Iranian teenager Lammo Potocka was excited about visiting Uttarakhand on his maiden trip to India with his devout parents. The excitement turned to nightmare soon after they reached ‘the land of gods’ in the Himalayas.
The family, stranded at Uttarkashi while returning from Gangotri, lost contact with the travel agent who could help reschedule their tickets. Luckily, a rescue bus from an ashram brought them down to Rishikesh where they spent three days.
“We saw the Gangotri temple with clouds touching the domes. It was fabulous but we could not return because no one was ready to bring us back. Also there was no shop where we could get food,” Lammo said after reaching Parmarth Niketan in Rishikesh.
A water bottle from an ascetic at the bus stand raised his spirit – and hope that they could return home.
“While returning from Gangotri we were stranded since the river was flowing over the roads. We did not know where to go and walked a few miles to reach a place from where this bus brought us down,” said Lammo’s father Dabbaspour Kasgari Morteza.
“The disaster was god’s act. No one had control over it but the courageous Indian army acted in wonderful manner in rescuing the stranded pilgrims,” said Lammo’s mother Katharina Potocka.
The Iranian family also lauded the locals for coming to their aid at a time of crisis. “It has reinforce our faith in humanity and made our spiritual tour of India worthwhile,” Morteza said.