Monday, 8 January 2018

My Wanderings - 60. Short story No.- 40. Myopia

Brij Krishen screwed up his eyes as he peered across  the dimness of his house dining room . He was slightly short sighted of which he had taken little notice so far. He was already using specs for reading books and newspapers since his retirement from a public sector  but had  never faced such a type of problem earlier.   He was  experiencing a mixed feelings of joy and  gloominess  today as he had visited his childhood friend Ram Krishen , a renowned business man , after  long time. He was happy because he had met his childhood friend but gloomy because he had discovered that he was no match to his friend and has lagged far behind him in affluence and prosperity. It was not only clinical problem of his eyes but literally he was regretting for his myopic outlook maintained by him throughout his life   and opted  for a salaried  job with a meagre income as compared to his friend.
Moreover , Ram Krishen looked very young and pleasant by appearance,  thought Brij Krishen and it was a natural sequence after that to glance at his own appearance in the mirror that happened ,most conveniently,  to hang just besides the table . What he saw there put him in further grief . How dreadfully he had changed ? Brij  Krishen was by nature a very  sociable man . Throughout his life he had remained seperate from his wife  and children because of his transferable job. Brij Krishen had always worked hard, harder perhaps than was good for his health . He had worn out as his wife had.  He had a tired and haggard look after facing the vagaries of life . There was a lot of white in his hair. His wife had also suffered  no less .She had looked after the house and  children meticulously in the absence of Brij Krishen .
Now after his retirement  he was looking forward to live ever with his loving  wife . What a happy and peaceful life they would have together. Well perhaps peaceful was overstating it. Family life was never quite peaceful .Infectious  illnesses , vagaries of fate  and other problems were there in abundance . Life really was a series of petty dramas .
Still after all, that was life  And now with the children married and getting a good pension himself  , Brij Krishen could take things more easily .
As Brij Krishen  was at the threshold of bliss of life , the thoughts of his friend made his life miserable. He was having more than enough to look after the needs of himself and his loving wife  but he could never live  peacefully ever after his encounter  with his friend Ram krishan . He always regretted his myopic outlook when he compared his life with that of  his friend . This complex worked upon his nerves so hard  that he began to show signs of depression which naturally effected the peaceful life of his wife also.  He made her  life also miserable. She consulted various doctors but of no avail.
One day Ram Krishen also visited Brij Krishen's house to enquire about his health. Brij  Krishen felt  embarrassed  to see his friend because of his small abode  and humble belongings . Ram Krishen appeared not to be taking much notice of what his friend was thinking about. He was rather envious of his friends peaceful life which he confided  to him quite frankly. He admitted to his friend that he was not living a peaceful life himself because of various business occupations.  He was not able to give much time to his family and hobbies.  No doubt he is earning much more than an average  person but his life is devoid of peace and happiness,  which no money on earth can  buy. 
With these words Ram Krishen left the residence of his friend, leaving the latter in utter confusion.
Brij Krishen pondered over the utterances   of his friend for  a long time   and later  on  reality dawned upon him. He felt relieved of tension which was looming large  over his head for quite a long time. He also purchased new glasses for himself which corrected his myopia . He began to see his life with a different point of view . He felt grateful towards his family and possessions and began to live a happy and peaceful life thereafter .

