After the Rain in the hills.

Today was a sunny day after the rain in the hills and for the first time, I realized that my house is facing the right direction. Last night was a night full of thoughts floating in my mind. The sleep was away and my fingers kept clicking the keyboard of the computer to record another day of my life.

In the morning when I got up, the sun had already appeared in the sky and the sunrays had swept across the valley. I looked out of my window and looked at the new day ahead. The floor of the big hall of my house is the first one to receive the sun rays, entering through the windows. Today they were on the front wall. I moved out to the veranda and stood to say my morning prayer, folding hands towards Sun.

Sunny day after the rain in the hills.

Until yesterday the sky was covered with thick clouds. But today the clouds had disappeared. I noticed that the sun had moved slightly to the right. The long months of the monsoon are over now. For nearly ten weeks the sky remained covered with clouds and we did not see the sun at all. Here in the hills during the monsoon, we hardly see sunny days and if we do, it is only for a short while. Therefore, we get no idea when it starts moving to the right. The days have become short now and further, they are going to be shorter.

I decided to move some of the linen out in the sun and put all the cushions, the pillows, and the seat covers of sofas outside in the garden. The moisture enters the trunks, almirahs, and every corner of the house and crates fungus.

The return of the clouds after the rain in the hills.

The fungus spoils the linen and the clothes and my books too. Putting them out in sun is a good idea to get rid of the mildew. I am sure to have sufficient sun rays in this house during the winter. That was my first monsoon since I moved into it. Now it is going to be the first autumn and then the first winter season.

By noon a few cumulus clouds appeared in the sky. They floated like cotton balls with wind and cast their shadows on the slopes of the hills. I could see some parts of the hills on the opposite side shaded with small clouds. But they are hardly able to cover the sun and its warmth so there was no effect on the linen I had put out. But I must put them in before it gets dark.

A Stroll on the New Road.

In the afternoon I decided to take a stroll. I left everything out in the garden. No one is going to touch them or steal them from here. Here in the hills where people live together and support each other in every manner, the stealing of anything cannot even be thought of.

I followed the new road dipping down towards the shallow ravine. That rivulet is fed by the number of springs or the baolis, as they are called locally. Some of them are hidden whereas some are visible and provide fresh water to the villagers. Many of the villagers walk down to the nearby spring every morning to fetch fresh water for drinking. One day Manohar, my young friend from the village led me to a baoli from where he gets water for his house. That was the first time when I drank water from that baoli

I prefer trails to roads after the rain in the hills.

I lifted water in my hands and had a few sips. In a minute it made all my fatigue disappear. The new road has recently been carved by cutting the hillside. Earlier it was a walking trail that led people, for a kilometer, to Naal-Hatti to catch the bus to Shimla. But now one can drive to Naal-Hatti and continue driving to the town. Also, a road branches off from Naal-Hatti to Kunihar and then further to Kalka and Chandigarh. But the new road has yet not been tarred yet and is dicey for the drivers. Due to heavy rains, several parts of this road have already got damaged.

I was not very happy when the villagers built this road. They were happy to find a shortcut to the town. I was not happy because being a keen walker I prefer trails to roads.

Vinay, the shopkeeper.

Last night’s heavy rain, caused a massive landslip to the main road, the highway, up there and damaged it badly. And so, the whole traffic was diverted towards Naal-Hatti to bypass the damaged portion. The drivers have to take a detour to Naal-Hatti and then continue to the main highway. When I reached Naal-Hatti I saw a number of vehicles struggling to find a way to move on but the road is too narrow for them to move smoothly.

Vinay, a young man from the village runs a daily needs shop. The shop is located right at the hairpin bend of the road coming down from Ghanahati. It is difficult for the vehicles to turn here and they must go straight instead, towards the new road to turn around. There was a traffic jam but the drivers managed to get out of this chaos.

Way to the viewpoint after the rain in the hills.

Vinay was happy to see some activity near his shop otherwise whole day he keeps waiting for the customers. His clients are the labor class people from Nepal who work in the surrounding villages as masons and laborers. They come to buy their stuff only in the evening and for the rest of the day, Vinay keeps himself busy waiting for them.

I managed to find a way through the noisy vehicles and continued walking on the road leading towards the main highway. It whirls up towards Ghanahati for five kilometers, through a forest and offers excellent views of the hilly slopes dotted with tiny hamlets. The gradual climb till the next hairpin band is through the high hills covered with weed and oak trees. The sound of the flowing water below the weed disturbed the silence and made me curious to find out its source.

The view of the tiny hills after the rain in the hills.

After the hairpin bend, the climb gets steeper. I decided to walk till the next curve and return. I stood near the curve facing the valley and looked at the view of the lower hills. All the village roads, crisscrossing each other, are visible from there which at that moment were giving way to the diverted traffic. The children from the villages stood along the roads to see the vehicles and waved at them. Far away, up near the highway where the main road had got damaged everything was calm. The authorities had blocked the way for the curious ones to go and see the damaged part and make gossip. It is going to take a few days, perhaps a few months to repair that road.

A few vehicles passed me and the drivers looked at me, a wanderer wandering around on foot.

Called it a day.

The day was advancing and soon the sun was going to set. After spending some time there, I decided to walk back. The steep climb up of the new road is a good exercise for the lungs and the legs. When reached home the mattresses and the cushions were waiting for me to keep them inside. The sun had already set and soon it was going to get dark. The valley which was shining brightly, when I left, had turned dim and the tiny bulbs on the slopes had begun to shimmer.

I picked up my stuff and came in, closed the door, and went to the kitchen to prepare a cup of tea. The next morning, I have to keep all my woolens out in sun.


Written by

Sumit Raj, better known as Summit is the founder of Shimla Walks and a qualified tourism professional from Delhi University. Summit is a published author with six books to his credit, now. His seventh one titled ‘Shimla Walks’ is on the way and is to be released soon. Summit loves Himalayas and says that ‘Mountains travel in his veins with blood’.

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