It was early in the morning when I woke up to the sound of a municipality water tanker honking in the street. Even though it was six floors down from the window of my balcony — my intent hearing ability was enough to wake me up with startle and irritation. This was pretty much a daily drill of the day. Waking up to the sound of an interrupting door bell, sometimes to the shrill voice of annoying neighbors and, most often, with a gasp over the sound of a municipality vehicle honking down the street.
“If I did not get out now, I would lose it,” I mumbled to myself. Since a few months now, I had begun to develop this habit – I would talk to myself anywhere and any given time as if everything else around was futile and, as if making conversation with real people had become too taxing and monotonous. Not that I took it as a bad sign. It was just a sign – a signal to go out for some time. And, not just to a friend’s house party for more booze. But on an actual trip where I could restore my peace a little, rediscover the balance I had lost.
I wanted to discover myself a little more than just flesh and bones who hung out with a bunch of friends. I wanted solace as a human. I did not know how people meditate and find peace. All my life I had tried to be someone who made others laugh. But, where was ‘my’ peace? Why was I unable to feel thrilled by anything anymore? Where was ‘my’ contentment? Discovery of my actual-self was actually hidden beneath these answers which I felt the need to unearth now.
And, so I took out my rucksack – stuffed it with whatever I could find — clothes, a couple of jackets, sweat shirts, etc. drove out with a notion of returning back by next Monday, exactly seven days from then.
I was driving from Delhi. So, I took the Ghaziabad-Meerut bye pass and headed for the capital of yoga and spirituality, Rishikesh.
1. Arrival at Rishikesh
I reached the yoga capital by evening. Just in time for the evening Aarti, I visited the Ganges Ghat. As the music of tinkling bells, mantra chanting fused with the sight of sparkling diya braced me, for the first time – I felt blissful and at peace. The bracing atmosphere around had manage to communicate with my heart and my soul.
Next, I checked into a yoga camp to stay for the night where I was welcomed with a delicious vedic meal. Never in my life I had imagined that I would look forward to relishing this vedic meal like I look forward to grabbing a double cheese pizza. By 10 pm, the ashram lights were out and I was in bed, well asleep.
2. Yoga Practice
I woke up to the harmonious sound of peacock, and to a beautiful wave of fresh morning glow. It was so peaceful and quiet that I could hear the sound of my own heartbeat. I did not even know what or how it felt like to listen to the sound of my own heart. It was actually captivating, as if my body was linking itself to my spirit. Refreshed, I stepped outside to be invited for an early morning yoga session. This was when I experienced all the hoarded stress, agony, angst melt away into a zone of nothingness. I realized that life was much more spirited, neat and simple than how I had assumed it to be. I felt detoxified, and cleansed.
3. Reached Haridwar
I reached Haridwar for the eminent holy dip into the water of Ganges which is famous for mental, physical and spiritual purification. It worked well on me too – especially on my skin. I was glowing like a peach. Post my holy bath and a delectable meal I drove towards Kangra Valley
4. Reached Kangra Valley
I reached Kangra by evening where I checked myself into a guesthouse. To feed the adventurer in me, I kept my next day reserved for the famous Dhauladhar Range trekking.
Since, Dharamshala was only 35 kms away from Kangra, I decided to drive towards Mcleodganj to spend the night there. Driving amidst the most scenic beauty, it was a peaceful yet equally thrilling drive with the curvy bends and height.
6. Stay in Dharamshala
The morning began with my visit to a Buddhist Monaestary where I spent the entire day learning yoga, reading and listening about yogic philosophy and Buddhist teachings. I learnt a whole new definition of life and, of myself. How at peace I felt there, it was indescribable. With this, I felt an urge to make a stop at Rishikesh for a day to experience it’s yoga and Ayurveda heritage once more before I headed back home.
7. Arrival in Rishikesh
I arrived in Rishikesh early morning. Tired at I was, since I had been driving for 11 hours straight, I checked into the same yoga ashram where I was welcomed with an Ayurveda massage. This massage actually proved to be a god send gift. I felt so revived as if I had not even exerting myself at all. All the days I had spent driving, trekking, learning and practice of yoga, had been stored in my body and my soul like the most perfect eternal memory.
After self-reflection and reminiscing the week I had spent, I was smiling again.
With this, I came back to Delhi in a hope that the rejuvenating effects of my trip would linger on me for a few months more, before I plan for another of these yoga and self-discovery tours.