Being an ardent nature lover and a person who loves travelling to the hill stations, I find nothing more beautiful than the natural landscapes and their inner richness. Brought up in a city like Delhi, I always find the huge mountains more mesmerising than the high-rise buildings. And one of the most wonderful memories I treasure is that of Srinagar, Uttarakhand. I vividly remember it was May when I went there to write my final year Post Graduation exams.
When the entire Delhi was reeling under extreme heat wave, I was on my way to ‘The Valley of Flowers’—Garhwal. The train goes till Haridwar and from there you have to take a bus till Srinagar. All the din of the train and the intervening stations, with its chai- and pakoda-walas vanishes as soon as you start the rest of the journey from Haridwar. And that’s when my happiness starts trickling in. The twists and turns of the hairpin bends and a new breathtaking view at each turn never fails to surprise me. No matter how many times I have been there, there’s always an air of freshness about the whole place each time.
The tranquillity outside, brings a kind of peace within. The mere sight of those stupendous mountains gives a sense of calmness to my soul. The chirping of the birds, the mist in the air, clouds enveloping the hilltops, the lush greenery all around, the fresh cool air touching your face and whizzing through your ear , and the River Alaknanda cutting through the rocks and valleys deep below on one side of the road—everything seems to welcome you with open arms.
What fascinates me a lot is the way the houses are perched on the mountains and ‘seem’ to be so cut off from the rest of the world. The rain makes the atmosphere all the more spellbinding. And here, it almost followed a ritualistic pattern—it used to rain every day in the afternoon. Everything looks so fresh and clean, just after a spell. We reached home. The beauty of the journey and the aura of the place itself stupefy me each time.
I love rain nevertheless and when it is on hills, my love increases manifolds! And so, I waited for the ‘rain ritual’. I was standing in the balcony and just before me was this hill at a mere distance of half a kilometre which I saw every day but never it looked so beautiful than it did then—covered with the clouds in some time, I could see the rain pouring through them. It seemed as though the clouds warmly descended to greet the hills personally and not just as a passer-by (as they seem to do otherwise).
I rushed downstairs to make a hot cup of coffee for myself, picked up the MP3 player from my bag, pulled a chair and sat there enjoying the whole atmosphere of bliss and blessedness. The feeling in itself can never be completely expressed in words, as words always fall short of everything an experience can render—they can just make an effort as I did here!