Vacation breaks for couple of times in a year is a routine for me and my husband. This time it was Manali. Departed from Hyderabad, reached Delhi around 11pm. After taking a short nap, we rushed to catch the Delhi-Kullu flight early in the morning at 6.30 am. Kullu airport operates only for four months in a year because of its climatic conditions. The airport is located on the banks of river Beas and has a single runway deep inside a valley. Height of mountain peaks at several thousand meters challenges pilots for flight landings and take-offs. Boarding Passes were issued, Security checks were over and along with 28 other passengers we were waiting to board the flight.
Foggy weather changed the fate of our day. After announcements of repeated delays, the flight was finally cancelled. Chaos filled the situation. Grabbing the last two tickets of a flight to Chandigarh, we decided to travel further by road to Manali. The day's evening was planned to be spent in Manali, but it was already 4pm when we landed at Chandigarh. With expectation of reaching our Hotel around midnight and traffic of tourist all along the Ghat road climbing up to Manali, we booked a taxi.
Well planned roads, lush green farm lands and fresh faces of people in Chandigarh promised a sigh of relief in a day that was full of disappointments. After sipping a hot tea in a dhabha, we headed towards Manali. Slow moving traffic with heavy vehicles like trucks in both upward and downward directions really shocked us. After Ghanauli, we realised that the vehicles were headed to Shimla and road to Manali was near empty. It was totally dusky and crossing mid way, there were barely any vehicle climbing up.
Frustrated, scared and with the hope only on the taxi driver we were travelling on the risky road full of stretches and hairpin bends.I was keeping prayers and my heart was beating abnormally in fear.All we could hear was gushing sound of water and it intensified with every hour passing by. I never looked out of the car's window. About 3 am, we reached our hotel. I was feeling grateful to the taxi driver.We thanked him to the core.It was completely dark and I couldn't sense anything about Manali. Repeatedly complaining to my husband about choosing some other destination over Manali, I lost the enthusiasm to spend a holiday .Mind was wavering with negative thoughts and finally I fell asleep. What a frantic day !!
Next day morning my husband in a husky voice was waking me up."Hey! Wake up! Come on, You must see this!". He was uttering this while looking through a window, sliding the curtain.I opened my eyes,the moment perfectly synced with large window curtains revealing the breathtaking picturesque view of mountains.My time machine stopped ticking for a moment !! With lush green mountains overlapping each other, snow capped peaks hiding behind the clouds, sunshine glazed silver line of waterfall, crispy first rays of sun piercing the clouds,misty weather, early morning temple bell and gushing sound of water from Beas river..I couldn't believe what I was seeing..It was like a dream...I got trapped there..It was not a usual sight and feeling for me.....The perception towards creation, creator and its secrets totally changed..Grabbing a cup of coffee I indulged in the view...By the time I realized, for this moment of life I can spend many frantic nights like the one day before. Life's worth taking risks and it can end up in beautiful experience. Also the taxi driver taught me that humanity still exist.
I have fallen in love with Nature and Creation.........Truly, Manali is a holy paradise.The much needed excitement bounced back.....I got ready to explore the roads of Manali...