The Shimla surprise : A solo trip

30th Sep 2015
Photo of The Shimla surprise : A solo trip 1/16 by Ismail Hussain
Shimla railway station
Photo of The Shimla surprise : A solo trip 2/16 by Ismail Hussain
View from YMCA hostel
Photo of The Shimla surprise : A solo trip 3/16 by Ismail Hussain
Photo of The Shimla surprise : A solo trip 4/16 by Ismail Hussain
Municipal park ridge
Photo of The Shimla surprise : A solo trip 5/16 by Ismail Hussain
Volunteering for HUG India
Photo of The Shimla surprise : A solo trip 6/16 by Ismail Hussain
The surprise play
Photo of The Shimla surprise : A solo trip 7/16 by Ismail Hussain
Old rusty and haunting
Photo of The Shimla surprise : A solo trip 8/16 by Ismail Hussain
View from mall road
Photo of The Shimla surprise : A solo trip 9/16 by Ismail Hussain
A G office
Photo of The Shimla surprise : A solo trip 10/16 by Ismail Hussain
Himachal state assembly
Photo of The Shimla surprise : A solo trip 11/16 by Ismail Hussain
State museum
Photo of The Shimla surprise : A solo trip 12/16 by Ismail Hussain
Lost in the hills
Photo of The Shimla surprise : A solo trip 13/16 by Ismail Hussain
Sculpture on the way back to mall
Photo of The Shimla surprise : A solo trip 14/16 by Ismail Hussain
Scandal point
Photo of The Shimla surprise : A solo trip 15/16 by Ismail Hussain
Tibetan Market
Photo of The Shimla surprise : A solo trip 16/16 by Ismail Hussain
ISBT shimla

" Everything in life is destined to happen so was Shimla."

            The train finally made its halt at the shimla station. The view was mesmerizing. I had to think which way to look because everything looked picture perfect. I teamed up with Fedrico ( An italian backpacker I meet in the train). We started our hunt for cheap shelter. We took directions from the locals and walked with the heavy backpacks on our shoulders.We walked for a good 30 mins and still cant find a good lodge.I then spot a guy walking alone who doesn't seem to be an Indian. I ask him if he could suggest us some place to stay for the night. He suggests YMCA as he is staying there. He starts to walk with us and takes us to YMCA behind the church. He introduces himself as Daniel and he is an Israeli. I and Fedrico agree to share the room. The rooms have an awesome view. We then freshen up and hop into Daniels room. We have a small chat and share our travel stories. I would say that talk help me break a stereotype that Israelis are bad. We then walk towards the market to have dinner. We find a place open and order our food and discuss about our next destination. We then have our food and leave. We start to walk back to YMCA and then Fedrico spots something on top of the hill. Its a huge sculpture of Hanuman. Fedrico and Daniel decide to trek to the temple next day and invite me to join them too. I still didn't plan anything though. 

 " I woke up by the kiss of breeze. "

I had a very good sleep and feel good vibes all around me. We then freshen up and rush to the cafe at YMCA. Daniel was already waiting for us. We have the complimentary breakfast. I don't eat much. I just stare through the window pane and soak in the beauty. We then rush back to our rooms to pack up. I was the last one to finish my packing. I check out from the room and keep my backpack in the YMCA cloak room. 

" I didn't plan a thing. It was just destiny."

 I start to explore the place and the first thing I notice is the Church that looks different in the day light. I then walk towards something that looks like a garden. It was indeed a garden with sculptures and flowers and mesmerizing view of the hills. I walk out and see a huge crowd gathered near some stairway. I walk in to see whats happening. I then see kids holding posters and fragile old people sitting in one side with beautiful smiles on their faces. The organizer then walks towards me and says its the celebration of International Old Age Day. He asks me if I would like to volunteer. I join in and he gives me a cap. I click some pictures and help them with the sitting arrangements. The event begins with a long boring speech and I start to regret it. Just then the surprise kicks in. Its a play. The play had a good balance of humor and reality. It kept me hooked for the next half and hour or so. The play gets over. The kids hug the elders and take their blessings. I walk towards the actors and talk to them. The actor then says its the open theater of shimla and there are plays happening almost everyday. I then hit back to the road to explore. I step into the art house of the militants. Its different and quite. Photography is not allowed and I hate it. The place has paintings, sculptures , photo prints and what not. The manager joins me and we have a small talk. I share my travel story with him. He then challenges me to explain a painting to him. I give him the explanation and he is impressed. I then take a leave.

" I was lost with no destination to reach."

              I start to wander around the place with no goal. I just walk where the path takes me. I spot an old rusty house. It looks like a vacant haunted house. I ask people around me if someone could share the story of the house. I don't find the answers. I start the stroll again and see the A G office of Himachal. The architecture of the castle like office is beyond words. I start to stroll again and set the state museum as the target. I get in the museum and it had so much to offer and I had limited time. I run inside the museum and have a complete look around it. I set Advanced Study as my next target. I legs hurt and cry for rest. I take a small break to give my legs a break and stop for tea at a joint.

" She smiled and I stopped midway to see her smile. "

             I then start to talk with a group of students studying law. I only started the talk because I found someone cute. I still remember one of them saying " bahiya inke liye special wali chai banana." The crazy talks and one crazy bet to jump from a small cliff. I accepted the bet but they still didn't let me do it. I remember one of the girl obsessed with cleanliness. I finished drinking the tea but didn't feel like leaving. I joined them for drinks and started the walk towards mall. We stopped at a small roadside pani Puri joint and planned for momo's in the Tibetan market. They don't want to drink anymore. 

" The walk was tiring but the company was the motivation."

             Tibetan market was full of crowd and vibrant colors. We walked to the momo joint. The crowd itself spoke for the quality. I kept my fingers crossed. The momos finally arrive and the first bite was like an elixir. I would say they were the best momo's I had in a long time. They then walked with me to the YMCA. I picked up my bag. They planned for pool but I had to catch the bus to Manali. They walked with me to the lower market. An old man approached them and asked them what do they do. When he knew they were law students. He asked them two questions. First one was "whats the best law collage of India?" The second one was "If your mother and your girlfriend are trapped in a building set on fire and you can save only one whom would you save?" I was one crazy day. I finally bid them bye from the lower market and take the directions to ISBT. I board the bus to Manali with a promise to myself to return for the drinks that we never had.

"Life takes you to places but the question is are you willing to go?"