I went for a nice long pilgrimage tour recently. It started off in quite a random fashion; mom has been wanting to visit Viashno Devi for a long time, 3 years in fact, and it never quite happened. This time, she repeated her same wish and then decided to carry it out by actually asking people about the temple process etc and reaching out to travel agents. The plan was to present some basic findings to bro who will take it from there and book for just the two of them.
Somewhere in the middle of this, amma got the impression that appa will help out (though I cannot fathom how) and thus stopped further preparation. A week later, amma realized that appa said no such thing and a big fight broke out. It was also too late for bro to step in as he was travelling by then. The end result was that the best organizer in the house stepped in to hold peace; sis.
So during one weekend, all she did was to look for flight, accommodation, transportation etc. I am not sure where and how, but I found myself being dragged into the research process soon after. The end result was that the simple Vaishno Devi trip had expanded to Vaishno Devi and Kashi.
Now that got dad interested and he reached out to family members who provided him with contacts of people in Kashi who can help with the accomodation and the ensuing procedures that all brahmins going to Kashi are supposed to do; the Sankaracharya mutt. This was the to happen. All appa did was to call them and give arrival / departure dates and they took care of the rest.
Appa is quite knowledgeable about temples in India and since we are going to Kashi, he wanted to expand the trip a bit more to visit Indore, Somnath, Nashik and Pune; essentially as many Jothilinghams as possible. The people at Sankaracharya mutt referred to their colleagues in Indore and that’s how the Indore trip got finalized. We also found flights and accommodation for Somnath and that’s how that leg got finalized too. Amma then managed to get her leave extended and was able to visit till the Somnath leg of the journey.
All this happened over the span of one week; the shortest time taken to plan any trip in our house, especially a trip of such complexity. We booked mom’s return from Mumbai and appa and bro were supposed to go ahead to Nashik.
Now this is where it gets interesting. I am a big temple fan and have always wanted to visit Kashi. Viashno Devi I knew from serials and form mom, but Kashi was my game changer. At the same time, tatha had a fall and hurt his hips. I thus used that excuse to try and ask for leave. Lo behold, I got it! 2 weeks of leave a week after coming back from 3 weeks of leave! Imagine my surprise.
I went back and told parents. Sis and I immediately tried to see if the various tickets, darshan, flight, accommodation etc are available to accommodate one more. Call it fate or fortitude, but we managed to get all the tickets at exactly the same timing as them, for me. Thus within 2 hours we had made all the arrangements for my trip and hence it got confirmed. Mom
Mom keeps saying that it’s God’s wish and now everything will work out but if is, then I most sincerely hope everything does work out. as I have gotten quite tired of all the uncertainty in my life. From work to settling down, nothing has gone as I imagined and though I wished for big things, my realistic imagination was a more grounded.
Anyway, enough of whining, more to come on my tour…..