Freedom for Tibet. The freedom struggle of Tibet is something very close to my heart. And attached to Tibet’s freedom struggle is a place in India which too forms as one of my favorites.
It was college fourth year and my dear friend Parv Kaushik had already gone on a bike trip to Dharamshala. His own account fuelled my interest in visiting this place a tad more. I coaxed most of my friends into planning a trip down to this place.
Finally after days and days of deliberation which involved threatening and begging in good proportions, we had a plan. We were going to Dharamshala.
But then you do want to know how the trip finally turned out to be? Even I want to know, till today. If you ever find out do let me know. Confused?
Here’s the crucial climax of the story. At morning five o’clock when we got off at Kalka (yes yes I know, listen on) and went to the taxi drivers to find out about the charges for one way trip to Dharamshala, they started laughing.
A friend of ours had told us to take the train from Delhi to Kalka and from Kalka to take a taxi to Dharamshala. He had described in detail how beautiful Dharamshala is, the roads the scenery. So but obvious at five o’clock in the morning standing at the station facing a set of laughing drivers we decided to call him.
“Hey these guys are saying it will take us nine hours to reach Dharamshala from here,” my friend speaks into the phone.
“What the hell, no not at all! It takes only about two hours, maximum,” came the quick reply.
“Yeah yeah but these guys are like for Dharamshala Pathankot is the preferred station,” my poor friend at her wits end continued.
“Ummm, Dharamshala? Weren’t you guys going to dharampur?” All of us could clearly hear his reply.
We knew we were.. I cannot use that word in public domain. But you get it?
I started crying, a couple (friends still in love perhaps will get married soon!) started to smile. They had been the toughest to convince, they wanted to go to Shimla. And now Kalka provided only one place for us to go to.
“You are happy na? Happy? Now go figure out your honeymoon plans,” I suddenly started to scream at these two.
For whole of two hours I didn’t speak to anyone. Yes we visited Shimla, my third trip and yes I remained cranky all throughout.
By the way last year again, something came up and I cancelled another Dharamshala trip.
Now after years of this incident, I somehow remember that trip with immense fondness. I remember us playing teen patti under watchful eyes of a policewala who was hell bent to send us to jail.
I still laugh recalling how at Chandigarh station we had gotten off to get some food and the train suddenly picked up pace and zoomed past us. We started to run only to realise that it was just a couple of coaches getting decoupled. But the most comical expression was of my friend’s who actually thought the train had gone for good and along with it his girlfriend too had left.
And then when everyone tried to cheer me up with their sad jokes and agreeing to whatever I said. Only to make me feel better about visiting Shimla a third time all over again.
“Its good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters, in the end”- Hemingway
It is true, destination is important but what is crucial to life is the journey one takes. And it is this which often helps identify the way forward for ourselves.
It may be a bad trip after all but the memories I found in those four days make all the goofs up of the world worthwhile.
Leaving you with a few of the pictures from that trip 🙂
A happy us oblivious to what is awaiting us 😀
Sitting in the Shimla hotel depressed dejected 😐
All of us in slightly better times!
wondering who is more dangerous 😛 And yes I forgot we played in snow! Saving grace of the trip!
Connecting this post with the “I travel” theme on the blog this week.
Also this has been written for Write Tribe’s Wednesday Prompt Hemingway This Wednesday
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