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This Guy’s On His Own Trip: A story of old trippers, loyalty and affection

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Sudeep (Su) & Sunny first travelled with me for a weekend to Rishikesh (March). Both came as solo travellers and returned last week for Nagaland for a week, each accompanied by a friend who’d heard our stories. We again met with a “Hi, gangleader (their name for me)!” I struggle to keep in touch over the phone but when the boys came on the trip 6 months later, we were simply old friends united again.

When in casual conversation my love for writing came up, the 2 proudly told everyone about my account and how they should all read what I write. ? During the trek I saw them helping so many people. Sunny walked at a slower pace just to help some strangers out & to show them the way. Su carried his friend’s bag through the trek even when he wasn’t in the best condition to do so. Sunny even came rushing to a car with an umbrella when it was pouring. These little things I observed left me smiling with a sense of pride over them.

One night a couple of us sat up talking till 5am. Su mentioned how reserved he was in the first trip, how he’d changed somewhat. 2 trippers generally started asking me about the direction OHOT intented to take, the strategies, etc. It all came from a well meaning place & I patiently heard them out prepared to answer. But hah Su wouldn’t let them finish their sentences! He kept yelling how OHOT doesn’t need to, how OHOT wouldn’t, how I won’t. Su would burst into mini speeches about OHOT, about us & our trip. When I mentioned how the brand would certainly grow but never such that it becomes a cold corporate, how we’d always be more about emotions than just places, how we’d always value memories over other things; Su nodded so vigorously I thought his head would fall! ?His loyalty left me overwhelmed.

I would’ve never imagined that 3 days would’ve given us this bonding. I can’t thank them enough for their loyalty & love. These 6 days just added more inside jokes, more emotions & affection. I will once again struggle over the phone but I know the boys & I will meet again and go Sunny boyy, laugh over Su’s wowowow & have a gazillion more stories to tell over warm cups of tea & our shared warmth. Until next time my boys!

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