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Bombay is a city of dreams. Anyone who is born in India always wanted to go at least once to Bombay. This city can give you a life of dreams. It is said that no dream is impossible in Bombay. Bombay is a city of opportunities’. The wealthiest peoples of India live here. It is the financial capital of India. Besides business, this city is well known for ‘Bollywood’.
Like any other Indian, I also had a dream to see Bombay city.
I studied at a Military School and our school tradition was to send all cadets of 11th class to Bombay on excursion. Our Principal announced the excursion trip three months prior to the month of departure that was October. All cadets of our class were excited as most of us were going to Bombay for the first time.
I was most excited because I wanted to see the major attractions of Bombay. Each attraction has a different story of its own. Like Gateway of India was made to commemorate the arrival of Majesties King George V and Queen Mary in 1911. Marine Drive is a 4.3-kilometre-long boulevard in South Bombay in the city of Bombay. It is a 'C'-shaped six-lane concrete road along the coast, which is a natural bay. Marine Drive is also known as the Queen's Necklace because if viewed at night from an elevated point anywhere along the drive, the street lights resemble a string of pearls, forming a necklace. It is also the world's largest viewing gallery. Artful Elephanta Caves are a network of sculpted Hindu caves located on Elephanta Islandin Bombay Harbour which dates back to the 5th century approximately. The Haji Ali Dargah was constructed in 1431 in memory of a wealthy Muslim merchant, Sayyed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, who gave up all his worldly possessions before making a pilgrimage to Mecca. Hailing from Bukhara, in the ancient Persian Empire (present day Uzbekistan), Bukhari travelled around the world in the early to mid 15th century, and then settled in Bombay. The famous Juhu Beach is known for its Bombay street food, notably bhelpuri, pani puri, chaats, and pav bhaji. Essel World is the Asia’s Largest Theme Water Park and Bandra market well known for international brands showrooms.
I use to collect information and pictures of places which I wanted to see in Bombay. I used to see the Atlas and mark Bombay’s geographical position on map. I just loved thinking and discussing among friends about my dream journey to Bombay.
My preparations included purchase of a suitcase and hand bag from my many month savings from pocket money collection. I also saved money for the purchase of clothes from Colaba market. I washed my shoes a month earlier. I did all the preparations well in advance. Our excursion was just a month away on 1st October.
My fellow cadets used to smile seeing me so excited over the trip to Bombay. For them I had gone crazy about our trip to Bombay.
It was mid-september just 15 days away from our departure from Pushpak Express from Lucknow. During this time some bad omen has affected me. One day I felt sick and weakness started overtaking my body. My eyes became pale yellow and my urine color also changed to yellow color. A yellow discoloration of skin also started.
I was admitted to the school Medical unit. But my health was not recovering. Seeing my health deteriorating, the School Headmaster reported this to my father. Meanwhile, the medical tests reported jaundice to me.
On my father request, the Headmaster granted me a medical leave. I was not happy to leave the school as my school excursion was just 15 days away. Rather I was frightened that I may not go to Bombay.
Again I was shown to a specialist doctor and again tests showed acute jaundice. The concentration of bilirubin in blood plasma was 10.2 mg/dl which was much more than the average of 1.2 mg/dl.
I was advised complete bed rest for 15 days. I was given a strict diet and complete bed rest. In heart, I wanted to get well soon so that I can go to my dream city.
I made a time table of taking medicines, meals on time, drinking boiled water, eating boiled food and drinking sugarcane juice. Besides these things I was constantly speaking with my body that it should be fine before the day of departure to Bombay. I was continuously talking to my hands, legs, heart, mind and especially liver that I am recovering very fast. Each night before sleep, I used to visualize purchasing clothes on streets, looking at the beautiful statues of Shiva at Elephanta Caves, enjoying water sports in Essel World, flirting with beautiful girls on Marine Drive and many endless things. I use to feel great and usually get dreams about my Bombay trip. Every medicine I take, I ask the tablet to heal the part of liver which is injured. Every spoon of syrup I take I request the syrup to give energy to liver to get well soon. All food I took I plead to the food to give vitamins and minerals to my whole body.
Somebody in the neighborhood suggested me to go to Barabanki. There is a holy well there and one who takes bath from the water of the holy well and drinks its water gets well soon. The well has been blessed by some spiritual man long back.
My dad arranged a Pick-up truck which took me to that well. That 50 kilometer journey was very tiresome and the truck had to progress through un-metalled road which was very rough.
When we reached there, I found many pilgrims’ taking bath from the water of the well. Most of them were sick from Jaundice disease. I also took bath from the water of the holy well. While returning back, I filled two cans with holy water for drinking.
Whether the water was holy or not I didn’t knew. But the psychological effect of bathing with holy water started healing in my body. My conviction to get healthy became strong and I could feel that I was recovering fast. I always thanked the holy water each time I drank it. In my consciousness, I was damm determined to join my fellow cadets’ on the dream trip to Bombay. I was surely recovering very fast and was getting energy in my whole body.
On Doctors insistence, another test shows decreased levels of Bilirubin in my blood. This news filled me with excitement. But unfortunately, Doctor didn’t advised my Bombay excursion trip. On the contrary, he advised me to take rest as much as possible so that I may once again not get the chance to fall sick again.
I was very sad. My father asked me, “What do you want?”
I replied, “Bombay excursion.”
My father didn’t replied and went off without saying a word to me.
Next day while we were having breakfast, we received a phone call from my School Principal. My mom handed over the phone to my dad.
Dad said, “Hello!”
Principal asked, “Tomorrow the school trip to Bombay is going. Is your son fit enough to join other cadets’.”
My eyes were fixed on Dad. He looked towards me and replied, “Yes, he is fit enough to go to Bombay.”
A broad smile went across my face and my eyes were filled with tears. I left the bed and ran towards dad to hug him.
I said, “Dad, thank you so much.”
My father looked into my eyes and said, “As your mom and I will not be there with you, you need to take care of yourselves.”
I replied, “Dad, you and mom are always with me in my heart.”
My father felt very good.
Next day my whole family came to see of me at Lucknow Railway Station. With all other cadets I also boarded Pushpak Express to Bombay.
You know why I made it in that trip because I believed in myself. I had complete faith that I will see Bombay with my own eyes. I believed into the unknown. What I was doing was asking the universe to give me energy so that my body becomes healthy and be ready for my dream journey to the city of dreams.
As I have done it, anyone can do it. It’s very easy, you can also try it. Ask the universe, it will fulfill your desire.