In the last installment of this year’s A2Z, I thought I will bring you the individual highlights of the trip in each of our eyes. Each of 12 days of this trip is as fresh in our memories like as if it has happened just now. But each of us have had different portions that have stood out from the rest. So here goes the individual high points.

Sister:

  • She was very apprehensive of the Yamunotri trek, thinking it would be very very tough. She had heard a story of a mishap that occurred years ago and that had freaked her out. But all of us persuaded her to undertake this trek with us. Now she says that it is a great high point. She has a small bottle of the pure Yamuna water with her now that she can do puja to during the Ananthapadmanabha Vrat.
  • She had felt a divine vibration at the Gangotri temple. The vigraha of Ma Ganga had made her emotional. Her face, Her benevolence and Her grace is etched in my sister’s memory forever.
  • When she and brother-in-law had a ceremony to solemnize their marriage a second time in the same exact spot where Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were married, it was very special to both of them, though they may joke about it.
  • The great hotel Dev Darshan at Uttarkashi and the waters of the flowing Bhagirathi where we spent a happy evening playing in the water is one of the favourite highlights for her.
  • One of the main things that give her joy is the fact that our two families went together.

Brother-in-law

  • All of us going together is a high point for him. The fact that we might have become separated on the trek going up or down but somehow our meeting each other is special for him.
  • All the places we went to are in some form or other related to our great epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana and puranas. We were able to be in the places where some momentous events might have happened. This feeling is special for him.
  • The friendly people of the hills are a part of his list.
  • Marrying my sister again figures in his list too.

Husband

  • Husband’s list includes the fact that we all went together and came back safely.
  • We covered all the places in the itinerary without missing out on major locations.
  • Another high point on his list are our bus companions. They were so helpful and jolly. We bonded well with them.
  • Only regret he has is my daughter S could not complete the Kedarnath this time with us.

D

  • The Kedarnath trek of going up figures high in her list. She had felt divine vibes on the way up when she saw the ice capped mountains. She was so overcome with emotion that tears flowed freely. She sang all the songs she knew of Lord Shiva on the way up, sitting on her khachar.
  • Similarly the trek up to Yamunotri is also a great memory for her. In both these treks, going up and coming down, she was always with her dad. Even when all of us got separated, she was somehow always with him. This was very special to her.
  • The playing in the waters of Bhagirathi at Uttarkashi is on this list.
  • All the four cousins going together with parents is also in this list.

S

  • The Gangotri temple figures in her list. She really liked it there.
  • She also loved the Badrinath temple. The Lord in the sanctum looked divine and she felt happy there.
  • Haridwar, with the river, the aarthi, the icy dip, mansa devi ropeway, and even the hotel make high points for her.
  • Of course, Dev Darshan and playing in the water is on her list too.
  • Eating the bread pakoras at Dev Darshan is one of her favourite things to remember.

K

  • For him, the Kedarnath trek, both going up and coming down figure as high points of the trip.
  • When he was going up, he would almost fall asleep sitting on the ghoda. So he sang songs of Lord Shiva to keep himself awake. When he reached the top at last, he was so exhausted with hunger, and sleep deprivation that he says he saw the world different colours. He says that when he closed his left eye the world appeared in a blue tint and when he closed his right eye, everything appeared red.
  • But after the darshan of the Lord, he was rejuvenated like magic. He had poured water from a kalash kept there on to the Lingam too. God knows how but after that all his tiredness left him and the eye problem vanished too. In fact he walked down a large part of the trek without sitting in the pittu that we had engaged for him.
  • All of us going together figures in his list too.
  • He also has a soft corner for poor Rahul and keeps remembering him.

C

  • Little C’s list is a little unconventional. His list includes the hotel we stayed in at Haridwar on the way back. Our boy is a little car mad. There was a vintage car on display at this hotel. Their buffet breakfast and dinner too won C’s approval.
  • The hotel Dev Darshan and the playing in the water figures prominently in this list.
  • Yamunotri trek is a highlight for C. He was in a doli like me. Even though he was alone for some periods of time, he was very brave and did not panic. In one of the stops on the way down, I met him and both of us had hot rajma chawal.
  • On the bus, he and S mostly sat together. With empty water bottles he would play as if he was launching a missile. The water bottle was of the company “Oxyrich”. So the missile launcher too was “Oxyrich missile launcher”. This game kept him entertained for hours on end. Both he and S had great fun. This is a highlight for C.

Me

  • To see all the four dhams has been my lifelong dream. Being able to complete that with mine and my sister’s family is a big highlight for me.
  • Each of the dhams is special for me. I cannot score one over the other. I would not miss any one of them for anything.
  • The Ganga aarti at Haridwar is definitely a high point for me. I was so overcome with emotion.

Thank you all for being with me in reliving this memorable journey this whole month. I hope you all had as much fun as I did writing about it. I really appreciate all your kind comments and likes. I cherish them.

See you around.