Everything’s not lost.

~Happy reading! ~

It was a 3 days trip to Vaishno Devi for the residents of Karki Kunj, an early weekend getaway and just like in every other household, Trip was planned 2 months prior to the actual trip. Tickets were paid and booked for, no space left for arguments but with the last-minute twist of events, only me and my father got off the train on Jammu Railway Station.

My father has always been my all-time ‘go-to’ friend, so I knew it won’t be boring but many things changed when he returned from abroad after a long period. He was still my best person but…

We went ahead to hail a cab to Katra, the main base of The Shrine. The car ride made me realize how much I missed this place and how excited and happy I am to be back. Dad was chatting away with driver while I tried to capture all the beautiful scenery I can. It was 8 in the morning when we passed a bridge to the longest tunnel in India.

I wasn’t surprised when dad suggested to start the trekking after 3 hours of staying in the hotel room, because his face lighten up when I agreed. Dad was excited too. With no Airtel towers to support my social media obsession, I was left with a gadget only to capture the beauty around.

Dad’s face was almost glowing till we reached to the main gate with one small bag. It was decided that the bag would be swapped every hour.

No pressure.

It was close to an hour of walking and bickering when I asked for a break, till then we had reached Ban Ganga, the bathing ghat. Surprised doesn’t even come close to how I felt because it was so changed. Strong flow of the river was still there but construction around it baffled me.

Which raised another thread of debates between us, while we continued with our hike.

The bag was swapped.

The Cab driver told us that the sun was into hiding for the last few weeks and it showed up that day. Father told me
“We are blessed”,
but the high we walked lower ground started to disappear into thin air. The sky became cloudier then it was when we started. We were prepared for the rain. Absolutely. Mother packed us brand new 2 raincoats but it never came to use.

But it all looked so beautiful, so serene.

It was tiring, very. We panted while walking up the path, pushing each other forward. When we reached close to Adhkuwari Temple, I know I let out a sigh of bliss because it’s been so long. It was early in afternoon but oh so bright around. I could the see the outline of the temple and I slowed down to capture it.

When we came up to Adhkuwari temple, we were rewarded with open beautiful cloudy sky, no sheds over our head. We sat there for a moment to cherish and take it all in before moving ahead to the temple’s courtyard.

It was my responsibility to get tickets to Adhkuwari cave, and that’s what I did.

I found my father sitting in between the marble courtyard, all alone. Scrolling through his phone, he had perfect networks in his phone and because of that he was going live on facebook in every other hour. Describing how surroundings are, our update, filming my sweaty face and people were actually watching.

I mean how?

It was at Himkoti, when I realized we were close to our destination, The Bhawan. The amount of dialogue exchanged between us were more than we shared in the previous year. Dad was happy but annoyed with the strength I waste on talking.

That made me happy and to be honest, I couldn’t ask for more.

Himkoti displayed the image of Earth Heaven, surrounded by thick fog. It almost felt like we were floating because the fog covered the lower grounds and the trees on the mountains completely.

It was 5 in the evening when we finally reached The Bhawan and just like this unplanned duo trip, the decision was made to attend the 3 hours Live aarti. The time passed on and we were on the path towards Bhairao Baba Temple.

Till we reached up to the temple, it was pitch black all around and I was following a beautiful golden retriever because why not?

The last picture I captured, up in the mountains was the whole Lighted up Bhawan. It showed the beauty of it. So perfect. It took us less time to get down, not because we wanted to rest but our legs were turned into jelly when we stopped to catch our breath.

So, we did what we had to do, we ran.
Probably not the greatest idea we had but it was fun to laugh along my father. It’s been too long.

We arrived hours before our train timing. If I’ve been honest I don’t remember when we climbed in the cab to Railway station or the train ride. But the ride back home, it’ll stay with me as far as I can remember.

I returned home with my best person, no buts.

All the magic happened in Vaishno Devi, Jammu.

With lots of love💜



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