The memory I would always cherish ! writing in love with Rishikesh.

I have traveled in a nice amount for my age. Almost the whole of North India but my love for Rishikesh z unparalleled. I remember how my eyes were moist when we were coming back from there. In fact I remember everything no matter if its been 14 years for God Sake!

The memories of me visiting Rishikesh for the first time z not clear for the reason that I was some 4 years old kid who was travelling with his whole Biggie Big joint family. It was primarily a Chaar-Dhaam yatra! Our travel destinations included Badrinath, Kedarnath, Yamnotri, Gangotri, Haridwar and Rishikesh and some other places too. Uttrakhand was still Uttar pradesh then. Now when I see the photos of that time all I make z faces with amazement and love. I can totally guess how difficult it used to be; travelling to these critically located mountain places at that time. Everytime I see my pics of Kedarnath,etc I go aww.

While the memories of my 1st trip to Uttrakhand are mainly supported by the pics I see on  the family album, the Rishikesh trip which I had some 14 years ago when I was a mere 9 z still very very clear and I can bet I will never have any memory parallel to that ever again! Yeah I bet!

The second time when I visited Uttrakhand, the travel plan was confined to Rishikesh and Haridwar and I’m saying it again it was ethereal! ❤ ❤                                                         So it was me with my BABA (granpa) Daadi maa (Granny) Mummy Bucha(my dad) my chahcha and chachi (uncle and aunt) and yeah my lill sister Jhilmil. It was a month and half stay at Swargaashram right in front of Ram Jhula, we stayed at a riverfront aashram “Geeta Bhawan” 2 and luckily managed to find a two room plus balcony stay.

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The view of RamJhula. Going there was a daily thing! we were just across! ❤ ❤

Here are few worth mentioning thing which made this trip the best I have and would ever imagine to have! ❤ ❤

The daily routine and the people there

As far as I remember, Geeta bhawan no 2 was the smallest among all yet we got the biggest place there and were the only people with balcony there. It was a two storey building in the large campus and most of the people used to live in single rooms. There was even a lady who had just one bed placed outside a door but that didn’t actually matter. I never found anybody complaining. How could they? it was so magical afterall!

I remember one friend we had, a litlle girl Khushi from Kolkata, she was quite young and was always accompanied by her baby sitter Rama Dii. Khusi’s parents as her grandfather used to say were in America but we always used to wonder why would they left behind a 4 years old daughter of theirs and would move to a foreign place! I still wonder. Anyway Playing with that little angel was always a joy.

Even when I was just 9 and was living in an alien place yet me and my sister (who was 5!) had no restriction at all. we used to roam all around and would often be going place like Ghaats and temple and no body cared!

A notable routine I remember which everybody in the family and the ashram used  to follow was write names of GOD Rama on a diary provided by someone in the ashram. You could always get another one when one diary gets completed! Everybody used to write and even me! I wrote it for 28000 times! Yeah! However I was far behind my grand parents and other people still It was a huge number. It used to be like a competition and I happily participated! Now I can only dream of that; writing ramnaam even for a single time with the enthusiasm same as that!

everybody from the family used to gather at this shade area where my daddy used to recite Ramayana to everybody else in the family while me and jhilmil used to play on the banks of the ganges.

In the evening I remember how me and jhilmil used to accompany Baba to the Ramjhula and from there we used to feed all the fish! Joy Joy Joy!

and the night was always pre booked for shopping and ganges aarti.

Ganges AArti

GOD it used to be so beautiful! we used to sit on the stairs of  Triveni ghaat and sing Hanumaan chalisa and other aartis with the melodious singers singing with all the instruments. That was not only us but the whole Big crowd including foreigners singing in fluent hindi! I always used to get so mesmerized by the environment! The river, diyas, music, air and everything else! Each word was a blessing! ❤

 

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Ganga aarti Rishikesh  ❤ I feel lucky that I’have witnessed this daily for more than a month!

 

Parmarth Niketan

In swargashram there were mainy two aasrams , Geeta bhawan and Parmarth Niketan. Parmarth Niketan was just in adjacent to the Geeta bhawan and was its richer sibling! 😉 Me and Jhilmil would often go to Parmarth Niketan and would feel envy of the people living there, God It was so beautiful! However I don’t think Geeta Bhawan was any less!

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parmarth niketan
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Geeta Bhawan

Swargashram

As I have said we used to live at Geeta Bhawan. Geeta Bhawn and Parmarth and Ramjhula and the beautiful ghaats, these all places are at this magical area called swargashram. I can say it with full confidence that Swargashram is the soul of Rishikesh! Its beautiful and incredible. with all the aashrams ghaats hotels shops restaurants and amazing temples, I thank my luck that I got to live at this place called Swargaashram!

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How can I forget Chotiwala! They are at Swargashram! ❤

Multiculturalism

Rishikesh is the solid example of that! as we were in ashram, there were a lot of people from different parts of the country/world! There were Marwaris, Gujratis, Bengalis, Biharis, people from south India and all over the places and all mingling with each other, praying and singing together z what an exceptional example of EK Bharat Shreshtha Bharat! Also there were a lot of foreigners (too many for a small are like swwargashram), so many as there was one foreigner for every 4 Indian! I had never seen this many foreigners with so this much cultural interest in The Indian culture and religion. Many of them could even speak fluent hindi and some used to wear indian attires! wow!

