It was most probably the middle of month july….around 1600hrs a phone call came to me..asking is this cadet soham from 3rd year?I replied “yes..sir!” The person on the other side was none other than the adjutant of our squadron, our beloved OP sir! “Mountaineering jana hai??”
For a while I became spellbound! What I have just heard, is it true? I have always waited for such a journey to experience! I have always craved for, what an adventure feels like. I said “yes sir! I have been waiting for this since april when the notification came in our squadron that there is 1 sd cadet vacancy!” Sir asked “do you have any other commitments? Like you know the course will commence on mid of September and will continue for 1month..so you won’t be enjoying your puja vacations!!!” For a while I was like “haddd hai yaar!!”….It seemed like an electric pole fell over my head..I asked him “but sir….Durga puja is our insignia festival!!”How would I live outside kolkata during that time without those lights,dhaker awaj,biriyani and all.It became one of the most confusing moment of my life.
On one hand I have never lived outside kolkata during puja days…..on the other hand I didn’t want to let that opportunity go!! Sir said, “listen Soham, being a ncc cadet….u need to get out of your comfort zone and I would rather say if you want to become an officer…you must get out of your comfort zone! You have no other option left because we only have one vacancy reserved for ncc in a year…though several courses are conducted every year!
“Ok sir! I am calling you within 2minutes.”
I called within 2minutes and said “Ok sir! I am ready!!”
“Ok then. Taiyyari shuru karo fir!”
But the main story was still left to be written! Everything was going well and in a proper planned way. I bought the gears which were needed for trek. But the main challenge came to me while filling up the medical form of HMI as well as NCC. For any mountaineering course you are opting for, it takes a hell lot of documentation, that u just can’t imagine. And the most critical part is getting certified by a medical practitioner that u are fit. So when I went to him he put the wind up by saying “tumi to jetei parbe na tomar to hypertension hyeche!!!”(u can’t go because u have got hypertension!!)….I asked “are u serious sir?”….He said “Yes! Check it by your own!!”…omg!!
My pressure was showing 130/90 which was supposed to be 120/80 for a 20yrs old boy and it may be low but in no case it should cross the normal range!! I broke apart!!Everything inside me…..my dreams shattered! And that makondo byata added by saying “babu tumi na, tension ta ektu kom koro!!nahole tomake kintu kom boyeshei pressure er osudh khawa shuru korte hbe!!!” And I was feeling like if I don’t leave this place right now, I would definitely break his skull!!areh k vai!!!voye paiyye abar bolche tension koro na!! typical dickhead he was!!
He added by saying “ok. Do one thing. U come again tomorrow I will check again.” As usual next day I went, he suddenly charged me by saying “areh!!eto kichu fill up korte hbe??tumi eta age boloni kno? Ami ki govt clerk lagi naki je eto kichu boshe fill up korbo ekhn!! Tumi jao giye onno kono doctor jar kache kom vir hoye tar kache koriye nio!!” I said “dr babu ami Jodi course ta successfully sesh kore aste pari tahole apnar babar biye dekhabo!!mone rakhben.” He said “ei!!mind your tongue!!” I didn’t argue further with that crap and left the chamber. With the last hope I had, I went to our locality’s aged doctor, Dr. Sudip Roy.
who turned out to be very courteous to me and helped me gain confidence during that unrest! As well as I was already passing through a ‘mujhse na ho payega’ phase that time.
However after checking my bp he triggered me by saying “areh!!kichhu hyni tomar!±10 thekei thake!!That wont create any such problem in high altitude!you are fit dear!you can summit a peak!”…So finally I cleared that obstacle round and at the same time realized that, that day either the crappy doctor was drunk or his spyghmomanometer was malfunctioning along with his brain.
You know in this world there are good people as well as bad people too! You just have to get to them at right time! Finally my journey to hmi Darjeeling was confirmed!! Oops!! I forgot!! There was till a war left for me to fight and that war was a cold war between me and my parents. War has already begun since my confirmation letter came to my house via post. Now it was the time to convince those two corona viruses who have grown me up saying ‘eta corona,ota corona,ekhane jeona,ote hat dio na,oder sathe berio na,smoke corona,drink corona……corona corona and this corona life kept on moving for long 20yrs..and I also kept on moving and finally grown up with a beard..
In a summarized way I belong from a typical ‘machhe-vaate’ Bengali family. After confirmation came to me, I never dared to say that I will be going alone till Darjeeling. Because if ma would get to know it by any means, I would be staying inside my room for the next 1month in QUARANTINE. What I did was, I always said “ma I am going in a military truck all the way long to Darjeeling alongwith 18 other cadets who will join me in the course as batchmates.” Anyhow I was able to manage here but the main mischief occurred on the very day of 13th September, 2019 when I went to my unit to collect the train tickets. What happened is that one of our PI staff sgt monojit dey sir asked “soham everything ok?” I broke in laughter and said “yes sir!! Everything’s going well as planned!”
Sir also started laughing because sir also have anticipated that how my parents would react if they come to know the truth! Because sir have also faced the same situation while joining IAF as an airman, being belonging from a typical ‘machhe-vaate’ bengali family! At night while leaving home I got caught in red hands! Thank god that it was baba!! Baba to me- “Cho toke station chhere diye ashi!! Eka etto vari rucksack niye ki kore jabi sealdah? Pagol naki? ar achha…ekta kotha…tor na truck a jawar kotha chilo??
truck theke train?? ki byapar ta ki!?” basssss!!!CBI interrogation started and only 1hr left for Darjeeling mail to depart. I said baba “areh ekhanei shob discuss korbe naki station e niye jabe?cholo ami jete jete shob bolchi.” Because my main objective at that time was to get vanished any how in front of my mom’s eyes!Lol!!
After that when I boarded down from bike and baba entered the platform of sealdah station….baba to me- “ki re!!tor shei 18jon cadet bondhuder ki khobor?train to chharte ar kichukkhon baki!!ghumiye porlo naki??”….I said “baba dhop diyechilam! Nahle ma ticket cancel koriye ditto.” Baba’s reaction was like he was having heart attack for next 30seconds and the next conversation was no short of adrenaline..Baba literally went to ‘bhole baba par karega’ phase. He turned out to be ultracazz….saying “ tui to bishal khela khelli?!eetttoo sheyana kbe hoye geli!!!eito 1999 shal a holi……jai hok thle tor ma k ami ar janachhi na ei ek week!”…..
Baba literally rocked that day!!! I laughed for continuously 5-6 minutes after that incident. So I boarded the train and departed for NJP. Next day the train was as usual late by 3 hrs. I reached there and after coming out of station got stuck in heavy rain…but luckily got a sumo where only 1seat was left. The sumo left and while on journey I made wonderful friends from barrackpore and also learnt french a bit because in the sumo we met a French couple who were also travelling to ghoom.