It seems that the general psychology nowadays has changed and most of us tend to get bored of the routine too easily and too quickly. It is to escape this mundane routine of life in a small town that I feel the need for frequent small vacations.
Mussoorie, a beautiful hill station had served the purpose aptly for a weekend escapade, but lately it has almost become a suburb of Dehradun - with all the hustle bustle and an overflow of human species. Constant and ever increasing flow of tourists with the resultant urbanization has robbed the hill station of its erstwhile charm. Therefore, this time we went to Dhanaulti instead, which was around 28 km drive from the picture palace end of Mussoorie.
Dhanaulti was like a dream. It felt as if we are high up in the clouds, or above them. Unlike other hill stations, there was no commercialization, except a few kiosks selling tea and light snacks. The air was crispy fresh, pollution and humidity-free. All of the hill station was just a ridge on the mighty Himalayas and in the name of development were two ‘eco parks’. The parks had numerous varieties of trees and a host of birds flocking to revel in the relatively virgin nature.
There were, thankfully, very few hotels and restaurants. The chief attraction was untouched nature and the wonderful weather. ‘Eco parks’ had several attractions for kids in the form of rides and swings. Acres of green area on a hilly terrain with a cool mist engulfing you now and then, amidst the chirping of birds with scant humanity made the experience really unforgettable.
On our way back we dropped in Musoorie for an hour or so. It was a rare stroke of good luck that we found Ruskin Bond sitting in his favorite book shop at mall road. His books have been a part of my growing up years and now they are a part of my daughter’s. Without wasting a moment she was inside the shop, requesting her favorite author for an autograph, and with which our dear ‘Bond’ promptly obliged.