Drained from the mid-sems and not having slept the whole night, we were yet energetic and passionate of what lay ahead. Laughing, partying and socializing all night, all way, in short insomnia became the theme for the night of the22nd of February. 37 students from the IEEE Student Branch, JMI headed towards a place far away from the busy college life, a place where Godly presence became emblazoned in our minds, the place was Mussorie- the Queen of Hills!
We started our uphill climb from Dehradun around sunrise. Swirling and twisting was our path. Beautiful and tranquil was our destination. The place dawned upon us and the cool breeze filled us with freshness of a place untouched by the vanity of civilization.
We reached our hotel ‘Valley View’ in a state of humble anticipation. The hotel must have been five stories up from the road level but thankfully, we had porters to take the luggage. We refreshed ourselves and later, hogged on the tempting breakfast. Breakfast was served in the balcony cum lounge of the hotel, and even while eating we could not resist the awe-inspiring view of Dehradun.
At noon, a visit to Kempty fall had been planned. Few sleepy heads stayed back but majority were gamed. Kempty falls, water leaving the surface and falling into space and then bang, surface again! It was one of the most mesmerizing sights any of us had ever witnessed.
In the evening, we returned to our hotel and to the concomitant hot drinks and pakodas. For the evening, we were free to visit Mussorie on our own. The main road of Mussorie was the mall road on which our hotel was located as well. We set out in different groups. Mall road turned out to be a haven for arcade gamers, shoppers and as well as chocolate aficionados. The famous ‘Chic Chocolates’ confectionary shop attracted most and we were treated to delicious homemade chocolates.
It was ten by the time everyone arrived back at the hotel. Dinner was ready to be served. The piping hot dinner was a welcome reprieve from the chilly weather. After dinner, few people went for a walk, some gossiped and more than half of the gang enamored themselves with the game of cards. The game lasted up to two hours after which everyone finally gave up to their yawns!
Next day we visited Dhanaulti. We were expecting to see ice and snow, and fortunately, luck was with us. We started from Mussoorie at 10 and by noon, Dhanaulti was witnessing a battle of snowballs. It also gave us a breathtaking view of snow-capped peaks of the mighty Himalayas. Peace and the serenity of the place was overwhelming. Faraway from the humdrum of Delhi, one would have wished to stay here until eternity.
By evening, we were back to Mussorie and were free to explore. Shopping and gaming topped the list again! All tired, we returned to the hotel for dinner and back to the game of cards. The beautiful night under the blanket of twinkling stars provided the perfect example of nature at its best.
We had to wake up early the next day, as we had to go to Rishikesh for river rafting. As per plan, we left after breakfast. We reached the river rafting spot by noon and were soon geared up for some major adrenaline rush. Initially, we were all told sweet tales of river rafting but when we actually faced the reality, only God knows where our valor went!
There were three rafts, and each one of us was instructed on how to save one’s own life in case of falling overboard. Surely, at that instant, most of us would have being cursing ourselves of getting into this situation. Nevertheless, it was an incredible experience. We faced five rapids, with the first one being the smallest, yet the scariest. All of us were hanging onto dear life! Other raft people came up with a strange Swahili chant to muster up guts for the rapids! We also took a swim in the freezing water. Finally, after two hours, we touched the shore and it was a relief to have solid ground under our feet once again.
We changed to dry clothes on reaching the bus and by five, were ready to bid adieu and to leave for Delhi. All of us were starving and soon we stopped at a motel. We must have surely tested the speed and the ability of the poor cook. With filled stomachs, we were finally off to the old exciting life of college. In all, a weekend spent great with friends with laughter, frolic and fun dominating it all!