HOW I SPENT MY HOLIDAYS
I rather shivered when I saw the temperature of Delhi on the television screen. It was as much as that of Chennai. But I wanted to get rid of the humid atmosphere of the South. I just fancied that after Delhi the things would be better. The journey was quite comfortable as we had reservation in II Air Condition. Of course we could not enjoy the scenes of the countryside clearly. Two days and two nights in the train were rather too much. But it was no relief to find that New Delhi Railway Station was as fuller of hustle and bustle as Chennai was on our way.
Two days at Delhi was nothing like holidaying for me moved in a DTC special bus in the heat of May to visit the historical places? I was not much interested in the Mughal structures. I wanted to be in the cool breeze of the mountains. I fancied the cool water of the Ganga flowing down Gangotri to Haridwar and Rishikesh where we had an arrangement to stay for a fortnight. The journey from Delhi was in ‘^us – the journey to the Himalayan valley from where I would enjoy the beauty of the snow clad mountains.
Taking a night bus we reached Haridwar early in the morning. The city did not attract me. It was as pious and as dirty as all the sacred cities are. But the scene at the bank of the Ganga was delightful and serene. I could not leave temptation of having a dip in the river as soon as I reach there. My mother accompanied me. As we were proceeding towards the river someone stopped us. He advised us not to go to the mainstream as the flow of the river was very fast. He showed us the way to a subway flow of water. We later on came to know it was a branch of the river that passed through ‘Har-ki-Pauri’ where Hindus immerse the bones of the dead. We took a dip in this stream only. The water was cool, rather cold. We enjoyed it.
After two days at Haridwar we went to Rishikesh, the land of the ancient Rishis. The remnants of the life of Rishis are no more there. The Dharmshalas have all the modern facilities. The stay was very comfortable. Prayer in the morning, a dip in the Ganga, a class of Yoga sans, ‘Satvik’ food, rest, sermon in the evening, it seemed we lived in a Gurukul. The atmosphere was serene but a little crowded. My mother and father who were with me wanted more peace for at least a week.
After five days we decided to go to swargashram a little up. It was the real place we wanted to stay. Steep snow clad Himalayan mountains could be seen at a distance. It was a heavenly beauty. We enjoyed the hills and forests besides the busy activities of Swargashram. It really seemed ‘Swarg’ (heaven) on land – the abode of ancient saints and gods. The journey back was pleasant for I had memories of the beauties of the pious mountains and the Ganga. They beamed on my mental horizon every now and then.