Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Of mountains & winters

Bhaskar Thyagarajan, guest blogger
Photo: Bhaskar Thyagarajan

The first time I came to Delhi to live here was in late November. It was may be 7:30-8:00 in the morning. It was a bright morning, a proper nip in the air and loved every minute of it. Having spent the bulk of my student life in Chennai and alternated between getting roasted and baked, I loved every day of the 3 years of working in Bangalore. So landing in Delhi on a winter morning was the ideal welcome gift. One of the primary motivations of moving here was the Himalayas. I had never travelled north before moving to Delhi and the Himalayas were a distant dream, lived through the tales of friends, books & Discovery Channel.

So, when the invitation to travel into the Himalayas came from a friend (whom I joined a year later) less than 10 days of reaching here, it was serendipity. From that day I have loved travelling into the mountains in the winter and loved every minute of it. The crisp clean mountain air, limited traffic, endless sunny days and rum kinda evenings are the obvious reasons. But what I have come to enjoy is the general slowness of things. The rivers lose their urge to move on, the sun and shadows seem unwilling to upright. The days revolve around tea, conversation and tea and conversation and the day just ends. Shops, restaurants and transactions in general seem fewer but meaningful. Food is local, fresh and minimal and devoid of glamour and exotica.

I am a restless person on holidays as much as at home, but the general relaxed pace of life has an almost hypnotizing effect on me and I find myself giving in. Reflection & reading, something I find myself wanting to do but doing little of at home becomes the main occupation, whether on walks or on the road. And for me this pursuit is something I enjoy but only when I have fewer options.

Mountains in winter make me think! Can't wait to go back.