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Thread: Mission Accomplished- short story

  1. #1

    Mission Accomplished- short story

    Mission Marsimik La, at 18,632 feet, it is 332 feet higher than the base camp of Everest and 252 feet higher than Khardung La, the highest motor able road in the world.
    1200 kms and 7 of the worlds highest mountain passes.

    Mission Accomplished
    When I take on an expedition/challenge of this standard I tell myself “I would rather die than turn back”. Such resolve is required because else a million reasons/excuses will come up to prevent and discourage me from achieving what I aim for. Its not a negative statement, it is symbolic of the determination required. Let me also state a saying I heard long back “if death comes before I prove my blood, I promise I will kill death”. So, come what may, I was going to accomplish it. There was no enthusiasm or excitement about the expedition. There was a silence, a tremendous calm. ‘Only basics’ was the order for my mind.
    A lot of reasons had come up prior to the expedition to discourage me. The chief one was, me getting the vehicle just two weeks before the expedition. Me and my crew worked 72 hours non-stop to modify it and the remaining days practicing it. To top it the last two days were full of tiring functions.
    The final day of the expedition came. I woke up at 12.15am, went through the basic routine of getting ready, got into the vehicle, checked the controls, the equipment. My crew- Ankush my navigator and companion of previous expeditions, my assistant Keshav and a Technician from TATA. We started with chant of Jai Shri Ram from me and Jai Mata di from my navigator, an old ritual with us. Calmly I drove to India Gate where I met the NDTV crew- Robert and Vinod, who were to travel with us. They took a couple of shots of my vehicle moving with the background of India Gate. I took off at 3am from India gate, as my navigator gave me the directions to join the Karnal highway at the earliest. There were lot of trucks and speed wasn’t exactly fast but I was getting into a rhythm, I had to spend the next two and a half days in.
    Gradually everyone went off to sleep as I kept driving towards Sonepat in the early hours of the morning. We reached Chandigarh around late afternoon, till now I was concentrating on good speed and not getting a stiff neck.
    Somewhere between Chandigarh and Ropar started a climb, which was to continue for 290 kms till Rohtang Jot, the first mountain pass. Till Manali the drive was uphill but ok and we stopped only for two refilling of diesel. I reached Manali around 5.30 pm. As I crossed Manali and started climbing up the narrow roads I encountered my first setback. A small tractor trolley coming down at high speed ripped off my rear view mirror. ‘Cool head’.
    I drove to Palchan where I was cheered by a group of soldiers shouting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’. Here our Liaison Officer, Nb Sub Mogli Swaran joined us. He was to coordinate our clearance at all check points on the way and also coordinate our requirements for food n fuel. He was a very enthusiastic person and an asset for the expedition. We always found hot tea, food, and fuel waiting for us at every check point. I started driving up Rohtang, the first mountain pass, where I encountered clouds and zero visibility. I could not see an inch and all the crew was out of their seats trying to peep forward. I drove on instinct and at 9pm (16hrs after the start) reached Rohtang Jot. Everybody breathed a sigh of relief as I drove out of the clouds and descended into the valley of Lahol and Spiti. Most of the crew was sleeping as I encountered horribly broken roads with streams, stones and rocks. At 3 am (24 hrs after the start) I reached Patseo at the beginning of the climb to Baralachla. We refueled and continued. The roads were all broken as I started driving to Baralachla, the second mountain pass. I crossed these most broken roads of Baralach la and reached Sarchu around 8am (29 hours).
    From here I started driving up a mountain face, on roads called 21 Gata Loops. I always miss the count and by the time I reach the top I feel I ve crossed 100 loops. This is the steepest climb anywhere in the world. I climb it and reach the 3rd mountain pass of Nakee La, down again and up again to the 4th mountain pass of Lachlang La. Down Lachlang La are bad broken roads again to reach the transit camp of ‘Pang’ at 1.30pm (34 ½ hrs) where my crew had their first meal in 2 days.
    I started from Pang and after a brief climb reached ‘More’ plains, 40kms of plains at high altitude they are so beautiful I want to spend a couple of lifetimes there. Driving through them and then climbing I reach Tanglang La, the second highest motor able road in the world, most of my crew is sleeping. The Tata Technician started coughing and complaining of Chest pain. I started driving down into Leh valley as fast as I could so he could get medical attention. (40 hours) I was exhausted and was hallucinating. I was seeing people standing by the road when there weren’t any there, I was seeing a white ambassador moving in front of my vehicle whereas there wasn’t any there. I was putting every bit of energy into safe driving. After leaving him at an army MI room we headed to Karu for a few hours of rest. Next morning at 4am we started from Karu for conquering the last two passes. As I started driving towards Chang La, the 6th mountain pass, I started feeling nausea and breathlessness. I nearly shut my eyes, switched off my brain and kept driving looking only at the patch of road in front of me. My mind calculated…. The morning empty stomach had caused an acidity, which was pressing against my diaphragm, which was compressing my lungs and making my breathing shallow. It would go in about half an hour. I reached Chang La in good time and an hour and a half after that I was at Pangong Tso (Lake). 90kms long crystal clear lake, I could write a book on its beauty alone.
    From the previous check post I had picked up a soldier who had seen Marsimik La and could guide us (Marsimik La doesn’t have a road).
    From Pangong Tso there were a few dirt tracks going up the mountain. I started driving up the mountainside. There was loose sand, stones and rocks and the vehicle was tilting badly to one side. I had to select the best possible path to drive up, as choosing even the second best path could mean getting stuck in the loose sand, bursting the radiator over a rock or rolling down the mountain. With the extreme tilt, it was great difficulty to maneuver the vehicle. One km into the climb and we encountered a vertical climb on loose sand. No turning back, I put the vehicle in 4x4 lower and made it up the climb. I had to judiciously select between 4x4 lower and higher and not to over accelerate as the vehicle would heat up, which eventually it did and we had to take a halt for ½ hour before moving again. Now on we halted and moved every few minutes. (My assistant had not been feeling well and sleeping at the back.) The progress was damn slow. Maybe averaging around 3-4 kmph. Everybody was giving up. I was saying the same thing again and again “keep your head cool, we will make it”. We could see the top. Finally we were stuck about a few hundred meters from the top with a vertical climb in front of us.
    The JCO Sub Mogliswaran said “Saab, time ho raha hai, hamko waapis mudna padega”, night on that mountain could mean hell. I looked at the watch 2.55 pm. I looked in the rear view mirror, everybody’s face was down. I said “if we don’t make it by 4pm, we turn back” (I couldn’t risk 5 lives). Ankush was in the co-drivers seat with his head in his hands. “Ankush” I said and he looked at me “Last attempt” I said. “Theek hai sir” he replied.
    I accelerated to 5000RPM (the maximum possible) and he released the hand brake. The vehicle started inching up. To cut the vertical climb I turned right and then left. The vehicle rose over the last few meters and we could see the stone marking ‘Marsimik La’ in front of us.
    Sitting next to that stone Robert asked me “how do you feel?”
    I replied, “If in your life you have not found something you could die for, your life isn’t worth living. LIFE HAS BEEN WONDERFUL, IT WILL BE EVEN MORE BEAUTIFUL AFTER TODAY”

