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Haridwar is like Disneyland

Hang in there Brahma  ji! O, you have a white swan! My friend here has a black Thunderbird.

On weekends you can't easily get out of Rishikesh. The Traffic is terrible. The Jam starts just as one leaves Rishikesh and you are out of it only when driving well past Haridwar. That means eat fumes for five hours.
Once we were inside the city, to avoid the traffic, my friend drove the bike down the by-lanes of the city.

Took these photographs using his fancy Sony Ericsson Mobile while we got stuck on a road right next to a fancy temple that can offer to send the devotee back to the stony great Sat Yug .

 Blow Horn Please! 

O yes! Also always remember to buy those long lasting Alkaline batteries well before you even pick the travel destination because once there, the destination will always sell you genuine, same priced 'Made-in-China' stuff that won't even power up a fancy 'Made-in-China' pocket radio.

That makes me feel really good about myself. 

 Great Elephant god on top of the world and some ladies for company.

Got stuck in a thunderstorm just as we crossed the last Ganga ghat of Haridwar.
Stopped at a shop to buy water. Bought a big bottle. Paid the money. Rain, wind, thunder and hail. Hung around the shop waiting out the bad weather.
Locals don't like tourists too much. How can they? How can anyone?
The local, the young man behind the counter, claimed they now have no water, no electricity and on weekends the city, as you can see, is a hell.
What's that blond girl doing sticking her head out of the big window of the State transport bus. Why is she traveling in that bus. There is a long Jaam awaiting her if she's going to Rishikesh?
I thought the water bottle was too big and certainly not needed anymore. Our initial plan was to buy some snacks, some water and then drive back to the ghat, relax and bottle lot of  ganga jal in that water bottle. What can I say! My mother had asked for the holy water. But now, with this bad weather, it seemed like a bad idea. Had some potato chips. I asked the shopkeeper if he would take back the unopened bottle back; he didn't even hear me. How about not paying us anything, just take back the bottle and give us anything else that costs even half as much. Sounds great ha....? 'Nothing doing! Can't take anything back,' he kept chanting while playing with his little daughter. Blame Lakshmi Mata.  And I carried the bottle along.

Stopped at an empty Dhabba just before entering Muzaffarnagar . UPwallas don't like Dilliwallas, they think Delhi people drive like mad men. The man at the Dhabba was vivid. 'They drive to die! One man survived, three died. That man is so badly damaged, he better die. Competing with a 10 wheeler!' We had just passed the wreckage of a smashed up big car. 'A bus filled with children fell off the cliff in Nainital. Driver was drunk.' Vivid.

Our friends, traveling in a car, finally caught up with us. We had dinner at some restaurant that was buzzing with people.We then took the infamous short-cut but dangerous (criminal element infested, not safe for late night ) route from Muzaffarnagar to Delhi. It's a pitch dark road that runs parallel to the Ganga canal that feeds water to Delhi and originates near Haridwar. On way, my friend regaled me with terrible stories about such dark roads, stories in which terrible things befall poor woman. Someone had regaled him with these stories. Another police patrol car. High beam light. Momentary blindness. Darkness. Is that a tree or a man? 

The short route saved us three hours of traveling. That big bottle of water was empty by the time we entered Delhi and headed to our respective home. Felt sick for a couple of days.


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