place: Dreamlandd Resortt

Location: 60 km from Pune, around 2 hrs by car via Mulshi Dam.

Duration: Saturday 1 PM to Sunday 11 AM

Package: Accommodation (4 rooms 4 people each) + Swimming pool + lunch + evening snacks + dinner + next day's breakfast. The food is all complete veg so if you want non-veg, you'll have to buy it separately on the way and they'll prepare it for you.

Cost per head: INR 2200/-

Occasion : Just to take a break from hectic office life

If you live in the corporate world, slogging your ass from 9 in the morning till 10 in the night every day including the weekends now and then, you will definitely appreciate a good break with your colleagues! Recently, my friends from office planned a weekend outing together, and it was one of the most refreshing breaks I’ve ever had in a long time.

The place we went to is called "Dreamlandd Resortt". Why the double "d" and "t"? Probably because the name "Dreamland Resort" was already taken, or maybe it was just to be stylish and different :)

Now just to be clear, I am not promoting this place. Infact there are better resorts than this place (which we're planning to visit soon) but when we decided to book a place back then, it was the only decent one available.

That's the thing about prominent weekend getaways - You have to book way in advance otherwise you won't get a vacancy.

So we all woke up early on Saturday and proceeded to our rendezvous point.

I was in Sumeet's car, downing a cold pint to kick start the road-trip.

We all met up at Bhugaon and waited for everybody to reach, where we bought eggs, paneer and chicken (as I mentioned earlier, the resort serves complimentary food, but they are all simple veg dish). We also bought chilled beers and other poisons for the destination :)

Later on the way, some of us who hadn't had breakfast yet stopped at one of Pune's most famous and iconic vada pav joints - Rohit Wadewale. The misal pav I had was super yummmmm.

We went in five cars and two bikes. Two of the cars were Premier Padminis so that was pretty cool. We waited to group at the junction that would take us up to Mulshi Dam.

This point is quite easy to miss, so for those of you planning a trip to Dreamlandd Resortt or even to visit Mulshi Dam for that matter, there's this restaurant called "JP's Food Court" on your left. Exit from the Mulshi-Paud road opposite this restaurant and take the small road on the right, which is the Lonavala Aamby Valley road.

From here, it's another 10 KM to reach Dreamlandd Resortt. But the ride will take a bit longer than before because the road is narrow and unmetalled here and there. Below is us crossing the Mula river, one of the distributaries of Mulshi Dam.

And finally, we reached! Yayyy welcome puppy.

The place was extremely secluded. No other resorts or houses in sight, it was like a complete barren island. Peaceful indeed. No vehicles in sight, no sound of horns honking, just nature emitting its natural sound across the valley.

The caretaker had already prepared lunch for us, and so we got down to eating immediately. Like I said earlier, it was all veg but the gravies and side dishes were very tasty.

Once we all had our fill, we headed to our rooms and took a short rest.

As it was very hot in the afternoon, some of us lazily played cards under the shade, waiting for our stomachs to digest the awesome lunch we just had.

Three people bought their DSLRs, and so, a lot of random abstract photos were taken :D

Once the food was digested, we all rushed in to the swimming pool! Woooohoooooo…. It was still very hot around the swimming pool, but once inside the water, it was freaking awesome.

Wanna see something awesome? Check out this video below :D

When I posted the above video on Facebook, all the comments people wrote were about the amount of pee I must be drinking! Let me bring you in on a little secret - I was just acting. :D I wasn't drinking any beer or water or piss water for that matter, because of the very fact that it is impossible to drink anything underwater without having a drowning like sensation! Try holding your breath under water and drink something, you won't be able to do it, unless you want to drown, lolz.

So yeah, that's the actual story behind the video above :)

We also had a lot of fun with Sumeet's GoPro which we kept tossing to each other inside the pool while it recorded everything above and under the water. Unfortunately, the video sizes are very large so I'm not putting them up on this post.

Soon the sun was about to set… the view from the swimming pool was wonderful.

Here is one last video of me jiving inside the pool to Biebs with the sunset in the background… The sound system at the poolside was really good too.

If only I had glow-sticks :P

They even have a rain-dance section next to the pool with water sprays and jets from below and above. It would be awesome to have a large rave party or something like that at that spot. The pool was closed after sunset and we all headed back to our cabins to change. After that, it was time to bring out the booze!

For music, we weren't allowed to use the music system at the poolside but we had our own Bluetooth speaker. The only problem was, we overlooked one very important point. DO NOT make the same mistake we made. As you may know, such resorts do not have good cellphone reception as they are situated way on the outskirt. The good news about that is you won't be disturbed. But the bad news is, these days, most of us do not store music in our mobile phones anymore. We just listen to everything online - YouTube playlist, Spotify, Pandora etc. Hence, that night, we kept listening to the same 10-15 songs that people had stored in their phones over and over again because none of us had reception, lolz.

Anyway, music wasn't a big concern as we had a lot of fun playing different drinking games and "truth or dare" challenges. Some of us even played with the laser and tried drawing pictures which were captured by the DSLRs on low shutter speed.

I tried lighting a cigarette with the laser but apparently, it didn't work. :P

The caretaker continuously served us kebaabs and non-veg starters. After we had quite enough of the alcohol, we headed up to have dinner. The chicken dish they made was super dillu!

After that we all headed back to our cabins and slept.


The next morning's scenery was truly breathtaking.

Breakfast was made and it was the traditional poha. Maharashtrians truly love their pohas :)

Such hangover faces… :D

While some people played cricket at the side, others just watched them play, dazed and droopy.

Soon it was time to pack and leave.

We took a group photo together as we headed out to the parking area. Man, that was truly an awesome experience. Apart from having so much fun as a team, it was also a good way to bond with one's colleagues.

On the way back, we stopped near Mulshi Dam to admire the view. Mannn the scenery was sooo stunningly beautiful. We ended up taking a lot of photos at this location. You really must stop by at this place too if you happen to visit Mulshi Dam.

After our dramatic group jump, we headed to Basho's for lunch.

For those of you who haven't been to Basho's, it is this popular resort right on the banks of Mulshi Dam. Their restaurant and hookah bar also overlook the dam, giving it a very breathtaking and majestic view.

We placed our orders quickly. A lot of us drank nimbu paani because of the hangover, lolz.

And with that, our awesome weekend outing came to an end, as we all headed back towards Pune to our respective homes, looking forward to the upcoming Monday office because we were all so rejuvenated and refreshed! Yeah that is what the corporate life is all about baby :)

Cheers for now.