When I first came to Dun, I was excited by the idea of living close to the mountains. And so early on-when I didnt even know how the city buses function- I armed myself with a sketch given to me by the Amazing M, and walked up to Mussoorie. And then I did it again. And again. And then I stopped. The summers were too hot, the monsoons were too wet, the winters were too cold.
When I finally decided to go there last weekend, I surprised myself by developing butterflies in my stomach. And the silliest worries too..what if I don't get the bus? what if I miss the stop? Should I take a Vikram instead? I couldn't understand it then. Sunday morning, only my stubbornness made me get out of bed and lace up my boots.
I am so glad I did.
I was cosseted by my guardian angel all the way. Yes, when I asked for a ticket to Rajpur, I was curtly told to catch the city bus. And my shrinking-violet mood didnt let me explain that I actually wanted to get off at the Moravian school and so needed the inter-city bus. But no matter. The city bus I caught miraculously turned out to be one of the few that do take the circuitous route past the school. And working on the hypothesis that taking care of someone else helps take one's mind off one' own worries, I was sent Red to accompany me- all the way to Jharipani and back.
She looks like an interpid explorer here, but she was actually a pretty urban dog. On the trail, she walked ahead for a few metres, but once we left the paved path, she made sure I went on ahead to flush out any dangerous bulbuls that might lurk there. It was good to have her around, and comfort her when she was terrified by falling leaves and other such perils.
I was thinking of my earlier trepidation and realized that it is the same feeling that has caused me to lose touch with so many friends. The 'it has been so long, can we pick it up again' feeling. But as would have happened with the trail, I end up the poorer for listening to it. The trail is amazingly beautiful and stunningly welcoming. I should not deny myself that, no?