Monday, April 17, 2006

stoner story 3 - the Rishikesh ride

I love media junkets and being a travel journalist for three years, I've had more than my fair share of them.
Working with Go Now was a dream..two junkets on an average a month and almost always to the hills..

The trip to Rishikesh was to basically check out this new rafting camp site up the Ganga, one night at the camp, rafting the next day, and then on to Haridwar to spend a night at a heritage haveli owned by the same people who ran the camp site.
Rafting's always fun and this time around was no different..even though they didn't let me into a kayak (which is even more fun)
Post the adrenaline, we disembarked and while the rest of the presswalas went into the tents to change (I used the back of a bush), I spotted the boat boys packing up the rafts and passing a joint between them.
Went up, joined the circle..toked a few and bought a couple joints worth off one of the river guides...good jungli maal..
All the tension in my shoulders and hamstrings just faded away on the ride to Haridwar. Got there just as the aarti had begun, tripped on all the lights and the hordes of people (after being secluded in the wilderness) before ambling to the haveli for dinner.

On the way, I bought a small clay chillum for 5 bucks from a roadside vendor as I'd run out of paper.
Got to the haveli and checked in and found out tthey'd given me a room with no external ventilation. The room's door and only window faced into the central courtyard.
Not that it mattered much. Went in for a bath, came out and just had to boom one before dinner. I had longer hair back then, so there I was with long open hair, a towel around my privates in a smoke-filled room, working on a second chillum when there's a knock on the door.
By this time I had no clue where I was, so I open the door, half naked with chillum in hand and there's the manager of the hotel, the PR chick, and the owner of the hotel chain..come to call me down for dinner.
One look at me and the manager says, "Yeah yeah..take your time..."

The funny thing is..at that time I thought I was home and these guys had the wrong address....

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