Clouds are nature's amazing creation. They come and go at will duly providing varied experiences to humans. Perched right at top of a hill, our abode at The Kutir, Naldehra, Mashobra, Shimla overlooks majestic valley with hillocks and hills spanning till the vision travels. The clouds build up and dive into the valleys and then float upwards to The Kutir as if to kiss the cup of hot tea placed on the railing.The clouds built up ferociously late in the night and lighting striking over the horizon started travelling towards our tall French windowed room. Khalil Jibran had famously quoted- Let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of heaven dance amongst you. The hills know this the best. They remain rooted to their grounds and the winds gleefully played in the valley's adjoining peaks. They went down and rose up striking the tall trees in their way. They played a ferocious game with the valley and the jungle but not even a single tree gave up! The match was squared even as the Sun decided to close the game and rose up to remove the haze. The morning was fresh and bright announcing the Birthday of Karan Dewan, a young man who was scheduled to take an early morning trek in the pristine hills. He woke up happy to a rising Sun even as Mrs Manju Ahluwalia enjoyed a spray of rain falling on her pretty face and did not shut the windows of her majestic Scandinavian bungalow perched inside the hills. She is the de-facto Commandant of the Mashobra hills having seen them for close to 07 decades now.
The winds, storm, rain and sunshine all culminated in a lovely evening with an amazing ex- National Defence Academy (NDA) group of venerable Seniors from 26th (Kilo) General Manjit Ahluwalia; 38th (Foxtrot) Flt Lieutenant Sanjiv Dewan & 39th (Foxtrot) Maj General Anand Kapur and their magnificent families. We were welcomed with open hearts and assimilation was quick. Quickly we realized that the hills have great humanity. A phenomenal connect and we were all overjoyed to share the laughter in these tough times. Plenty of tales and trails hooked us on to the Mashobra Hills and quiet Leopards who silently roam these green hills.
Another rain soaked morning welcomed us today. The little storm accorded me the privilege to keep lying in the bed at The Kutir and chase the clouds flying past the giant windows. It seemed as if they were waiting to smoke my tea cup but I was in no hurry and hoodwinked them from the coziness of my quilt.
Around 12 pm, we set off for an exhilarating drive to Tattapani where hot water springs come out even as mighty River Satluj winds its way through the town. This town announces the boundary of District Mandi. I entered inside the hot water pool of a hotel Hot Springs situated on the banks of Sutlej. It was an exotic bath and I was the solitary guest inside the pool. Felt quite like a royalty even as my body soaked the heat from Sulphur water.
We drove back and stopped at a roadside restaurant for a light lunch. Driving back to The Kutir and my thoughts were with the green hills and sights that ticked my imagination. We were soaked in the clean air and our lungs filled up again. Happiness prevailed all over and we also witnessed the setting up of a deity in a Sutlej riverside temple.
The hills of Himachal have a magnetic attraction. They are clean and green. They are ever willing to welcome tourists who must come with a pledge to keep the hills safe. We witnessed first hand locals following all safety protocols and absolute lockdown post 2 pm each day. Kudos to the administration and the locals alike. These steps and all Government promulgated protocols including vaccination would definitely help
Looking forward to a great working week ahead from Mashobra Hills and beyond.