"I go to the hills when my heart is lonely
I know I will hear what I've heard before
My heart will be blessed with the sound of music
And I'll sing once more..."
Wanderlust. It all came back with a morning watch of that darling of a film. Once again that desperate longing for the hills. The itch to sniff the piney mountain air. Where the sun is honest and the people simple-hearted. Where windows open to silent, sagely peaks. Where serpentine roads climb in a moody fashion. Where life does not mean getting gagged by work and expectations ...
While I pine for all this in my heart of hearts, I have been cooped up for a few days with a stubborn throat infection that just refuses to leave. And bouts of feverishness make it even more worse. The hills, the pines, the people - all seem far, far away. It's a terrible feeling, to be at one place and to leave one's soul languishing in another. Much more terrifying than that is to be surrounded by people and yet feel the most crushing pang of loneliness, because nothing they say makes sense to the world inside your head and vice versa. So for now, I'll have to do with Prajwal Parajuly's The Gurkha's Daughter that brings eight colorful tales from the Himalayan foothills to my arid Hyderabad doorstep. The debut of a brilliant 27-year-old, the simple yet deeply humane stories, not for once fail to mesmerize with their tender storytelling. The aroma of steamy momos, the reverberating serenity of the gompas, the ubiquitous prayer flags framed against the blue backdrop of alpine skies, the omnipresent Kanchenjunga, the murky waters of the winding Teesta - I see them all in the faint yellow of the afternoon light streaming through the bedroom windows. As I had seen them, wide-eyed and hypnotized, in a freezing winter of 2007. So yes, the hill junkie is satiated for now.
And whoever came up with the honey-ginger-pepper tea for such sore and croaky times - may you be blessed forever!