22nd February 2015, Sunday…….Day(6) Kharapathar-Hatkoti-Tiuni 66 km
Woke up to a great morning in Khara Pathar. I was very happy with myself the way I handled last night. Had many emotions going through my mind. Ultimately got over it. Slept for about 4 hours. The sleep quality was very good. Went for walk in the snow laden streets of Khara Pathar first thing up. Very few people were awake at that time of the hour. Went to the temple as well but it was not open. The good thing about these hill stations is that the tea shops open very early in the morning. Had 2 cups of tea and bund and was ready for the day.
I saw two young boys working in the tea shop. One was making tea and the other was cleaning the front of the shop with a broom. Both looked around 10-12 years of age. A mix emotion ran into my mind. I thought boys of their age either would have been still sleeping in the comfort of their home or getting ready for the school. These lads at this tender age were up so early in winter and were working. May be it was good as it was making them tough to cope up many challenges life throws up.
One thing was sure….both of them were enjoying and happy.
Kharapathar is famous for orchards, snow in winters and 6 kilometer trek to Giri Ganga temple. I have had enough of snow. It was not an apple season. The trek to Giri Ganga was closed due to excessive snow. So had nothing much to do in Kharapathar. So decided to drive further towards Jubbal.
Near Jubbal, road improved a little. I could see skeletons of apple orchards all around. I was going through the apple valley. Jubbal is famous for its apple orchards and Palace. From the buildings and other structures I could guess this was a prosperous area. Apple have done wonders to the area.
The streets of Jubbal were bustling with activity. I took a stroll of the town. Felt very good. Crossed a stream and was very upset to see heaps of garbage scattered all around. Another sign of prosperity. Jubbal palace was a pretty sight though.
Drove on further to Hatkoti. Road was bit better now. I was not sure what to do next. During my bike ride last year to this area I had liked Chirgaon, Larot and Sungri a lot. Chanshal Pass was closed that time. Chanshal was closed this time too. That was first week of April. This was middle of February.
This time too I wanted to see this area. I wanted to come through Narkanda Sungri road but that road was closed. So I had a chance now. On arriving Hatkoti I did not feel like going for it. Instead turned towards Tiuni.
Just after entering Uttarakhand, on the way to Tiuni, I saw this opportunity. Me and Lalpari was very dirty. So decided to clean both of us here. Had a nice time doing so. It took me around one hour to wash both of us.
During my last year Bike ride to this area I had earmarked Tuni for night stay. I don’t know what was it that I liked about it. Tiuni bazaar is full of shops manned by people from Nepal. Most of the shops are run by women. The bazar is buzzing with activity. There are lots of eateries…momos, samosas, noodles, fish and lots of other stuff.
There are many hotels as well. The road and bazaar is located on the banks of Tons river which looks very beautiful in the evening. Many shops are make shift wooden structures and look very weak. Looking at the back side of these structures one feels how they are able to hold so much weight.
I reached Tiuni late afternoon that day. Enjoyed walking around the bazaar. Enjoyed momos. Walked over the bridge and went to the other side of the road. Tons and market area looked very beautiful from that side. Met few teachers posted on the Govt School. They were surprised to hear that I was driving solo and sleeping inside the car. Came back. Rested in the comfort of my car as if I was in my home.
Mixed up pepsi, whiskey, soda and water in pet bottle and went to the banks of river Tons. Sipping the cocktail while sitting on a rock, watching turbulent Tons roar and flow hurriedly, made me reflect on my own life. There was a certain pattern to this roar and flow similar to the one going on in my mind. Calmness was hidden in this roar. I kind of correlated my journey..this one and overall….with the waters of the Tons.
One day this roaring water will merge into Yamuna and then to Ganga. Then to calm waters of Bay of Bengal and then don’t know where. Like this roaring water I don’t know where I will end up too. It was sure this water will meet the sea and this corps will meet the earth one day. It will loose its identity be one with the source. Then this roar and turbulence will be gone and turn into stillness.
There were many places where I could park the car and sleep. Chose a place which I felt, was good. Parked the car. Went inside. Pulled the cover over. Locked the door from inside. Slipped into the sleeping bag and went into sleep. That beautiful song which was playing in my mind since evening, came alive again.
ओहरे ताल मिले नदी के जल में, नदी मिले सागर में सागर मिले कौन से जल में, कोई जाने ना सूरज को धरती तरसे, धरती को चंद्रमा पानी में सीप जैसे प्यासी हर आत्मा बूँद छूपी किस बादल में कोई जाने ना