8.26.2009

Shimla

As the title of this blog suggests, I like lessons. And not just the ones I’ve learnt under this lemon tree of mine. Shimla, as it turns out is a wonderful place to learn your lessons. Whether they are of the variety of “things one must never attempt during a trek” or what I learnt about being me, it had ‘em all.

To start with, Himachal University looks like a dream lost in the mist. The architecture is brilliant and so is their library. The place is a photographer’s dream come true. Even if we did just spend an hour there, it’s been coming back to me everyday with the aura of a dead lover who will not be forgotten. The staircases are especially ancient looking, with many a couple writing an eternal saga on its steps.

Moving on from the University was hard, but it had to be done. Following that, we decided to take an impromptu trek without informing anybody in the hotel. Absurd as that was, considering my fear of heights and clumsy nature, the feeling of freedom was unmistakable. Even the mushroom we spent some 10 minutes photographing, had an air of carelessness to it. All signs of the uncluttered and beautiful mountain life, said the Father who blessed me and two other friends. We met him in a small, one room church hidden amongst the money registers of Mall Road. Run entirely on donations, the small prayer we attended has changed some part of me forever.

Mall Road was another surprise. In some four years, it’s gone from being a fierce cottage industry case review for the hills to just another brand engulfed market. Not surprisingly, the best time there came from what our guide declared to be “useless parts of the market”. After all, we are the type of kids who’ll never listen to given reason. Lower Bazaar and Indian Coffee House live on in our taste buds. While the wood market presented some unique memories to boot.

So maybe Solan wasn’t at its best but the “tandoori” Manchurian still beats all. More than anything, Shimla was a testament to the stark difference between us and them. We never referred to ourselves as a ‘group’ and we still won’t. We’ve seen that being a group has more pitfalls than love in it and to be honest, we can live without that tag. I believe we were always people who liked each others company and were closer to some over others. We remain till date, the same. No compromises made. And in the small hotel room, we learnt the good, the bad and the value of that.

#Lesson for today: Cheers to the place that taught us so much. With love, to Shimla.

6 comments:

Brilliantly Dull said...

i read, i adored, i left(comment)
i love it
:D and i am glad to hear that shimla was so much fun, i feared you would hate it for the commercialness of it.
its awesome that you went for that trek, best things in life come untold.
but you not writing lesson for the day???

Lemon Girl said...

Thank you. Thank you. Thank youuuuu.

I love you Anda. I wouldn't hate it really. I don't mind commercial places. Unless they advertise their non-commericialness.

Aah yes, awesome trek with all the cows and poison ivy.

Lesson of the day is to cheer about Shimla and not shamelessly rant on about the hotel room and Yogi, as we tend to do.

Rene Lacoste said...

Simla! The place isn't what it used to be you know. I went to that place for the first time some ten years back. Pristine place it used to be...the misty mountains, that chhotu but famous as hell pastry shop, lakkad bazaar...and Jakhu temple. And the one side of the mall that actually opened out to a splendid view of the city now faces a giant wall of shabbily built houses and what not...Anyway, thanks-this brought back some good memories :)

Sherry Wasandi said...

Ahh... the kind of images you've created in my mind. Particularly, The Library.

I think I've been to that church. Though I think that would have been about a decade ago.

I remember it to be what Rene Lacoste is talking about here. Haven't been there since to witness the aforesaid deterioration. Maybe, that's a good thing.

Lemon Girl said...

@ Rene: You're welcome. It's a pleasure to read your blog as well.

@ Sherry: Oh that library keeps me awake all night long, with fingers simply itching to run through the long shelves and dusty tomes. And this is probably the best time to visit Shimla while it still has some of its essence. A decade more and it'll be just another Dilli.

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