January 18, 2021

A scary travel story -Sindhu Sharath


This is the story of our trip to Sikkim which can never go out of our memory. We took a direct flight from Bangalore to Bagdogra and reached Gangtok in a taxi. It was a beautiful journey.

The gigantic Himalayan mountains on both sides and the beautiful Teesta river gorgeously flowing in the valley. It was nature that was picturesque. We reached the hotel by late evening.

Later we had a good dinner and retired for the day. Next morning we were off on a city tour. Gangtok is a beautiful city with options galore for tourists. Cable car ride, copter ride, amusement park for kids; everything went beautifully. Subsequently the next morning our tour guide informed us that the itinerary for the day is Yumthang valley for which we will be required to travel to a remote village spend the night there and leave the far off destination, back to the valley next morning.

So we left in a cab and the journey was good 7 hours. The journey seemed long and there were many heavy vehicles from the other side on the road. It was then that we felt that our car shook a little. We just thought it must be because of the heavy vehicles going past us and continued with our journey. After a while we reached a small place on the narrow hilly roads.

The tour guide had arranged for or lunch in the hotel and we saw that the staff members were hovering around the TV set. We grew curious and went to see what’s so interesting on the television. We came to know by the news channels that there was a major earthquake in Nepal and what we felt in the car was the effect of the quakes.

The experts were continuously informing that there would be multiple earthquakes and this was just the beginning. The entire north east India was going to experience the quakes.

Soon we got to know later in the day that Delhi, Kolkatta, everywhere earthquakes were being experienced by people. We didn’t know what to do. We started getting calls from family members back in cities. We were literally in some kind of remote destination. We continued our journey and reached the village. It was very cold out there. Instead of enjoying anything in the holiday spot we were bombarded with news flashing on TV sets that earthquakes were going to repeat that night.

A remote chilly village with no room heaters, no phone signals and the anticipation of earthquake scares. We really didn’t know how we passed the time during the night. My stomach churned when I saw my two little daughters.

I had tears in my eyes when my daughter asked innocently, “Mommy, are we going to die?”

Me and my husband just prayed to God and hugged our daughters’ all night. Then there was this other group of people who had come. They approached us and played antakshari all night. I wondered if they were having a good time as they projected or were they masking their fear?

Thankfully the ordeal ended and we were back soon to our home city in the earliest possible time. A trip I will remember forever.

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