Like Yogi Berra, we knew we were going to take the wrong train, so we left early. 3 and a half minutes to plan, 12 to pack, and an hour and a half to reach the wrong train. How wrong the train was. On one of the last surviving metre gauge tracks, in the 100+ seater General compartment, sharing a berth with characters from a Satyajit Ray movie on a half-day journey that would take the two of us 500 kilometres north of the dusty plains of Uttar Pradesh, to the heart of the Indian Himalayas.
The thought of a non pre-determined destination did not prevent me or my ‘travelling companion’ from following the river down the highway to reach where we had with a host of our other friends a year ago, to celebrate a somewhat karmic anniversary marking what had later become the beginning of many a great relationship and times spent together.
Lucknow to Lalkuan to Haldwani to Almora and a 6km trek up to Crank’s ridge where we spent the night before heading back our pre-determined lives. D H Lawrence apparently spent two summers at Crank’s Ridge, which has also been visited before us by Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens and Timothy Leary. W.Y. Evans-Wentz had a house there, which he lent to Lama Anagarika Govinda when he was away, which apparently was quite often.
Breakfast at Tara’s, a long walk, a visit to the old Bear at the zoo, another long walk, lazy reading books from the library at Pugmark, and a longer walk to top it off. Destination anywhere.
“If you come to a fork in the road, take it."over 7 years ago