4 days. 1200 kilometers. 8 stops and lots of FAITH.
No, this is not any trekking expedition that I am describing. Instead, this is the summary of our pilgrimage every single year. This time we covered one extra stop since we had a day in hand. Else, every year, taking a weekend off, our family makes it a point to visit 5 temples spread across a distance of almost 800 kms in Gujarat. And all of this on road!
This is a practice my parents have been following since the last 3 decades. It has been passed on to generations and we joined in. Out of the 27 years that I have existed on the face of this planet, I almost have accompanied them on this trip for more than 23 years. I lived in a joint family for the major part of my teenage years. And thus was extremely close to my cousins. We went on this trip with my extended paternal family every year. Almost 30 of us! Those days of mini bus travels, family fun and endless laughs were nothing short of amazing. Every year my friends waited to travel to a new destination while I and The Brother waited for December for this trip.
As years went by and families grew larger, people found it difficult to take out days at the same time of the year. Nonetheless, the faith is still intact and all of us visit these places at least once a year. The only difference being that it is taken by individual families instead of the extended one! Faith – a great compulsive booster it is!
The brother and I are used to such road trips and thankfully this has made our bodies used to traveling by roads, no matter how curvy it is. But the same thing, when joined by Mr. Husband and the newest member of the family, my sis-in-law it is nothing short of an amusement. Mr. Husband joined us for the last 3 years but work commitments kept him occupied this year! Keeping my fingers crossed for the next trip.
The family trip we take each year gives us a sense of pride in our close knit relationship. As we grow up, we realize that we learn to ask questions, priorities change and you find yourself debating over things which you believed to be true. You apply logic and look at things from different points of view. Yet, what does not change is Faith and The Family Values inculcated in you since birth. And it is something that you will take to your grave, no matter what!