The dream marriage was finally over as we two over-enthusiastic very much in love, the young couple set off for a honeymoon in Nepal. Honeymooners as everyone teased us, hubby dearest had planned the itinerary and it had 5 cities, namely Kathmandu, Pokhran, Chitwan, Daman and Nagarkot. Dreamy-eyed me, hands full of the traditional red bangles, dressed in jackets and stylish headgear, I trusted my swashbuckling handsome man completely.
We reached Kathmandu and were swept away to an amazing hotel where the highlight was the casino where my lucky streak showed up as coins dropped clanking from the slot machine but hubby darling kept pushing them all down black holes from where they conveniently disappeared. Literally seeing most of our money disappear, I pulled him out of the magical world, knowing fully well he had the potential to get lost in these lights.
The streets were lined with amazing supermarkets and with the intention of buying some protection, much needed by a newly married, youthful, high energetic couple, we entered the place but quickly got diverted to the overflowing stands of imported chocolates and cookies which seemed more tempting. Gorging on these goodies while plonked on the comfortable bed, I fell asleep, resting on hubby’s shoulders and poor darling, he didn’t move an inch and sat up all night so I could sleep peacefully. Romance and excitement evaded the energetic man who flaunted a stiff neck instead of the marks he was hoping for next morning. As we set off on the looong drive to Chitwan, he slept literally snoring to oblivion while I fumed with anger as to how he could be so insensitive to leave me so bored.
Chitwan the jungle resort is set in the middle of dense forests, unapproachable by road as we crossed the river on a wooden raft, scary, without the luxury of electricity and we got taken to a wooden log cabin with two separate single beds. Life and not romance not on my mind, I made it clear we were sleeping on the same bed even if it meant squeezing ourselves half in size. Squeezing meant cuddling but before we could move any further, load roaring which sounded pretty much like a lion continued through the night as fear ensured I feel no throes of passion till finally 4:30 in the morning we set out to encounter rhinos, bears as we sat atop an elephant! A pregnant crocodile brutally mauled by a tiger lay dead with all its eggs thrown out. A sight which terrified me but excited darling hubby. But the fun was bathing the elephants which became a memory of a lifetime.
Another crazy 7-hour drive took us to Daman, set at a high altitude from where you can see the Everest in all its glory. We reached hungry and thirsty by 6:30 pm, the weather had reached to minus 4 degrees, the first in my life and we could see water frozen on the ground. Whisked to our warm room, we were asked to settle in and all I could think of was a warm soup and tempting starter. Room service, not available hurt like a stinging slap and by now snuggled under blankets, two heaters set up and hot water bags doing their job, I was no way going out for a mere thing like eating. Going to the washroom seemed like a mammoth task which I put off till my bladder refused to sustain any longer. A single news channel played on TV all night as we prayed and wished the night to pass.
FYI, we are talking of a time when mobile and internet were a distant dream and apart from cuddling up, there was no other way to pass the night. Getting the clothes off for anything more, impossible. Romance could wait but I wasn’t going to get my toes frozen off!!!
The view of the Mount Everest in the morning was no doubt a treat as we set off towards Nagarkot. The only place which went off without any incident and we behaved like honeymoon tourists with PDA and pictures. Pokhran next on our list was a fairy tale resort, set close to a river, where we cycled like teenagers and knowing my love for cold coffee, hubby took me to Narula’s, the popular Delhi chain who proudly made their presence felt there. The beautiful beverage appeared on the counter, frothing with creamy bubbles as I lusted for the familiar taste while it came towards me and unable to contain my excitement, I gulped quickly and my lips curled, it’s tasting weird!! The friendly attendant informed us it was specially made from Yak’s milk, the staple on Nepal which had me trying my best to keep it down my tummy as it started swirling around like butterflies, hubby dearest praying I didn’t throw up or fall sick!!
The 30 minute flight back from Pokhran to Kathmandu was on a small glider with metal seats which seemed capable of flying off individually, clinging somehow to the metal sheets of the plane and imagine my horror, I could see sunlight glaring through the cracks in the flooring of the plane creating patterns and the rest of my journey was spent praying we reached safely. Kathmandu again then was famous for imported goods and a shopping spree ensured hubby dearest buying gifts for family, friends, pets, friends, friends of friends, and the whole world as he forgot that he had to buy me something too! My face which shrunk to the size of a table tennis ball had him running out and coming back with a huge stuffed toy which got me smiling no end.
The trip ended happily as we reached the airport and hadn’t anticipated the airport tax where bankruptcy hit us hard, hubby staring morosely at the stuffed toy in my hand which had eaten up his budgeted amount and we stood to wait for our flight hungry and thirsty, finally eating like gluttons on the way back.
An eventful trip but filled with laughter and memories and two strangers bound together by an arranged marriage turning into the best of friends, who still tolerate each other’s idiocracies and in spite of careful planning always find more misadventures which make all our trips interesting and fun.
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