Monday, 14 November 2011

A Collection of True Stories - Part I

When I was led by an Unknown Beam of Light – a true story
By Vijay Khosla (Part – I of the Story)

This story belongs to that period of my life when I was merely a lad of 23. A care free young man serving in the eastern part of the country. I was posted at a famous hill station named ‘Shillong’, the Capital of the state of ‘Meghalaya’ in India. The year was 1973 and the month February.

During one of those cold winter nights, I dreamt of the holy shrine of ‘Maa Vaishno Devi’ and heard a voice beseeching me in my dream to come and visit her shrine. The sound of the voice was soft and filled with love but at the same time it was commanding too. It was like a mother calling her kid from a doorway... and that ‘call’ couldn't go ignored….it had to be followed.

I was awakened from my dream by that 'call'. It was early in the morning. I couldn’t sleep after that. I kept on thinking about the dream and finally decided to visit the holy temple of ‘Maa Vaishno Devi’ in Jammu & Kashmir, India. So, I made arrangements for my travel to the most holy shrine.

 Maa Vaishno Devi shrine is considered as one of the most holiest and sacred places in the world. It is located in the mighty ‘Trikuta Mountain’ at a height of 5200 ft. above the sea level. The journey to the shrine starts from a small town named ‘Katra’, which is 61 kms. in the north of Jammu. From Jammu to Katra you can reach by a bus. The distance from Katra to the holy shrine is 13 kms. covered normally on foot.   

The actual story starts from Jammu Bus Stand.

As told earlier, I was a young lad of 23, single and care free. I had reached Jammu to start my onward journey to Katra. It was around 08:30 in the morning and I was feeling fresh and joyful after having my breakfast of ‘Aloo-paratha’.

I was waiting for the bus at the bus-stand when a weak voice called me from my back and enquired whether I was waiting for the bus to Katra too?

I turned back and found an old woman of around 65 who had put the question to me. She was a little frail than strong in appearance. I gave my answer in affirmative. Then she enquired again that if I was alone and did not mind an old woman tugging along as a companion to visit ‘Maa Vaishno Devi’s shrine’? At this, I looked her up once more and seeing her age and health, suggested her to hire a palanquin for herself at Katra as I wished to cover the journey on foot.

Oh No! aloud she cried out. She firmly declared that she will cover the journey along with me. I requested her again to heed to my advice of hiring a palanquin for herself. At this, she got annoyed and almost ordered me to ‘keep shut’ and she is accompanying me by all means and that is final.

There was something in her way of talking that bore the tone of authority, as if my own mother was ordering me. I did not offer any more excuses and submitted to her demand of traveling together.

To be continued….in Part - II

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