Three years back when I was given my birthday bumps, these were the words I had written down.
..I didn’t protest. I accepted the ritual. After having kicked me for half an hour to their hearts content, they let me free right near the hostel bathroom. The dirty bathroom floor became my bed… It was exactly in that place that I was born the second time …
Not completely a Shantaram style sentence but a word here and there will make it a close one.
As an aside, notice the post name. It is based on Naruto. The best of the cartoons(Anime) I have seen till now. Extremely Addictive. I first saw the entire Shippuden series (113). Then went back and saw the Naruto series(~200). Then read the whole manga(~450). Now I wait for the episode every week. I have never seen the personality of each character come out so well. I have never seen a cartoon opening like the ‘hero’s comeback’ of the shippuden series. I have never seen anything like this before. It is a must see for every damn creature in this planet. And to top it all it is available in numerous sites dedicated just for Naruto fans.
Uttarkashi comes on the way to Gangotri from Yamunotri. The road from Uttarkashi to Gangotri is rough. Its is not a tar road but just the foundation stones and loose soil. Construction of Lohari Nag Pala dams has left over a lot of loose soil on the road. Until the dam is contructed, there won’t be any smooth way.
On the way, I got to read Paths of Glory by Jeffrey Archer. Its been a long time since I read his book and I did not remember his style. The book is based on the life story of George Mallory. There was one quote that stuck with me. One does not need to be a pro climber to acknowledge it since I could relate too. It goes something like the following. Not exact though.
The irony in a mountaneer’s life is that after all the hard work of getting to the top, you only get few moments to stay on top.
I remember when I was there at Mulainagiri and at Kudremukh, I just had to push myself to leave the top so that we reach before it got dark. On both the occasions I had turned back one last time before leaving to have a look at the top.
One mistake I did was I tried to finish the book quickly in a day and tried to read it in the cab on that rough road. I fell sick because of that. I will never ever read again in a moving vehicle. Anyways I was able to do the honour an hour before I reached home.
The thing I regret was that we took a cab from Haridwar. My idea of going out is to know the place and people. There is no better way but to jump into the local buses, ask people arround for the way, get tickets from the conductor. I had expected to do that but this time, we were advised not to do so since there were some small landslides and that there could be road blocks that could last for two days. We had to take the cab if we had to finish it off in 5 days.
I am back to Shantaram now. The advice to Lin on why there is black market was small. Just that Rupee is a restricted currency and people always try to make more when they are made to conform and are restricted. Someone always comes up saying “Hey I have a better deal for you”. Thats it, nothing else. I am getting wary of his style of writing now. I am getting bored infact. I can exactly replicate his style while describing one of the events in my life… I had written a line long time back after I got the birthday bumps at school. That, in the next post.
Returned from Gangotri and Yamunotri trip today. We first went to yamunotri and then to gangotri. Haridwar was our intermediate stop on our way to yamunotri and when returning from gangotri.
Yamunotri is a small temple wherein there is a hot spring which considered holy and people take bath in it. The water flowing down from the mountains is very cold. One will freeze in that. We satisfied ourselves by sprinkling some water on our head and body. Our hands got almost numb!.
Gangotri temple is located in the banks of Ganga. Until one stands in front of the main temple, one wouldn’t notice something very special about it. The temple is surrounded by imposing mountains on all the sides. I must say, there is no better place to choose for ganga’s maiya’s arthi. The height of the mountains reminded me of the lines from “zen and the art of motorcycle maintainance” on ego climbing and devotional climbing of mountains.
When you try to climb a mountain to prove how big you are, you almost never make it. And even if you do it’s a hollow victory. In order to sustain the victory you have to prove yourself again and again in some other way, and again and again and again, driven forever to fill a false image, haunted by the fear that the image is not true and someone will find out. That’s never the way.
A statue of shiva with his hair untied, outstretched arms, each muscle in his body visible, the unending mountains in the backdrop ensured my surrender as I stood at the center in awe.
More coming in an hour…