A few exciting things happened today… Roopa and Soni saw the ocean for the first time in their lives.. Kavita sat in a cycle rikshaw for the first time in her life…
The bad part was that we were rejected in our own country as being foreigners and not allowed to go into Lord Jagannath's Temple in Puri.. We were extremely disappointed. They thought Krishna Thakur (from Manali) and Kavitha (she's got small eyes) were foreigners even though they spoke good hindi. They asked them what their 'gotra' is and Krishna got a little stuck and did not answer immediately… and that was It… They wanted us to go to the office, which was a distance away, and get a written letter saying we are Indians, before they let us into the temple.. Vasumathi went to the head constable and showed them her Army id card and explained the purpose of the expedition, but they did not care one bit. Understandably, we were extremely upset and refused to do that.. We decided we’d rather not visit the temple.. What kind of a stupid rule is this where the constable at the entrance is allowed to show his so called superiority (we think it shows his dumbness) just because he sees a few girls dressed smartly.. Even after it is so clearly evident that we are all Indians. Just because the stupid constable got a doubt once, the seniors also refused to let us in. Something has to be done about this rule that makes normal people suffer just because they look different. Does the lord refuse to bless people because they are different? Why do human beings think they can decide for God. Anyways, you can see how upset we are about the incident. God has already blessed our expedition, so It is alright.
Sigh! We got over our blues by shopping..lol.. bought a few sarees, log sleeve t-shirts, watches and other junk..heheh.. we were fine by the end of it :)
We went and met Pradeep Sahoo's mom and sister and her family after that. Pradeep Sahoo and his wife Chetna Sahoo are the ones who hosted our entire noisy bunch in Kolkata for the 4 days before the expedition. They were such great hosts that we did not even feel that we were meeting them for the first time or that we were staying in someone else's house. Thank you both of you for feeding us like crazy.. We have not found better mishty dahi or rasgullas anywhere else!!! They sweetshop in the corner is amazing :)
Bimla didi and Deepa left us today :( Deepa will join back soon and we are hoping that Bimla didi also does soon. But the good new is that Reena Dharamshaktu and Krushnaa Patil have joined us. We are back to being 10 girls :) we will get to 14 in a week or more… :)
We felt we did not really need this rest day, but I am sure our body must be thanking us for it.. hehehe.. We have a really long day tomorrow - the longest so far - about 95-100 kms to Barkul. We were originally supposed to stay at Balugaon, but were told that this place is better, accommodation wise. We will be at the Chilika lake tomorrow so are really looking forward to it.. BFN…
Sitting on the stept of the beautiful Konark Sun Temple..
Roopa on a beach for the first time in her life.. :)