Come with me and I will take you through an unforgettable journey through the woods of Shimla. I spend a couple of days each year in the serenity of nature, in its arms, me and Mother nature at close quarters. The guesthouse that I choose to stay at, is usually at a short distance from the hustle and bustle of the main city where finding tranquility and peace is not an issue. The only sound to wake me up early morning is the chirping of the birds. It is the best music I have ever heard created for the benefit of mankind, only he has been ignorant and unaware, too consumed in his daily worldly routine to take cognizance of beautiful things that bountiful nature engulfs in its lap. The back door of my guest house throws open endless scenic views for me to imbibe. The hunger seems insatiable and I wish I could be in its midst day after day, month after month and year after year.
My usual day begins with sweet music of chirping of birds filling my senses. My long time caretaker, Amar Singh serves me a hot cup of tea. The tea is sweet not because of the sugar in it but because of the love he radiates. His touch is good enough to make it sweet. After this perfunctory but life-saving exercise, I am ready to undertake the ‘walk of life’ through the woods. This time I choose to take a less frequented but really beautiful walk from one corner of The Mall down to Annandale. The walk is so invigorating that every ounce of fresh air that seeps into my lungs does so much good to me. After a couple of hours of wandering down the valley, my hands and face become numb with cold, every muscle in the legs starts to ache but just one thing that never tires after years and years of such salubrious walks is the heart. The entire walk takes close to three hours. One could see, smell, hear, feel and touch only nature. The only sounds that one could hear are those of chirping of birds, the sound of air whistling through the leaves and water gushing over the rocks, on its way downstream. The only artificial sound that invades my ears is the sound of my own footsteps, marching rhythmically to the beats of an invisible and silent drum. There is a song that is constantly playing in my head that instils a cheerful and a happy feeling.
As the day draws to a close, I patiently absorb the scenic beauty of the silent landscape and the lovely lights strewn over the mountains like tiny stars. One can see these tiny lights tracing a curved path until it approaches somewhere nearby and terminates up close at a bus station. There is a congregation of a few tourists at a small tea stall eager to find a safe haven from the unrelenting cold wave that wades the air. I merrily sip away a cup of hot soup and enjoy every gulp with full satisfaction.
Soon white flakes of snow will make soft landing on everything as far as the eye can see and take under its wings. It heralds the start of winter sports and Indulging in it is an experience in itself.
But, alas we are all social beings and we all have social responsibilities to discharge. My job beckons me back to Delhi. I wish I could get the weather back home, for me to cherish the pristine fruits of mother nature. Here I am retracing my journey back to where I came from, a couple of days ago. Back to the most wonderful person that I have ever known and the one I love so much. And with a promise to return next year.
This is a lovely read. Cheers…