Day 1, 2014

Just had the most awesome start to the year …

First, we entered Darbar Sahib (the Golden Temple) exactly at 11.59 pm and as we rang in the New Year with the shimmering temple shrouded in thick fog and still so peaceful. Crowds were thronging the parikrama, but still there was serenity in the air. Many of the devout were taking a dip in the holy water surrounding the temple. It was really cold – probably 1 or 0 deg Celsius. We took off our shoes in the jeep and walked barefoot till the temple and then through the parikrama. Didn’t think I could do that … And surprisingly no knee pain !!

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I slept around 8.30 and thought I will wake up by 10 and then we could leave at 11 pm. But I nearly gave up as the cold was biting and leaving the warmth of the razai was difficult. Mom refused to come along and in retrospect it was a good decision since she would have really struggled to walk barefoot in the cold, wet parikrama. Krishnan as always egged me on and I finally went and washed my face and got ready to leave and electricity got cut off right at that time … I thought mom would be scared to be alone, but she was ok since we were inside an army station. So we locked her in and stood outside for a few minutes to see if power supply got restored, but no luck … Yes Appa, was thinking of you and your MES days :):):) and how you would go away everytime the electricity was cut off. We started at about 11.10 pm and reached the Golden Temple by 11.55 pm, took off our shoes in the jeep and rushed to the parikrama.

We took one round of the Gurudwara and couldn’t get in as the doors were closed, only to reopen at 3.30 am. Didn’t get the famous and much loved kada prasad either, but just the experience of being in the place was awesome. We returned to the room by 1 am and Ranjeet and family returned from their party too just then.

Woke up late to a sunny day and then played to my heart’s content with Bruno, sat and chatted with Shalu and the children as dear Ranjeet was hard at work. Ria tried teaching me to play on Nintendo … I couldn’t get it much. Then finally Ranjeet was able to peel away from work at 2.30 and we all left to eat at the famous Bharawan da dhaba. Awesome lunch of kulchas, Paranthas, chole, makki di roti, sarson da saag and the cannot be missed Lassi. Then we walked down to Gurdas Jalebi wala and guess who came to eat at the same place ? Oh I can’t deal with this fan following :):) the Chief Minister’s son chose just that time to eat Jalebi and chat ! How cool is that – for a moment all of us felt like celebrities with the entire lane blocked with his cavalcade. One CM refuses the red beacon and the cavalcade and the other’s son needs so much protection !

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We then went hunting for Ram Lubhaya to buy Aam Peda… Benu, your recommendation was awesome. Most importantly, during this process, I managed to fix my “Whatsapp” all by myself and Ranjeet couldn’t. While he was driving his car also switched off and had to be restarted just like that lady’s car … So Shalu and I scored in our man-woman debate.

Now to eat Jalebi and drink tea, sleep well and return to Delhi tomorrow ..

These two pictures were on the way from the railway station to the army station. Horns blared and vehicles of every shape and size fought to get ahead – reaching the army station was like reaching an ashram … Quiet, really quiet.

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