Saturday, 28 October 2017

My Wanderings - 59. Short Story No. 39. Pyramid

It was in the middle of  Nineteen seventies that   families of two friends Ajay and Vimal were living in the most congested area of down town Srinagar near khan kahi sokhta   Safakadal . The life was simple and both the families had similar economic and cultural  background. Ajay and Vimal being next door neighbours and almost of same age were fast  friends . They had just completed graduation and were looking after  a suitable job for themselves  within the province . Only mode of conveyance in  the city  those days was hiring a Tonga or riding a  personal bicycle if few could afford to purchase it. Possession of personal cars or even  scooters were a rare commodity those days. Means of communication like telephones were far and few in  a locality .
After making hectic  efforts for getting  jobs  of a  teacher or an  Assistant in state Govt. they got desperate and  resolved to appear for competetive  tests of nationalised Banks and central Govt.offices located in Srinagar. Finally they got posted as casheirs in the different branches of a nationalised Bank within the Srinagar city. After few years they were married one after another in   a short span of time. The wife of Ajay was a working lady  and that of Vimal a  housewife but well  educated.  Both the friends were satisfied with  life and enjoying the bliss of married life.
After few years of marriage , wife of Ajay got promoted as a matter of routine but the later could not accept   the promotion of his wife sportingly . Male ego worked upon his nerves to the extent that he desperately wanted to get himself promoted somehow  . But promotion chances in his department were bleak and remote. He tried tooth and nail to fulfill his ambition . On the other hand Vimal enjoyed every minute of his life peacefully and patiently .
After some time God fulfilled the wish of Ajay and a promotional test was held by their department . As Ajay was fully prepared for the test , he  got promoted but Vimal could not make it through . Ajay was  overjoyed with the newly acquired promotion but was transferred out of state. He made it a point not  to look back and  never to compromise with his career. 
The promotion of Ajay also effected the life of Vimal . He could not accept his failure for sometime but compromised with it latter on . Ajay mostly remained outside the state because he got many promotions in quite succession and remained cut off from family responsibilities . He could not even spare time to look after the education of his children who were growing up fast. His son even failed in Matriculation exam despite the hectic efforts of his wife not  to let her children  feel the absence of their father.
Vimal also got promoted but could make it  to the level of middle management only. But his children feared very well in their exams. and got admission in prestigious professional colleges.
Although Ajay had reached to a very senior position in his department but  he was not still satisfied with his achievements. He used to say that graph of promotion  is in  the shape of pyramid ,  where only few can reach to the top.  Only fittest can survive to make it possible. Therefore, any means whether it may be sychophancy  or compromise with morals and  ethics are fair in this race .  Moreover,  success in his career had made him egoistic and arrogant. He felt himself superior and often  misbehaved with his subordinates. He started to maintain distance with his subordinates  and colleagues .Ajay  became so selfish that he  severed connections  even with his friends and relatives ,who  were not up to his mark and who  had once helped him a lot.
In the mad rush of achievements Ajay even ignored his wife , who was suffering from cancer. He did not take pains to take her to a better hospital where she could be treated well. At that time he was heading the north eastern zone  of his department and he could hardly spare time to look after her properly . Finally his wife succumbed  to the deadly disease.
In epilogue both the friends Ajay and Vimal  retired at their respective place of postings on the same day as both were born in  same month . Vimal retired as a satisfied man with his both children well settled
But Ajay appeared very lonely and forlorn after retirement as his wife had already passed away and his  son had left the home after fighting with him .His daughter had married a person much elder to her in age with out taking consent of his father.  Ajay had not even a friend to talk with. Moreover , every body ignored Ajay  whenever   he visited his office  after retirement.
Sometimes he would ponder over the fact that though he could not reach the top of the pyramid of his career graph but as per his life graph he had reached to the top of pyramid as he was left lonely and forlorn in the fag end of his life .

