The pujari from Maharashtra stopped us near the first camp and said with a sublime smile – “please go slow, enjoy the divinity”.
Who was he? Why did he think of our well-being? As we treaded along the winding path, the mountains kept opening their treasures for us. The waterfalls, scarlet finches, flocks of laughing thrushes, high passes, sadhus walking across in their own space, ghodawalas and their adorned mules and horses. The visual onslaught was relentless, the rain merely amplified the experience. As I walked, I felt an unseen force that was pulling me forward. Yes, I was here to make it. With the chants of jai bhole, bum bum bhole, the path reverberated the sankalpa to make it, it did not matter even if I died today. I came upon a man carrying his dad on his back. I was in tears. Every cell that existed in me was humbled. The night took over and the rain became torrential, my determination to walk to the last step i.e. the Dham, seemed to ebb and flow but with every heartbeat Rajeev reminded me of slowing down at every bend to normalize my breath, and every time my breath slowed down my sankalpa regained itself with gusto, it was nothing short of magic. Eight hours of uphill walk got us to a guest house right next to the Dham where I felt I was in the lap of mother divine.
Kedarnath needs the following
1. Artists and Architects to get involved with restoration work
2. Each rock can be utilised beautifully
3. Open rock art cafes
4. Use organic farms for healthy vegetables
5. Use solar & induction cooking
6. Solar water heating & power
7. Use of waste compactors
8. Restore old buildings with planning and traditional architecture
9. Sanitary discharge needs planning
10. Beautification of shops
11. Ban on plastics and prayer offerings such as plastic flowers