You know that moment when you feel like you’re meditating with your eyes wide open? That’s exactly how my week-long stay in the tiny, quaint villages of Himachal Pradesh felt like.
Pictures cannot do justice. But imagine if every single shade of green, blue, brown and white that your mind can fathom were brought together to paint a masterpiece.
Here are the people who made this trip amazing. Starting anti-clockwise – Dipti who was always tying her laces (this was a ploy, the next picture explains it better), Beverly who loved every street dog as much as I did, Neha who tried death-defying poses (except this once), Gurpreet who brought all the good music (thank god for that!) and me again.
Dipti deserves an entire blog. Let me give you some background – she’s the kind of person who’ll convince us for scuba-diving and then sit on the boat waiting for us with all our phones, she’ll find the best fish thali there is and decide to become a vegetarian for that day; and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
After motivating us to keep going, you can spot her as the pink dot, way behind than the rest of us. Pretending to tie her shoe laces every 5 minutes, so, she can sit and take a break. Good job, bud!
Now, instead of exploring popular tourist destinations like Manali; my friends and I ventured into lesser known places and lived like the locals.
We trekked and built up our appetite, got breathless and swore to choose a kinder month than November to visit this awe-inspiring beauty.
You see, living in sub-zero temperature is no joke. I’m talking about -8 degrees Celsius and the likes. The first night, I thought I’d die and on another I wore all my clothes. I’m talking about two layers of thermals, a couple of sweaters and a jacket. Heck, I couldn’t even bend my elbows to grab the blanket.
Fun fact: You can’t use your touchscreen phone with your gloves on. You have to face the cold with your bare hands – whether it’s for making a phone call, clicking a picture or checking the temperature. Which is exactly why I’m not sure if it went below minus 8, because back then none of us had the nerve to keep tab.
Living like the locals also meant no heaters, in case, you were wondering.
But there were bonfires and starlit night skies.
More on that in a bit.
P.S. After our trip, some of us faced temporary Frigophobia, whether it was the office AC, a cold glass of water or even GoT references. Mumbai’s November weather felt warm for once, but we’d trade going back there (in July) in a jiffy.