    PS. 1. My assistant fainted on the top and we had to evacuate him at top speed. He is OK now.
    2. The Tata technician ‘Vinod’ recovered in Karu and is back.
    3. JCO Sub Mogliswaran, our Liaison Officer, received his promotion orders when we got to Tang tse, is back in his regiment in Leh.
    4. The NDTV crew, Robert and Vinod, flew back from Leh and the result was shown in news.
    5. I have just reached back to Gurgaon.
    6. NDTV will show a ½ hr documentary today 19th Sept. 6.30pm on NDTV Hindi and 10pm on NDTV English. Will be repeated next Sunday too.
    7. The timing of 60hrs is a record and this was the first private vehicle to reach the top of Marsimik La.
    8. This is a brief report, will come up with a detailed account later.

    "कर्मंयेवाधिकरास्ते = कर्मणि एव अधिकार: ते = कर्म करनें में ही अधिकार है तुम्हारा"

  2. #2
    Brilliant Navin !
    Heartiest congrats on this superb achievement.
    Real proud of you !

  3. #3
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    Great..... Dear Navin 'Fauzi',
    You made your own road...


    Stay Tuned.

    ( Safari ke baad Ib Indica chalan ka ke gee karega :-P ?? )

  4. #4
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    No words for U NAVIN ........ Hats off ..........
    U made All of us proud to be a jat .........

    Thanks to your parents for giving birth to such a positive,brave and intellegent JAT.

    You proved


    Keep it up NAVIN



  5. #5
    Remarkable achievement Navin!
    Many many congratulations to you.
    You have made us feel proud. I salute you!
    May God bless you!

  6. #6
    Excellent work Navin! You have made us all extremely proud!
    There is a place in Delhi named "Rani Bagh". I say its irony at it's fullest!

  7. #7
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    Exceptional & insurmountable achievement. We are proud of you Navin.

  8. #8
    salutations and heartly congratualtion navin bhai, u did it,
    we all proud on u

    .. " Until Lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter! " ..

  9. #9
    Wish I could hug you Navin at this moment...Eyes are a bit moist and head is high with pride....Congratulating alone does not express the feelings I have at this moment.

    We are all proud of you. May God take you to newer and greater heights in life


  10. #10
    Wow...great.. awesome.. congratulations!

    I wish I were you! or atleat with you sharing your achievement!


  11. #11
    Dear Navin,

    Wish you all the best. Read news on the day of your departure on Mission in Amar Ujala. It was both inspiring and moving at the same time.
    JAT - For Justice And Truth

  12. #12
    You have done us all very proud..Congratulations!!

  13. #13
    Heartiest congratulations Navin. Exceptional achievement. Keep it up. We all are proud of you.
    Col (Retd) Virendra Tavathia

    "A person should not be judged by the nature of his/her job, but the manner in which he/she does that".

  14. #14
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    Dear Fauzi,
    Best scene which we had seen on T.V. was when you " KISS" the Safari....

    All The Best for your next expedition ...

    PS NITIN & Site Sarpanches ( Moderators):--Kindly attach his achievement with pic's on JATLAND site..( If "NOT" then kindly atleast know the reason to members)

    Stay Tuned.

  15. #15
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    Congratulations Naveen!

  16. #16
    They see no worry and they see no fear
    And what difference does it make if they can’t shift gear

    Brave they are with a firm determination
    These are folks who truly radiate inspiration

    Valleys all sides still they stay on course
    All challenges of life become their driving force

    Courage of such people signifies a life’s meaning
    Our goals can be reached though we may have to redefine our beginning
    Keep thinking, it always helps !!!!!

    Budh Nashier, M.Sc.(Hons.), Ph.D.

  17. #17
    Congratulations on a mission accomplished! Made us feel proud. Thanks.

  18. #18

    Your spirit, efforts, and accomplishments are truly inspiring!

    Best wishes,


  19. #19
    Congrats! navin... thats a wonderful achivment.. .. i saw u on ndtv. we r proud of you.

  20. #20
    Dear Navin,




    (Ein Volk - Ein Reich - Ein Fuhrer)

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