Saturday, November 22, 2008

The trip (Finale: back to Bangalore)

To read the First and Second part of the journey...
Phase-II (Pune-Shirdi)
Phase-I (Bangalore-Belgaum)
How irritating....the last phase of the trip has erased, no not from memory, but from the draft.

We reached Shirdi at around 1:00am. We fooled around the place for an hour and finally settled for a small hotel. We parked our luggage, took bath and immediately left for the temple. There drooling and half asleep we stood in the queue and at 4:30 the temple doors opened. We ran towards the sanctum santorium and got a good seat in front of Baba. The place had some ethereal aura and charm. We were there for 2 hours and then came out. On our way back to the hotel we purchased some sweets and condiments.

Back to the room we immediately jumped onto the bed to gather some sleep. But for me sleep was nowhere near. The heart and mind was covered with black clouds of angst agony and bitterness. I seemed Baba has not bothered to provide any relief or a healing touch to this paapi.
But how wrong I was. Lord answered me, not with the answer I wanted but with an answer that was proper. About that later.

Its 10:30 time to start for Shani Shignapur. Its a place where people do not have door in there houses, neither do the shops have shutters. Here the villagers believe no body dare steal as this area is guarded by Lord Shani, son of Lord Yama.

The heat was rising. After staying in Bangalore for more than 2 years I had forgotten the Delhi heat. The heat here reminded me of the Delhi summer. By 3 when we returnd to Nashik we were sapped of all our energy and were longing for something cooler. After looking here and there we found a AC restaurant, but alas there was no power. And anyway by the look of the place it did not seem that made any difference. We doubted if they actually turned on the AC ever.

We had our lunch, with their permission sat there for one more hour afterwards. With our batteries recharged and our enthusiasm bit restored we walked towards the Bus stand for our next destination, Nashik.

We started from Shirdi for Nashik at around 6:00pm. After we had traveled around 10-15 kms, suddenly I got the answer to the question I had posed to baba. What a relief.

The sarkari bus took around 2 and half hours to reach Nashik main bus stand...a dark desolate bus stand. We took a rickshaw and came to old-CBS. People said good hotels are mostly located there. It's near panchwati. Oh! BTW, Nashik derives its name from Ramayana's aranya kanda. Surpanakha had her nose cut here by Lakshman, brother of Lord Rama.

Near CBS we got a decent lodging. I have forgotten the name of the hotel, but we did bargain and got a discount of around Rs, 50, money well saved. I think the room cost us 350/-.

We immediately informed Kiran 'Loku' and then started for dinner. We had chapati subzi in a small eatery and then walked around the locality till 10:30. In the meanwhile I tried to pry some inside news regarding, "you know who :-D".

After long last we returned to room to gather some sleep. don't forget in the last 3 nights we had travelled. So we had a much needed sleep.

4:30am and time to wake up, the lord of Nashik, 13th Joytirling beckoned. We got ready and left for bus stand at 5:30. The bus was at 6:15. We reached our destination during the cool period of the day. There we had a grand darshan, followed by a darshan of Gomukh, the start point of Godavari.

By 12:00 we were back. Mukul was mad for Vada pao. I am yet to decipher people's craze for this Vada pao. Anyway, we went to a famous shop and Mukul had it to his hearts content. After he was full we moved to our regular restaurant for my lunch, rice and curd.

Then we returned to our room, gathered our belongings and reached bus stand for bus to Mumbai. We badly wanted AC bus, but more badly we wanted to reach Mumbai to catch our flight back.

At the bus stand some beautiful babes were waiting for some bus. Suddenly we saw a dabba, or a contraption of a bus to Mumbai. Even before we could think if we will spend some time ogling at the gals, we were running for the bus. Just image the scene... Mukul running after the bus with a Gumcha waving, and I following him. A typical Hindi filmi scene, only there were no damsel, only a bus to catch. But the girls at the bus stand were beautiful.

By 5:00 we reached Mumbai and in half an hour we were in front of the Airport. A middle aged couple from Delhi joined us for the taxi ride from the bus stand to the port. They did not let us share the fare. the gentelman paid the full fare...after all they were from Delhi, shaher of Dilwaley.

After we had satisfied ourselves with the location of the airport we started for Juhu beach chowpaati to have some evening snacks. How we reached there and what all we ate will take up one more blog chapter. But by 8:30 we were back to catch the 10:00pm flight.

Rati had planned to come to the airport to meet me but she could not manage it, she had a factory visit. Anyway we checked into the lounge and at 10:45 boarded our flight.

By midnight we were in Bangalore and by 12:30 I had reached my room after dropping Mukul on the way.

Thus, comes to end an unforgettable trip. A trip that had a journey to my own heart, some divinity and lots of activity.

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