Happy Independence Day! Belated wishes to my readers.
With all the hype and hoopla of Anna Hazare and India’s tryst with destiny part-2, I am back here.
The extended weekend was fabulous, spent with my best friends at Mussoorie, Queen of Hill Stations in India. It was at sharp 12.00 midnight on this 15th of August that we raised a toast to freedom and the secular makeup of this great nation we call our motherland.
Now let me break down the title of this blog piece by piece and sum up this amazing voyage.
Mussoorie – The MELTING
Time simply flies by when you have your best friends around. And that is exactly what happened in this much needed trip to Mussoorie. The fabulous moments I spent with my long time buddies may have melted from the ‘now’ but will be etched in my heart ‘forever’. Although the bet we took in booking a fancy looking hotel on a travel booking portal turned out to be a knock on our faces. The biggest turn off was the location of the hotel which was far off from the hustling bustling hot-spots of this famous hill station of India. Add to that the tepid hospitality of the staff and us the teenagers of the 90s soon started cursing our younger cousin ‘The Internet’ of the same era.
There were bright moments too from that hotel stay. I got to relish my first-ever hookah experience. Though it is something that I would not stick to further, a one-off experience was good to have. We shopped for flavours before the trip, I learnt how to make a hookah, we even shot a video we planned to host on YouTube, but didn’t! And how could I forget (the tipsy) me “accidently” burning the carpet by being clumsy with the burning coal.
And to add to our catalogue of “Melting Moments” we stopped by a popular roadside bakery/confectionary store in Dehradun with a similar sounding name i.e. “Ellora’s Melting Moments”. I knew we’d get those really awesome butter toffees from this shop and we did. A chewy gooey delight!
There is a famous Lou Bega song that goes:
“I gotta girl in Paris, I gotta girl in Rome I even gotta girl in Vatican Dome I gotta girl right here, I gotta girl right there. And I gotta girlfriend everywhere.”
Mr. Lou Bega, pardon the intellectual property theft, I am borrowing the rhythm and stealing some words from your song here to express a key element of this Mussorrie trip:
“We’ve got cars right here, we’ve got bikes right there, we got so many 16-tire trucks here, few bullock carts there, so many vehicles EVERYWHERE!!
What I have described here is the sheer mayhem we experienced in our to-and-fro road journey between Delhi and Mussorrie. Looks like the entire Lutyen’s Delhi wanted to beat the scorching heat of the city and make the most of their extended weekend thanks to the Independence Day holiday falling on a Monday.
Though I and my friends had in fact anticipated some rush but what we discovered was beyond our wildest imaginations. We had thought the opulent Delhi we knew would plan their weekend getaway via rail or air route and not chase us in their big machines.
The Smart DETOUR
So here we were stuck in a traffic jam while on our way back to Delhi. The climax of the trip was a replica of how we started the journey, utter mayhem! Scorching heat, bumper to bumper traffic, and the nearest milestone reading of “Delhi-130 Km” all added to the misery. And then it happened! It rained! Delighted we were, but little did we imagine that it will only further compound the traffic woes.
With no respite in sight, we finally saw some traffic ahead taking an ugly left into the narrow bylanes of a village. Someone screamed of a ‘detour’. A light bulb moment and our driver followed the cavalcade, zooming past some bad roads, the zig-zag route but still no sight of the National Highway road to Delhi that we were supposed to discover at the end of the maze.
Nonetheless, it was a beautiful sight of the village, its inhabitants utterly surprised at the sudden arrival of so many cars into their village. Here it is a Pulitzer-prize worthy click that I can vouch my friend took with his sharp reflexes (aided by his sexy new Canon DSLR) when inside our car which was zooming past this village at 50 k.m.p.h. Long preceding sentence but sheer brilliance Sandman!
And that wraps up this first-hand account of a vacation I would love to re-create with the same bunch of pals someday soon. Till then Peace Y’all!