This all traces back to the mid of October 2012 when Abhay and his family (his wife Sonam and their two boys Vicky (14) and Kartik (18) respectively) were deciding to go on a family trip as it was quite a while since they went on a trip together as a family. There were loads and loads of options of destinations to be selected from which left them completely puzzled, after two full days of discussions, chats, and fights about the destination place, they mutually decided to go to a small town situated in the lap of Himachal Pradesh known as ‘Spiti’ Valley. It is a cold desert between Tibet and India. It is at a distance of approximately 700 kilometers from Delhi and takes about 15 hours to reach and the only way to reach is by a car that is a long road trip. But keeping aside the odds and difficulties they started packing hoping for an experience of a lifetime. All were really excited but nobody knew what the trip had in store for them. They started their trip late in November (not the best time for Spiti) with a slim possibility of witnessing snowfall in person.

Their journey began from 4 am IST (25 November) when they all left for Spiti in their vehicle, instead of booking a cab Abhay chose to drive himself as he had mountain sickness and got sick very soon if he did not divert his focus on other things than the altitude and the never ending spiral roads. Around 6 in the evening they had nearly covered 500 kilometers which included various breaks for breakfast, lunch, snacks, washroom etc. and decided to call it a day and rented a hotel nearby for the night. The next day the grind continued again, with only 200 something kilometers left to cover they decided to leave a little late and have breakfast at the hotel itself and reach Spiti till evening. But due to terrible weather and worse road conditions, it took them another good 8 hours to reach close to the valley. It was night time and the only light they had was from their car with no support nearby, no road guard, no signs or reflectors, no streetlights and penetrating cold they decided to keep going since a few kilometers were only left.

The roads were a driver’s nightmare, but they had no choice and continued slowly and made progress. Around 1 in the night they finally reached the valley and were shocked to see the happening celebrations which were the reverse of what they imagined the valley to be. Apparently, tomorrow was Dussehra and the coldly – silent valley came to life with ritual dance and food of the inhabitants. Since it was too late and they all were extremely tired they had a light dinner in the celebration itself and decided not to stay long and went to nearby lodge, rented a room and dozed off as soon as their bodies hit the bed.