24 November 2007

Holidays in paradise

An overnight bus journey, ending near the hilly town of Kullu. The welcoming face of my uncle and perhaps one of my cousins. Refreshments and a short rest later, a three-hour walk up the mountain to look forward to.

We reach the foot of the mountain and start climbing, looking down occasionally at the foamy, swirling white waters of the Beas. The trek continues; on and on we climb, stopping sometimes to put down the suitcases and drink from the clear spring camouflaged with mossy rocks and colored, gleaming pebbles. So we carry on till mid-day, when we reach my uncle's cottage. A hot lunch, and then a final ten-minute walk, slipping on pine needles and cones, and we're there!

Eyes shining with happiness, I walk over the narrow log across the stream, spring onto the green pasture, balance on the low ladder that leads to the warm kitchen, dodge the dog that jumps at me, and rush into the arms of my eagerly-waiting grandparents. It's always like that: a whole fortnight to look forward to, with a library full of books; long talks with my grandparents about their endless adventures; heavenly nights when you think that you could touch the stars if only you were a little higher; long walks with new vales and hidden treasures to discover; picking wild strawberries and transforming them into the best jam ever; fields of golden buttercups...

Thinking about it always awakens in me such nostalgic memories, and I impatiently long to go there again. It'll be wonderful to feel the starshine caress me, to play the violin hidden in the bushes, to watch the pale purple irises sway in the gentle breeze.


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