More than the episode the underlying simplicity is soul touching
1) On my way from Devprayag to Srinagar thought to refuel, assuming there will be less number of pumps and very sporadic availability of fuel. Something interesting happened this guy fills in the fuel not bothered to collect payment or swipe my card.Yes the digitization has shown its effect at all petrol pumps in the course of my journey all but one accepted the credit card .
I waited at the exit for almost 3 minutes for this guy to come, could be more could be less. The moment I left to washroom he whispered to my cousin hope this is a diesel operated vehicle I did not ask I just filled diesel. Innocence or honesty…call it whatever but simplicity of course.
2) Adjacent to the Garhwal university in Srinagar is an ancient temple called kamleshwar Mahadev mandir.The temple priest when asked about the significance and importance of the place took keen interest and recited the shlokas that describe the temple and its significance. Most of it was Greek to me, but I enjoyed the Priest dedication and recitation, he was on his job full on.
We were informed that childless couples after praying here could conceit a child. There is a special day wherein couples offer prayers the entire night.Standing whole night is not less than any penance but for the children, couple does this. In the morning, the lamp is flown into the Alaknanda river and after this, Shiva is worshiped.
Every year more than 250+ childless couple come here from the different part of the country. I was being told that last year the number was over 400.
After witnessing the origin of Ganga it was time to move further.
Under the guidance of a local who was sitting on a roadside vend idle gossiping I decided to take the route to Khirsu via the Srinagar rather than first go to pauri via satpuli.
I was told that this is a better route and that I shall encounter Khirsu first and subsequently Pauri. Khirsu being more beautiful, lesss explored made more sense for me to follow his advice.People are so kind that you will not need the GPs , further it is a good way to strike conversation with locals, after all we have grown the hard way.
I turned towards the guided route which was via the Srinagar.
The drive to Khirsu was so pleasing and I bet my Kids Ananya and Lakshay it was similar to what you experienced few months back while we traveled to Kasauni…the K word.
Pine trees, Cone laden roads, and the view…the view I am sure is fresh in your minds.
Around evening we reached khirsu …and withcent percent surety I could say…Shanti hai, Vyawhar hai, Vishwas hai…insaniyat hai…Na jyada guest houses na jyada commercialization…
We decided to find a good boarding point where we could stay and admire the snow clad peaks from.Didn’t have to search much.The first preference was the GMVN but the guy was not very keen to have us with fixed rates (very economical but still higher than what private parties could offer) we just saw the hut priced at INR 1400 and moved out not empty handed but I bought the book Uttrakhand “The Abode of Gods” to brush up and fine tune my awareness and knowledge of the place.
Had interesting encounters en-route came across the little Joshi’s and the uniyals with whom I had grown.Reminiscent of my walking from school in Mussorie from barlowganj to my house.
I started the conversation with these little dear pahadis “what time does your school get over” 3:30 came the reply. Dittoo for us I said to myself. Soon the 3 guys fitted in the back seat of my car with few bags accompanying them.They started shyly whispering amongst themselves.There whispers still echo in my mind and I posiibly could translate some bit of it for this is what exactly we did when we were their age….