Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The pleasant memories of our lovely trip are diminishing in the day to day hassles and engagements of time to pen them down. I wish the trip had been longer, but we’ll try to take these breaks frequently…this one really worked as a stress buster for me plus fulfilled the much needed need for the family to be together.

Day 1 at Haridwar was relaxing . On day 2, after a dip in the chilling waters, we were all set for more escapades. A firangi breakfast: bread, butter, and coffee in our room was planned so as to compensate for the lavish eating on the previous day. Then began our journey to Mansa Devi by the ropeway - much more thrilling than we had imagined. Mauli was so very excited about this ‘flying car’ and hated to get down when we reached our destination. Ganga started looking distant as our trolley car started to climb higher. Long queues lead us to the temple; a small structure which appeared to be situated on the mountain peak. A scenic splendor, captivating enough to make us forget the sufferings from the sweltering sun.

Mansa Devi from the trolley, Boating at Rishikesh

After Polio drops for Mauli we got into a tourist bus which made its way through the mountains and took us to another ropeway…this time to go to Chandi Devi Mandir. The place was green (Rich plantation, it was actually a forest scene created with schemed plants and animal statuette). It was a good time to put our digicam (borrowed from Ashi) to use and then began our trolley ride to the temple, located much higher than the previous one. This time it wasn’t the river running distant, but the bright sun burned mountain rocks…honestly speaking, I was getting shivers. Mauli was at his jolly best, singing Doorie at the top of his voice….even the Gods would have heard that one. The trolley lead us to this again small but enchanting temple where a bunch of monkeys escorted us for the pooja.

Chowk that leads to Laxman Jhoola, Bye bye haridwar

We jumped of the bus during our return journey and took an auto for Rishikesh. Landed at the auto stand in Rishikesh and had a scrumptious meal at some Rimpy’s restaurant. A small ride from there took us to Laxman Jhoola, which actually came as a disappointment. The so-called pedestrian bridge, which holds such a historical significance, was crammed with ongoing two wheelers. The immediate area was stinking and to walk down to the near shore for a boat ride was quite a challenge. The close to three minutes in the boat were wholesome fun, but this was the only activity that Mauli didn’t approve off. As we landed on the shore, a hand tapped on Anuj’s shoulder, “sir time kya hua hai”. As Anuj replied, the man’s wife smiled at me and I did just the same. As we started on the steep road to the auto/bus stand, the lady returned and smiled at me, my smile widened now as I stepped forward and hugged the girl….she was Sunrita, a friend from my earlier days at NIIT. We had last met in 2004 and the three years had really changed (read as bloated) both of us. Our return journey to Haridwar was more fun as the couple offered to drop us on their way back to Delhi. We exchanged pleasantries and bid good bye at Haridwar. Rushed back to the asharam to get some rest and change for Mauli.

Dinner for me was delicious faluda kulfi. Anuj and Maulik did enjoy poori-chole and halwa and then we quickly retired to bed to be able to catch the 6.00 clock train the next morning for Delhi. Looking outside the train window, humming, "hanste hanste, kat jayen raste, zindagi yoon hi chalti rahe...".


Hill Goat said...

How could you visit Hrishikesh, walk down laxman jhoola and still miss the vegetarian thali at famous chotiwala's restaurant. To add insult you eat at Rimpy's (how original, yuck!!)

SBT said...

God...i like that yuck. (could visualize u doing that)

But that was bcoz mauli refused to wait (to pee, po, and eat) till we reached laxman jhoola and we had no choice but to give up a few kms earlier.

Will miss you...always.

1977 - 2013 As I rubbed my fingers on your face, everything was numb. My fingers, your face, our heart beat, even my emotions for...