The emotion!

while I’m writing this I can feel each and every emotions I lived there. Its really tough to make u feel the same just through my writing but believe me a 9 year old was literally crying while he was returning! Though I was too young to go for a rafting or do yoga for which Rishikesh z famous for, I wish I get to feel it again!

rishikesh
Oh my Love! This place! ❤

 

Rishikesh z always in my heart! Always! ❤

 

Note: All images are taken from the google and I do not hold any right to them! I have not posted my personal pictures given some privacy concern.

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Me growing up with Information Tech.

Nowadays this is something very tough to imagine ; living a live with no networking devices at all. But this wasn’t the case some 15 and 20 years ago (atleast here in India). Very few people had mobile phones (and those too had no or poor internet connectivity) as only rich and city people could afford that. I’m only 23 and I can say that I have witnessed a revolution! The growth I have seen in connectivity (through IT) is  incredible!

I remember when I was some 5 or 6 and went to my grandma’s place (naanighar), a village in Uttar Pradesh , India with my mother  while my dad was away at home. It was a long vacation. There I remember getting a letter personally written for me by my dad. GOD ! The Excitment! the letter had everything, how I had a gift (a pet fish) awaiting back at home, how the weather z cooler there and what not! I was dying to go back and see the fish but it was not possible to even imagine seeing things located far away. That was perhaps the only personal letter I ever got since  thing soon begun changing. The kids today won’t understand the joy I would have gone through after getting a hand written letter specially for me. il_fullxfull.352641171_2dcg

I also remember Me and my mommy going  STD booths (located some kilometers away from the naani’s (granny’s) place just for making a call back home since there was no telephone at naani’s place. Back home we used to have our own telephone connection and it was a huge thing. neighbours would often come requesting a call. And now? everybody has a personal phone with ultra advance features.

Ohh! I remember when I visited my uncle’s place , he came to me and showed me a picture of mine on his mobile and I made  faces with amazment! GOD! how did my Image even get there on that phone! and then he told me that he clicked me live through his phone! Whhhat! A camera on a phone! I was left wondering for the whole day. The image quality if you compare to the phones we have nowadays was a joke but having even that 1.2 megapixel image of mine on my uncle’s cell was a magic back then! And what that phone costed was huge for that time! A junk phone (for today’s standard) with 1.2 megapixel camera costed him around 35000 rupees back in 2000s! Yeah and still it was magic. Literally a magic!

My uncle kept coming up with new phones with all the new features. I remember how I felt everytime; (when) I got to hear a ringtone and then a bollywood song for the first time via a mobile. Since our joint family was richer than the standard family back then , we had everything at our home, two or three Big colourful Tvs, Big sound system and Big cassette players , our own DVD system and everything that was in the market at that time. Neighbours and my school friends often used to come at my house and see these things with lure and amazment. How Proud I used to feel! But the mobile phones soon started taking away the charm :/ still a very few people could afford a mobile. we still had new advance phones with special features  (which my friends back than couldn’t afford) to show off. Well this showing off didn’t ran for a long time as mobiles started getting cheaper and better and now everybody started having atleast one mobile phones at there home. And this IT technology only got better with time……

Here in India we have now more than a billion mobile phones in the country. more than half of these phones have android features and have good 3G connection. Thanks to JIO’s free offers that these 3Gs have revolutionized to 4Gs. Today I might not feel as privileged (being among the very fews to have phones) but am happy to see India’s IT growing at this pace. Every body z connected and facilitated now and you don’t know how great it feels as a countrymen!                                                                                                                        And a  #FunFact : It was not a long ago when I used to have a rupee 6000 micromax phone with medicore features when my friends at college had phones I could only dream of! :p

(Its not only me but the) millions of us Indians are amazed by the changes we have gone through in IT connectivity! Today we can use our phones for almost everything, be it for entertainment or for paying bills or for banking or to get connected to someone sitting far and far away!  Its really huge and no revolution has been like this till today! Now when IT has developed so much nothing seems impossible to imagine!

Literally Nothing!

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Yet I would say that making a free and fast video call doesn’t give the same happiness as that of the letter I got in the Young age. Neither the joy of  seeing a youtube video z comparable to the happiness I used to get while dancing with my cousins on songs being played through our home cassette player. Seeing Lion King on that fat TV would always be better than anything on TV now.  And am NOT JOKING!

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Being Over-sensitive

I don’t know if its a trend all over the world or its just a case in India, but this certainly is not something very appreciable. People here are becoming extra-patriotic and leave no chance to troll those who has an opinion regarding the country.

Snapchat CEO suddenly got very (in)famous in India over his alleged statement regarding the country. Although it has not yet been proved but even if he said so, there was nothing wrong in that. He is a person and a corporate man  and has full right to express his opinions. So what if he is not ready to expand his business in a country which he thinks is poor and actually is poor! “This app is only for rich people,” Spiegel said,  “I don’t want to expand into poor countries like India and Spain.”

People in mass started trolling him on social networks and too many Indians even uninstalled the app to express their anger over his remark. This protest went too far and Snapchat had to issue several official statements, denying “Poor India” remark.

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Something similar happened a few years ago, when Maria Sharapova had to face the wrath of Indian cricket fans given her non familiarity with the Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar. She was heavily trolled on Twitter just because she was not knowing about this player of a game which is played in some 10 or 12 countries. And this keeps happening every other day where a celebrity gets heavily trolled for his/her opinions.

People here have become over sensitive and have no ears for any criticism or even a simple fact stating some harsh truth. Wish we could get a little mature and stop paying extra-attention to silly things and work hard for a country prosperous enough to not attract unwanted remarks.

JAI HIND 🙂