When you want something real bad, the entire universe conspires to make it happen – this is a sentiment often tom-tommed in popular books and movies. A philosophy that my ruthlessly practical, sceptical self was always very dismissive of. Until November 2022 happened.
I had been wanting to go on a solo trip to the mountains since god knows when. Things were almost finalised for April 2020 when Covid descended and nixed my plans. 2.5 years and a lot of re-planning/ re-scheduling later, the highlight of my modest bucket list finally saw the light of day. I packed my bags…and loads of orophilous dreams…and set off for New Tehri, a small idyllic destination in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand.
I was very particular about not having a very ambitious itinerary. I just wanted to sit outdoors, listen to birdsong, wrap my palms around a piping hot cuppa, and watch the snow-crested Himalayan peaks change colour, as sunny mornings gave way to languid afternoons and stargazing evenings.
I did go out a couple of days to check out the nearby tourist hotspots. The placid Tehri Lake fed by the waters of the mighty Bhagirathi…India’s tallest and the world’s twelfth tallest Tehri dam…the sleepy hamlet of Kanatal…the stellar beauty of Dhanaulti – the colonial charm of Landour – all made for some indelible memories and classic Kodak moments.
Nine days of unadulterated serenity and blissful unwinding made my heart calmer, happier, and infinitely more grateful to the powers above. They reinforced my awareness about how insignificant we mortals are, in the greater scheme of things. And they also thrust me into the ticklish world of regular photography and selfie-taking! Although no mechanical device can do any justice to the breathtaking scenery of Uttarakhand, I’ve tried to capture and present a few here.