Rainy Sunday (8th June,2014)
After a long lapse of time I am trying to jot down or scribble something. Hope whatever is written or typed on a new computer, is saved and one is also in a position to carry out editing.
Beginning with weather, while it is reported boiling hot in Delhi and several parts of North, over here in Gangtok it is a cool, quiet and congenial feeling. It has been raining with some intervals since yesterday evening following a dry spell of almost three days. Each time it pours heavily, this portion of town looks amazingly beautiful and aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
The Sunday that it was, was almost spoilt. Mt. Khangchendzonga, the presiding deity of Sikkim has not been sighted for almost a fortnight. Normal chirping of beautiful birds of at least ten to fifteen species was experienced very briefly. They were nevertheless not in a mood to give up. I too struggled taking their snaps by running all over the place much against the advice of my Ophthalmologist friend. Whatever was washed, could not be dried. No outing could be planned and the usual feeling of semblance of relaxation on a holiday could not be accomplished. Yes, one brilliant thing I re-discovered was attempt to drive the car.
When she was in deep slumber in the post-lunch session and drizzle had resumed, I took out the keys of SX4. Went on a test drive up to Bijli’s devastated hut, a distance of barely half a km. Whole stretch looked deserted. While reversing the car on a neat and clean road flanked by lush green grass, I felt sorry for the spirit of this Chowkidar/Labourer, who had the audacity to get hooked up/married twelve times.
One felt happy and gradually gathered the requisite confidence while retreating in normal speed. Reverse drive was also tried especially on the upper segment. After all, I was trying to drive after good two years on a difficult, yet lovely and enchanting terrain.
Between 4.30 and 5.40pm, after having failed in locating the elusive Mahesh, two of us went to Ridge Garden in the same official car and took a much sought after stroll around the Palace, overlooking the misty valley behind the Guards Ground. Slow pace of work on the site of the Secretariat was also seen.For a change, rain had stopped and tourists as usual were seen indulging in fun and frolic. They were also taking funny and memorable shots in the fading evening light. The “train formation” by a bunch of robust youngsters from the North left an impact. We too felt rejuvenated in half an hour. It was followed by a plate of Veg Momos, Jhal Murhi and a packet of Pop Corn. While the Momos were delicious, much against our apprehensions, last two items turned out to be perfectly up to mark.
Tried to sneak into the lovely Flower Complex but alas same was getting shut for the day. While returning, it was once again drizzling with bouts of fog, here and there. Mahesh was nowhere to be seen in the vicinity of his usual joints or hang-outs. .We passed by Babita, the bubbly Circuit House waitress but could not wave at her nor did she notice us in such a hazy weather.
Anil, one of the Circuit House attendants, was located climbing up the steep road to the Circuit House. He was sweating and breathing profusely. We lost no time in offering him a lift as a humanitarian gesture.
Within 5 minutes of our safe landing at now brightly lit Circuit House, both Donald and Mahesh were located. While former had picked up the news of our maiden drive from this place from Raven, Mahesh, as usual, sporting an innocent expression, appeared clueless altogether. For a change, he was seen sporting fresh cloths after having succeeded in performing yet another weekly bath inside his ‘Bunker’, surrounded by mesmerizing Pine forest at an altitude of 6200 feet.
We narrated what we had experienced in a short spell. Got rapt attention of all the attendants – Quiet Asha, D.K., Gopal, Vishnu, D.B., Ganga, Sonam and Gyalpo. A bit of smile and laughter followed while we gulped each, a glass of luke warm water. Subsequently, we saw some scenes of “Sholay”, the block buster of yesteryears (1975) on TV in the reception area before it was late tea time. Ahead of returning to our thrust abode of last three months, I do not miss taking a few memorable shots of the sparkling green plants.
Sipping the tasty dip tea prepared by Mahesh, we attempt to recall the rainy Sunday and a few tasks one had to perform on the coming Monday. While drawing the curtains, one could see that it had become pitch dark. Usual evening walkers even in this remote and isolated area of town were conspicuous by their absence. A pair of cows, supposedly owned by the village Amla whose unauthorized entry into the lush green lawn had been opposed vehemently by the doggy “Ram Prasad”, were no longer spotted. They had extended all help in trimming over grown grasses by their swift grazing operation. Whatever was neglected by the human beings was completed partially by the animals.
The husband of the loud mouth Allahabad woman (afternoon arrival) was seen contemplating in isolation in the Hawa Ghar down below. Wearing a half sweater only over his sky blue coloured Kurta Paijama, he was seen carrying a thick book even now. His young son and daughter-in-law, bereft of any Pullover, were taking advantage of a brisk walk further down. Their tiny tot was presumably in the safe grip of her Grandmother. This approach of taking advantage of “climate change” appealed to me as against the usual “rush through” regime adopted without fail by most of the visitors to a hill-station.