Chhote Chhote Sehro Me Badi Badi Baatein Hoti Rehti Hain …
This blog post could have easily been about a sweet little family trip across the beautiful cities of Agra, Mathura and Vrindavan. But that is not how these places ended up in my memory. Though marked by some awesome moments of the place, the overall impression still remains negative.
Anyways, this trip was never meant to be, at the start. It all materialized when the visit to Vaishno Devi was cancelled due to Jammu floods, and when Spicejet informed me that flight cancellation amount would be more than the booking amount, I decided to fly to Delhi anyways.
Delhi – The city where my heart dwells. I landed there on a sunny Thursday afternoon and amidst the tour back into the memory lane and home bound emotions, I was interrupted by the very familiar voice – “Next stop is Anand Vihar ISBT. Doors will open to the left. Please mind the Gap”
Everyone had already ganged up at my uncle’s place in Ghaziabad, which happens to be at a walking distance from my engineering college. Bag packed, camera and phones fully charged – We set out for Agra – Taj Mahal being our first stop. Freaky Friday. Of course it was freaky Friday, and so were we for not doing some proper research. Taj remains closed on Friday. No “Waah Taj” for us as we had to change the plans to postpone Agra for the next day.
En route to Mathura, the entire journey was marked by temples and idols. Sri Krishna Janma Bhoomi – our first stop, was to be followed by Bankey Bihari temple in Vrindavan. We got into Sri Krishna Janma Bhoomi all right, but then there was one thing that struck us. All the temple in Mathura close down at 12 Noon and reopen around 5.30 – 6 PM. But behold, this is valid only for normal citizens. VIPs and VVIPs can get into the temples at their will, at any time they want (Course they got to pay 100 bucks for 3 minutes – obviously very heavy for the pocket) The entire afternoon was spent trying to figure out what to do, and finally settling down in a restaurant waiting for the evening.
At around 5 we decided to get going to visit Iskcon temple and Prem Mandir. Two words to describe these places – Beautiful and Magnificent. Prem Mandir looked like a Castle that had sprung up from a Dreamland.
I thought that finally something was going for us. But that feeling was not to last long. I came back to our car to find my bag done – Credit Cards, ID proofs, Cash, Phone, Camera lens and accessories – everything gone with the bag. Bloody even my footwear was stolen from outside the temple. The irony was that the car was booked from Justdial from a Travels called “Harsh Travels” (If possibly give them a low rating on JustDial – and don’t bank upon JustDial for Travels booking around Ghaziabad – only go for known Travels, this place reeks of frauds). The driver was positive that the car was not unlocked at any point of time and he was present in the car all the time. Even then when asked about the bag, his response was plain and simple – “I am hired to drive the car and not to look after your bags”.
That moment I said to myself – “Welcome to Uttar Pradesh”. It was 9 in the night and police was the last thing that I could think of for help. Going to police meant sitting in the police station for hours, trying to convince them to file an FIR, and in the end be told that the case too “petty” for them to get their hands on. I have hired car for travel at practically all the places around the country – be it Kasol or Bhutan, be it Khandala or Andaman- we have never faced any such issue. And the first time I book a cab in Ghaziabad – BOOM, I was there for a surprise.
I got all my cards blocked. ID proofs’ creation had to be re-initiated. Flying out of Delhi looked impossible as Spicejet wanted an affidavit from notary (and all the courts were closed till Monday). Somehow Aadhaar card bailed me out and I managed to get away from one of the worst trips I have ever had.
Anyways, Mathura and Vrindavan are beautiful places to go to – Just that I don’t have many positive reviews to boast about. In case you plan to visit, please plan this well and be extra careful – The place is full of incidents.
My mother kept saying – “Mata ka bulaawa nahi aaya tha. Cheeaein aur bhi buri ho sakti thi – It was not meant to be. Thinks could have been even worse, if not for Devi’s blessings”. I didn’t happen to think the same way though
I am not an atheist. I do believe in God. Just that I still struggle to completely connect with Him. But I am sure that some day we will be friends. Some day