Friday, 12 September 2014

Mussoorie weather, Bollywood movie and Mills & Boon

There was a conditioning walk today for the trek tomorrow. I am not complaining. Who would not want to escape the hip gyrations, the awkward bending of limbs, the absurd twisting and exertions that pass off as PT? It may all be good for us, yes, but why would any right thinking individual want to wake up at unearthly hours in this weather, in this place?

The clouds envelope you when walking (climbing, huffing-puffing) to the Officers' Mess at Karmshila, like a beloved draping a coat over your shoulders, a wrapping around of delicate concern. There is a moderate rain in the morning before the PT starts, in the afternoon and in the evening. The sun shines bright and strong in between. In the remaining times the clouds come calling, like fluffy white cows airborne, out in herds for grazing. And graze they do the hill sides clad in million shades of green. With grace. There is always something happening in the skies in Mussoorie. If, by chance, the sun, the clouds, the rain etc forget their lines, a rainbow appears as if on cue and gladdens my heart from this end of the sky to that end. A better prompter of happiness one could not find.

The celestial drama does not end with the sun set, which is poetry in hi-definition in itself. The nightfall reveals the Milky Way in all its glory if the sky is cloudless. It was a full moon day few days ago. The moon hung over Mussoorie, a crown of indescribable beauty to the Queen of the Hills.

Such sights and sounds make one's stay pleasurable. In particular the sonorous call of a bird (have to ID that blessed bird- the call is a 5-6 note call) is most pleasing. A chance to walk in the hills before the sunrise is a rare privilege in deed.

The only disagreeable thing in it all is perhaps the pockets of methanaceous air that one has to pass through where the cattle congregate in groups for rest at night. The odour is quite incongruous with the sweet hill air.

One of the guest lectures was cancelled and a movie was screened in lieu. I had not watched 'Paan Singh Tomar' earlier. It was a good movie. The strongest point of the movie was when Paan Singh Tomar, who transformed from an international athlete to a 'baghi' in the Chambal valley, could not find closure to his situation despite cornering his enemy whose actions forced him to turn to violence in the first place. Violence begets more violence, a vicious circle in which the man confuses an effect for a cause.

The Gandhi Smriti Library springs surprise after surprise. There is an AV (audio/video) section with excellent and extensive collection of movies from different regions and industries and genres. And, who could have guessed, there are two shelves full of mint-new Mills & Boon titles. While one does not understand the need for Mills & Boon titles in an academy for administration, the fact that they seem unread gives one hope, still. Maybe the OTs of this and the previous batches of Foundation Course are not mushy, sentimentalist romantics after all.

On that note, ciao. A trek looms large tomorrow. Leeches, exhaustion, solitude and exhilaration await.

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