IAS Association, Rajasthan organized an online conversation with senior civil servant, Dr. Hari Om today. He was in conversation with IAS Literary Secretary, IAS Association, Rajasthan, Ms. Mugdha Sinha. During the conversation, the duo discussed Dr. Om’s book ‘Kailash Mansarovar Yatra- Aastha Ke Vaicharik Aayam’. He spoke about how he came to go on the ‘Yatra’, the experiences he encountered on his route, his change in personality after the ‘Yatra’ and the mental as well as physical fitness required to complete the journey. Throughout the conversation, Dr. Om also sang many mellifluous Ghazals. The programme was held on the Facebook page of the IAS Literary Society, Rajasthan.
Talking about how he came to go on the ‘Kailash Yatra’, Dr. Om said that when he was young he was always engaged in the Lord’s worship. As he grew up although he left the rituals behind but he carried forward the sacraments with him. A colleague convinced him to go on the trip. He did not think about its difficulty and only focused on the adventure. His father always told him to write on the ‘Shivalaya’ and after the ‘Yatra’ he felt he could finally do so. He wrote the book after 1 year of research and added in his own experiences of the ‘Yatra’.
He further said that after visiting certain places on his route he came to realize how much more developed India is. For instance, when he was at the Nepal airport he was shocked to find that there was no proper security, lights or even working fans. Everything was being done manually including the baggage check. Even the boarding pass was handwritten. Busting myths about Rakshastal, he said people told him that birds do not drink water there but he found many birds in the water. Even though Hindus do not worship Rakshastal, Buddhists, Jains and people of the local tribal Bön religion do worship the place. He also found many birds in Mansarovar.
“Kailash Yatra is a test for one’s mental and physical wellness. It teaches you camaraderie and putting your needs behind. It made me humble and taught me humility. The physical fitness of a ‘marathoner’ which is of longer endurance is good for the journey. Making sure you have no major ailments like blood pressure, diabetes, or any cardiac issues are important. It is a journey towards purification, socialization and knowing nature”, he said.