It all began with the end of my 2nd sem exams and the inexplicable need to travel and escape that assaulted me. Inexplicable because, although escapism was not out of the norm, wanting to travel was. I by my own admission suffer from acute motion sickness and that transforms every trip of my life-from a holiday to a sick leave. But this time I needed a break that went well beyond the beguiling pages of fiction laden books that were my go - to - source when in need of escape.
So Dehradun it was and that too on my first lone trip. Because escaping Delhi meant more than just escaping the heat or the hectic lifestyle, it also meant detachment from the problems that were exclusive to Delhi in my mind.
So the trip began with anxious parents seeing me off in a haze of do's, don't ' s and take cares. This isolated traveling was thrilling in its possibilities, even if I would meet up with relatives later. It gave me a power over my own life that was unprecedented.
Alas, escaping Delhi did not necessarily meant escaping it's heat. For Dehradun was a furnace during the days too, with air - conditioners slogging untiringly. But the nights provided respite from the unflinching scorch of the day with cool winds and a view of Mussoorie from the terrace that was unparallelled. Twinkling lights adorned the view like a gauzy dupatta studded with 'salma-sitara' had been draped carelessly over the hills of mussoorie welcoming the weary eyes of the valley.
The visit to mussoorie took place on the last day of my trip as if it was the climax to a beautiful story - uneventful but consequentially peaceful. Taking pity on my burnt soul, the clouds hid the sun in their bellies, with only a few bouts of rebellion from the entitled sun to mar our mussoorie day out.
The markets there transported me back to the haggling bazaars of sarojni and janpath.
Roaming the mall road hand in hand with my cousin sister, pondering over the breathtaking views and the picturesque beauty of quaint loveliness, with heavy doses of shopping was exactly what the doctor prescribed.
Eating stops of sweetcorn and 'bhelpuri' and a final visit to kalsang with devil momos and thukpa set off the day brilliantly.
Observing the valley on our way back from the high roads of the hills was like looking at the reflection of the view I had from the terrace. This time the stars weren't studded high above but rather down below as if an 'akash-ganga' of stars was flowing alongside us, guiding our way like a beacon. And when the trip culminated without any bouts of puking even in the treacherous hills, I finally felt like the hills had accepted me as one of their own...as a prodigal daughter who had finally overcome her hesitation and returned or maybe as another weary traveler seeking succour from the endless vagaries of life...