Feelings about Pune to Pandharpur Devotional Rife 2018 by Nikhil Tayade

Pune-Pandharpur Cycle Wari.
The day I saw the event details for Pune-Pandharpur Cycle Wari on the ICC website, I missed a heartbeat.
I am not a religious person, Neither I have ever attended any Wari as such.
Participating in this event was more of a reflex action than emotional when I enrolled.
I did a 200 kms ride last year in December 2017. After that I was more into academic development and was focusing more on studies for a certification course.
My focus from cycling and any form of exercise was completely lost.
Signing up for this event meant that I will be at least practising some kms and there will be some form of the exercise regime ongoing.
However a major portion why I wanted to do this was an emotional connect with this place.
I had visited Pandharpur only once before this and that was in the year 2010.
My father had passed away then and I had come to Pandharpur for performing the last rituals, for Asthi-Visarjan.
I was accompanied with my uncle. And after performing the last rituals we had left Pandharpur. We were not allowed to visit any temple or Holy place at that time.
It was after registering for this event that I recalled the ghastly experience I had in the year 2010.
Emotionally I got connected to this event. I even made sure that my elder brother (Swapnil Dada) also enrols for this and we both do this ride together.
The reason for this was twofold. One we live in the same building but hardly get any time to spend with each other because of our busy schedules. The wari getaway would be a good excuse to spend some good time. Second, Dada always wanted to do some more longer rides but somehow something never fell in the right place.
Day after day passed by and we bought brand new cycles. I had one hybrid bike but Dada didn’t had any.
We both decided to put some money and ride on the brand new bikes to have a good and a long lasting experience.
We already knew that this is not the end but the beginning. The beginning has to be superb for a beautiful journey to follow J
We started practising and we were sure to achieve the target. We did some half century rides. Amongst other to recall, We also did one remarkable century ride of 130 kms from Maurya Gosavi Mandir in chinchwad to Ranjangaon and return. This was 4 weeks before Pune-Pandharpur scheduled date.
However things changed dramatically in the last 4 weeks. We lost our beloved Mami. She was suffering from a prolonged ailment. It was indeed a very sad news. I travelled two consecutive weekends to Amravati in Maharashtra.
We did not practise at all in the last 4 weeks. In fact my recorded kms on saddle was only 10 kms in the last 4 weeks.
Besides during this time, Dada had developed a very bad saddle sore issue and in the last week just 3 days before the ride, doctor informed him to back off from the event otherwise he would end up in a surgery.
He was devastated and so was I. I really wanted him to do this. But at the same time I didn’t want him to face any medical issue because of this event.
May be it was a divine message or maybe it was a magic, whatever you call it.. He build the courage and just a day before on previous evening he declared that we will do it.
The next day both of us started off confidently and we biked like pro.
It’s really unbelievable that a person who was bed ridden a day before is riding easily today.
The day just passed by. Nothing seemed to stop us. By evening we reached the bridge from where I could see the river.
This was pretty much the place I had come 8 years ago. My heart started beating faster. It felt completely different. As if something that was incomplete and is now complete after reaching this place and looking at that vast river. My father is here somewhere. It felt as if I am meeting my father after 8 long years. After Darshan that evening, I understood the meaning of Wari.  
I understood what it means to so many people. Why so many people come here.
It is something that cannot be written in words nor can be shown in expressions.
It is something that is an eternal feeling that is embodied into our souls.
For me, the Wari and Darshan is like meeting my father.
And I will come every year for its an assurance to me that he will meet me here.
A million thanks are less to ICC for this wonderful experience.

Nikhil Tayade