Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Haridwar – My Experience

Dracula Dhaba 

For those of you who don’t know about Haridwar:

Haridwar is an important pilgrimage city and municipality in the Haridwar district of Uttarakhand, India.

Haridwar is regarded as one of the seven holiest places to Hindus. According to the Samudra manthan, Haridwar along with Ujjain,Nasik and Allahabad is one of four sites where drops of Amrit, the elixir of immortality, accidentally spilled over from the pitcher while being carried by the celestial bird Garuda.

Link

Some people say you get peace of mind at this place. Some say you go here so the departed soul can rest in peace. Let me assure you – I didn’t find any peace over there.

Why I was there in the first place - well lets just say it wasn’t out of choice and I would never go to such a place out of choice. It’s not because of religious issues, but I simply don’t like crowded filthy places. Even without going to Haridwar, I knew it would be crowded and filthy.

What I didn’t know is HOW FILTHY it would be.

  • Cow dung, human faeces, dog shit all over the place.
  • Shops playing songs like Tu mile, dil khile, aur jeene ko kya chaahiye at a ridiculously high volume and small TV sets playing videos of various Bollywood songs.
  • Pandits / Pujaris / Priests harassing the visitors to get information so they can ‘assist’ you to commence the rituals ‘properly’.
  • Rituals going on all over the place in the middle of muck and dirt.
  • So much noise that I couldn’t make out if the priest was asking for my name or my father’s name.
  • Constant bargaining over the fees due to the priest.

Beggars walking around is one thing. Constantly begging and not shutting up - is annoying. Touching my arm while I am trying to ignore them – that’s TOO MUCH.

Two of them didn’t shut up until I threatened that I would chop off their respective heads and throw it in the garbage. I made it extremely clear that I was in a bad mood and pissed at a lot of people. I told one of them that I would be more than happy to vent out my frustration by punching him - given that I can’t vent out my frustration any where else.

At which point the beggars finally decided to leave me alone to carry on with my misery.

And on my way out – I see the Dracula Dhaba – For the first time in Haridwar. Pure vegetarian food. Seriously! Couldn’t you come up with a better name for your joint??!

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