Thursday, 5 October 2017

My Wanderings - 58. Short story No.38. A Tale of an unknown KP

I can  not resist the temptation of writing about  a strange  person who encountered me during my Wanderings in life and influenced me so much. Although  he had implored  me  vehemently not to write anything about him but I do not want to keep my readers,  ignorant   about this  mysterious character,  who may get some lead to study the diversity in nature of life  represented by some unique persons in this  universe.  They appear just like aliens as if they are from  different planets , perhaps from Mars or Jupiter , if life  exists there. Because such truthful , honest and benevolent  persons  can rarely be found on our planet i.e earth .
In order to keep sanctity to his word of honour I am changing his name and mode in ancedots of his life to some extent.
I know Mahesh for the last thirty five years but could not visualise the depth in   his character for a long time  due to his ordinary disposition and simple way of life .  Actually Mahesh was a Photographer by profession. He had learnt this art while working as apprentice  in a famous Photography shop at Srinagar.  Then he joined   as a professional photographer in some Govt. Department and started working there  hard and honestly. Honesty and hard work was in the blood of Mahesh . He used to give credit of these virtues present in him to his mother.
I have seen him  mostly working  in the marriages of his friends and relatives tirelessly. He used to take the charge of store and kitchen in these functions and remained mostly there till the completion of the task. He was averse to the limelight of these functions . He would be seen always working there in ordinary clothes and never joining the celebrations. He would also prefer to take his simple  food in the  kitchen store only. After completion of function , he would properly arrange the leftover oils, spices and utensils with precision and store them properly. Sometimes he would himself wash the floor or used utensils . He was an expert housekeeper and  would work hard to avoid any loss to the host. It was not only marriage functions but in case of death of somebody in neighbourhood or in relation , he would provide his services relentlessly .In the rush of celebrations no body could notice his selfless service and he himself was not also concerned about that as he never required any recognition for that.  He was   a low profile man with simple habits and  providing his services with selflessness .
Mahesh  has many stories related with  his long stay at Srinagar after the migration of our community from there. Although he had already sent his family to Delhi but he remained at Srinagar till his retirement glued to his attitude of service. Most of militants used to stay in his house as it was safe heaven for them as no body suspected them there. He used to provide them with all essentials like food tea etc. as he was  helpless to take cudgels with them. Once militants brought a person blindfolded to his house and started enquiring him as they suspected him to be an informer. After a long  investigation they tied him in the upper storey of  house and left him at the disposal of  Mahesh  after advising him that they will return soon. In the meantime Mahesh reached near the tied person and asked him whether he wanted something to eat. After getting his nod, Mahesh provided him with some egg omellete and bread which he relished so much. Then militants took him again to some unknown destination .
Once a friend of Mahesh was in urgent need of money and requested him for help. Mahesh sold  the jewellery of his  newly wed wife and helped his friend. But that friend never returned him the money borrowed .
He was having an old scooter which was his means of transport  . Many times he visited Jammu or even to Delhi on  his old scooter. He hardly boarded a bus or train as scooter  was his most favourite means of travel. One day while travelling from Srinagar to Jammu , the headlight of  his scooter stopped . He immediately bought an ordinary torch and tied it to the Scooter in place of headlight.  These days he is however, living at Delhi but whenever he visits Jammu , he will be seen on his old scooter. The expenditure incurred by him on scooter in the shape of cost of petrol and service charges, plus inconvenience caused  is sometimes more than what a train or bus ticket could have  cost him. But he has fancy for scooter drive  .  One day he confided to me that he could have purchased a new scooter but he cannot afford to part with it as his late wife used to sit on the back seat of his scooter .  Therefore , he was also emotionally attached to his scooter. Here it will be worthwhile to  mention about the sad demise of his worthy wife  few  years back which broke his heart to the hilt. He remained confined to his room for many months after that,  but his friends helped him to come out of this grief.  Every one gets  surprised to notice him covering long distances on old scooter and that too at the  ripe age . But if one takes Intrest in his sojourns there is something miraculous about him. When asked how he covers  these long  distances on scooter with out any difficulty  he replied, " I sometimes myself feel disheartened to think about covering the long distances on old scooter, but some unseen power makes me to reach my destination with out any difficulty even to my own astonishment."
Most of his friends make fun of his utterances and take him lightly or even far granted . But if his devotion for selfless service is taken seriously,  he does not appear to be an ordinary person. He appears to have achieved the highest order of penance as per our religion that is Hinduism.
Here I quote two texts of SrimadBhagwadgita from chapter 12 and 14 respectively,  as my dedication to this great man which reflects  his personality to a large extent.
Arjuna asks  to Krishna,  what is the best form of penance
Bhagwan Krishan replies to Arjuna,
"If however, you are unable to work in this consciousness of me , then try to act giving up all results of your work and try to be self situated.
If you can not take to this practice , then engage yourself in the cultivation of knowledge (Gyan). Better than knowledge , however , is meditation (Dyana or  Bhakhti) , and  better than meditation is renunciation of the fruits of  action ( Karm fal Tyag) , for by such renunciation​ one can attain peace of mind."

