This book presents a traveler's very personal experiences as he walks along the marked or unmarked trails of the Himalayan foothills crossing hills and valleys, quenching thirst from a fresh water mountain stream, watching in silence the ripples of a placid lake or a waterfall splintering into millions of particles over rocks, enjoying the feel of mountain breeze, smiling at strangers, clicking children on way to school or stroking the neck of a village dog that follows him. In other words the author shares the thoughts that cross the inner recess of his mind as he walks along, takes turns, rests, befriends strangers, drinks a hot mug of tea along the trail and just celebrates fresh dew drops dangling from a pink rose petal in a village garden. The author in his travelogues takes the reader along the trail and helps her or him to experience every bend and scent of the trail while the writer himself takes a back seat to the places and people, which is a great quality for a travelogue writer. In addition to his adventure travelogues in Himalayas, the author has also covered his experiences in Kabul as also his impressions on the town of Kalimpong as it exited in the 50s and 60s.
Born and brought up in Kalimpong, in a little thatched cottage between two rolling streams, Colonel Mani K. Gahatraj now returns to the same surreal charms of his boyhood days after a life time in the Army and the world around. He travels and treks regularly around his own backyard; across the Himalayan landscape of Sikkim, Nepal and Bhutan. When at home, he can be found at the golf course; or in his cozy study, writing travel blogs, reading, playing the guitar and of course enjoying a good evening peg! Mani K Gahatraj, 68, joined the Army at the age of 17 and has traveled far and wide. It was in the army that he met with the Rhino, the symbol of the Assam Regiment, a battalion of which he later commanded. The Rhino's quality of being tough is what he still lives by, even after surviving an ambush in 1965 Indo Pak war as a green horn and a near-fatal grenade injury to his neck kissing the jugular vein in a close combat in 1971 Indo-Pak War. A life time of 37 years in the Army, followed by corporate stint and multi-state NGO work, have allowed him to traverse the length and breadth of India and South East Asia. Inspired by his father's sojourn in Tibet during the mid 1920s, he accepted an employment opportunity in war-torn Afghanistan and lived in Kabul for a year. Back to his roots, life has now comes full circle for the Colonel.