I don’t think I have anything to write about. As I was walking to work today I realized how noisy it was inside my head. There was Rihanna’s ‘Take a bow’, random white noise that visualizes as purple and gold, and then M.S.’s voice singing the Hanuman Chalisa- all playing simultaneously in my head. As one may predict, ‘Ram Krishna Janaki..’ and the piano intro to the Rihanna song don’t go very well and it was very disturbing.
I tasted some sweet success in my experiment later in the day today . It felt nice and gratifying. Then as I rode the bus home, smiling to myself and thinking of how my boss’s joy is my pride, I was also thinking about how my parents are at Haridwar right now, and how much I enjoyed that trip when I was 16.
Haridwar was really dirty and wet and swampy, but the Haarti totally made up for it. Plus we stayed at this really nice hotel that had the Ganges running right behind it. As much as I love the water, bodies of it scare me, like- the mighty ocean and big bodied rivers- SO I stayed a little away after humbly doing little dips in the water. My Mom however thought it wise to frolic in the Ganges, and told me how I should too, and wash away sins and such. If only.
Lakshman ka Jhula is a beautiful place. Rishikesh has a sort of peace to offer, the kind that makes your 16 year old mind wander and look within and ‘really try to find out who you really are’. Of course, Amma made me hike up this hill to buy her a lamp only to go back up and return it because she really thought I paid too much for it. Obviously, later, we went back and bought it.
Following this, we went to Mussourie. Mussourie is a nice enough place. Foggy and silent. You can see almost all of Dehradun from up there! After a couple of days of chilling with myself and exploring the place, I made friends with this girl who was sure from the beginning of our acquaintance till the end that she was wayy cooler than me. I meekly did not realize this until much later, when I realized what the barriers were, and how I’d always fall short on that scale.
But the fun part of this trip was when I realized that Ruskin Bond lived in Mussourie. So I found his number using this kind Tamilian Hotel Manager guy at Sterling Resorts, and visited him! I have a picture at home, and a signed copy of the ‘Adventures of Rusty’. Ruskin Bond is awesome. Every bit as Anglo and author-y as you’d imagine. He lives in his quaint, rickety cottage up on a mountain, with a view that will make poets out of ugly annoying cats. We talked about our childhoods, books, Harry Potter, The Blue Umbrella(this was eventually made into a movie- who knew!), The Woman on Platform 8. and how NCERT made it a point that all children knew Ruskin Bond’s name, his love for wildlife (remember the story about the tiger near the railway tracks?), his love for Mussourie, Dehradun, and how his heart never let him leave India. Such a nice experience. I will fish out that photograph the next time I go home. Subsequently, Ruskin Bond edited a book called the Rupa Book of Great Crime Stories, and I dutifully obtained a copy for my library at home, with great pride.
The rest of that trip was Amma and I trying to find things to do in Mussourie that did not involve taking the cable ride (she can develop sudden and severe vertigo, we did not want to take the risk). I walked around a lot, went to the evening social events with my new cool friend who was really very aware of her coolness, and also spent some quality time as a teenager with my Amma.
Anyway. It’s been so nice reminiscing about that trip!
Of course, all happy thoughts about Haridwar were crushed when Kailash Kher made this video, that I have always associated with Haridwar, for some reason.
That child right at the beginning with the white paint all over him still haunts my dreams.
Anyway. Till next time, keep singing!
And even though we ain’t got money, I’m so in love with ya honey,
And everything will bring a chain of love.
And in the morning when I rise, you bring a tear of joy to my eyes,
And tell me everything is gonna be alright.