Thursday, August 18, 2016

#Mussorie on my mind

Recently I went to #Mussorie, and came back all new. Hills rejuvenate me. I don't think sea has that kind of effect on me or may be seeing the grey Mumbai sea every other day, has something to do with it. Out of the three elements, if I had to pick, it would be hills, sky and then sea.

First two days were chaotic, it felt like the whole of Delhi had descended there. But as the week began to pan out, the only crowd we saw were locals and some honeymooners.

The hills are majestic and magnetic, they draw you into their folds and the mist envelops you at times. Its like magical scene unfolding in front of you. You are taken in for say 10 minutes and then it all clears out. Something mysterious happens in that deep 10 minute recess.

Just walking up the hills changes life. The breathlessness first makes you realise how out of shape you are. The fitness of pahadi people is astounding. Second thing that hits you is the freshness of the air and the beauty around the place. Especially if you are from Mumbai where the air is equivalent to smoking 200 cigarettes (so they say). On second thoughts, I think my poor lungs can't cope with so much fresh air. Just not used with so much good air.

Coming back to beauty part. One can catch stray exotic flowers growing randomly anywhere, which makes me go ballistic. Imagine a cluster of peach coloured roses or orangish pink Gladioli's swaying in the wind.

I have seen some fuchsia pink dahlias as well. Oh man! I can dance with joy. The tress are covered with ferns from top to bottom and they look almost electric green. So fresh!

Hills have a discovery angle, a lovely house on turn. a snake trap like plant on the other, a flight  of mouldy steps that lead up to a haunted guest house... Dalhousie lodge. Tempting me to check out if there is a ghost. Or the beautiful church with stain glass. The floor was amazing black and white tiles. I later discovered that this one is the same church also seen in Saath Khoon Maaf movie. The Christ image is in stain glass. Simply divine. I love the silence in a church. A prayer in whispers can be heard.

The roads are all like winding, so you keep going up and down. So breathlessness is accompanied by cramps in the legs. By the end of the day you are finished. Its heartening to see the young people cycling up and down.They seem to have field day while you are just about managing to catch your breathe.
Some of the eating places are designed beautifully. The Travern, Clock Tower, The Ivy Inn and the Dommas Inn. All these places are visually treats, I am not so convinced about food though. Dommas has full Tibetian interiors. It also had superb Harley- which has Tibetian motifs, parked right outside.

I discovered an antique shop on Landour Road. Bought copies of some famous painters. The guy has amazing collection of blue pottery but how to cart it is a million dollar question.

We saw Ruskin Bond's house up in the hills. Half wondering if we should go knocking at the door. Then prudence decided against it. Went to Cambridge stores and bought his autographed books. Spent a whole night and morning reading it in one go. I had stopped reading for some time for last whole year but this trip changed it all.

I left Mussorie wanting to come back again. To breathe the air. So embrace the mist. To fill my lungs with Deodar scent.

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