This blog is a mix of my thoughts about daily life and problems associated to it. In some writings it also depicts my views and opinions about social situations. You might also be able to find useful information about some of the places I visit !! So sit back and read. Healthy criticism is always welcome. Feel free too email me anytime. To follow me on Facebook use my email id firstname.lastname@example.org
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Shimla - The Queen Of Hills !
Bone chilling cold crept up from my legs into my torso. My teeth started chattering when I suddenly realised that the temperature had gone far below zero degree celsius. I switched on the ignition of my car and turned on the heater to full blast before my legs became numb.
This is how I was welcomed to Shimla in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India, in the month of January. Luckily, my car started immediately against my strong belief that it would not in such a cold weather, as, that was the first time I had driven my Volkswagon Polo to a hill station in winters. I woke my college mate up who had coiled like a viper on the conductor seat of our car under the common blanket we had been sharing for past four hours. Being taller and heavier between us, my legs had to bear the wrath of winters as most of the time they had not been covered. At that moment I cursed myself for making such a rash decision of travelling to Shimla in evening. The reason for not doing that in the first place was the weather forecast, requesting tourists to turn back as Shimla had had six to ten feet of snow after twenty-five years of gap, which, had led to the closure of most of the highways leading towards the city. There had also been an announcement about the power cuts and cuts in the water supply.
Despite repeated warnings, we made our way up to Solan which was approximately midway between Shimla and Chandigarh. After reaching there we saw a convoy of cars descending down the hill as they had been turned back from Shimla due to lack of parking space or hotel rooms in some cases(mostly families). Yeah ! we were so rash that those warnings and obvious signs meant nothing to us. We kept on going uphill. Being confident of our young age and the ration in our car we thought we could make it. The first sign (which should have been the last) of letting it go and resting midway for us was - roads full of snow.Other obvious signals were long traffic jams and also my car slipping due to the sleet of ice on the highway. Dismissing the fact that Shimla and surrounding cities in the radius of 20 kilometres were completely booked, we confidently kept on climbing. It was very risky and stupid on our part.
Finally, what made us stop was the exhaustion from the activities of the previous day, as it was midnight already and we had been making an average speed of 20 km/hr only. D-Pal was the name of the lodge where I parked my car and was very politely suggested to sleep in it as the lodge had already been booked. This brings us back to the very starting of my story where I was cursing my rash decisions and my legs being numb.
When I got up it was 5 am. Got out and drank a whole can of Redbull in minus four-degree celsius. Still unfazed from the dramatic events of the previous night we decided to carry on our journey forward. The major reason for doing so was the courage and determination which resides in you once you are done with medical school. No matter how stupid or tough your exam is you have to write it and pass. So, we decided to go at a very slow speed with our eyes and ears open. To our surprise, most of the way was clear of traffic except snow making highway a very narrow road to travel. There were instances like this -:
Yeah ! snow, trees, and poles falling on the moving vehicles. This happened just ten kilometres away from Shimla, so obviously, we were adamant to make it and get stuck in the traffic jam again.
As soon as we entered the city we were informed by the traffic police to park our car in the middle of the road as the whole highway was jam packed and there was just some space left to walk.You might be thinking all these risks for what ! To answer that question let me present - Exhibit One -:
That's the view from my car's window where we finally parked. This literally made us feel that we were in heaven or in clouds as it was our first time to experience snow. Thanks to the modern technology we were also able to capture many HD shots (click it) of the landscape surrounding Shimla and the valley as well.
On the very first day, we walked around twenty thousand steps in the snow with our backpacks on our shoulders. Although it was very tiring but worth every step taken. One thing that I learnt from this trip was that melted ice is not at all easy to walk on as I slipped at least 150 times (counted) in two days. We visited many Tourists Attractions (Click It) in the city.
Despite being a main attraction of Himachal there was scarcity of water and food supplies due to heavy snow and an unprepared municipal corporation. So that was the main problem during that period, which, also made me realise, how dependent I had become on technology to enjoy in such a beautiful place. Thanks to Airbnb we were able to find a good place to stay the night. The view from our balcony was as amazing as other places shown by me.
This visit really made me understand why Britisher would call Shimla - The Queen of hills.
In a nutshell, if anyone of you is planning a trip in the months of December or January for North India then Shimla should be at least in top five of your choices.
Leaving from a very long and tiring duty towards my mess I felt that I was Old and Alone. While crossing the main road (as we have to; to reach the other part of the campus) I took a step down from the sidewalk. The left knee buckled and I almost fell on my face on the road ahead which was full of traffic. The feeling of being old was pretty obvious from that but soon after the incident, I realised that none of the people (my batchmates) around me came to help. Not that I particularly wanted them to come and pick me up but enquiring about not getting injured was at least what I was expecting out of them. Before you judge me, read me a little further. I am no fool who would count this one incident as a reason to write about this topic nor am I a man who is particularly sensitive to share feelings and someone who wants others to pity him. These are just some feelings which I like to describe to my readers from time to time.
Before landing at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, I had never imagined that I'll see these three pictures on the wall and start thinking about my own life. I had never been a fan of art because I do not understand it. I don't hate it. It's just that I don't understand it. Sometimes I do not get the point of colours too. It's strange and weird but that's me - Weird and Strange.
So coming back to my point which is that this was the first art sequence which made me think about things. Things related to my life. My mistakes and good decisions. My achievements and losses. My will power and sometimes the lack of it. My determination in certain spheres of life and again lack of it in some. It made me think how I am not perfect and how life goes through different phases as we age, as we grow up professionally.
First picture - here says to me that every human, be it a girl or a boy…
Walking down the path towards my canteen in the research centre, cursing my teachers as well as my seniors for doing something wrong (or maybe right) with me. Thinking about how I had to regain my health and to be fit again. Preoccupied with many thoughts. Many scenarios for evening duty playing in my mind. Many facets of it which made me think constantly that how I had reached where I was. Thinking deeply about some of them and superficially about others (making a mental note to deal with them later). Thinking about how my life would have been different if I was born in a different country or with different ambitions I was stopped by That Old Lady.
An old but beautiful smile with creases all over her face, yellow glistening teeth, humped back, grey hair, wearing an old saree, carrying a thermos flask in her hand and an age-old pair of sandals on her feet. She stops me in between and asks my name and designation. First Reaction - I wa…