Friday, December 07, 2012
Aerial View Of Nainital Lake
The Nainital Lake--another View
The Bhimakali Temple at Sarahan
Sudhir and I along with our children travelled extensively--specially in North India.Those days we had a pair of miniature Lhasa Apsos whom thanks to the lack of Kennels in Bombay we couldn't leave behind and had to carry with us wherever we went.The first trip we did with the Dogs was to Nainital and Kashmir in May 1983.After that it became a regular feature to carry them around with us and there are some really hilarious incidents that took place due to this.
This first trip of ours carrying Ming (the male) and Tina (the female) began with a Flight to Delhi. Sudhir had a Brief in the Supreme Court just before the start of the Vacation and we decided that Delhi would be the starting point of our Summer vacation.Since this was the beginning of keeping Pets in our home, we had no Knowledge of what carrying Dogs on board involved.Luckily the Pilot had a pair of similar Lhasa Apsos and he very generously allowed us to carry them on board.That both of them were petrified and clinging to me for dear life made things easier for 1 hour 45 minutes Flight to Palam. Once there we faced another hurdle--getting permission to keep them with us in the Hotel Suite we were booked into!!Luckily here too Dogs were welcome so that was another hurdle cleared.Those days it was me who looked after both Ming and Tina--and much to our daughters' and Sudhir's chagrin Mummy was the focal point of their life!!Specially Tina---she felt that sharing me with the rest of the family was being very magnanimous---if she felt that I was too absorbed in something that didn't include her--she'd push her cuddly,fat little body into mine--and pant away---sighing occasionally--into my poor ear!!Imagine the heat of sultry Bombay weather and a furry little body pressed hard into one side!!!
A Suite that had been booked for us was on the Ground Floor of the Hotel and had an enclosed Balcony.There was a Marble Trellis that acted as the enclosure and the filigreed pattern in the Marble let the cool morning Air in from the adjoining Gardens--carrying with it a whiff of Nature.We removed Ming and Tina's leashes and they began exploring their new environments--and I began unpacking for the week we'd be spending here.suddenly Sayali let out a yell--and dived towards the Marble Enclosure---our fat little Tina had managed to wriggle through an aperture in the filigree pattern !!With our hearts in our mouths we rushed towards the main door and on opening it found roly poly Tina all in one piece sitting there--thumping her thick bushy blonde tail and grinning all over her face with excitement and delight!!Relieved to see her back I never the less had to lay down the groundrules--so a few firm "Nos' and 2-3 hard spanks on her plump little butt did the trick--she'd look longingly at those tiny apertures but wouldn't dare to venture out again!!
We were joined in Delhi a week later by our family friends--Narayanda and Pushpaben----along with their two children Samir and Sonal. Our original plan was to proceed to Kashmir but it seems someone told Narayanda that Kashmir would be boring???? for an entire month's stay--so we decided to spend the earlier two weeks at another gem of a Hill Station named Nainital. Getting there involved a long Bus ride lasting 13 hours--leaving at Dawn in the morning and reaching there at Sunset---to a beautiful Sunset over the Emerald Green waters of the Naini Lake--a sight that is still fresh in my mind!!Nain means Eye and Tal means Lake--according to legend Shiva's Consort Sati's eye had fallen here--hence the name Nainital!!The bustling Mall Road is choc a bloc with many beautiful Lake facing Hotels and in one of these Sudhir managed to get us aSuite on the ground floor once more.We moved into this and once more Ming and Tina got aquainted with their new surroundings.
At Nainital the beautiful Emerald waters of the Lake are a sight to marvel at when these reflect the Sunrays at both Sunrise and Sunset.The deep velvet Indigo of the Sky gradually pales into a delicate Pink blush,deepening into a rosy Gold hue as the Sun rises behind the tall Mountains surrounding the Lake.The water begins to dance and sparkle like Diamonds on the surface as the Rays reach it and reflect off it.The cool surroundings like the Bridle path around the edges of the Lake is shadowed by the Mountains---but surprisingly the Lake catches the Sun!!Living as we did opposite the Lake it was one of Sudhir's and my favourite pastime--drinking our early morning Tea in the Verandah overlooking the Lake.After our baths and Breakfast the day would be spent leisurely strolling down the Mall Road and eating at the lovely little Eateries lining it--the favourite one being a place called Nanak's further down the Mall Road.Perennial favourites like the "Chholey-Bhaturey" "Stuffed Vegetable/Paneer Parathas","Samosas" and "Kachories" would be served piping hot off the Stove--if one was not careful one could burn one's tongue---why one--in my hurry to dig in I've most often been there--and done that!!
Boat rides on the Lake were another favourite pastime---as also was playing Scrabble each afternoon and night.This beautiful Lake is very deep--they say that if somebody drowns in the Lake the bodies rarely float to the surface---the Vegetation at the bottom is what the body gets caught in.Like all other Hill Stations Nainital too has it's fair share of Temples dedicated to the Goddess called either Sati or Durga and Legends regarding Her.It is also a favourite destination for Honeymooners from all over India.We were lucky to catch the beautiful Sunsets here too---the rays of the setting Sun turning from Gold to a fiery Orange,then Crimson and finally a golden Rose as Violet fingers of Darkness would begin to steal in when Twilight fell.For me however the most fascinating sight was a Full Moon night that we were lucky enough to experience.The full Moon rose slowly in the Sky--looking like a Gold and Cream ball of Cheese and then suddenly everything was bathed in the incandescent glow of Moonlight.The trees bordering the Lake were sharp shadows--unmoving,quiet and still and the sharp silhouttes of the Mountains etched out as dark shadowy Sentinels overlooking the Lake.The Silvery gleams of Moonlight bounced off the Water on the rippling surface--the entire Picture bathed in clear,cool,White Light---only the lapping sound of the waves against the Shore breaking the stillness of the night. Sudhir and I are have been very lucky--both of us enjoyed Nature and for us these Vacations were a time to unwind completely and relax.Today our daughters look back fondly on those days and treasure the Memories of the Time we spent together as a family.