Glimpses of the divine..!

WAS walking with a friend when he talked about the bill stations in our country. “You know Bob,” he said, “you don’t have to visit the rest of the world, India has some of the most beautiful spots.” I agreed and we went over some of the exotic holiday spots.
Though I have visited and holidayed along with family quite a few of the hill stations, the visit I remember so well was the Rohtang Pass in Kulu Manali. The sudden appearance of the mighty Himalayas, peak after peak after peak, like old sages of wisdom, grouped together, not concerned with petty problems below, quiet and solid and reassuring.
“Don’t worry Bob,” they seemed to say without looking in my direction, “there’s nothing to worry about that can’t be handled higher up!” Down south I have visited the virgin hills of Yercaud, untouched those days by tourist and visitor, unspoiled by plastic bags and paper napkins. Coonoor on the Niligiri hillside was also equally beautiful though a bit crowded. Yercaud, was were we stayed with a dear friends.
Kodaikanal was divine and had an aura of mystery in the sudden appearance of old colonial bungalows and tiny church through mist and fog. My driver took me higher and higher to colder and more lush green places where the view of the lake below as bewitching.
Closer home for me has been Mahabaleshwar and Matheran. Once upon a time it was a yearly trek up to Matheran. Mahabaleshwar has always been our favourite family holiday haunt, one because I drive right up to hotel or bungalow and second because it’s not too far. I love the drive and the different cars I have driven up have never let me down unlike my sojourns to Lonavala and Khandala!
“Yes my friend,” I tell him, “India has a charm that needs no visit to the outside world, though there’s one place outside that I must tell you about. It was a small stream flowing somewhere in the mountains of Austria, close to where ‘The Sound of Music’ was shot. Like I said it was a tiny stream that flowed pleasantly down the slope. I sat by its side and lowered a leg into the calm waters. I closed my eyes and felt the Psalmist whispering into my year, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want, he makes like down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul.”
Ah that’s the feeling I get as I visit these wonderful places, a feeling of restoration, of rejuvenation of self. I believe these oasis of peace and tranquility that we visit to get rid of the cares of the everyday world have been carved and created to give us a glimpse of the Divine. Take a deep breath up there and let those divine moments live on as we come back to the ordinary below..!
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