February 13, 2011
My father came back from the office and was having his dinner, when he asked me if I wanted to go to Naina Devi, the next day. I replied in affirmative to his question. So, it was decided that we may leave at 8 in the morning. I slept at around 1 at night.
I woke up at 8:15 am, that too when my dad came to wake me up.Any how, I got ready in around half an hour and we had morning tea together. We left for Naina Devi at around 9am. It was a nice cloudy day with little showers of rain drizzling. So, we were on the way to Naina Devi, going via Sirhind, Morinda and Ropar. When we reached Ropar i.e. around 80kilometers from Mandi Gobindgarh at around 11am, we stopped to have our breakfast. It was Hari Sweets where we halted and had our breakfast. We had Chane and Bhature in the breakfast.
Then, after the breakfast, we left for Naina Devi. With lot of obstructions on the road, we started with the upslope of the hills leading to Naina Devi. While we were driving towards the shrine, we were met by some landslides. We had to wait there for good 30 minutes, till the workers cleared the roads. But, while waiting for the roads to be cleared, I didn't feel bored, as the scenic beauty around just stole my attention and left me spellbound. I clicked some pictures around. The roads were cleared now. So, we again started off for Naina Devi.
The drive till Naina Devi was too good. The famous Bhakhra river was flowing along the road. It was a very nice view. We reached Naina Devi in another half an hour and started the final journey towards the bhavan. We waded through the narrow streets towards the Shrine. It was a very crowded courtyard of the Shrine. It seemed as if many books were stacked together so as to leave no space to even let the air pass through it. All the people were chanting "jai mata di". Two of the worshipers got into quarrel, for one of them entered into wrong queue. The others said,' Mata ke darbaar pe ladne aye ho ya Maatha tekne?(Have you come here to preach or to fight)." While we were in the queue leading to the shrine, many monkeys came and started staring at us in anger. Some of the worshipers got scared and started shouting. I asked them to stay calm and not to look into the eyes of the monkeys. So, in another 5 minutes, we entered into the shrine. It took us 1 hour to reach the room where the idols were kept. It was only 100 meters away.
Finally, my parents took blessings and we moved out of the room. I didn't take blessings as I am an atheist. Then, we had some rest in courtyard of the premises. The cold breeze was blowing and it was a nice atmosphere around. After sometime, we started to go back to the parking, where our car was parked. Then, in no more time, our driver started off for the journey back to our home. He drove till Fatehgarh Sahib in Punjab, and then boarded a bus back to his home, as we had to go further to Rajpura for dinner. So, I drove after that. We reached Haveli at Rajpura at around 5pm. I had burgers at the Mc Donalds, while mom n dad had there dinner inside the haveli. So, after the dinner, we came back to our place. It was a 350 kms long trip and a very nice one.
P.S. Pics are here.
February 8, 2011
HEROES ON WHEELS: Gaurav Gupta (left), an engineering student and Deepak Sharma, a BA student from Chandigarh, ride across the nation to spread the message of polio awareness. The ‘polio warriors’ began their journey on December 28 from Chandigarh
2. Novel way to spread the message on polio
With the objective of creating awareness about eradication of polio, two students and Rotaracts from Chandigarh – Gaurav Gupta and Deepak Sharma – have embarked on a tour across the country on motorcycle intending to log about 7,600 km in all.
The rally, which began at Chandigarh and will conclude at Goa, touching various cities and towns, including Delhi, Agra, Kanpur, Varanasi, Kolkata, Bhubaneshwar, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Chennai, Kanyakumari and Thiruvananthapuram.
Speaking to reporters during their arrival here on Tuesday, Mr. Gupta said the 25-day rally was funded by the National Polio Plus Committee of India for the Rotary Club. He said the PAIN (Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and Nigeria) countries were the only four countries in the world that were still reporting polio cases.
Mr. Gupta said both of them were trying to interact with the parents and educating them about the need to administer polio vaccine on January 16. The team asserted that efforts will be continued in association with several partner organisations and agencies till polio was totally rooted out from the globe.
Rotary Club of Vijayawada Krishnaveni president Ashok K. Sethi appreciated the youngsters for spending time and undergoing physical strain for a noble cause.
He said around Rs. 706 crore was spent in India by the Rotary International to eradicate polio through the WHO and the UNICEF.
The rally was flagged off on December 20 last year and it would conclude on January 20. The team will be leaving the city on Wednesday for Nellore en route Tamil Nadu and other areas in south India. The club secretary T.V. Krishna Rao and others were present.