It is almost surreal to think that we were there just last week (June 11th to 16th). My much awaited vacation, a proper one, with rooms booked, flights booked, not an ad-hoc drive down-and take-the-first-motel-that-we-can-find.
The Himalayas, seductive beauty that she is, beckoned us and we gladly surrendered to her enchantment. We had a dream stay at Manali Sterling Resorts called White Mist. Picture perfect, and at that time I thought, in perfect weather. The locals were complaining of the heat and on the day we landed it started drizzling, "perfect weather too" I exclaimed. Sweaters out, umbrellas out, what a quintessential Hill station! "I just died in its arms!!"
We did not realise the fury that was to be unleashed in the wake of our return. We escaped at every step, just managing to leave Kullu from Buntar airport on the only flight that flew that week and then again from Delhi, before the floods marooned the safe haven airport.
These photos speak a different story, the calm before the storm if you want to call it. The only sign of unrest, in my eyes was the Parvati river at Manikaran, about 85kms from Manali, that was looking unprecedentedly choppy and agitated. In fact my partner who had visited this temple in 1991, was surprised to see the river so prodigiously swollen, and mentioned that back then they could walk upto the large stone cropping towards the middle of the river bed (second last photo)! The driver was quite sure it was due to glaciers melting, as it is summer now. Alas, it was far more than that...
Serene and soft
I could watch you all day,
Unsurpassed and unmatched
your beauty haunts me today.
My dear mountains
I never thought you would enchant me,
become dearer to me
As much as the unfathomable sea.
As you tell your stories
I hear them through the wind,
A whispering ditty at times
Lo! a wailing lament many times.
And a sweet kiss on my face,
You are dignity
And all the true thoughts in my mind.
With you I need only to feel
For thoughts carry us nowhere,
While what I feel
Carries me to you.