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A Sun Dappled Sunday at Selim Hill

A Sun Dappled Sunday at Selim Hill

I was determined to sleep late. It was a Sunday after all. However, the Sun, on its special day, beckoned me out. After months of monsoon clouds and rain, Selim Hill seemed bleached in the sun. The sun guided me to look at the hills. What a treat awaited me – lo and behold….. the snowy white range was peeping out shimmering in its silver glory. My faith was renewed that even though invisible most of the time, you are always there watching over us.

A lazy and sinful breakfast under the Faraway Tree. I shamelessly gobbled the samosas completely ignoring the weighing machine which is climbing higher than the hills that I should be climbing. We admired the width and length of the shining Teesta River, completely visible today, the river glared back at us – Don’t Stare!

Was something moving near the rose climber archway? Yes, it was Ruskin Bond’s Rikki Tikki Tavi - a mongoose! That was another first for me. Unafraid, it walked around my garden or was I walking around the mongoose’s territory. The flowers also seemed to be stretching themselves out. They had thrown open their doors and windows to all the bees and butterflies. Following their example, we threw open all the doors and windows of Second Chance House and let the house sunbathe.

I took my book and lay down on the grass to read. I lasted all of 8.5 minutes. I think with age, the comfort of a couch is more inviting. As I read a few pages on the couch, I felt I may have carried back a dry leaf in my skirt. Soon the dry leaf increased its movement. Startled, I brushed my skirt and a moth flew out! Such a day warranted a Pink Gin.

While we read in quiet companionship, sipping our drinks, we watched two butterflies tango to the song of the cicadas. As the day progressed, the chitter, chatter of the birds gradually dropped, the warm sun and cool breeze lulled me into a sun and shade slumber. I was neither fully awake nor fully asleep.

Procrastination can be a pleasure and I indulged myself completely. Promising to work after lunch, our leisurely lunch got further elongated by some local stories. A leopard had visited the village the night before and had to be scared away with fire-crackers! Obviously, this was more important than the Dorje mails and whatsapp messages that had to be answered. We had yet another pot of Dorje Chamomile Tea to soothe our nerves.

It was then time for a long walk before sunset. Day turned into dusk and conversation meandered through politics, family, friends and business (we are Marwaris you know). As night approached and the sky switched on the stars, I was content that I had spent the day well. God willing, we will keep the Sunday sacred at Second Chance House in Selim Hill Tea Estate.

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