Writing this piece reminiscing 17th July 2023. The day when I with 2 of my friends, took a mini trip to Mandav and Maheshwar. It was a day-long road trip that I wanted to ditch the very time it was planned. Apparently, I am someone who hates the discomfort of traveling and once I go out start hating the arrival back home. I know, it’s weird.
I took the front seat and spent half of the way getting lost in thoughts, lush green roadway, and songs accompanying us. Though I’m a total chatterbox in most of my journeys I love to stay silent as much as possible.
Just like every trip, it was a lot about going to places, climbing numerous staircases, clicking photos, getting exhausted, and trying to avoid the crowd. One of the best things that happened was that we went early, so we could grab a lot of crowd-less images. It was an amazing view sharing a few of the snaps I loved here.
We initially planned for the Mandav trip, which further extended to Maheshwar and I wanted to passout instantly when that happened. It’s the thought of the Narmada River in Maheshwar that kept me a little charged. Adding flavor of a bit different kind, the driver of the cab we booked was a bit weird. By weird, I mean less talkative, more with attributes of cleaning OCD, and Indian religion. He was bowing his head to every shop even having god’s images visible outside. I am no one to judge him, but ya sort of observations what I did when having digital off to some point.
Fortunately or unfortunately, I don’t know, but we forgot to take a power bank with us. When our mobile phones started signaling us in the awe of charging, then only we noticed that “oops” moment.
We were still using our phones to capture some good memories of places, but it was only that warning of 1% charging of my phone that made me keep it aside completely. I instantly called my friends informing “I’m sitting near the front side at the banks of the Narmada River, find me here when you are done photographing.” In the second minute, I called home and told “Not to worry, I have 1% charge remaining in my phone, I will call back when charge it and they can connect on my friend’s number. Ciya”
Climbing down stair by stair, I reached the banks of Narmada. I made a point of finding the spot I could get a view and experience the cold water touching my feet with every wave. I sat there and with the first touch of water to my feet, all my exhaustion went away magically. “यात्रा सफल हो गई” were instant words came to my mind. As much as I could see, the farther my eyes have explored, it was water, water, and just water. I was so engrossed in the place in that vary moment that I can still re-live it, every time I think about it.
The background scene was typically that of a place of pilgrimage. There were some pandits doing chants, some small pandits taking thali and doing tilak of people for dakshina, some decorated bicycles where people were getting photographed, small jeeps for which kids were trying to pursue their parents for a ride, lot of families coming there to take dip in holy water of Narmada, and some vendors selling “Diya in paper plates” for “दीप दान” ritual of worshipping holy rivers in India.
There was a conversation going on inside me, between the rational and the logical version of me to the irrational and illogical me. Yeah, it happens to me often and I believe anyone of Indian origin could relate here. Our upbringing in religious families makes us go Shh.. and just do the practices that we were told to without any explanation of the reasoning behind them. But, the logical and marketing person inside jumps instantly and argues that it’s all practices led to maintain the commercial intent or even as a practice raises questions to find the answers behind everything. I listened to both of my minds and partially both were right and wrong. I was smiling amused by what all goes inside your head as you grow up and witness the same things from different lenses.
And, my all thoughts were taken away by the family who came to take a dip in Narmada sitting near me. There was an elder sister and younger brother with their parents where younger brother almost dipped the mobile phone in water. The parents were trying to make him go Shhh after that incident. It reminded me of how we used to go to river Kshipra in Ujjain and how my elder brother slipped on the first stair while doing some water test. (I’ll share more about it in “Ek Tha Bachpan” stories where I talk about my childhood life incidents which are now sweet/bitter memories.)
Like this family, there was another family there, where a newly married couple came with her siblings to take a bath in River Narmada. Here this guy was entho and went straight to river and his wife was afraid of water. Somehow he managed to make his wife agree to come inside and though this lady was some 6 feet tall, she drowned a bit. The reason was simple she wasn’t putting her feet to the bottom, which gave me a light bulb moment of thought “You can’t cross any hurdle in life unless you put your confidence in the thing. Also, you need to trust yourself and the people supporting you in the process.” Thankfully, that man saved his wife. Then, he was trying to get her sister-in-law to come inside. She was adamant till some point but it’s her sister who made her agree that the path is flat till the place she is standing. Her sister agreed to come but just to sit in the banks, she too drowned a bit when they tried pulling her in, gave me another thought “You can’t be ready for anything unless you are ready. Also, be prepared for circumstances that can follow next. How you can miss the details like the path is flat till here.” I wondered what a huge role an individual’s will play in anything that you do. My chain of thoughts was again broken by the people shouting from behind warning that man to not perform any more stunts now.
There was a smile on my face all this while for no reason and that’s when my friends found me and came to sit along. We sat there and talked at length about some life experiences, beliefs, changes of thoughts as you grow up, urge to stay near river and in natural vegetation. None of us took our phones out till we had to make up our minds to get up. It was a hard decision for us, but sun was setting down and we had a journey of 3 hours left to go back. I spent more than 2 hours on the banks of Narmada that day and found answers to lot many questions of my life situations just being there. We got up we did “दीप दान” and only when climbed the stairs again to get the cab I’ve checked my phone. It was still at 1% battery. My friend asked if “She could put her on charging first” and I just agreed instantly. I couldn’t be much more thankful for 1% battery for the biggest lesson of life “Live in The Moment.”
It was a beautiful day and it was a refreshing feeling to capture so much in a real camera god gifted me with – my eyes. Concluding life is at its best when you live in reality, not in reels.
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