Arjuna says who has transcended the mode of nature .Bhagwan Krishna replies ,

"He who is situated in the self and regards alike happiness and distress , who looks upon a lump of earth , a stone and a piece of gold with an equal eye , who is equal towards desirable and undesirable , who is steady , situated equally well in  praise and blame , honour and dishonour , who treats alike both friend and enemy and who has renounced all material activities - such person is said to have transcended the mode of nature ".

Monday, 11 September 2017

My Wanderings - 57. Pt. Shankar Kaul, a Great Teacher, a Reformist and a Spiritualist

   " What Shankar Knows is worth knowing and what Shankar does not know is not worth knowing "
           These were the lines written by Tyndale  Biscoe , a great educationist and first Principal of CMS Mission School Srinagar in his Book 'Sunlight and Shade' This reflects the depth of  Knowledge and illustrious  personality  of a great teacher  of his times and the son of soil Pt.Shankar kaul.
Pt. Shankar Kaul was born in year 1879 near  Batyar   Mohalla of Aali kadal Srinagar. After  completing his early education in State High School, he got admission in CMS Mission School Fateh Kadal,  where his personality began to develop  under the  worthy guidance  of Mr. Tyndale  Biscoe, Principal of the School.
Shankar Kaul proved to be  a brilliant student , good swimmer and a  magnificent hiker. After completing his education i.e. BA. and B.T from Lahore university  Shankar Kaul joined as Teacher in the same school and became famous due to his ability and knowledge .He remained attached with the school for fifty three years and rose to the position of Head Master. Pt. Sansar Chand Koul, Nandlal Bakaya, N.N. Fotedar , Shiv ji Koul and Master Zinda Koul   were great teachers and his contemporaries. While teaching at the school , he also became  instructor of swimming, hiking and Gymnastics. Being a devout Hindu, he was also having full knowledge of Christianity and Islam. He used to quote the sayings of every religion while proving his point or delivering lectures. He was a very good orator and his early morning lecture to gathering of students had a deep impact and a magical effect on the audience . He was also very much Intrested in social service. He along with a  group of students voluntarily visited the areas effected by epidemics , fires or floods  to help the people. He also raised his voice against the exploitation of animals.
He  initiated an agitation against child marriage , which was very  common those days . He also met Mahraja Hari Singh and persuaded him to pass  the bill for  Widow remarriage . Hindu widows of Kashmir got the right of remarriage in year 1928.  Mr. Biscoe has well appreciated the efforts of Master ji ,in this regard, in his book Sunlight and shade .        .
                 Being a  man of diverse qualities,   Master Shankar Pandit was appointed as Commissioner of city  Municipality by Mahraja Hari Singh. Master ji took much Intrest in the cleanliness drive of Srinagar city . The  Govt. used to consult him regarding social service schemes to be initiated by them.
Despite of being a teacher in Christan Missionary School , he was  a devout Hindu and  very much  interested in his own religion. During leisure time,he remained busy  in his spiritual pursuits and had attained greater heights in the field. He always helped poor and needy and laid much stress on the purpose of life. He used to say ,  to get destroyed for a purpose is better than living a purpose less life. He was a great Karmyogi pandit. He was having spiritual liaison with Bhagwan Gopi Nath ji, a great saint of Kashmir .
I would like here to quote an incident from the life of Master ji which justify his spiritual attainment.
Master ji used to  visit Hari Parbat  daily early in the morning  to pay his obeisance    at the feet of Mata Sharika ji. Once he had to stop his daily schedule because of fracture in his leg due to some accident. One day he looked in desperation towards Hari Parbat from the window of his house located on the banks of Jehlum  and murmured  ," Mata I am not able to visit you presently but you have also forgotten me ; can't you send me your prasad even?"
At the same movement an unknown  person named Bhagat ji who was at Hari Parbat got a vision of Mata , who ordered him to take some prasad from here and deliver it to Master Shankar pandit of Ali Kadal.
Bhagat  ji took some Prasad and entered  the house  of Master ji much hesitantly and sat just  near the entrance. He could not venture to handover Prasad to  Master ji. He thought Master ji will make fun of him if he revealed truth to him. But Master ji affectionately called him in and asked for the Prasad , which Bhagat ji most readily offered . Thereafter, Bhagat ji became a great desciple of Master ji.
He distributed  knowledge to all the student and believed in Nishkaam Karma through out his life.  Pandit  Shankar Kaul left this mortal world in year 1963 .

