A list of things that matter...
When I sat down to make list of things to take along to the Gobi, I came to realize that not everything I was taking had been personally bought or requested. Not everything was tangible. What I am taking with me are gifts, memories, good wishes, benevolence, kindness, help, bravery and a lot of encouragement. All given without being asked for and in ample measure.
Aai and Baba, —the fact that you think that I can do it is 99% of the battle won. It’s been quite a journey beginning with acceptance to the list making, packing plans, tasting various ready to cook food, logistics and a hell lot of patience.
My friend from SIAC, who I know back from 2002, his help in what I am doing is invaluable. The good soul that he is, he wishes to be unnamed.
The shirts/tops that’ll see me through the desert come from dear A, who cheers every tiny achievement of mine. She is completely partial to me and I love it.
S was the first person I called as soon as my back froze back in November. That I can now joke about it is all thanks to him.
Great advice from Mr Damle of Damle Safaris, about visa procedures for Mongolia and most importantly getting us in touch with the Indian embassy.
Ketki and Mangesh, the 4 am phone call couple. Ready with advice, help and cheer.
The rowdy lot of cousins that I have loves to dole out advice by the heaps. All of it good! J
The besan laddus will make a big difference there. That is so thoughtful of Maushi!
Try as I might, I did not find more than 9 outdoor photos of myself in all the photography that I have done. What you see now is all credit to Shirish, good old friend, awesome training partner, techno junkie and super planner. He travelled all the way from Mumbai almost all weekends in the last 2 months to go with me on trails and hikes. The Radio City video with all its effect was created entirely by him.
The contribution from this individual at the gym, was the beginning of a lot of support. Given in kindness and unconditionally, it touched my heart.
Pooja, the first person to be privy to our Gobi plans, discussed after we were 2 vodka shots down in Trikaya. That she is there, just there, is a huge relief. The merino beanie and gaiters will be sure to keep me warm.
Dr. Govitrikar, ensured that my teeth are in great shape for the Gobi diet. :)
Sucheta, my steadfast friend, agreed to come with me without too much ado and be my partner. That you are there makes it a lot more fun!
From my cousin down under came the sunblock that’ll travel with me to Gobi.
Dr. Godbole shared insights on medical challenges and the care to be taken in the outdoors, personally as well as via his very informative handbook.
Dr. Kolhatkar for her timely advice about my back problems without letting them bog me down.
My blast from the past gang kept up the ribbing and the jesting. That spoke a lot about how proud they feel.
For my friends in office, old and new, it’s good to hear what they think about my expedition. I come away feeling motivated all over again.
We had some great comments to the article published in the online version of Sakaal. And some nasty ones too. Just so that the nasty ones fail, we have to succeed.
LM took care of my internal airfare costs. You give me wings to fly, literally!
She is one person who keeps me sane and keeps me firmly grounded. Listens to my mad ideas and quietly, very quietly, brings order to the chaos that I exist in. Cannot imagine reaching this far without her.
ABIL Foundation gave us a huge helping hand very recently. Much needed and appreciated.
The Indian Express, Mid-Day, Sakaal, Sakaal Times, Saam TV and ETV Marathi gave us the much needed place in the public eye. Hope this will fuel excitement and encourage future expeditions.
Dax, my sister, knows how valuable the hydration packs are going to be in that heat there so she sponsored me some. :)
Friends and strangers who bumped into me while at tyre dragging practice, it was great meeting with you and thanks for the wishes.
The expedition has in a way helped me belong. To a lot of people and things. Indebted forever.