Taking Kailash’s ashes to Kailash-Last and final Part3

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We were about half way from Gaurmukh. It was evening and rather dark. It was a small town. We enquired mode of transport for Gaurmukh.

There was none.

We went to the ticket counter. This time we asked very politely if there was any train scheduled now for Gaurmukh.

Yes, the train was scheduled in next half an hour.

But the seat was not available.

We had to go for Tatkal booking. The ticket was for Rs 800 each.

We could not afford it since the wallet was stolen that had about Rupees 3000 thousand in it.

We decided not to argue with the ticket guy.

We had to board the train now at any cost and get down before any TC comes to check the ticket.

It was adventurous.

We checked the ashes of our best friend kept inside the rucksack. We were worried. We didn’t get time earlier to check the status of our best friend.

We had been occupied first with the train rush then with TC and now with boarding another train from unexpectedly a new station.

We felt sorry for Kailash. It was him who was taking us to Kailash for funeral.

Thanks God, the urn containing ashes was in the rucksack only.

It was another two to three hours journey.

Two girls were sitting on the seat facing us.

One was a tall girl with wheatish complexion and another was of short height with fair complexion. Both must be of our age.

We had to pass our time. I was shy and Piyush was introvert and had improved a bit after our friendship.

He asked the girls where they were going.

The short girl with curly hairs told us they were going to Uttam Garh.

We told them that we were going to Gaurmukh too.

The tall girl looked suspicious and asked why we were going to Gaurmukh. She had to be suspicious because we were boys and must be womanizers.

Piyush started clarifying things. We were going to meet one of our best friends.

I stared at Piyush and asked him to keep his mouth shut as we had ashes and we could be in trouble.

The tall girl was now calm. She introduced herself as Shayra and her friend as Nandini. They both were in school and were going for picnic. Their friends would be meeting at Uttam Garh. We introduced ourselves also and started talking.

I could make out that Nandini was talkative and friendly. Shayra was also friendly but seemed to be more matured between the two girls.

We exchanged mobile numbers.

We did not save numbers in our mobile but noted down on a piece of paper. We had to tell the girls that mobiles were not charged.

The mobiles had to be kept switched off otherwise we would keep on getting  calls and messages as we had run away from home.

Nandini asked the address where our friend lived. We informed that we had the locality but not the exact house and street number. Shayra told us that we should have the exact address as we were visiting our best friend and best friends know everything about one another.

Internet connectivity was good and both were engaged on social media and whatsapp where ever they got time.

We were not talking much because we were new to this place.

Suddenly girls stared at us and asked, “What exactly is going on?”

We were alert now and said, “What happened suddenly?”

They had news of our running from our home and had been updated on whatsapp with our photo. We had ashes of our best friend Kailash.

We were shocked and kept quiet for some time. We had to say something before our quietness stretches long.

I looked into the eyes of Shayra to tell some story with confidence so that we could reach our destiny.

She had a good complexion with sharp features. Her face was long and oval and had shiny eyes.

I told her we were going to Kailash which is near Gaurmukh and had to meet our friend there and not in Gaurmukh.

Shayra was relaxed now. Nandini was from Gaurmukh and knew each and every corner of the town. Her father got transferred to Delhi and hence not living in Gaurmukh now.

Time passed by and the train arrived at Uttam Garh. We were not feeling good as we would part with the girls. We looked at them.

They were also not feeling good.

I hugged Shayra and Piyush hugged Nandini.

We felt lonely after both of them left us. But we had to keep going.

Finally our station came and we got down. It was dark. The sign board at the platform read, “Gaurmukh”.

We took a rickshaw from there and reached Kailash.

We were happy that Kailash had reached Kailash for funeral from his best friends.

Kailash was a remote place and it was cold here.

It was a hilly area from the point rickshaw dropped us. It was about 500 meters where Kailash was surrounded by rivers on three sides and the chill factor due to rivers was making it colder.

This was the place where we had to blow ashes in the river in the direction the wind was blowing.

We felt sad that Kailash would part with us in Kailash. But we were also feeling high that we had done what we wanted to do.

It was 10 o’clock in the night and it was not the right time to blow ashes. It is not auspicious to blow it in the night.

