Last night I sat at the banks of river Ganga for about an hour. The ashram closes at 10 pm so I had to get back in time. I just stared into the river waters.. I don’t know if I was silently asking the river to bless our journey which was to start in the morning or was just letting go of any anxiety that I had. I came back very peaceful so I guess She listened.
I finished my packing, washed my clothes and slept around 11.
In the morning, we left the ashram around 6:30. I and Pratyush went to get the computer stuff loaded in the sumo and Archana came in another sumo also loaded with vegetables, blankets and pillows, books and sports equipment for children! Joseph ji got breakfast (Upma) packed from the ashram itself. He told Swami ji that there are 5 people and Swami ji packed so much that it lasted us till lunch!
So all packed, it was around 8 am when we left Rishikesh. Stopped for having breakfast at around 10. We reached Rudraprayag around 1 pm. Till Rudraprayag the road is very good.. its a two lane hill highway and we got no traffic on the way.
After Rudraprayag we could see the destruction. What was till now limited to media pics, became a reality. Roads were washed away… bridges lay half broken with nothing on one end. In the river waters down we could see big big heavy machinery like JCBs lying that had been washed away in the floods… houses that were reduced to rubble or some which had huge cracks all over. The BRO has worked hard to get the road open.. at places you are almost two storey below the level of the actual road.. you come down to the banks and go up. When it happened the first time I almost jumped in my seat.. because I could see the road ahead was broken and our driver going straight towards the broken road with no path ahead in sight 🙂 thereafter it became a regular feature… at many places the dirt road was so small that only one way traffic could go at a time so we had to wait for some time.
Despite all this, we were making good time because there was hardly any traffic. Our driver Surender ji told us normally these roads are full of kedar nath and hemkund sahib pilgrim traffic.
From Rudraprayag, Guptkashi is only 40 kms.. but as the roads are pretty bad it took us almost 3 hours to cover that distance.
We reached Archana’s home at 4pm and were greeted with warm smiles and hot daal chawal! 🙂 and an amazing views of the himalayas.
Later we went down to SNC (space for nurturing creativity) school and the moment we stepped in we were engulfed in the laughter of the children… after a few introductions we all sang songs. Later I helped Archana and other staff in the kitchen while Pratyush was totally engaged in playing with the children. 🙂
Really looking forward to work with Archana and her team and play with the children 🙂