Friday, 18 August 2017

My Wanderings - 56. Short Story No 37. Facts of Life

Pooja was  just seventeen   when she completed   her School education  and stopped studying   further as there was no college in her village . She was the only child of her father, who was a rich Landlord of the village and her mother a seasoned housewife.  Therefore, Pooja was a pampered child of family and  brought up with much fanfare. But Pooja was very innocent by nature and totally ignorant about the facts of life as compared to other girls  of her age. Now Pooja had left school, radiant, bursting with life , thirsting for happiness , ready for all the joys and all the risks which she had already anticipated in imagination. She looked like portrait of Godess , with her dark hair and fair complexion. Her eyes were blue with a dark mole on her chin. She was tall with a developed bust.
Once sitting  near the window of her bed room she began to dream of love. For sometime her thoughts  have  been filling up with anxious anticipations of its advent. She had only to meet him . What would he be like? She did not really know . She only knew that she would worship him with all her heart and soul. They would go on long walks , they would hold hands , pressing close to each other , hearing their heartbeats suddenly she seemed to feel him close by her side and a shiver of sensual  longing ran over her whole body.
After some time  village priest brought the proposal of a boy namely Ashok who was a graduate and living in a near by  village. But the parents of Ashok had  already expired . Pooja's father asked the priest to bring the boy someday to their house so that they know each other better.  Ashok was a very smart boy of average  height with a very good  sense of humour.  Every body in the house began to like him gradually  as he started to visit their  house.
One day Ashok proposed Puja when her parents were not at home.  Ashok seizing the hand of Pooja whispered to her, " tell me Pooja dear, will you be my wife?" She bent her head and when he again whispered , " Do give me an answer, I love you". She raised her eyes gently to his and he read her answer  in her glance.
She was blushing ,panting and strangulated with emotion when her father one day  added  with  a smile ,  " we can not do anything without discussing it with you. Your mother and I have no objection with this marriage , but we do not wish  to put any pressure on you. You are much better off than he is, but when it is a question of lifelong happiness , the consideration of money ought not to come in . He has no near relative living , so if you do marry him , he will come into our family as a son , whereas with someone else it will be  a case of our daughter going among strangers. We like the boy .We seek your opinion. Pooja stammered in affirmation and marriage was fixed.
On the night of marriage Ashok pressed the ears of Pooja with his lips, saying ," Today you will be my little wife". Although she had learnt the facts of life from her school friends, she still only thought of the romantic aspect of love and was surprised .His wife? Was not that she already ?" Then he clasped her in arms and she surrendered because she remembered the words of her mother that from now  on you are all his. Finally  with some inquisitiveness some pain and some excitement marriage was consummated.
Excitement of marriage lasted for some months when Pooja noticed some indifference  in the attitude  of Ashok towards her.  Ashok had taken full charge of the  farms of his father in law. Pooja first  thought it is because of work load of Ashok that he can  not afford to give her much time. But soon it transpired that Ashok had developed illicit relations with some farm girl , who had become pregnant by now. This  ill action  of Ashok gave a shock to the whole family in general and particularly to Pooja. She wanted to severe all relations with Ashok. But father of Pooja,  who was a seasoned landlord and a business man ,  gave serious thought to the problem and paid  considerable amount of  money    to   father of farm girl and  advised him to arrange the marriage of his daughter , which he did later on.
But it was difficult for Pooja to compromise with the situation. She dared not face the people she met, convinced that they would whisper behind her back. She felt a grudge against Ashok in her heart for not understanding her and having no refined modesty and delicacy. She felt as if   it were a veil , a barrier between herself and him, realising for the first time that two people can never understand each other's deepest feelings and thoughts. They may walk side by side and sometimes embrace , but they remain apart and moral being of each one is eternally isolated all through life. Pooja could realise  that facts of life are not always  sweet but sometimes bitter also. 

