If you travel frequently, must have received the advice to avoid travelling to mountains during monsoons, for the rains there are more than likely to bring along unforgiving natural dangers. While it's absolutely true, I can barely avoid it because of two big reasons: one, I love to travel and two, I belong to mountains. But then nature isn't biased. If it has to ruin my trip, it won't take it all into account, will it?
And although it hasn't happened to me till now, I came quite close to having my trip ruined due to rain and landslide. However, in the end, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise and rather gave me a surprise opportunity to experience the warmest side of the hills that I otherwise wouldn't have been possible.
How it started
Let's cut to the chase — it was August 16, 2019. I was seated in the bus, all set for an overnight journey to attend my friend's wedding in Manali, from where I'd planned to travel to my hometown in Palampur. It had already started to rain and I could anticipate the kind of weather that was going to welcome me in Himachal. But trying to be positive and not think much about the things beyond my control, I plugged in the earphones and fell asleep.
All seemed well until I was woken up by relentless chatter of almost everyone in the bus at the same time. As I removed the eye-cap to take a look at what was happening, I was surprised to find that ours was one of the few vehicles that had halted on the road somewhere in Himachal. Rain was pounding hard against the window panes of the bus and frequent thunder and lightening made it look much worse.
After a few minutes of confusion, I came to know that a landslide had occurred and blocked the highway about 20 km from Kullu. "Am I even safe inside this bus? What if the road gives in!", I thought to myself. But stepping out was not an option either. I, along with many others in the bus, were stranded in the middle of nowhere that dark, rainy night.