It was a bright summer morning and we were all sitting in my Bua’s (father’s sister) house. We had gathered for the ‘Grah Pravesh’ (house-warming) ceremony of the new house that she had bought. Babaji was also present there. We were just talking about things in general. I don’t know how the words tumbled out of my mouth and I happened to mention to Babaji that I had never seen snow. That was it! Just as I uttered these words Babaji promised that he would take me to Gangtok because that was the only place where we would find snow in the summers. Eventually the plan was finalized and we departed from Mumbai for Kolkata on the 16th of May.
We reached there and were scheduled to meet Babaji the next morning as our flight was delayed. That was my first visit to Kolkata- it is a wonderful city! The next morning we met Babaji at the ‘Ashram’. It was a huge mansion and Babaji was surrounded by devotees. We met and conversed for some time and then walked around exploring the ‘Ashram’. I met many new people and made new friends like Anand Bhaiya, Ratan Uncle, Dhanpat Bhaiya, Riddhi, Ashutosh Bhaiya, Shivam, Poonam and Ankit.
Babaji’s arrangements were up to the mark, everything was pre-planned, and we just had to take our bags and follow him.
During this journey I learnt a lot of things, met new people and had many new experiences, saw new cultures, and my faith in Babaji kept increasing day by day.
It became clear to me in this trip that Babaji became a child when he was with children and an adult in the company of adults. He had a sense of humor that was beyond our understanding! We were a group of thirty-five people altogether. Wherever we went, Babaji would give us all the information pertaining to that place in advance. The best part of the trip was that Babaji called me ‘Beend’ (groom) as it was due to me that so many people had gathered to undertake this journey. It was a plan that had just happened—out of the blue!
Being with Babaji was an experience like never before. The morning ‘puja’ and the evening ‘arti’ (rituals of worship), the walk towards the river--- these were all memorable moments!
When we reached Lachoong, we found snow and we were ecstatic!
That was the first time in my life that I saw snow. It was like Mother Nature had covered the mountains with sheets of white cloth and the skies were bright blue with scattered, milky clouds.
At last I saw snow... and so Babaji had done what he had said he would do!
We saw the Nathula Pass, which is 14,200 feet above sea level, the Baba Mandir, Darjeeling, Chalsa and many other places. We even went for an Elephant Safari in Chalsa, and simply enjoyed ourselves. The best part was that Babaji allowed us to do river rafting. Oh! It was a once in a lifetime experience!
After the tour was over and after we had returned to Kolkata, Babaji took us to Raniganj. He has a huge ‘Ashram’ there. The grounds inside the ‘Ashram’ were covered by trees and shrubs of all kinds. There were many kinds of fruit-bearing trees- you had to name them and there they were before you!
The tour was a mind-blowing experience and I didn’t want to leave. I had become so deeply attached to Babaji; there seemed to be a special force that attracted me towards him. I just could not believe that ten days were over in such a short time. When we were about to leave the ‘Ashram’ Babaji said, “Wada kiya jo, nibhana padega” (A promise that is made must be fulfilled).
I was deeply touched. I just felt like crying, without knowing the reason why....
We left Kolkata and came back to Mumbai with Babaji’s blessings.
God hears the piteous cry....
‘Amrit’ says that He appears instantly
And even the greatest troubles are driven away.