Plans for the wedding had started the day Sandeep told us about his marriage last year. This was a very important occasion for all four of us Sandeep, Yogi, Saurabh and me as it would be the first wedding amongst us. Finally, the week of the wedding arrived. As usual, I started planning the whole trip with Saurabh, which was successful, at least to some extent. We decided to get out of Delhi on July 29 which was Thursday. The major breather was that Saurabh would take us in his car. However, we would realize it later whether it was a breather or a tension.
Saurabh’s mom also agreed to accompany us, that led me to ask my mom to come there and attend the wedding. We started on the decided day in the morning, although we were 2 hours behind the schedule still our journey to overcome the notorious Delhi traffic was fruitful and we successfully went past the Delhi border in time. I was given the navigator seat and also some additional responsibilities of keeping the chauffeur awake and entertaining the audience with the super hi-fi audio cassette system installed in the car.
The drive was very smooth and we crossed Panipat in just an hour after passing the Delhi border. We took a break at a road side dhaba before Karnal and enjoyed the tea there. After the short break, we were again on the road with the speedometer’s needle hovering around 80-90 consistently. We passed Karnal, Kurukshetra, and Ambala on the way. As we were heading towards our destination, the green surroundings were turning greener and winds were getting cooler.
Once we crossed Chandigarh and took the Shimla highway, we could easily see the lush green mountains and blue skies with some clouds here and there. The drive became steeper as we reached Kalka and we were on the typical Himachal roads as we crossed Parwanoo. We were greeted by intense showers as we drove past the hills of Parwanoo. The rain stopped after 15-20 minutes and we stopped on the roadside for the view of the mountains and had some photos clicked.
After that, we resumed our journey to Solan and reached there in time. After getting directions from Sandeep who had sent his younger brother to accompany us home, we reached their home and were greeted by Sandeep’s parents and grandparents. Sandeep was busy in some puja which would eventually last for complete 2 days.
There we met his other relatives including his two brothers Rajan and Harish. We chilled for some time and then had lunch with them afterward. The climate was too cool and pleasant for us delhites. We even noticed that most rooms in his house did not have ceiling fans, as they were not needed.
In the evening we attended a small puja ceremony in the house and after that Saurabh and aunt left to meet their local relatives. Sandeep took me and his grandparents for a stroll in the nearby area. We could the see the beautiful mountains amidst the clouds and could feel the chill in the air. After half an hour or so we came back to home and met the Purohit ji. He was a knowledgeable person with quite convincing knowledge in the field of astrology. I had a long discussion with him on the very subject and we shared our experiences regarding the same. Obviously, others in the room were getting bored.
Then we went for dinner and had a good simple dinner in completely village style after so many years. As a matter of fact, I ate the dinner without a spoon after so many years and simply enjoyed that. Sandeep couldn’t accompany us for the dinner as he was on a fast as a part of the rituals being followed. After dinner, we went to the room allotted to us by them to have a nap. We laid the mattresses on the floor, after some chit chat and light moments, decided to have a sleep. The chill in the atmosphere forced us to take a quilt and I was still wondering about a quilt in the month of July. After a long day’s drive, we went to sleep and get refreshed for the next day.
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