We were lost in Kailash with Kailash. It was difficult to trace anything in this unknown plae. No transport was available and it was a remote area.

We had to look for accommodation here only.

We walked few meters and found light coming from a distance. We were happy that finally motel was available. But we were equally worried what if it didn’t turn out to be a motel. Where we will go in the night?

God was with us. The light was coming from motel only.

There was no sign board. We went to reception and asked if room was available. The old lady was sitting with white hair and wrinkles on her face who slowly looked at us and then at the register without saying a word.

We checked in the motel and found room reasonably good. We changed clothes and slept in next 5 minutes.

The sun rays awoke us next morning. We were not feeling like getting up. It was already 8.00 and we were worried if we would get breakfast.

We were ready by 9.00 and were feeling energetic after a good sleep and a healthy breakfast.

We reached the river and looked at one another. We both nodded and took out urn containing ashes.

I kept the ashes near my heart and felt like living with it.

But the time had come after lots of challenges and it was now wise to perform the rites without wasting time.

Finally ritual was performed.

Our happiness knew no limits. We had finally done what we were thinking of for our best friend and for whom we had challenged the whole world.

It was time to go back as there was nothing to see here.

What would happen once we reach our home? How would we face our family members and friends and more importantly our neighbors who are always there in our locality?

But we had no choice. We prayed God and started return journey.

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Dead Cat digging into the plant

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I woke up at 8.00 in the morning and saw my father panting in the drawing room. He called all family members and said, “I am going to tell you something. Please listen carefully.”

We all were surprised as generally father does not come panting inside drawing room. He is very old and goes to his room immediately after watering plants even if it for 10 minutes.

He said, “I went near one of the plants kept outside and saw cat paws in the soil. I dug the soil in the flower vase and saw a cat inside. I was terrified but dug more soil and took out the cat.”

We all listened with great interest and were constantly staring at him without blinking our eyes as if it was some suspense story.

My father asked, “I am unable to understand what I should do?”

My mother said, “Throw away the dead cat and sprinkle Gangajal (holy water) on the plant and inside the soil. And then you take a thorough bath to avoid any curse in future.”

But he was not ready to do this. We all advised him the same thing and finally he agreed.

Later on the scavenger came and we asked the guy to throw the dead cat somewhere in the ground so that it does not rot outside our house.

Sometimes there are strange events like this that we come across and not able to think what should be done.

We still think about this incidence whenever we come across any cat or we see any mark in the vases soil.

 

Taking Kailash’s ashes to Kailash-Part2

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We met in the evening at 5. Piyush asked me, “Why don’t we steal ashes that must have been kept in the Urn. Otherwise ashes will be taken to Haridwar the next day”.

I did not like the idea. I asked what would happen if we were caught stealing the urn. We would be ashamed in front of everyone- our parents, relatives, our neighbours. I just could not digest this idea.

Now Piyush started. Obviously he was angry. One of his best friends was not present among us and his friend; I was not listening to him. He threw a soft punch on my face and I became imbalanced and fell down on the floor just next to the first stair. If it had been a few inches away my face would have been bleeding. I was furious now and was about to smash him when he spoke very softly.

“My dear friend, why don’t you try to understand? We will have to do for our best friend. What is the point of this life if we cannot think about our best friend”?

I thought about it for some time and said, “Yaar you are right”.

We had to do this for our best friend. Our best friend never wanted to part with us and we could not think of his funeral without us.

The plan was decided and I had to steal the ashes.

Next morning I went to Kailash’s house when his father had gone out to buy grocery. I could not go through the main gate as I was a thief not a visitor or a member of the family. I checked the central window of the side wall and tried to open it.

Fortunately in one shot I opened the window and peeped inside the room. No one was there. Only his mom should have been at home. I did not hear any noise. I went to the entrance of the drawing room where everyone was praying. I was nervous. What would happen if anyone sees me as many people knew us?

I withdrew from there and went back to the room.

But.

Piyush was watching me. He waived his hand to ask if I had the ashes.

I went back to the entrance of drawing room. I didn’t have any choice now. I had to do this.

