I am sitting on the porch, the balcony which looks out over the valley, and the range of mountains which skirt it. Far to my left, deep down in the valley is the lake, the Naukuchiataal, the lake with nine corners. Its dark green waters gurgle from inside, raising small eddies in the water where the air pumps try to push oxygen into its air-starved waters, trying to keep the flora and fauna alive. It is the last-ditch attempt of the humans who have done everything to kill the lake, to finally try and reverse the trend, to keep the nature which sustains mankind, alive.
Evening creeps slowly over the hillside, bringing with it the translucent fog which, mixed with the smoke from the chimneys of the houses which dot the hills, covers the valley with a smokey veil, hiding some, revealing some, like the heroine of an erotic thriller. I sit in the balcony of Bindiya’s house, and watch the evening progress, watch the fogs rise from the mountainside, watch the blue skies turn orange, and then indigo. I have been in love with these mountains for as long as I can remember. The mountains call to me occasionally, and I just have to answer their call.
As the mountains start to twinkle with the numerous household lights, I sit on the balcony and pop the can. The beer bubbles cheerfully as I pour the amber liquid into a tall, beautiful glass. I have been careful, there is hardly any head in the beer. Small groups of air bubbles chase each other as they rise from the bottom of the glass to reach the top layer of the liquid, a sober reminder of our daily race to reach the top.
I sip the cold beer and look out over the valley as the cold fluid warms my insides. My attention is drawn to a medium sized, country cottage built in the side of the mountain to my right side. It is coloured a tasteful white and green. The gardens are well manicured, and the porch maintained tastefully. Bunches of roses, and petunias, and rhododendrons dance gently in the evening breeze, skirting the driveway which runs around the house from its right to its left side, and ends at the back of the house where the actual entrance is. The front of the house, which I can see, is just a porch with a couple of round tables and chairs placed carefully on its wooden floor. The floor itself is painted white, the pillars are green.
An elderly couple are sitting around a table, enjoying what seems to me like a cup of steaming coffee. They look handsome together, they are dressed gracefully, their hair peppered with white. The gentleman has a handlebar moustache, the lady wears her hair in a bun. He has a tweed coat, she a turquoise saree. They look at each other and smile. I wonder who they are!
To be continued……………..
From the author – An Amazon blockbuster