Sunday, 15 July, 2012
The bus journey to Rampur and Jeori, throughout, was a treat to eye though a ache in the back! The road was truly serpentine with deadly descent and narrow U-line curves! I was awestruck at the driving skills of the HRTC driver who would maneuver blind curves with extreme ease. Though the more popular road to Rampur and beyond is from Shimla but the Karsog road is full of such panoramic beauty that I had no doubt that we were heading towards a place of pristine beauty!
We had tea at Chowki where the dhaba had a local touch and flavor. The steamy hot paranthas were really inviting but it was too early for me to take anything so I made a mental note of partaking paranthas at some other time. But later after the Shrikhand trek I realized that deferring to-do-things is not a healthy attitude as the next chance does not always come your way!
River Sutlej flows parallel to the narrow road to Rampur and at times I would try not even to breather heavily for the fear that my effort to breather heavily might not tilt the bus towards the river. Such close the road is to the river!
The Karsog valley was, as usual, beautiful! But focusing on the journey ahead I was immersed in deep thoughts about the ensuing trek! At Karsog a number of Sadhus boarded our bus chanting the name of Shiva! The bare chested and bare footed sadhus grabbed all the available seats and put their big bundles, sticks and umbrellas on the bus floor! They were insensitive towards fellow passengers. I thought hard what is the point in donning ocher clothes if you are like an average worldly human being? Most of the sadhus put earphones of their mobiles in their ears and switched on their mobiles. I am sure that they were not listening to any religious discourse on their cells! And the fact that these would be my fellow pilgrims made me somewhat uneasy!
Though KS had stopped his initial grumbling about travelling in a crampy bus but now this heightened activity in the bus made his grumbling to recur with enhanced vigor! “And these are the people you would be keeping company with during the yatra!” Even I was having the same thoughts. I was a bit worried by now as I had planned to trek alone. The Sadhus, oblivious to the commotion they had created in the hitherto peaceful bus, were arguing with the conductor for some concession in the fare if not a free ride to the servants of the god on an arduous yatra!
I was feeling uncomfortable by now but a look outside the window to the distant Himalayas reaffirmed my faith that everything will fall back in place and I started enjoying my bus ride.
We reached Jeori y 2-30p.m. and here from we had to go to Ganvi which is barely 12 Kms. from Jeori. My brother-in-law was waiting for us and it took 50 minutes to cover these 12 Kms, The road was a difficult one. By 4 p. m. we were sipping a cup of tea at Ganvi and chatting happily! The tiredness of the journey was gone in a jiffy. It seemed as if the clear wind of the Himalayas had done wonders to us. The khadd nearby called Nanti was flowing with a loud noice. Someone pointed oout to me, ” this Nanti Khadd comes from Nanti village and has water from the Shrikhand in it.” I looked at the distant high mountainous peaks behind whom lay Shrikhanf!
My heart gave up the hope of ever reaching that height. But shaking my head of any negativity, I back-grounded all such feelings and waited for the next morning. The certainty that I had about my resolve to trek to Shrikhand was overtaken by a sense of doubt! I wanted to have a good sleep. Perhaps a dream may indicate the course of things to happen, perhaps may be God would send me a signal, I thought and prayed. With prayer in heart I went to sleep listening to the gushing sound of Nanti Khadd that brought water from Shrikhand!
Tomorrow is a new day, I thought, and a new beginning.