A EXPERIENCE AWAITS…………….WHEN YOU VISIT MUSSORIE

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STUTI CHANGLE

I am a regular college going girl and I had spent the last 22 new years of my life either with friends or with family. Until now it had all made sense to me, you should spend your time with your near and dear ones, more so on a special occasion. But of late I had wanted to spend time with myself more than anyone else. It was 27th December and everyone around in my hostel was packing their stuff. I plugged in my earphones and started making my way through the corridors in order to escape the probing questions that were destined to come my way. The feeling of being trapped by the dogma seemed to exacerbate as I took restless steps on the road that led to nowhere, in thoughts and reality. I came across the dhaba on the other side of the street, where I had spent almost two years now, with my friends, having tea and chit chatting, doing nothing. I reached for my cellphone again, to change the song, as the motivational playlist had played for long. The moment my screen came to life, it got loaded with bulk whatsapp messages. As I kept sliding my thumb towards right, while still on the screen, to kill the notifications, one of them caught my attention. A travel app had just asked me, “Where are you travelling this New Year?” The train of thought came to a lull as I glanced upon it and then read it almost thrice. Without giving another thought, I got up and started running back towards my hostel. I was happy as I knew what I was going to do this New Years. I packed my backpack by putting in all the stuff that I needed and booked my tickets to Mussoorie online. I boarded the late evening bus and with all the hopes up left for a place where I could get lost in the eternity of the Great Himalayas. If Ruskin Bond would have known me, he would have loved me for sure!

Two days had passed and I still could not get enough of the beautiful place Mussoorie was! It was just perfect with the clouds abound and temperatures that formed captivating smoke while I spoke. Winters had fascinated me since childhood, but living all on my own on a hill station, with silence that stretched to infinity, was once in a lifetime kind of an experience for me. But something even more fascinating had happened! I had met a woman from New Zealand during the dinner buffet at my place of abode for these two days. She had promised to see me again at the Little Llama café today. I wanted to talk to her and know more about her as she was a solo traveler and had held me captive with her extraordinary tales of travel the other day. I had read it in the books, watched it in the films, dreamt about such people in my mind, but speaking to a living legend reinvigorated the flame of setting myself free in me. All the questions that had haunted me all this life seemed to have taken a backseat. My fear had surprisingly tapered off with every day that passed post that encounter. I had realized that everything I had wanted in my life started and ended on travel. The only thing that had ever made me feel good about myself was travel and yet unfortunately travel was the only thing I had been most reluctant to take up. I returned back with the focus of taking this up for the rest half of my life. I ditched any other opportunity to work that came my way with just one resolution – It was just travel that was all I was going to do from now on. This New Year resolution seemed to be much more ecstatic than the false promises of shedding weight that I had made to myself in the recent years! I felt liberated, calm, determined and freed as I resolved to live my dream and face all the odds that came my way in order to protect my only reason of existence – travelling. That New Year proved to be a turning point in my life. It wouldn’t have been the same, had I not decided to spend some time with myself.

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