The hills & my heart Many years ago, as a child, I always desired climbing up the snowy, scintillating, peaks of great mountains. This fascination was not baseless or an untraceable imagination of my sporty brain. Actually my mother would narrate to me the enjoyment & scenery of the Great Himalayas, which we accosted, as tourists in Nepal, a long time back. I was only three years old then & have only hazy memories of the trip. Thus, unknowingly, my mother had embedded in my mind & heart an inseparable love for mountains, peaks & their blinding snow-cover. Mountains would fascinate me day in & day out. I, too, desired to travel on curvy, serpentine, edgy roads of mountains or to go for mountain climbing & reach the peak with a massive tricolor-flag in hand, just like the famous mountaineers, I had read about in picture books.
Finally, the day came Though I belong to the hilly areas with massive mountains serenading our tiny village. it was perhaps, thirty years down the line only that I managed to land a trip to the incredible 'Queen of Mountains', Mussoorie. All by myself, I hopped on to a bus leaving for Mussoorie from Delhi with my fully stuffed ruck-sack & lo. In no time, the joyful journey had already begun. It was in early September that year with mild winter setting in the environs.
My day dreaming Once inside the jarring vehicle, my mind lost all contact with reality & I was already day dreaming of snow-walking & skiing amidst the mighty mountains. The bus was honking its way amidst the busy bazaars of outer Delhi & negotiating the traffic quite comfortably, thanks to the skilled bus-driver. It was only an hour or two later, that I could control my excitement, & make my pounding heart go slow & after putting a large-size hankie on my face, I settled to snooze.
The enjoyable journey The bus continued to run on the blinding roads without my good-self realizing the terrible strain it put on the driver. As afternoon sank in the distant horizon, evening started to spread its dark tentacles on the hills & world around. It was perhaps a dusky sight on the distant skies, when I finally ventured to remove the window-curtains & looked out at the scenery outside, perhaps for the last time that day. It was getting darker outside. Darkness seemed to smother the entire universe, & even the deep valleys where the darkness seemed material, like a cushion, but actually it was an intangible entity.
A momentary halt Finally, after a 10 hour long journey the bus reached Dehradun, where it stopped momentarily & I had a cup of coffee at the nearby dhaba. It looked fabulous & yet dark, for darkness enables us to imagine things around us. Yet a strange flickering flame on the far hill-top made it possible for me to imagine or actually see an unusually large mountain with a massive base at its feet. Winds, somewhat, chilled & dry blew over the rough mountainous terrains, reminding us of our momentary stay on this planet & vulnerability to whims & fancies of Mother Nature.
The last leg Finally, the last-leg of the journey began. It was becoming colder & colder as the bus negotiated its path up the hilly terrain moving through the rising, curved & risky roads. The almost invisible roads in this dim hour seemed like bits of space, man had snatched away from the great Hills. After a two-hour ordeal, thanks to the heavy traffic & traffic-jams, I reached Mussoorie.
The next day Next morning, I woke up in the hotel-room I had already hired for my stay. After ablutions & a light breakfast, I decided to move out for sight-seeing. Outside my hotel, I was stunned to find how precariously the hotel-structure stood on the edge of the hills. At first, I thought of hiring a local guide for the rest of the journey or exactly speaking, sight-seeing. But then, I thought of endeavoring to lose myself in this hilly-town & deliberately go astray. With that wish, I walked up the great-hills of Mussoorie. After a few hours of climbing, which were adventurously tire-some, I returned to the same hotel, amazingly alone & still sturdy.
My stay & hearty feelings I stayed for five amazing days at Mussoorie & each day had an amazingly different itinerary. Life too, has an amazing itinerary, provided one is capable enough to be adventurous. Mussoorie has its own unique charm, but this beauty is only for those with a discerning, third eye; the eye that tends to find massive in minute & micro or nano elements in the largest of entities. The world is relative, always, a comparative analysis of things we do with our small minds in small-spans of time we call life.
The time wrap So, for those five days at the 'Queen of Mountains', for me time seemed to have stopped in Mussoorie. The pristine hills & valleys of Mussoorie leave one pacified & nearer to Mother Nature. The heart & soul find themselves nearer to God & are left pondering on the magical, beautiful but eternal & mountainous time wrap, called Mussoorie.
This article is a personal account of visiting Mussoorie, which is known as the ''Queen of the Hills''. The article is no doubt well-written. I am submitting my comments on the issue.
1. Nowadays, it is really very easy to reach Mussoorie from Delhi. Mussoorie is at a distance of around 315 km. from Delhi and it takes 7 hours drive to reach this small and beautiful town. It is very near to Dehradun, the capital of the state of Uttarakhand. The distance of Mussoorie from Dehradun is only 34 km. The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport at Dehradun. The nearest railway station is also at Dehradun, where trains from all over north India reaches. The author could have mentioned little bit details for the benefit of new tourists.
2. Like many other hill stations of India, Mussoorie was developed by the British. Mussoorie and adjoining Cantonment area of Landour are called Greater Mussorie. There are many tourist spots in and around the city. Some of these are Gun Hill, Kempty Falls, Lake Mist, Municipal Garden, Mussoorie Lake, Sir George Everest's House, Happy Valley, Nag Devta Temple, Jwalaji Temple, etc. The famous writer, Ruskin Bond, nowadays live at Mussoorie. The author could have described some of the tourist spots of the town.
I feel that if the author continues writing, he will write much better articles and help the tourists by giving useful tips and advice.