I have always hankered to visit all the wonderful places on the earth. My parents were not very fond of travelling. My father never liked to go out of his town. To top it my school never arranged for an excursion. All this made travelling even attractive. I remember reading the glossy advertisements in the newspapers and magazines about all those lovely destinations. After reading it, in my mind I would start my own calculations. If I save this amount for these many months I can afford to go on this tour I thought. I was not earning then and was totally dependent on my parents. The cheapest trip was Ashtavinayak yatra costing Rs.1500/-. Yes, I indeed remember the exact cost of the tour. The travel never materialized as I was never able to save that much amount.
Many many years later I went to Mumbai to study. I even took up a small time job to support my studies. Mumbai satisfied my urge to see the world to some extent. So on Sundays I visited all the attractions in Mumbai - Mahalaxmi temple, Mumbadevi temple, Haji Ali mosque, ISKCON temple, Mount Mary chruch, Juhu and Girgaum Chowpatty, Babulnath temple, Kanheri and Elephanta caves, and my favourite Banganga tank. But still the itch to see the world did not die. I had seen almost every spot in Mumbai. I had developed a liking towards old architecture, particularly rock-cut caves.
I made plans to visit the world famous Ajanta and Ellora caves. No friend of mine was willing to accompany me on the said tour. They were more interested in the sea. They suggested we should go to Goa or Alibaug. I detested sea for no particular reason. Ajanta and Ellora remained buried somewhere down in my mind.
I applied for another job with a company which had its presence throughout Maharashtra. I wished that if I got selected for the job, I should get a posting in my home district. I got a call conveying that I have been selected. I went to the company's office and requested them to kindly place me in my home district. I told them that I was the only child of my parents and my old parents lived alone in my home town. They assured me that my request would be definitely look into as it was the policy of the company that to place employees in their home districts so that their work efficiency is enhanced. A smile broke on my face on hearing this.
Two weeks later I received a letter from the company to join my place of posting at the earliest. I saw my place of posting - it was Aurangabad. It was good 800 km from my hometown. I was unhappy that I was not posted near my home town. I was disheartened that the company had not kept its word regarding its policy.
Reluctantly I took my bags and boarded a train for Aurangabad. As soon as I alighted at Aurangabad one board caught my attention. It said "Alight here to visit Ajanta and Ellora caves." My joy knew no bounds. I wondered how I did not know that the places which I hankered to visit where located in Aurangabad District. I just threw my bag in the company guest house and the first thing which I did was visiting Ajanta and Ellora caves.
I have been posted at this place for more than five years and have lost the count of how many times I have been to Ajanta and Ellora. I have been virtually staying within the radius of 40 km of the historic structures, which I had been dying to visit. Indeed God is great. He knows what His children want. But His ways of execution are best known to Him.