Mountain rain

Among a host of other things, summer at Lucknow has come to mean a trip to Mukteshwar. Like I've said before, Mukteshwar has none of the glamour of its closeby cousin Nainital, but is ideal for a laid back vacation. The BIL and SIL, both doctors dealing with rather morbid branches, desperately need breaks to keep themselves sane. They were the ones who discovered the place for us. While the BIL loves driving, the SIL braves a bad case of road sickness over twelve hours for her bit of peace. After more than a dozen trips they decided to invest in a tiny cottage. And so we were super excited this time round.

The journey is a bit irksome but holds a wealth of beauty. Fields stretch out on either side of the road, golden with ready-to-be harvested wheat, while others are laid out with neatly tied up wheat stacks. Scores of brick kilns fly by with chimneys spouting black smoke and thousands of bricks lined up in various stages of baking. Towns, villages, bullockcarts, tractors, tea shops, dhabas... it's not so bad.

Braving a small car breakdown ....

and a minor jam

we reached the mountains.

36 degrees to 13 degrees. Bliss.
The cottage, right at the top of the mountain was a dream with a super view of the hills.
And then .. it decided to rain.

That made it really cold. I have to add, that though born a Lakhnawi, I'm more a Mumbaikar where the cold is concerned.. 17 degrees and my woollens are out. While the BIL reveled in the 'pleasant' weather I shivered in my borrowed jacket. Then we had a hailstorm to the complete delight of the kids. They couldn't stop themselves from grabbing the bits of ice, despite our attempts to keep them dry.

The rains ensured we stayed indoors. Nobody really minded. We downed endless cups of tea and played rounds of dumb charades and the kids watched 'Bhootnath' for about a hundred times (since that was the only available film) then gave up and joined us.

From then on the game went a bit haywire with Naisha miming Cinderella (pretending to look at her watch and running away in horror) and Hrit miming 'crying'. Films, fairy tales, books and plain words were all included. When we drifted off chatting, the kids scooted off to the small resort close by for a turn at the carom and TT tables. The resort was also where we turned to for lunch and dinner when we didn't feel like cooking.

When it stopped raining we made 'shopping' trips to the quaint little Bhatelia market. Oh we can shop anywhere no matter that all we did pick up were tomatoes, potatoes and some not-so-fresh coconut burfee.

Now, it's back to the plains. Lot's remains to be done.. remember the food list! Besides, I'm off to Dehradun  this weekend for my second tryst with the mountains with the other side of the family. I have to keep everyone happy, you see.

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