It was time..
Yup, time to have that delicious lunch of Laccha Parathas, Palak Paneer at Vishal Bhojanalay and to finish it with the loaded Kesar Lassi topped with fresh butter at Rajasthani Bhojanalay.
If I don’t have any pics of the lunch, it’s because we went for it the moment it came on to our table 🙂
Now it was time to go back, pack our backpacks and head to the airport. There was an air of melancholy about it already, it was setting in.
We bade our goodbye to the beautiful peaceful ashram and got into the taxi. I remained silent and listened in to the conversation between Bhim and the driver. A proud Rajasthani man, he was pretty rigorous about his ideals and spoke about the controversial Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and the others.
What stunned me was when he said that no matter how big his sons made in life or travel, at the end of the day they had to marry a girl only from their caste, Rajput community. Otherwise they would kill them both!
Bhim was shocked too and argued his case saying what’s the point in educating them then if they are not given any choice? It’s better they are in the village.
But nope, the man stood his stand. He said that we had no idea about the life in Western UP and these are the way things are run there. Even if his son managed to escape out of the country, he would have to kill himself and his wife for what his son had done, insulting the community. I could only think one thing.. India is so vast and so complicated, what is the solution to all this? Just education or more?
Anyways he invited us to his village saying you should visit us, we will show you what is hospitality all about 🙂
We reached the airport, thanked him and made our way to our check in counters. It was time to say goodbye to my friend too, he would leave earlier than me and take a connecting flight to Bangalore from Delhi while I would stopover at Delhi that night at my friend Dupi’s place.
It was bitter sweet as I said goodbye to my buddy. What an awesome 9 days it was, what we went through this journey is something only we could get it, no matter how much I tried to express through my blog..
I had no phone so I could make one last call using Bhim’s number to my friend Dupi to say I would use the metro and reach her place that night. Metro was the safest option in Delhi and thank god for that!
In the flight I had an amusing experience thanks to a passenger sitting next to me, he exactly looked like someone I knew, someone who interned at my cafe last year, an awesome 20 year old called Ashutosh. This guy exactly looked like him. Everything except he was 5-6 years older. I almost wanted to say Hi until I realised it was someone else.
The chap was on skype with his girlfriend who I am assuming lives in Dehradun and maybe he had come to visit her and she was in tears. So all I could hear was Jaanu, Jaaneman, meri jaan 🙂 (let’s say cootchie cooing in translation!) Mein luggage chodke baaghke waapas aa Jaao?(Shall I come back?) Agar mera bas hota to mein udke tumare paas aa jaata!(I wish I could fly and come to you!) and what not 🙂
And I could see the girl crying, total filmy expressions, I actually felt I was watching a soap opera and the bugger was still chatting while taking off. And it happened for ten minutes at that! Which network was this?? I only hoped Ashutosh (the guy I knew) wouldn’t turn out like that after a few years 🙂
Reaching my friends place around 10 pm, I relaxed totally. Dupi as usual made me hot dinner and we chatted till late night. I was also catching up with her awesome daughters Harnoor and Harsimar. Harnoor was busy preparing for her exams and feeling the pressure. Dupi’s adorable pug Gibby was as usual sneezing his way through and wagging his tiny little tail and got ready to be petted .
Early morning I woke up along with Dupi and we had an early morning Chai outside her beautiful house in the garden. Birds chirping, silence, the air force station area was something else, so removed from the hustle and bustle of civilian life.
Dupi had to go to school for half a day and she promised to come back early. She left while Harnoor and I chatted over Aloo Paratha breakfast about the treks I did. I goaded her to do one small trek this summer. Studies will always be there but after her exams she should do one trek at least.
Harnoor was 16 years, bright, athletic and very aware. She knew the current issues, not crazy about phones, selfies, technology, used it only when she felt the need to and very focused. She wanted to be a pilot and was striving towards it and I hoped and prayed that she succeeded in whatever she wanted to do, we needed more girls like her today more than ever.
Dupi came back early from school and we spent time, chatting slurping Ice cream(all those indulgences) and laughing out loud.What would the world be without laughter? 🙂
As I said goodbye to my dear friend and made my way back home, I recollected the past 18 days.. What an incredible journey it had been..
Right from Har ki Dun till Delhi.. The wonderful people I met, some of whom I really connected with, new friends, new beginnings, second leg of a journey with a dear friend and awesome experiences. And most importantly the Himalayas… There was so much to explore in this short life. The journey continues..