A date with the hills
The crisp mountain air rushes over my sleep and oxygen deprived face and I smile.
It is our first day of the hill trip and I'm already excited.
The air is clean and fresh and the scenery more so. It's a little before dawn and the sun is still in deep slumber.
Our white sedan (not an ideal choice for the dangerous mountain roads, agreed) winds up hill after hill as tiny hill hamlets asleep whir past.
Slowly dim sunlight streams down the dark silhouette of the towering hills and the lush greenery on either side of the narrow asphalt road takes shape of lofty absurdly-straight deodars and firs.
Bursts of wildflowers in full bloom in happy colours of yellow white lavender amaranth-red can be seen occasionally.
Hillmen and hillwomen go about their work. The old mountain air has chiselled the faces of the hillpeople, and woven its oldness into their thin wrinkled suntanned skin. Hillchildren in their crisp navy uniform and black polished shoes go to school, a shy smile on their ruddy cheeks as my brother and I wave to them.Wherever we go, we witness friendly smiles and light-coloured eyes that sparkle with warmth. Ears of women are weighed down by heavy rustic metal jewellery while cylindrical embroidered caps rest on the heads of old men with walking sticks in their crinkled hands. It is a different world.
As we finally reach the place which will be our base for the next three days I'm met by a surreal view of the whole valley packed with deodars and dotted by few apple orchards. In the distance, if you look hard enough you are rewarded with the sight of the snow-capped range.The sight is both gut-churning and breath-taking at the same time.
The rest of the days are spent in much-wanted peace and serenity of the hills. Each day's itinerary was almost same: get up early, go for a hike, come back and have a hearty breakfast overlooking the snow-capped hill range, go sightseeing or just sit among the trees the whole day watching the mountains and the trees and the orchards and the clouds; have lunch, nap, go for a hike again before the sun sets, have delicious dinner wrapped up in woollens in front of the crackling campfire, sleep, new day.
Yes, I agree that I did not do anything constructive, but that was the idea. No t.v. no internet no calls heck, no room and water heater.
Just you, and the hills. Just you, and the unadulterated air. Just you, and the trees. Just you, and you.
There is something about the atmosphere which calms the frayed urban nerves. It tells us, that life is more than just perfect selfies and perfect people and perfect relationships and perfect locations.
That life can be perfect, without being perfect.
A day or two in the secluded hills, I guess it does teach you a thing or two about life. :)
P.S. I know it is a long post but I thought that just a short overview of the place wouldn't have done it justice. And anyways it has been a long long time since I last posted and frankly I was a bit guilty.
All pictures either by dad or by me. I forgot who clicked which.
The place is Narkanda, Himachal Pradesh, India.