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

My Wanderings -55. Short Story - 36. Return of warrior with a Storm

Anita was living along with her two kids Anshoo and Amit at Jammu. Her husband Major Anil was in Kashmir on frontier duty somewhere near Kupwara . It was monsoon season in Jammu and raining heavily through out  that night . Anita after rising from bed and finishing  her daily  early  chores went over to the window, but the rain showed no sign of stopping . The downpour had rattled all night against the panes and the roof . The lowering sky , full of water ,seemed to have burst , drenching the earth and reducing it to a muddy paste like melted sugar . Furious gusts of wind were blowing , laden with stuffy heat , and the roar of flooded gutters filled the empty streets , where the houses like sponges sucked up the damp , which found its way inside and made the walls sweat from cellar to attic.
Anita was very happy today as her  husband Anil was   coming  soon to  home for a long leave as she was now ready to grasp all the joys of life of which she had long dreamt. She wanted to visit Malls , shopping complexes and cinemas along with Anil and children. She was only anxious about the weather so that it may hinder the home coming of Anil. She wanted the weather cleared and for many times she scanned the horizon anxiously  that morning  . Suddenly she noticed that she had forgotten to awoke her children  from bed as their school time was approaching fast .No sooner  children arose from bed , she promptly prepared them and went to kitchen for preparing their breakfast. After serving them breakfast, she accompanied the children to  nearby  street to board them in the school bus . The downpour continued and Anita took the children under umbrella towards main Street. The howling wind drove the rattling rain against the umbrella  and flooded the roadway making pools and puddles of  muddy rain water. Soon the children boarded the school bus and the Bus drove on splashing muddy water of the pools through its wheels. While returning to home Anita could observe the  violence of storm abating gradually . Soon it was only a kind of drizzle , a fine mist of flying raindrops. The cloud ceiling began to rise and clear , and suddenly through an invisible opening a long slanting gleam of sunlight shone down. Now on reaching home she was happy to see a blue and clear expanse of sky spread over the whole earth . A gentle fresh breeze passed like a sigh of relief from the window. But it is often said that there is a lull before a greater storm. Soon the telephone bell rang and Anita was informed by an unknown  Voice from the unit of her husband that Anil was martyred  last night while fighting with  the terrorists. Anita could not beleive  the words . The whole world appeared  topsy  turvey before her eyes. She could not bear the gravity of message and collapsed in comma on the floor near by dropping the receiver unawares.
When she recovered from comma, she could see her apartment filled with unknown people . The dead body of Anil had also arrived  in tricolour with full military  honours. Anil had shown much valour while fighting the intruders and killed three  of them single handedly. All the five Pakistani  intruders had been neutralised against the death  of one  Indian  Major Anil, who had proved himself to be a real warrior.  The name of  Major Anil had also been  recommended for  Kiriti chakra award .
But Anita appeared indifferent to all this , even she was not attending to her wailing children sitting besides her. She had turned into a stone. Her sunken  and vacant eyes were dry. She was like a corpse. Every body was worried about her mental state and wanted she should cry.
At last after much persuasion of the womenfolk around her she cried while embracing her children. It was with  a wild shreik ,  tears began to  flow from her eyes. She wept bitterly shedding torrents of tears. She wailed bitterly. All the woman and even menfolk  around there could not hold tears. The storm in the life of a person is  sometimes much more stronger than the storm of nature . But the people around heaved a sigh of relief on  shedding of tears by the Anita , because this sudden shock could have affected her balance of mind.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

My Wanderings - 54 Short Story - 35. Enchanted Pilgrimage and a possessed Pilgrim

