Among my Souvenirs – A Journal

I packed the last piece of clothing and zipped up my bag. The time had finally come, my road trip to the beautiful small hill station Nainital. I picked up my bags and bade farewell to my parents and younger brother and set my bags on front porch and waited for my friends to pick me up. And soon enough I saw a huge jeep coming my way, and stop at the gate of my house, picking up my bags I ran towards the jeep and dumped my bags in the backseat. In the driver’s seat sat my best friend, Aviral and shotgun seat was empty, in the backseat were my other friends, Paarth, Archit, Rachna and Yamini 😀 .

Packing Up!
Packing Up!

I sat in the shotgun seat and Aviral started the jeep, and none of my friends nor had I ever thought that this would be the best trip we’d ever have. From New Delhi, Nainital is some 276 km far and it takes around 5 hours to reach. On the way we had some light breakfast and reached Nainital at 1 in the afternoon. We checked in our hotels and I took out my camera, and started clicking random photographs, there was so much beauty here and it felt as if the lens couldn’t capture enough.

Nainital Lake and Zoo
Nainital Lake and Zoo

My friends were already fast asleep so I took my camera and a shoulder bag and headed out, Nainital was picturesque and the beauty was breathtaking. It’s a small city and soon I found myself standing in front of the lake and at that exact moment the sun was setting, the sky felt as if it were on fire. Orange coloured sky with streaks of red and yellow in between was breathtakingly beautiful the sun was resplendent and I took out my camera and took a picture, the picture couldn’t capture enough of the beautiful scene.

and i was reminded of this quote by John Ruskin..

Mountains are the beginning and the end of all natural scenery.

The sun had now set and temperatures had suddenly dropped, it was freezing cold now and I could feel the chill to my bones as I was just wearing a thin sweatshirt. I jogged back to my hotel and saw that my friends had got up and were ready to explore the city, after I was docked up with a thick jacket we went out. The streets were lighted up and we could see small boats in the lake, we toured around the mall road and checked each and every local market. After dinner was done we headed back to our hotel quickly changed and saw all the photographs we’d clicked so far, they were awesome!

The Almighty Sun!
The Almighty Sun!

The next day we left for Bhimtal and Nakuchiyatal, the beauty there was mesmerizing, violet and pink flowers made the lakes boundary. We all stood there and then Archit had a crazy idea that we all should take a swim in the freezing lake, and we being the insane people we were quickly changed and jumped into the lake.

I could feel my toes and fingertips going numb until I could not feel them, the chilly water made me shiver. Some people were shouting at us, telling us to get out as it was freezing and we might get hypothermia, but we did not. The ice-cold water was refreshing and made me feel all the more alive. Rachna and Yamini were splashing around and Paarth being the champion swimmer was showing off all his moves. He went underwater and then pulled Yamini down with him and she shrieked loudly and smacked his shoulder and he chuckled.

I stood at the edge of the lake and laughed at my friends, we were one crazy lot. We all had decided to take this one week vacation because our final exams had just got over and we all had passed with flying colours, and now after a month or so we’ll be off to various colleges in various parts of the country. So this was like the last time we would meet and then we would meet after a year or so. Suddenly I was underwater and was gasping for air, and then someone pulled me out, it was Aviral and he was laughing hard and was clutching his stomach. I smacked his shoulder and we played for some more minutes and got out shivering.

We had spent a week here and I still hadn’t figured out what to buy for my friends, it was very early in the morning but nonetheless I grabbed a coat and headed out. It was still dark outside but I could see the streaks of sunlight piercing the midnight blue sky. As I was strolling around the mall road I saw a mother with her son, the boy was very young hardly 3 and was clutching his mother’s leg tightly and was giggling loudly. He splashed some water from the lake at her mother and giggled again his mother smiled at him lovingly and splashed some water at him too and he squealed in delight. I took

out my camera and took a picture of that scene, the clicking sound made them turn around and the boy squealed again in delight.

The young mother looked at me and smiled and I went and showed her the picture, she thanked me for it and requested me to get that picture developed, and I readily agreed. Then she led me to her small candle shop and gave me one candle, it was a white candle and on its front half a very delicately painted angel was holding a newborn child. When I asked for the price she refused and said that when I’ll give her the picture she’ll consider that to be my payment for the candle. I left the shop with a smile on my face though it was just a candle it was the best souvenir I had ever collected.

I reached my hotel and saw that my friends’ bags were packed and they were ready, I did some last minute packing and then we left for Delhi. On the way we sang songs, recalled some funny memories and looked at all the pictures we had clicked so far there were easily over 300 pictures. First was Yamini and Paarth’s house we hugged them tightly and bid farewell, next was Rachna and then was mine. Aviral stopped the jeep right infront of my gate and turned off the ignition, and turned to face me.

Its True some what…  Drive slow and enjoy the scenery – drive fast and join the scenery.

“So mate, I’ll see you after a year then, it will be a long time will miss you man.” He said and patted my shoulder and gave me a half hug.

“Will miss you too man, have loads of fun in London and don’t forget your friends.” I said and he smiled and I stepped down from the jeep and waved at him and entered my house. My mother had already left for her office and my brother for his school, I put my bags down on the floor and took out my camera. I started flipping through the photographs and I stopped at the photo of the young mother and her son, I looked at the photo and smiled and took out the candle she had given me. I put it up on my bedside table, among my souvenirs, this is the best.

This is a opportunity given by Ambi Pur.

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