I am glad I took this challenging yet thrilling decision to make it to this trip.
This isn't a common vacation where one stays in a luxury hotel, eat chef cooked food, fly in a first class. This is just the opposite of all luxuries one can think of.
It was the first week of August, my cab mate (Colleague) told me about his plan of going to a spiritual journey (pilgrimage) that extended to a 7-8 days of journey. Well having me said "Journey" does not mean a Car, bus or a flight. This journey comprised of about 260 Kms of walk. Yeah, you read that right, we completed this journey by “WALK”
It was the very next week that we had to start and I wasn’t prepared, nor I reserve an experience of having been to a journey of this sort. I just confirmed without even thinking of the probable consequences. Though I took few hours to discuss with parents, I pretty much confirmed the same day
It was 11th of August 2018 afternoon 1.30 PM, I looked back at my Mother who was seeing me from the window and my father ready to drop me with the hefty 3 bags to the van we had hired to carry our luggage. I rather decided to walk, my father dropped the bags to the van and wished us a good luck for our journey
In no time we started walking, from a well known place in Bengaluru, Majestic (the area I stay). I was wearing a casual shoe and carried a pair of slippers. 1st day was an exciting walk day, got introduced to a lot of new people through the journey. It was in Byappanahalli we took time as it rained heavily and my shoes were completely wet- the wet socks I walked in made me suffer that night, there were water filled bubbles (Athlete's foot) at my toe tip, it is then I realized this going to be a hard journey!
12th, 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th our graphs was like sea waves with a lot of ups and downs, yet a smiling face we all carried, as we got to know each other and cracked nonsense jokes. Every day we had to walk an approx. 35-45kms and that was challenging
The accommodation, food was well organised by a religious society (Mutt), we were a group of 12, although there were an approx. 800 of them altogether. We slept on the street side temples, had food and snacks that were provided by ‘sevakarthas’, we rested wherever one could find a place, the roof, fluffy bed, A/C were not the order of our days. We lived out lives with no luxuries and ready facilities in mind. Although I met pilgrims who were doctors, lawyers, businessmen etc. to my surprise, all had a same motive, and none expected any of our urban lifestyle.
We couldn’t even bath for 3-4 days, sometime we did in open space, cultivation land, etc. No hamams(public bathrooms), no showers, no Jacuzzi, no tubs here. We were all one and that’s what the speciality of this journey is!
The real deal came in on the 17th the last day, I was completely exhausted and my feet was swollen and was in severe joint pains. Yet! I never felt to give up. I took my time and yes I did it. We reached Thirumala, visited temple and started back in the van that we hired to carry our luggage the same day to Bengaluru
When I came back, I came back as a person who learnt the value of food, water, shelter, person, relationship, and what not. I am a completely transformed person. Although some funny traits wont leave me. Yes, I am proud and happy I took this step away from my IT job and experience the real human nature, environment, nature etc