The hustle and bustle of the daily life can surely get you. Especially when you are balancing work and home tirelessly. And in such a situation, a long weekend is a reward that I couldn’t afford to miss. And so, this Eid, while the whole country celebrated the festival, I fished out my shades and celebrated my weekend from tiredness with a holiday in Mussoorie.
The trip to this beautiful hill station should not be spent in planning what you would do once you get there. The journey in itself is satisfying. As we sped down the road in our car through the 280-kilometre highway, one cannot resist the urge to sit back with some good John Elton playing through the speakers. The cold air, the slow mist, and the beautiful nature never let you down in losing you and forgetting the busy schedule back home. Maggi points dotted the way as the car was occasionally pulled over and plates of piping hot Maggi were consumed. (The most awesome part was, I didn’t have to do the dishes!)
The approaching traffic was the signal that we were approaching Mussoorie. A quite little dainty town, the roads and marketplaces were filled with people taking their break too. We checked into our hotel and decided to walk the day, touring the marketplace. The best way to get the most out of Mussoorie is definitely not with Google Maps. Just ask a local who stands in the corner with a cup of hot tea in hand. We did just exactly that and got all the information we needed. According to him, the perfect place to do some crowd-gazing was in Mall Road, the centre of Mussoorie.
Of the many famous shops on this road is the Cambridge Book Store. Literature around the world can be found in this store, especially rare antique ones. But what makes this store so special is that every Saturday in the evening, an old man who changed literature sits and signs books at the store. We know him as Ruskin Bond. Although we didn’t get a chance to see him, I could imagine him sitting over there, surrounded by kids and adults alike, happily signing books.
Shops lined both sides of the street, tourists were hopping from one shop to another, and cafes proudly displayed their goodies, making it irresistible to turn away and walk from them. But my eyes were set in one café, which I was dying to visit. Chic Chocolate.
Chill reggae music welcomed us inside, the warm air stirring up our tired spirits. People were sipping on their coffees, engaged in conversations and a few buried in their books. The wall was lined up with vintage posters of the Beatles, the Classic James Bond Film’s, Bob Dylan, Elvis and other bands whose music defined the 90’s. the posters looked remarkably unique, and it was a great surprise when I was informed that these were original posters of the Beatles brought all the way from America. The café was indeed chic. Recommended by all my friends, I decided to try out the NAME. I was not disappointed. The taste was harmonious with the chill, laidback atmosphere of the café. And it was decided to spend some more time over there.
After asking the friendly manager of the café for a place he would recommend to see, we set out to the monastery. The monastery sounded exciting, and the road leading up to there was filled with natural beauty and some picture worthy sceneries. On reaching there, we were welcomed by the calm and quiet atmosphere. And that is what makes this place so famous. Students were making their way to the grounds as hundreds of Tibetan students and monks practice meditation techniques here. Amidst the beautiful buildings stood a striking statue of Lord Buddha, standing 150 feet tall. The monastery was blessed with a picturesque view, and the surrounding nature helped in building up the calm atmosphere of the place. A small tea stall caught my attention and we enjoyed the rest of the walk with a refreshing hot cup making the perfect afternoon.
After breathing in all the refreshing and cool air I could, we decided to head to Landour, an almost mirror city of Mussoorie. Surrounded by beautiful mountains, this city too, like Mussoorie and Dehradun is the centre of secondary education. This city is home to many prestigious institutions, and the number of students from various countries in the market was a proof of that.
We next drove back to Mussoorie and went to check out the Sister Bazaar. The bazaar seemed like a mall fit for Mussoorie. Shops lined the streets selling all sorts of wares, from costly fabrics to handmade goods, one could easily get lost inside the huge market. But what made this market one of the most sought-after locations was its homemade jams and cheeses which were utterly delicious, and I couldn’t stop myself from buying two packets each.
The time had finally arrived for us to leave Mussoorie and head back home. But there was one final stop on the way.
The screams and laughter of children reminded us that we just pulled up to Kempty Falls, our last destination. The sight of clean, flowing water couldn’t resist us and in a matter of minutes, we were in the chill water. After drying up, I just could not help but notice the panoramic scenic nature and the beauty that comes with it. In midst of those humungous mountains, rich forests and powerful rivers were we, humans, thriving with the gifts that nature supplies. The sound of the water, chirping birds and the wind were so distinct from the noises that humans conceived. The difference was so much that this was music to the ears.
The trip was definitely a learning experience, and we enjoyed it thoroughly. Energized from the whole journey, we whirred the engine down the road, and back home.