The Hills Beckon Again – 12: Another beautiful morning

It was still dark when I woke up, not because there was no sun, but because the sky was overcast with clouds. It was the third straight day of rains in Naukuchiatal. But it was not raining, not yet at least. Cloudy, cold, and moist, but not rainy. I looked at my watch, it was just half past five in the morning, and grunted. I was on vacation, and still here I was, awake at this unearthly hour, unable to sleep now….it was a force of habit. Years, and decades of waking up early in the morning had set my body clock to sleep and wake at a certain appointed time. I could not will it otherwise now.

I got up from the bed, and tip-toed out of the bedroom, and then out of the house on to the balcony, the same one which overlooks the valley. The floor was wet with last night’s precipitation, and a cold wind blew from the west; it was beautiful, beautiful and refreshing. I was cold to the bone, but enjoying it; the freshness, the clean, cold, damp wind, the smell of wet earth, and flowers, and cedar trees, and the distant cooing of the cuckoo….these were the sights and the sounds I missed in the mayhem that we called city life.

Shivering with the cold, but happy, and smiling like a child, I stepped inside again, and walked silently to the bed. The children were asleep, lying around in the bed in different poses like a frozen frame from a sports match. Vaishali lay to one side, still asleep peacefully. I walked over to her side of the bed, and gently unruffled her hair. She shifted in the bed, then opened her eyes and smiled at me.

‘Tea?’ she said.

‘Yes. Tea, and biscuits, and some chit-chat out in the balcony please’ I replied.

Fifteen minutes later we were sitting out in the balcony, dipping Parle-G glucose biscuits in the steaming tea and devouring it gleefully. We had grown up on Parle-G and could never get over it’s taste. A cup of hot tea, few biscuits of Parle-G, and some chit-chat was our idea of an early morning romance…..and it had stayed that way since……since almost two decades now. But it was not just tea, and Parle-G that kept the romance young…..there were also the long talks while on our way to work, and then coming back from work, and then the walk after dinner, and sometimes just like that….yes, we were a talkative couple…..we loved to talk, and we did talk to each other a lot, and I think that kept the romance going.

And thus we sat out in the balcony, cold but enjoying it, sipping the hot tea, letting the mug warm our hands, and the hot liquid warm our innards, and the love warm our hearts while we enjoyed the view, the view of the mountains, and the valley, and the trees, and the flowers, and the birds which came to suck nectar from those flowers, and the lake which changed colour from hour to hour, and the clouds which crowned the tops of the hills………and the sun, yes the sun, which seemed like it would come out of the clouds any time now….it peeked out from the few breaks between the clouds….sending light and warmth and hope down to humankind… those who would appreciate it……

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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