From Uttarkashi to Pune(NICMAR), a simple journey which I still remember. First of all I must tell you that how come I reached at Uttarkashi and then why I needed to go to Pune. For those who are only interested in my encounter with two nuns on train please go to the sub-heading below.
What I was doing at Uttarkashi?
I was posted at Loharinag Hydro Electric Power Project(LNPHEP) to provide my services as a Civil Engineer to Patel Engg. Ltd. which was working as a contractor to NTPC which recently was putting its toe into the hydro power projects. LNPHEP was the one which was closed by the Indian Govt. in the later years.
Why I had to go to NICMAR Pune?
What happened to this project in the later years is another story but, I was one of the three employees of the Patel Engg. Ltd. who were to undergo a 3 days training program on "Underground construction and concreting techniques" at NICMAR(National Institute of Construction management and Research). I was a volunteer and wanted a change from my daily routine of the work at Khopa Camp located at Bhatwari of Uttarkashi district.
My journey starts on serpentine hill roads on a bus:
If you ever has heard of this holy place which is famous for the origin of Ganga, then you might be knowing that this place is also famous for its hills of high altitudes. When you watch out of the window of the Bus while sitting on the outer side of road, you will not see the road.
You will see the deep ravines which goes vertically straight to the roaring water of Bhagirathi. This sight can be enjoyed if you believe in the driving skills of the driver.
In my case I didn't enjoyed it much but, that is my case. This is a six hours journey from Uttarkashi to Rishikesh and add one more from Bhatwari to Uttarkashi so, it took me seven hours to reach the nearest railway station.
I love train journey:
- A strange foreign lady: My two other companions to the training were not my journey companions because they had some other plans so, here I was alone with my train tickets standing in the railway station. Seat below my seat and other adjacent seats were occupied and abandoned by different travelers because I was on a comparatively long journey.
One of them whom I still remember was a foreigner lady, she was coming from Italy(not sure!) to visit India. I am always curious to know people from different culture and land so, somehow I managed to sit with her. She told me that she just visited Agra(Tajmahal) and now was moving to South India.
Then there were other guys sitting beside and they also chatted with her. We ate out lunch together and although she was elder to me I felt to pay the bill and so, I did. I think she was reluctant to allow me but I already had paid.
Then we sit quite watching the scenery outside and I secretly admired her beauty. I can't resist that even if I was just 21 and she might be in her 28 or 29 or may be 30. Then her station appeared and we parted. Somehow, after 5 years I still remember this whole meeting although nothing remarkable happened. I don't remember her name and I don't have any contacts with her because I never asked for it and in that sense she is a stranger to me.
I was a little shy but, once opened up, I put my heart out. I never expected this question from this shaved head "why are you smiling at us?". The reason I was smiling at her was because she was also smiling back and I think we both enjoyed it.
- Two Nun sisters
She was wearing a beautiful dress and it was hard to locate her breasts so, initially I was little confused if she was a 'she' or 'he'. She was lean with a beautiful smile and I was attracted to her smiles. After few exchange of glances and smiles she asked me come to their seat by waving her head.
I went with the same smile and after her first question which she asked in her full smile, we asked and shared so many other questions and answers. They were two Buddhist nuns and sisters who were travelling to Pune University to continue their studies.
I felt home with them to know that they lived at Mcleodganj where Tibetan Government has taken refuge in India. I drank the Green tea for the first time and also listened to Enrique through one ear because other plug of the headphone was on her own ear.
Train stopped at a station whose name I don't remember but when I was with her on the platform, I asked her "Why you shaved you head?". This was a question out of my curiosity, I had scene the people like her but never knew the reason. I had no knowledge of Buddhism at that time.
She answered this question in this way " Because I am not beautiful and no one will marry me that is why I shaved my head." I knew, either she thought that I was not ready/matured enough to understand the logical answer or she wanted a compliment from me.
Instantly, "Who says you are not beautiful? You are beautiful (really!.. and I meant it).", I replied.
I could see the smile and happiness in her face. She offered me to buy a gift from that place but the train was not going to wait for that so, again we started our journey.
After reaching Pune railway station we hired a single auto and then I helped them with their luggage and so, I visited their hostel too. I took their email address and I remember I emailed them once or twice.
I think that meeting left a very nice impression in my head and I respected them for what they are. I read one or two books on Buddha and now I realize what they are and why they were like that. I loved talking to them and if they again meet me, I am sure that we will be very good friends provided they allow me to ask them many other questions.
That is all for now.
Thanks for being with me.