I have time and again mentioned the name of Cheryl Strayed on my various social platforms – be it Facebook or my Instagram and even my Snapchat. I even mentioned her name in my various previous blog posts and here I am… mentioning her name yet again.
Cheryl Strayed is one of most favorite novelists. Her novel – Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail is by far my favorite novel of adventure genre. It is a memoir by Cheryl which describes her 1,100 miles hike on the Pacific Crest Trail in 1955 as a journey of self discovery. The book also contains flashbacks to prior life occurrences that led her to begin her journey. Seeking self discovery at age 26 Strayed set out on her journey, alone and with no prior hiking experience. While most of us keep on talking and dreaming about escaping to the wilderness away from human existence trying to seek solace and repose, Cheryl Strayed actually did it. This is what makes me her fan. Since I am a wanderer stuck at one place as I always say… I try to make the best of the little travelling opportunities I get. While my travel adventure stories seem small and overly talked about to you… it is always a big deal for me. And it is during my little travel accounts that my inner Cheryl Strayed often takes over me.
“it seemed like my trip had just begun, like I was only now digging into whatever it was I was out here to do. Like I was still the woman with the hole in her heart, but the hole had gotten ever so infinitesimally smaller.”
In this post I am going to talk about my meeting with the holy Ganges after a span of 4-5 long years. I was bit with a travel bug because of my parents. I have covered almost the entire Northern India when I was a kid. However, since I lacked the maturity that I have now.. I never valued those trips.
On the last day of me and my friends 3 day mid semester getaway to the North, we went to Dev-Bhoomi Rishikesh. We left for Rishikesh from Dehradun around 10 in the morning. I was specifically excited for getting a view of the Ganges which we got after 15 minutes of our entering the holy land. And as expected… she looked beautiful. Just so beautiful. As calm as she could get, flowing down Rishikesh peacefully…occasionally romancing with the sun’s light.
Our plan was to go near the river bank and so we took a road through Rajaji National Park, Veerbhadhra which led us to the famous Laxman Jhula and what a sight we experienced! That place was full of hipsters, travellers and localites. A glimpse of diversity is what we got to experience there. It seemed like a mixture of various different people from different background who came together to embrace the peaceful yet aggressive beauty that the Ganges is.
Passing through slim and sleek roads that run along the river (which were very congested by the way), we finally got a place for parking our beloved baby Aveo. Since we were time bound… we had exactly an hour to reach, meet and spend time with the Ganges and so we hurried up! We walked all the way across the Laxman Jhula which was really very crowded – Laxman Jhula is an iron suspension bridge which is painted with the colors of the Indian flag which is built over the river Ganges – from two wheeler to cows and from foreign tourists to localites, the bridge was really crowded which slowed down our speed. However, we still managed to cross the bridge in time and we finally reached the river bank. Seeing that the river is just a few steps away from me.. I couldn’t control my happiness. I was really very eager to touch it and feel it (how sensual does it sound? lol.) I quickly removed my shoes, put my bag pack down and literally ran towards it. The water was really very chilly but soothing. Cool breeze and bright sunshine accompanied the Ganges.
After sitting on the giant rocks for a while, me and my friends stepped down and just sat there. It was then when my inner Cheryl Strayed took over me yet again. I rolled up my jeans and walked towards the river. My friends looked at me confused. I told them about my decision of taking a dip in the river. I had no towel or any dry piece of clothing with me at that time, haha. But I had made my decision and thus, I went for it anyway! The moment I took my first dip, I froze-the water was that level of freezing. However after a couple of seconds, I started to feel that refreshing feeling which one can never feel after a regular shower bath, haha. And I again went for a dip and it just went on!
There were so many othet amazing things in this world. They opened up inside of me like a river.
The best moment was when I successfully convinced my friends as well for taking a dip and they went for it! What priceless moment!
After playing in the crystal clear water of the Ganges, I collected pebbles from the bank. The sun shone so brightly upon us that after a few dip sessions, the water began to feel relatively warm.
After a short photo session, dry yet wet, we headed towards our volvo. I started feeling cold but it was a nice type of cold… a cold that I wanted to feel, even though I needed a warm cover for myself… I did not want one.
My meet with the Ganges had an effect on me and it still exists even though the trip ended 4 days ago. I am calm. I am taking it easy. The restless me is on a pause for now.
Reasons why I need to travel more often.
That my complicated life could be made so simple was astounding.
Until next time!