Rishikesh: A place to find yourself

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Photo of Rishikesh: A place to find yourself by Harshit Chopra
Photo of Rishikesh: A place to find yourself by Harshit Chopra
Photo of Rishikesh: A place to find yourself by Harshit Chopra
Photo of Rishikesh: A place to find yourself by Harshit Chopra
Photo of Rishikesh: A place to find yourself by Harshit Chopra

”Sitting at a table with three of your best friends, and still not having anything to say. That’s when you realize technology isn’t just a ladder, it’s a pit slowing swallowing your close ones.“

As canny as the title may sound, I could not think of anything else to describe our current trip to Rishikesh. For there was only one purpose in mind: Soul Finding

As final year B.Tech students, life seems full of opportunities and possibilities. But this brings the added tension that any path we may take might not be the best for us, that it might not lead us to discover our full caliber 10 years down the lane. With all this in mind, we decided to spend the weekend on a random trek.

Four of us – Ayush, Harsh, Vikrant and I, left our comfort zones and headed for Rishikesh on a humid Saturday Noon. With a bus crises, it took us almost 3 hours to just reach a place 30 kms away from our campus. Once there, we roamed for a while and finally decided to spend some time in German Cafe. A rather delightful place with a magnificent view of the Laxman Ghulla, the food was good and quite cheap ( something which you always consider if you reside in a hostel). Rains disrupted our otherwise pleasant plans but we tried to make the most out of it as well.

We decided to tuck in our beds early as it was going to be an early trek next day. Little did we know that the small talks would extend till three in the night. Started with ghostly encounters, we quickly shifted to our personal experiences to way more mature topics – relation building, successful family life, friends after 20 years and so on.

Next morning looked pleasant. A light breakfast and we started looking for buses to Kanjupuri. People usually take a taxi to the top and follow a downward trek of 13 kms. But an over-enthusiastic Harsh wanted to go the other way around. We started our upward march and soon realized why people preferred the down flow. For it was almost a 45 degree ascend most of the time with a lot of slippery rocks. But then,sailing in a calm sea never made a good sailor. The feel of climbing up was way more satisfying than any of the splendid views.

On the way, we were greeted by a couple of small streams and a few waterfalls. After reaching a height I guess no other group had achieved that day, we took a detour in the bushes to try reaching one of the nearby hill. But alas the way caved in and even after all our efforts, we could not achieve our goal. Sometimes you have to taste defeat even when you have given your sincere efforts. On the way back, we bathed for an hour in one of the streams and had Maggi (this product was banned in India when this post was being written) by the water-side. Downward journey was pretty quick and we found ourselves resting in 60s / Beatles cafe in no time. This place also lived up to its name with a magnificent view and peaceful environment. Do try the Lemon Mint cold beverage if you are there. Following this we had a satisfying lunch / Dinner (for it was 5 pm) at a local Rajasthani place and started our return journey.

Ironically we roamed for two days to find our souls, but the biggest message was realized by me in the return bus journey. For getting out of traffic after been stuck for 90 mins, the cool air that touches your face can give the most satisfying feel ever. Just to be again stuck in traffic. When you have a lot of time in such a situation and no phone, your mind ponders. And I finally realized –

” No stage ( grief or happiness ) is permanent in life. So it is better to enjoy and face each of them rather than worry about the next. For as has been said by many – the journey is always better than the destination“

This travelogue was first published by Harshit Chopra.

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