1st of Jan is meant for party, after all it’s a new year. We dance, get drunk, shout, celebrate and virtually try almost every means to loose ourselves. And this is what I used to do ever since. But this New Year was different! Don’t know why, maybe finally I grew up and wanted more choice.
Well, I did choose. Instead of choosing to loose myself, I made a choice to find myself. This New Year, I went to Rishikesh.
It was not the first time I went to Rishikesh. My first visit was more spirituality oriented. And it was my first visit that made me realize that spirituality is best discovered in things you love. I love adventure and this was precisely the purpose of my second trip. The itinerary included waterfall trekking, river rafting, camping besides the Ganges, camp food and most attractively – uncertainty.
Moments before starting our drive from Delhi, all of us were of unanimous view that everything is planned and all is going to be well. But that assumption was thoroughly pounded when reaching the outskirts of Delhi and we realized that we (actually I..) have left our tour operator’s receipt and location map at home itself. No one was sure we would be allowed (or even able to reach) in the camp without the letters.
In a way it was good, after all what traveler you call yourself when you know what’s coming ahead. It’s the uncertainty, the surprise that a traveler accompanies as a companion, which differentiates him from a tourist.
“Anyway, it’s New Year boys, let’s go. We will do something new.”
There’s an amazing or should I say daring charm in leaving your home with all the assumptions behind and travel not for good experience, but just experience.
Do this once and you will realize a cosmic untold truth – Experience is always good. Good ones make you feel well and bad ones make you do well.
I was blessed right before my trip for the very reason that I was traveling with four of my best friends. One would be a very fortunate person if he identifies with someone in this world whose way of thinking, vibrations or frequency of thoughts synchronizes perfectly with each other. And if you find five of them all cluttered in a single Indica car, be sure that you have seen us.
So finally we arrived at the camp, around 20 kms from Rishikesh and somewhere in Rajaji National Park. Everything went smooth, thanks to a phone call to the operator at right time. He made sure that message went through the camp, which did not had any phone network coverage. The travel operator was good and very cooperative and why not! After all he was from Rishikesh.
The serenity of the place was so profound that you could actually feel yourself. One could hear the sound of breath, coming in and fleeing out. At once, there was an amazing awareness. Awareness of self! As if everything including the mountains, forest, river is but a mirror, reflecting your image and guiding you to look inwards.
Arriving almost at the sunset, we were offered piping hot bowl of maggi each, our perfect magic maggi moment. That followed by couple of volleyball games. Tell you what, playing it after four years and first time since college, volleyball worked better than vodka.
Already on a high, nights booze started with a group bonfire alongside the Ganges beach. Fire and water, the extremes came together and displayed their aura in full glamour. The water made thundering noise every time it hit the stones on its flow, as if irritated by the fact that the fire is occupying and soothing every one with its heat. The Fire, clearly aware that it is the center of attraction for all, kept beaming with pride. After watching this drama of nature as a spectator and extracting full entertainment, I finally called the day off and went for sleep.
No dreams that day and logical enough since 20 hrs of dream life left nothing more to dream of.
I woke early in the morning, mainly because of two reasons, one since the sleep was deep and relaxed and therefore short, and two that I wanted to see the sunrise amidst the mountains. Surprisingly, If you are in a isolated place like this, one thing that you will never need is a watch. As promised by our care taker, the sun came out from one of the mountains at exactly 8:30 a.m. as if it has finally conquered a long fought battle. I took my bed tea and went to the shore.
I was watching the river. It had a beautiful little stone at its base, stuck in mud. Flowing water had polished it to its brilliance, almost like a gem. All the force of mighty river was not able to perturb that round stone. And then there came a small little paper boat from the far end of river, twittering with the flow. As I watched it, it went past me and over.
Maybe it was the flow; I liked the paper boat better then the gem stone.
The day was reserved for mountain trekking and river rafting. Being a first timer in rafting, I was a shed nervous. And God! I had my heart in my hands when the instructor on the raft announced arrival of the first rapid. As our raft conquered the rapids, that feeling of victory, the sense of fulfillment was something virgin to my otherwise average thoughts. One by one we kept on clearing the rapids. There were total seven of them in our ride. Countdown was always on in my mind. A destination gives its full enjoyment only when you have strived in the journey. If you don’t confirm with this, let me know I will book a rafting trip for you.
Cold, wet, tiring, amazing, adventurous, beautiful day ended with a home made cheese mushroom pasta at the German café alongside Lakshman zhula. This was followed by one of the best authentic hot Chocolate I have ever had.
Time to go back to the clutter, chaos we call Delhi. Hey! What am I doing? I promised my self not to carry any assumptions with me. Its time to give a fresh outlook to everything. Go and find the beauty hidden by the traffic and noise in Delhi and live life peacefully.
Rishikesh, It was a strange positive force there, force that absorbs all aversions, judgment, leaving just me. My thoughts echoed in the mountains for a while but eventually got lost. The river talked to me, extremely patient in listening me as I downpour all the love and hate inside. But all the while it kept flowing, there by indicating to me “Abhinav, just the way I flow, you should also let go of all the thoughts, emotions and be one with yourself.” And while I was leaving, a cool breeze came from towards the river and whispered in my ears HAPPY NEW YOU!