I finally did it today. Stepped over my weakness to get fast respite for stress, loneliness, acute need to talk to someone, basically the-end-of-the-day syndrome. First of all, I can’t switch on the TV. A friend is trying to write up a 40% weightage assignment. Secondly, I m too tired to get up from the floor to go to the next room to call up shoulders-to-cry-on. Thirdly, I am now >1.75 yrs old in the company. Hence, the office work can wait. Still out of 5 tabs, 3 are work-related. puh!
Thank to the lord, I am finally writing today.
On my favourite topic.
The colleague who sits next to me, usually had her headphones on and occasionally sings along today was watching me carefully when she asked me what was it that I was singing. And I told her sheepishly, its the title song of The Sound of Music. I had spent at least 2 hrs searching for a “hill station” near Mumbai. There is none. I have finally found the last and final reason to dislike this city. Its too far from Himalayas. Actually Western Ghats are very pretty. In fact when I went to Kashmir right after going to 3-4 treks near Mumbai in monsoons, I couldn’t appreciate the so-called paradise on earth. But after running through their lives Mumbaikars don’t know how to relax. Their vacations are also a chase to the top. Also, fortunately or unfortunately they completely erased all colonial signs (if there were any). So there aren’t any gorgeous churches like the one in Shimla, or dak bunglows like the one in Dalhousie, or queen of lakes like Nanital. There are just lots and lots and lots of Shivaji’s forts! Too much violence if you ask me!
I have nothing against treks. But don’t you sometimes just want to wander off in hills with no destination in mind. Just to go where your feet take you. Where a bright sunshine greets you along with chilly winds. You don’t have to soak to death to have fun! You don’t need to carefully take your next step on the moss-laden-steps. You can just run freely on the fresh green grass. You don’t have to find spaces to be able to walk with your group, because there are around 5-6 other groups each with at least 20 members! Where you can buy a few trinkets to carry home, which you know you would never wear but would love to add to your junk box. The junk box that has all such souvenirs. The necklace from Goa, the earrings from Rishikesh, some-junk from Manali (which I don’t even know how to describe).
Yes, people blame the north that it is too commercialized. What they don’t understand is that North Indians love that! In north, people just love to travel the easy way. Travelling means to sit back and do nothing. At the max it means driving down to your favourite spot. But mostly, it just means putting on weight! Why, walking half a km means you treat yourself to either hot maggi or a softy cone. Or you can take a novel and sit in a cafe, order snacks, enjoy the view and your book. This is what you do for vacation. For “adventure” you trek. Even rafting, where you hardly row is counted under “adventure”. But I love those old labels. It gives such a lift to anything mundane such as a walk also! Walk 5 kms, bhai trek ho gaya! Bahut mehnat ker li! But the point is, after bahut mehnat you relax like a king. The good part is, you are treated like a king! You don’t have to satisfy your hunger on kanda-bhujiya, you can nibble on paneer pakore, gobhi pakore, mirchi pakore.. while playing cards late into the night. You don’t see horse shit on streets, because there are plenty of forests for horses to disappear into. Yes, there won’t be many waterfalls to jump into. But you wouldn’t like to get soaked either. The temperature can dip quite low, you want to keep the heat in your body. Then of course, there would always be those ever-white mountain peaks. There would always be the murmur of river audible only deep in the night.
Yes, yes I am on the memory trip again. But I would definitely make a real trip too in the Northern mountains. Thanks to the folks at home – they are shifting back to Delhi!