Early next morning, we packed our bags and checked out of the hotel. We were to leave by eight. But once we reached the check post, we came to know about the regulations. The route was one-way, and to regulate traffic, the authorities had fixed timings for vehicles to go to and from Gangaria. We had ample time before the barricades let our vehicle pass through.
Walking about kicking tiny pebbles, I clicked a few snaps, captured a few moments, and then got bored. We found a tiny shack where they sold piping hot soup and noodles. Exorbitantly prized, of course, but tasty, nevertheless. We sat about discussing a recap of the entire trip. We were a day too late. The route was so treacherous and slippery, and the trek was too strenuous that we simply had to stretch it to yet another day. We rummaged through and finalized on the excuses we would need to convince folks back in the city, for our delay.
The road trip was interrupted by only hunger and short pit stops. The roads were damper and more difficult to drive through. There were remnants of landslides that had taken place. All the way down the hills, we got to traverse through piles of rubble and rocks. The vehicle wore it out. We were tired with hardly any sensation on legs. Most of us slept through the return trip.
There is something peculiar about me. I can’t sleep for long in moving vehicles. And if there is the radio station playing or something, then I can stay awake without much effort. Creating mental pictures of the moments that were slipping by, trying to capture them in words in my mind, I traveled back from the sedate hills and the wild flowers, down Gangaria, down Joshimath, down Byasi, down Rishikesh, down Haridwar… back to the potpourri called Delhi.
“You must write about this some day…”
“I surely will…”