This is how I got Leh’d! Literally!

Shot by Debleena Sen

Quick downpour: 

The other day, Khardungla Pass looked like a college fest, with a certain sense of adventure. A bash where everyone was happy to meet everyone, for the sheer joy of what binds us more than blood-and-brotherhood,


The faces, I remember the faces,

they were happy! Their smiles, honest, without any knives.

If you’ve been there, close your eyes to imagine how centuries ago a caravan of hundreds and thousands of horses and camels, crossed this pass to reach kashgar in central Asia. I pictured all that in monochrome, for some weird reason, it has an old world charm.

We lived through the clichéd selfie next to the Khardungla board (which I am too conceited to confess or show, but we are mortals!), pouted exactly like Pummi aunty would have!

Next up, was Khardung gaon, our lunch stop, before we head to Nubra Valley (3 to 4 hours drive).

If you are there, don’t miss:

-Aunty’s “maa ki daal”

-Aunty’s honey lemon ginger tea.

Thank me later!

But you really don’t care about all that, you wish to know how I got Leh’d, and my radar is stuck on  “Maa ki Dal”! 

Okay, here’s what happened: 

Across the dhaba, was Khardung gaon. Lush green valley surrounded by barren mountains with timeless expressions on their curves. Scroll to the end for the image, but read first! Utterly fascinating!

A picture perfect, quaint hamlet! I jumped off the dhaba stairs, crossed the busy road to face a wall between the village and my camera.

Damn the wall! You really don’t want a wall to spoil the frame. So, you climb!

Now apparently, all the Godforsaken walls in the world are not for Sunny Deol to break! Even I could break one or two. So I did! (If you took that literally, sarcasm is not your suit!)

What followed, now seems like a quick scene stolen from a Tollywood drama. Let’s go back to the scene.

The sky blazed blue with heroism when I stepped on the first stone of the wall. Hopes were high, and so were the stakes!

Next two steps were encouraging. Just like the girl-at-work, you thought never noticed you, but today morning, she smiled at you! Yes, that encouraging!

The fourth step was me running to kiss the ground and all the stones of the (then) wall, running to kiss me. I kid you not!


However, two endless days and night, lived between, when I got Leh’d and when I got plastered. But that’s a story for some other day, other time… my tea is cold now. Just for the sake of a trailer, I’ll let you know, the plaster story features:

An electrician turned doctor who was simultaneously attending an old Tibetan man with a paralysed hand, Leh Govt. Hospital, a noble Pathan who is a chemist, partial doctor, and also runs a camp in Zanskar valley, an uncertain nurse who asked me to visit again because she was unsure of the OPD doctor, last but not the least, me getting a dislocated bone fixed without being high on anesthesia or alcohol, not even love. Fun, eh?

Concluding, I don’t know if there’s a translation for the Hindi word “chull”, but for those who know it, will understand exactly why I got Leh’d!

It’s absolutely fine if after reading this, you feel that one of the stones also hit my head!

P.S: I took this picture on our way back! 🙂 #onehandphotography


Still exploring. Kind of bipolar- for my equal love for home and the world. Essentially believe in what George Bernard Shaw said, "life isn't about finding yourself but creating yourself"


  • Saurabh Chaudhary September 6, 2017 at 12:46 am Reply

    Beautiful pics…❤

  • everybodygottalentblog September 6, 2017 at 12:54 am Reply

    Splendid pics. Way to go. Keep exploring
    Talent Hunter

  • swalia September 6, 2017 at 2:30 am Reply

    Lovely pics!! No wonder everyone falls in love with leh!

  • Infinite Living September 6, 2017 at 3:58 am Reply

    You are one adventurous girl with a terrific attitude and stunning perspective for photography! Loved your post, wish your Lehd arm a speedy recovery!!

    • ambikabhardwaj September 6, 2017 at 4:19 am Reply

      Thank you so much! One hand life, for another 2 weeks! But it was fun!!!

  • Colors of my life September 6, 2017 at 6:06 am Reply

    You ain’t get better memories than like this. That’s the price of one stunning picture.
    Superb! Loved it.
    Get well soon.
    “Chul” 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

    • ambikabhardwaj September 6, 2017 at 9:52 am Reply

      Ahhahahahaha you know “chul”! You see now that is why I love so much ! You always get it! Things we say and things we don’t say!

      • Colors of my life September 6, 2017 at 10:02 am Reply

        Chul is a universal word found in subcontinent dictionary. BTW I am glad you used this word.
        Had I be writing it and thinking of using the word in the same context it will be “Keera Kaatna” 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

        • ambikabhardwaj September 6, 2017 at 11:03 am Reply

          Kheera kaatna? Really? That’s not even a synonym! Ohh my God!!! Ahahahahahha!

          • Colors of my life September 6, 2017 at 11:15 am

            Keera (Ant) kaatna (bite) it has the same context more or less like Chull.
            But it’s more slang I would say 😉

          • ambikabhardwaj September 6, 2017 at 11:17 am

            ohh Keeda!!! I thought why would you be peeling cucumbers! But I get the analogy now. 🙂

          • Colors of my life September 6, 2017 at 11:35 am

            lol 😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃😃

      • Colors of my life September 6, 2017 at 10:03 am Reply

        The pleasure is all mine about the understanding part 🤗

  • Anindya September 6, 2017 at 7:10 am Reply

    Beautifully narrated Ambika… going through your lovely post I can say without doubt….i got Leh’d too……:)…..and you look beautiful……as well as your snaps of this enchanted land…….:)

    • ambikabhardwaj September 6, 2017 at 9:56 am Reply

      How was yours? Hope you didn’t break a bone.
      Thank you for the lovely compliments, kind sire!

      • Anindya September 6, 2017 at 10:03 am Reply

        No dear….what I meant was that through your post I got Leh’d[in love with Leh] :)…..I am yet to visit this amazing place…..but wish to visit surely some time in the future……..hope you are doing ok now with that hand of yours…

        • ambikabhardwaj September 6, 2017 at 11:02 am Reply

          Aye, I understand! I am glad, to bestow upon you a whiff of the mountains! You must, travel! 🙂 And when you do, I’ll be eagerly waiting to listen to all those wonderful stories you will live. 🙂

          • Anindya September 6, 2017 at 11:04 am


  • Sudhir Chauhan September 7, 2017 at 5:36 am Reply

    you have a lovely blog Ambika….. enjoyed your stories…….

    • ambikabhardwaj September 7, 2017 at 1:41 pm Reply

      Sudir!!! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!
      I am glad you read them and enjoy! 🙂

  • Bhavana September 20, 2017 at 4:34 am Reply

    So glad I stumbled across your blog. Fall in love with your pics & adventure. Keep exploring & keep writing

  • farhanakramblog October 17, 2017 at 9:12 am Reply


  • debduttapaul January 29, 2018 at 6:52 pm Reply
  • debduttapaul January 29, 2018 at 7:00 pm Reply

    I don’t know what happened to my previous comment, it doesn’t appear! Anyway, all that I wanted to do after reading the post was: facepalm. I mean… !!! I am glad that it did not severely limit your trip to this beautiful land.

  • TechFlax February 5, 2018 at 2:58 pm Reply

    I hope your hand is ok now

    • ambikabhardwaj March 5, 2018 at 3:21 pm Reply

      Ohh yes! Totally!
      Thank you so much for checking! 🙂

      • TechFlax March 5, 2018 at 5:31 pm Reply


  • Rajat Kumar September 4, 2018 at 10:56 pm Reply

    Ah, what a beautiful post it is…

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