Holidays which begin with nostalgia and end with new memories

It never seemed possible - it was just an idea thrown to a couple of cousins and relatives, but very soon it transformed itself into an an impromptu holiday. Going to Dalhousie with 40 people was not one thing that we had planned initially, but very soon like a rolling stone it began to gain momentum and soon we had to start saying - no more - we do not have the space !

Dalhousie has always been a very special place - maybe any place which is connected with our childhood is like that. We forget the discomfort and the bad infrastructure, we only remember the laughter and the bonhomie and the presence of our family around us. Others may wonder what we saw in Dalhousie, but we wondered why they could not see the charm and beauty of this serene hill station.

This holiday had some very special memories - days that are etched in our minds and still bring a smile to our faces. The breakfast at Mama's Rasoi was a forerunner of all the noise and food that was to become the norm of the trip. It is amazing how much food we consume, while loudly talking about the fact that we are on a diet and that parathas are not good for us.

The first evening dinner at Ganganiwas was as if time had stood still. Everyone sitting around the garden and talking about family members and about childhood memories. The excellent management of Vinny, Manju, Abha, Seema, Anu and Malavika (have I left anyone out ?) made sure that everything ran smoothly. Serving cups of tea all day long, serving pudas on a rainy day, parathas that were delicious and hot, and all this with a smile, did we need anything else?

Kalatop will probably take a long time to recover from the onslaught of the Ganganiwas / Tejniwas/ Dhoopgarhi  Khandaan. The photographs are fabulous, but they do not capture the attack on the young boy bringing pakoras! I wish someone had photographed that - a bunch of hungry family members confiscating the pakoras before anyone else could get to them. 

Khajjiar was just a wish in our minds. We had not been there for a long time, and once the day dawned bright and clear we decided to go there for the day. Spontaneously and within a few minutes, everyone joined us and what a beautiful day it turned out to be. Khajjiar was exactly as we remembered her from our childhood, clean, bright and beautiful. She welcomed us with all her ethereal charm and took from us a promise to come back again some other day.

For me there are many memories that form a part of this unforgettable holiday. The dinner at Dhoopgarhi where everyone sat around and sang and danced. The space was constricted but no one complained - after all we were all family ! The impromptu breakfast in the mist in the garden, as everyone came back from their walks, mithe chawal and shahi tukras, capes from Lallji and noodles at Sharma's dhabha, Rekha's poetry and Renu's performances, Reva and Savita Bhabhi's immaculate attires, watching TV while eating lunch at Khajjiar, the clear streams by which we had a couple of picnics, I could just go on and on!

Will a holiday like this happen again - I am not too sure. This was spontaneous combustion - it does not happen too often. But we have realised that it can, and maybe some other day we shall try it again!


Girish Malhotra said…
Dalhousie will always stand still in time for the Khanna and Kapoor families. Your last paragraph's first sentence is a reminder of our venerabilities (age) but the following sentence assures that anything is possible.

Looking at the some of the photographs I could see the expanse of Khajjar. It took me back to summer of 1962. Five of us (three boys from Tej Niwas and two from Ganga Niwas: do not remember who all) decided to take a hike to Khajjar without telling any of the parents. Our adventure was exceptional as no one knew. We had no food and some money. I remember that we stopped at some tea shop near Bakrota and had our tea. Since we were all excited our trip and no one at the kothis knowing about it was our rights of passage. Did not know that there was a milk delivery person who heard or conversation. He told the house help what we were up to.

Long story short going down was "down hill" tumble. Got to Khajjar and were hungry. Asked the only food store that we would like to buy his puris and alloo. Well he would to sell as he was getting ready for a Mela that afternoon. That conflicted with us as we had to get back before Bauji came back from his walk. Lot of pleading convinced his that our "rears" could be soar if we did not get home.

He obliged and after food headed home. Blisters and pain tagged along and once we got to Bakrota and could see the Kothis we slid on rears to get home. Brigadier B. D. Bhasin was ready to take away our pain with boiled needles and a topical ointment Anvil.

Everyone was delighted to see us one piece and for some reason we did not get the dressing down we deserved. It is a lasting memory.

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