Delhi, the heat was really getting to me, so I decided to venture upwards for some cooler place and choose Dehradun with my Nani being there. It is a valley that I am very familiar with. My man Friday, butler cum helper, Mr Kawatra felt utterly bored with me not being there in Delhi and he too decided to follow suit. He came to Dehradun too and we touched base for lunch of mutton at a local eatery. Dehradun had cooler weather as it rained often which would drive away the afternoon heat bringing temperatures down. My walks started to get together as I walked 4 to 5 km every day in the morning. But there was an urge to explore further, so I and Kwatra hatched a plan to go to Rishikesh for the day.
Things moved like clockwork from the go, we got a hired sedan to Rishikesh right up to the Laxman Jhula all for Rs 1500. It was a steal as I loaded my camera bag in the car’s back seat. I and Kwatra walked across the crowded lanes of Rishikesh inhaling the holy essence of its shops and narrow alleys littered with temples, ashrams, yoga centres, meditation music and cafes catering to a very foreign and upward clientele. We walked through the stoney and pebbled banks of the Ganga for a holy dip. The water looked muddy and dull to me but it was flowing fast and that gave me comfort that the water was good for bathing. As I took a dip, I saw rafts floating past me with people in full gear rowing away. I walked back to the bank to load my camera, to capture this beautiful sport of river rafting which is very popular in this town. The city is full of tour operators and adventure travel including bungee jumping and paragliding. The flavour of the city lies in its location on the banks of the Ganga, seen as the symbol of piousness, mother nature and purity. This gives Rishikesh its divine and holy seal steeped in the Vedic religious movement, the city is ancient and yet unexplored.
We walked back after our dip through the maddening crowd past the Laxman Jhula and, of course, across it. It was amazing that a sea of people was on this suspended bridge trying to pass through from either side, each jostling the other for a position. The heat was getting to me by now and we stopped over at a cafe cum German bakery for some callers and shakes along with pizza. I got the opportunity to capture some amazing acrobatics being performed by the local street kids. The girl was very flexible and she jumped on a bench like a gymnast.
Kwatra’s fascination with food was evident throughout the journey as he kept taking one food or the other and discussing the qualities that are present in humus. It was getting late as I had more or less captured the science of our short journey into the holy city. I had the snapshot and, of course, a new adventure story for my blog.