Kanchenjunga Expedition- Ruminations in Tapleyjung (Day 12 and 13)

1September-2004-(Another day in Tapleyjung )

Carom and chess was a favorite pastime of the youth in Tapleyjung most of them unemployed.

Everyone is now upto their neck with Tapleyjung. The OR’s especially because they are not allowed to move around much. They cannot go to the market by themselves. Only the two Colonels and Major Chauhan can go without any repercussions. Today too we are stranded here due to bad weather. I will go in the other two sorties if the weather remains good uptil 2 noon.

This cute little girl went around with this rather chubby baby in her arms. I reckon he must be at least half her weight already.

Taprez, Amitabh’s assistant is here and it gets a bit crowded in the bed. I really doubt if he can make it to the Base Camp without any trouble. Besides his lack of stamina, he has sinus which I guess aggravates in the cold. He speaks with an unusual and unnecessary force and enthusiasm. But behind all his bluster I detect a restlessness and a desire to impress. This makes him very pedantic. Whatever he says has some fixed facts which I suspect are all his own. There are sweeping generalisations in his conversations. It dosent help that he is a traditional muslim observing all the dictates of Koran religiously incuding not eathing Jatkha meat, not drinking and many other such things I don’t know yet. All our camera equipment has come including the 24mm lens and the 300 rolls. I really think Amitabh has got more rolls than we will ever require.

The local video shop.

2 September

Ever since we arrived in Tapleyjung we have not been able to see the mountains beyond. Only once did the sunlight stream in through the fog and mist but only for just a few minutes. For the rest of the time it has been rain, slow drizzle and heavy rain.
Ever since the helicopter landed in Tapleyjung on 31 August, we have been planning to go to Ramchey . Gary who is on the first sortie has been packing up his rucksack and running the one kilometre distance to the helipad every morning at five. At about eight or nine he is back as the helicopter wont budge in this weather.

Gary the avid mountaineer and cameraman whom i wanted to beat in the badminton game. He was camera shy so you wont find many pics of his in this blog.

We have also had at least two dozes of high altitude medicine. Doctor Upadhaya is wise as he did not give them to us yesterday and the day before. I cannot do any reading either as my books are in the bag packed in the helicopter. What I do most and enjoy doing is play badminton. I have improved my game but so have the others. The only person I can thrash convincingly is Taprez but that is not saying much about my prowess.  Gary is the kind of guy I’d like to beat. Whenever the weather is clear we all pick up the racket and play. It is our favourite pastime. We also fool around quite a bit when the  OR’s challenge Sounta to have tea in a tea stall across the road where a girl sits. Sounta is big and burly but very shy but we all provoke him a lot. At last Ashik tells him he’d give him 100 rs. Saunta gets up all charged with promise and goes. He returns after a while only to admonitions from Mahinder the JCO.

2 Responses to “Kanchenjunga Expedition- Ruminations in Tapleyjung (Day 12 and 13)”

  1. pankaj anand says:

    300 Rolls !!! i thing it was more than enough 😛 but who cares.. more the maria 😛 .. BTW which camera,lens and rolls did you use there ?

    • sanjay austa says:

      300 rolls for 2 months Pankaj. That time we had no memory cards to save and delete pics. I was using Nikon F- 80, Nikon f-90x, Nikon F-100 cameras. Lences- 600mm manual lens. 50mm Nikkor, and few mid- range zooms. As for rolls – I was primarily using slides. Velvia, etc.

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