The Hills Beckon Again – 7

We sit out in the balcony, sipping our tea, holding the steaming mugs in our hands for warmth. It is cold outside, cold, and wet; the clouds have not gone yet. It has been raining throughout the night, but they are still here. They still have unfinished business.

‘It is going to rain soon’, I say to Vaishali, prophetically, my breath condensing around my head in a fog.

‘We will not be able to go anywhere’, she agrees.

‘I don’t mind’, I respond and smile. She returns the smile, and we go back to sipping our tea.

Dawn has broken, and the hills are visible once more. But the clouds are stubborn, they will not leave the hilltops so easily. They skim just over the top of the hills, moving, rolling, promising to bring rain. A lone cloud, iridescent white in the morning light, has strayed from the pack, and has got landlocked in the valley. It hovers between the mountains now, not knowing what to do, where to go……its job as yet unfinished.

An occasional drop of water still falls from the sky, splat on to the balcony we sit, plop into our teacups.

Vaishali gets up to go inside, it is cold and damp outside. I linger for a moment, unwilling to leave the balcony, glued to the view. Life is stirring in the mountains, albeit very slowly, lazily. I can hear few dogs bark, and can see them play with each other in the distance, far down the hill on which I sit. The lights from the houses dotting the landscape, have gone off one by one. They are no longer needed, the sun has risen. And even though the sun is behind the clouds, it is light enough in the valley, on the hills, one doesn’t need the incandescent bulb any more. They were companions of the night, their work is done, they are not needed now during the day.

I also get up to go inside, holding my cup in my hands, lingering near the iron railing overlooking the garden adjacent to the porch. The dahlias are in bloom, as are the roses, and the petunias, and the sages, and the geraniums……..

The children are up too….I can hear Vatsala chirping inside….it warms my heart, to hear their voices…..I rush inside to meet them…..

‘Good Morning Papa’, they chime together from inside the sheets…

‘Good Morning betu log….rise and shine’, I reply, kissing them.

‘Is it raining outside?’ This is Vatsala, the younger one……

‘Yes, it is. I am afraid we will not be able to go out today, at least as long as it is raining….’

‘Oh…..’ comes the collective sigh…

‘But we can go out once the rain has stopped, right?’ This is Vandita, the elder one.

‘Yes baby’, I promise.

The children are happy, and roll around in the bed lazily, willing themselves to get up, and get out of the bed… will be a lazy day…. just another day in the hills…..

Check out these Amazon bestsellers from the author –

The Battle of Panchavati and Other Stories from Indian Scriptures
Daffodils: A bouquet of short stories

By Divya Narain

Additional Professor in Plastic Surgery, doting father, loving husband, newbie author. Love travel and literature. Love reading religion, politics and history!

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