Intimate with mother

Sunday is our 'rest' day. But we still have to get up at 4 to meditate. I'm getting used to this four o'clock business now. Today I was up at 3:45 and  follow my routine of brushing teeth getting fully dressed and steeping out. It's so quiet outside, Rishikesh looks like a ghost town. There's only one place to go to, where she flows like a queen, looking very proud and aloof. I offer my pranams to enter and she kind of says ok. The cold is indescribable just like the waning moon rising over the mountains. Magical landscape kind of numbed by the cold. Im out in a minute, any more than that and I might be lining myself up for pneumonia !

After breakfast some of us line outside the dining hall in green jackets,gloves and green masks. It looks like a major O.T (Operation theatre) Unfortunately our undertaking is not that glamorous ! We are about to venture forth to ....pick garbage ! One of our sanyassinis from the West (where else?) spearheads the effort working on behalf of an NGO, as we go rag picking through Rishikesh. Working mainly with the help of donations and money collected from hotels and homes, it's an intriguing concept that surprisingly works.They have workers who collect and sort garbage everyday, recycling everything that can be recycled. All the biscuit wrappers, tobacco pouches and the flashy chocolate wrappers are the ones that can't be recycled and go straighht to the landfill. I'll think twice before buying 'Hide and Seek' biscuits again !

People on the road give us strange looks as we move along with big jute sacks picking up 'stuff' on the way. A very crazy way to spend a Sunday but I love it ! On our way back to the Ashram some of us continue the craziness and suddenly decide we want to get intimate with the mother.  So we speed off on a jeep 15 km uphill. The huge yellow raft is unloaded from the jeep and we put our life jackets on. With an instructor and helper on board, sitting at the very back, we delve into the bossom of Mother Ganga. I sit at the front , the place of maximum wettability. The Hindus have a belief that you should enter the river without disturbing it especially a holy river like the Ganga. So we always ask for blessings since we are about to fool around ! Yes, highly superstitious but feels good anyway ! The rapids were exhilarating and scary. There were times when we thought we would capsize. All we saw was water and then in the middle of that , the instructor screams us to paddle harder !

On calmer waters we jumped abroad and swam ahead of the boat. one of the guys was scared to jump in the water because of pure hydrophobia, and lack of knowledge of the art of swimmology. Even with the life jacket he was not budging an inch. All our persuasions fell on deaf ears. So we did the only decent thing to do, dumped him into the water headfirst. He also happened to be the last guy to come back on board ! I will never forget the feeling as I floated down the river looking up at the sky , feeling the sun and the mountains and forest all around me! We came back wet, exhausted and very very happy. I'm falling in love with the river more and more everyday...


  1. seeems like you are enjoying what you do..!
    and i was kinda missing your post.
    great description of everything with the right amount of humour..!
    take care and keep writing

  2. The way you write makes one feel like they themselves lived the moment. I might not be a vagabond but reading ur blog regularly makes me feel like one! Nice to hear that u'r havin fun.

  3. That must have been a wild ride, I love Mother Ganga!

    Getting up at four am is nicer than most people think. I don't do it much these days, I usually go to bed at four am because I'm crazy. But I do love the peace of the early morning when everything is so still.


  4. I'm awake at 4 am too but that's because I haven't slept doing assignments!Lol.I was surprised when I actually found myself agreeing to the picking up rubbish activity. I mean, its a really good thing you're doing. God knows if everyone does it this world will be a better place.

    And rivers are awesome, they give you this nostalgic feel, like you somehow belong there. I've only bathed in one once,but the memory is imprinted.:)The whole 'one with nature' thing isn't just some saying after all.

    P.s.- I solemnly swear not to post up any more food pictures and add to your agony Pan. Hahaha.

  5. hey you have been tagged (again)
    pls check my blog

  6. What a contrast..picking up rubbish and then letting out the child in you in the Ganga.. both cathartic in their own ways, I presume.. thank you for taking us all with you on this journey!

  7. It was a lovely post .. I felt as if I was there too .. the atmosphere was perfect just needed to take a plunge in the Ganges..

  8. Sepo,

    Well id be lying if i said i didnt enjoy very much what im doing ! Ha looks like i have a rare breed of reader here, a hardcore fan , somebody who actually waits with bated breath for my posts... ;)
    Thank you Madam for the lavish praise and the constant support. That tag is naughty, but since ur a hardcore fan ill mail u my response, cant show it in public ! ;)

  9. Sindu, maybe i paint such a rose coloured pic of vagabonding but the road is most often lonely, and if you are not your own best friend well what can i say ? Anyway Im glad you like my style. :)

  10. Jai,

    Ganga is someone special. Actually i have that kind of feeling towards her, just like a mother. im sure glad my mom is not reading this ! im an owl but recently switched to being a lark. lets see how long the switch lasts !

  11. Jeeves,

    Another owl on the prowl eh! i remember cramming for exams in uni all night and then seeing the rising sun. Then off to a small hotel that opens at the wee hours for steaming idlis. damn, im getting goosebumps thinking about it ! I intend to take u up on ur food promise !

  12. hmm elmo i like your formal crisp analysis of my post. with a tiny bit of psychological analysis thrown in are most welcome *little bow*

  13. Aria, i take this as too generous praise coming from a first rate writer like yourself ! Thanks all the same :)

  14. formal..?!
    and was the analysis at all accurate? :)

  15. elomo, you know you're always right !


Thanks for taking the time to write :)