Excerpts from the book ‘Thank You Guruji!’ by Manoj J Lekhi (Amrut Vivek).
The Yamnotri – Adventure
It was 1996. We were about 20 of us who went with Guruji, for a 14 day adventure to the Himalayas. It was our most famous memory. We had planned to go to the four dhams of Yamnotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath & Badrinath. We thought probably we may not complete all four, but were expecting to complete at least three.
So we started our journey by train. Nina, Mohan ji, Laxmi ma, Sunil Dodamani, Paulomi, Ramesh Sahani and Family, Mahendra and Rashmi and many others were also there.
We spent the first night in the train. We reached Delhi and left directly for Haridwar. On the second night we all slept on the bank of the river and then took off all the way towards Yamnotri.
On the third night, Guruji said ‘Lets fix some tents’. As we did not have any tents, we went to purchase some pieces of plastic and some bamboos, and we stayed somewhere in the mountains.
In the middle of the night it rained heavily, so much so that all our tents got fully drenched. We had slept outside our comfort zone… under the sky. That whole journey went on like this, leaving all of us physically exhausted.
However mentally, we were very fresh as we were actually experiencing the adventurous spirit of Guruji. He was a man not from this world… from the other world. Who just loved nature. I remember the saarthi, who was driving the vehicle and wondering what we were doing because every 2 to 3 kms, we would stop the bus and would go and take a dip in the river flowing nearby.
Initially every time we reached the river I would remove my clothes and put on my swimming trunks and at the next river, once again take out my clothes and put on the costume. This routine of changing clothes continued every time we stopped at a river and then I realized that… Guruji was stopping every now and then, so it was no use wearing and removing my costume again and again. So I wore it inside only, wet as it was, and every now and then when we would stop, I could simply jump into a river.
The driver was exasperated and said that this way we would never reach. Finally, we completed only 2 of the 4 dhams we had planned to visit. It was one of the most adventurous trips of my life. Sleeping anywhere, eating anywhere, going to the washroom anywhere and cooking all our meals along the way. In spite of it being tiring it was a very exciting, adventurous tiring and thrilling journey.
We all had a wonderful time of learning from Guruji by ‘just being with him’.
I remember he would love reading during the trip. Once he was reading something and laughing & laughing & laughing away. I went to see what he was reading. He was reading the MAD comic. He would just love to read these comics. He would find jokes on everything and anything. He would lend his voice in any matter. He would get upset also. Whatever he did, he did 100%. Even when he would get upset it was 100%, this too was also one great learning. He was always TOTAL.
This journey to the Char–Dham area taught me how to always stay out of the comfort zone. That’s what I’ve been doing ever since. By the time, I streamline one project, I move on and take up another Fun Challenge.
Thank you Guruji for this lesson on adventure!