                       I have been often  misunderstood  for being an atheist because of my rational outlook on matters of religion and for  my  habit  of  pleading against superstitions.  As  per my convictions there is possibly no relation between rationality and atheism. I would hereby like to narrate an incident of my life ,which happened a very long ago, when I was a young man and had  recently joined my first job in Meteorological Deptt. I along with my brother and his  family  decided to go on Amar nath  yatra . The seats  were booked in a chartered Bus which was going directly to Baltal en-route  Sona Marg.  Actually Bus was arranged by a group of Punjabi business men for their families and we could manage few seats in it. The main purpose of booking our seats in this Bus was that it could  wait for us at Baltal and bring  us back next day to  Srinagar   immediately,  once all of us  assembled in the  bus.
We boarded the bus at Srinagar around 2 P.M. and reached Baltal at 7 P.M.  As  we arranged   for a small  hut for night halt and slept in there after taking some light dinner ,which we had brought from Srinagar
Next day before  dawn we arose from our beds and  quietly started our journey towards Amarnath shrine. It was really wonderful experience to ascend high mountain  peaks and cross the slippery glaciers of ice, where we had to walk on man made paths enough to hold single foot of a person at a time and beyond which were slippery deep ravines and slopes of glaciers. A wrong step of a person could cost  his life and it would have been impossible to locate for the dead bodies  even because the slopes of mountains were thousands of  feet deep and fully laden with ice of glaciers​.
There were  really  thrilling and heart wrenching experiences which  prompted us to go ahead  carrying our  fatigued  bodies and numb nerves. I can not still forget the taste of lemon shake which we made with ice water. It was really like a life elixir  which refreshed our bodies to the hilt. It was only after crossing mountain peaks, glaciers, ravines , slopes and canyons for hours together, we could locate the great Amarnath cave welcoming us with its Majestic  grandeur . While reaching near the holy cave , I could not control my nerves  on witnessing  the enchanting atmosphere around. It was really a new experience. The place appeared untrodden by human species , animals or birds. The ice cold water of river Amravati flowing fast and making a white foam like substance over it. The White snow  mountain peaks, white clouds hovering over the sky  and white stones all around added to the grandeur of the  place. The scene was mesmerising , bewitching   and beyond any description by  human words . The spectacle of nature was  at its peak mingling slowly with the divinity in  conspicous mode. No body could afford to be an atheist in such a serene atmosphere and among the chanting of Shiva shankara echoing around . A dip in  ice cold water of Amravati was enough to refresh the body and soul of any pilgrim . 
After paying our   obeisance  at the captivating  piligrimage  and taking some food , we started our return journey. Our return  journey was not so tiresome but  it was risky as we had  mostly to descend slopes . But heavy rains made our return journey more risky as it made our paths very  slippery . Anyhow we reached our base camp Baltal drenched and shivering with cold rain water despite of our rain coats and umbrellas.
After reaching Baltal we boarded the bus waiting for us. When  all the passengers assembled ,driver drove the Bus with out any hassle. But only after driving  few kms., Driver abruptly stopped the bus  near a slope and left it  along with conductor with a promise to return  soon.  We were waiting in the bus for Driver to  return for an hour, but he did not turn up. Some pilgrims  guessed  that he might have gone for dinner in a near by village. All the yatris were drenched with cold rain water and were  weary  to the hilt. Most of us were dozing and waiting anxiously for driver to return.
In the mean time a boy sitting somewhere in back seat stood up abruptly and started chanting 'Jai Mata di' and all the yatris responded him loudly in the same manner. The yatris thought that he was possessed by 'Mata' and no body dared to stop him when he hurled abuses on Driver and seated himself on Drivers  seat and tried to start vehicle. He declared something  unrighteous has happened during the pilgrimage and Mata wanted to punish all.  Few yatris alighted  out of the bus to save themselves but most of yatris remained in the bus with closed eyes chanting Jai Mata di. I was also  one among the yatris who came out of bus . We looked at each other in much bewilderment  and mustered  enough courage to take hold of the boy sitting on drivers seat and pulled him out of the bus after thrashing him a little. He rolled his body on the road and started weeping .  He admitted that he was hungry and tired  so much that he lost his balance of mind. Then some food was provided to him and he was again bundled in to the bus. In the meantime Driver appeared  with much apologetic disposition and drove away the bus. We reached Srinagar at mid of night.
Later on it transpired that the small Boy in question was a domestic help of  some family  travelling in  the  Bus , who was neglected and not given any food  to eat through out the journey .