I searched for the urn. Fortunately it was kept on the table attached on the right wall of the drawing room.

I was standing at the right place now. The table was about only an inch away. I waited for the right moment.

Suddenly there was some noise of tyres screeching outside the house. Within minutes there was some commotion in the drawing room.

In about two minutes I was out of the room from where I peeped inside.

I and piyush ran from there within seconds and didn’t see anywhere. We didn’t want to take any chance. We had the ashes.

We had to run for the railway station. We had to take Shatabdi express for Gaurmukh. We had very limited time as we had to come back the next day otherwise we would have come in the limelight.

We reached railway station and checked timings. Shatabdi was scheduled for 12.35 in the noon. We checked our watch. It was 1.10 and the train had already left. We checked at the counter if there was any seat available in case the train was late. The counter guy didn’t look at us and simply said, “No seat is available”.

Late arrival and departure of trains somewhere from an hour and 10 hours is very common in Indian Railways.

Our chance of getting the train was very bright even if we were late. We again inquired but this time we were in style, “Bhaiya theek se check karo, seat available hogi”.

The counter guy became irritated. There were many people behind us in the queue. The middle aged man said, “Theek se check kiya tha, tabi bataya tha”. People behind us started talking among themselves and we felt embarrassed.

We sat there for some time and decided to ask if there was any other train to Gaurmukh. The next scheduled train was at 3 o’clock. The train was Gaurmukh Kanti.

We went outside and had our lunch.

We waited for the train. As usual the train was late this time also.

Surprisingly it was late by 20 minutes only.

We boarded the train. The train was crowded and had halted here for only 15 minutes. We got our seats.

Gaurmukh was about 5 hour’s journey.

Luckily Piyush had map in his rucksack. We checked the map to check the stations that would come before Gaurmukh so that we do not miss it in case we fall sleep.

After some time we went to the toilet. The train was very crowded and people were sitting on the floor making it difficult to reach the toilet.

We managed to reach and felt relieved. We struggled again while coming back to our seat.

It was 5 in the evening. We were feeling hungry a bit. We had Namkeen mixture and few assorted biscuits. We were having it when suddenly ticket checker (TC) came. Badge on his pocket had Bhan Singh as his name engraved on the batch. He came to our seat and asked for the ticket.

Piyush was now feeling a bit happy as few biscuits had entered in his stomach. He very easily put his hand in his shirt pocket to take out the tickets. He felt uneasy and looked at me. I was not bothered as earlier he had shown humour many times. He shook my shoulder and started searching all pockets and his rucksack.

Now I had a hint that Piyush was serious this time. I asked him to check each and every pocket again. He asked me to check my pockets also. I was sure I didn’t have the ticket as Piyush had kept the ticket in his pocket after getting it from the counter.

Bhan singh was looking at us with his right hand in his trouser pocket.

We stared at one another for some time. Now we felt embarrassed and thought of next action. He looked at Bhan Singh with low eyes and became nervous. The TC said, “why both of you are travelling without a ticket. People like you make us feel ashamed and people loose trust if we do not come for checking”.

Piyush was nervous. I told the TC that it must have been lost while going to the toilet. But TC was not ready to listen. We were told to pay the fine of Rs 600 each.

Piyush put his hands in his trouser pocket and took out the amount.

The purse was not there. I felt irritated and started shouting at Piyush, “what is happening? Can’t you take care of your belongings?”

Piyush had no answer. I calmed down myself otherwise things would have gone weird.

I took out my wallet and found only 2 notes of Rs 500. Nothing was surprise. I had asked Piyush to keep money and then we had to share at the end of the journey.

Our rucksacks had some money but that was for emergency and for getting back to home. We didn’t want to use that money.

We pleaded with TC. He simply said, “It happens almost every day with one or another passenger and especially with people of your age”.

We had to get down at the next station. Everyone was looking at us and our faces were red. We got down at the next station.

The next station was Garhpeera. We had not heard about it. We opened our rucksack to check if the map was still there.

Yes, it was there.

We were about half way from Gaurmukh. It was evening and rather dark. It was a small town. We enquired mode of transport for Gaurmukh.

There was none.

                                                                                                                           To be continued…