Saturday, November 19, 2011

Cloud's End

“Try to remember it always," he said once Gogol had reached him, leading him slowly back across the breakwater, to where his mother and Sonia stood waiting. "Remember that you and I made this journey together to a place where there was nowhere left to go.”

I really don't have a great memory. I don't remember most of the things I did as a kid. What I do know, is what I have been told by family, about my extremely violent Calvinesque nature in the days of yore.

But there are things that are stark in my memory. Being forced to wear a floral print dress for a birthday. Climbing guava trees at my nani's house. And the annual vacations to Mussoorie.

My mother's side of the family is from Dehradun, not far from which lies Mussoorie. Every year, without fail, all of us would make that trip to the hills, stay at the same resort, play tambola, trek. When I was six, the resort bailed out on us. Why I remember that particular year  more than the others, I don't know.  Maybe it's the photographs, the fact that it was a new place, or maybe it was Clouds End.

It wasn't the first time we were at Mussoorie. So it was strange that we hadn't visited this place before. We took a cab till the foot of the hill where it was, after which the road necessitated a trek. We trudged along, all of us, ages 11months to 79years, through the long uphill climb on gravel. Wheezing, we reached the summit where the lodge was located.

Except that we couldn't see it. The entire place was enveloped in a blanket of clouds. Like a creamy white cradle descending upon us.

And then the flowers. Five feet high, pink and white, and you could run through them, lost under their towering selves. They ended at an old board announcing an Echo Point, quite the norm in the hills. But through the white cotton candy, even that took on a mystical, secretive form, like we were the first discoverers of the platform, after decades of its hiding.


Would I go there again? I don't know. From what I read online, the place is actually called Cloud End, the lodge old and failing and food passable. That's not how I remember it. I remember it for the day I hid under an expanse of white, when I stood mortified, posing for a photograph as the horsekeeper handed me a bunch of flowers, while the family clapped. When we went as high as we could, and there was nowhere left to go. I'd rather live there.


Tyler Finkbeiner said...

it seems to me that we all have places that we used to go as kids and want to go back but know they just arent the same. unfortunatley places change. thanks god for pictures to remember the places we loved by.

Vasudha said...

True that.

Disha said...

Take me with you?

Vasudha said...

Soon :)


Blog Template by