The Hills Beckon Again – 4

I am cold, very cold now. My feet are freezing, the cold penetrates my clothes and soaks through the skin, freezing the bones. I am about to lose my patience, to seek the shelter of the house when the song begins. It’s an ancient song in a strange tongue, it’s the song of the mountains.…… Continue reading The Hills Beckon Again – 4

The Hills Beckon Again – 3

The lake has turned dark now. As if the receding sun has kindled its inner darkness, encouraged it to come out, express itself, without fear or care or shame. The darkness is now animated by its own will, it has a life of its own, its own volition, energy….it spreads from the one focal point…… Continue reading The Hills Beckon Again – 3

The Hills Beckon Again – 2

And so I sit, out in the open, in the balcony, the parapet that juts out over the slender road that leads up to the house, juts out over the valleys between the mountains where the lake, the nine-cornered lake is nestled, emerald green and shimmering in the dying light. I sit out in the…… Continue reading The Hills Beckon Again – 2

The Hills Beckon Again

Lucknow to Bareilly to Haldwani once more, with a fuel stop and car wash before we reached the foothills. Yes, the mountains had beckoned once more, and I had answered. From Haldwani we could see the hills in the distance, but it was not till we reached Kathgodaam that the crisp mountain air actually hit…… Continue reading The Hills Beckon Again

The House on the Hill – 3

All of us are now collectively looking at the car which ascends up the narrow hill road. As I shift my gaze from the moving car to the elderly couple, I notice that their faces are glowing with happiness. Both of them seem to be smiling, as they get up from where they sit in…… Continue reading The House on the Hill – 3

The House on the Hill – 2

If one drives around the Lake Bhimtaal, named after Bhima from Mahabharata, and crosses over to the other side so that the lake is on one’s right side, one can find, with some difficulty, the narrow road that leads up to Naukuchiataal, the nine-cornered lake nestled on the top of the verdant hills of Uttarakhand.…… Continue reading The House on the Hill – 2

The House on the Hill – 1

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…… Continue reading The House on the Hill – 1

‘Raabta’ with Naukuchiataal – IV

‘Spicy Tomato’, the pack of chips read, as I extracted a couple from the bag, put them in my mouth, and closed my eyes, enjoying the spicy crunchiness. The laptop lay open in front of me, the cursor blipped expectantly, the keyboard lighted, waiting…. I warmed my hands with the cup of tea which Vaishali…… Continue reading ‘Raabta’ with Naukuchiataal – IV

‘Raabta’ with Naukuchiataal – III

The Naukuchiatal is a lake of nine corners nestled high up in the mountains. Our destination was further up from the lake, near the Club Mahindra Resort property of that area. The road is narrow, and paved with stones, and can be used by only one vehicle at a time. So, if one finds another…… Continue reading ‘Raabta’ with Naukuchiataal – III

‘Raabta’ with Naukuchiataal – II

I inhaled deeply after a long time, as I saw that familiar sight, had my first glimpse of my friends – the mountains. There was a constricting feeling in my chest, a pang of emotion, a physical pain of happiness at the reunion, as I looked at them. Happiness can be painful, sometimes! The mountains…… Continue reading ‘Raabta’ with Naukuchiataal – II

‘Raabta’ with Naukuchiataal – I

As the car turned the bend in the road, the dust settled, and the cacophony of the cities was suddenly left behind. Green trees, tall with age, and bent with the continuous suction generated by the passing vehicles, stood by the side of the road, and swayed, as if welcoming the travelers; their leaves forming…… Continue reading ‘Raabta’ with Naukuchiataal – I