A River Runs through it…

It?s a beautiful day today at Hyderabad? the clouds, the breeze.. sort of hinting at an impending monsoon. The weather makes me so reminiscent of Kumaun.

I did my engineering from a college situated in a Himalayan Valley in Uttaranchal.

Heard of names like Nainital, Almora, Ranikhet? ? well Dwarahat lies in District Almora?. and to describe its location? the hill station of Ranikhet adorns the top of the mountains.. Dwarahat lies in the valley beneath.

I arrived at the engineering college ( A Government College? then a part of Uttar Pradesh), a bit sad at taking admission in one of the lesser known institutes of the state, quite scared of being ragged to death by my seniors and somewhat sentimental at the thought of being away from home for the first time in my life.

The first glimpse of the place was heartening enough?. A sprawling campus, so green that it seemed unreal. Pine trees, a winding road, terraced fields, a small temple, the ubiquitous Kumauni women, the Silver glinting as they worked the fields? and to top it all, a river ran through it. Well not exactly a river, but a small stream.

The next few months were filled with?me being ragged, us freshers sitting together in rooms waiting for the seniors to some on their midnight calls, mass exodus for our homes and eventually the Freshers Night. Five months into the college, finally the ragging came to an end.

The most enduring memory about my college for me was that no two sunsets were ever alike? something was always different? the colors, the sky ? something changed every time.

Anyway, I think I am rambling again?

This post is really meant to be , about the Rains in the hills? and trust me.. it rained a lot over there. There was no specific season for a rain drenched afternoon in Dwarahat? a perfectly sunny day could have turned into a wet and bitterly cold afternoon before you knew it.

It would rain in torrents, but the water would always drain away down the valley, making our small stream look almost, like a river for some time.

The surrounding mountains touched higher ground than the clouds themselves?. Sometimes you could see the cloud bank forming against a hill side.

We used to walk in the rains .. literally. Not caring about how cold it was, and that we really did not have another pair of jeans for the classes tomorrow. We walked along the college roads? and being a small guy, I had more than my share of being dunked in ditches full of rain water.

Almost every walk concluded at Negi Ji?s dhaba at the college gate? Ginger Tea, Hot Chicken on fluffy rice, or the local speciality ?Bhutua? ( Chicken mince spiced like there is no tomorrow !!)? and there we sat? for hours on end. Sometimes the silences interspersed with a Jalebi or two.. Sometimes embroiled in a never ending game of carom?

The days it rained, the nights were so cold that a window left open was perceived as the most heinous crime that could have been committed by a room mate. Room heaters, the most essential article in our possession, doubled as the sole source of heat, and also, the only way we had hot milk, or steaming Maggi at night. Nestled in blankets, attempts to study had always been futile, our eyes drooping before we knew.

As I sit today, I my own fabric covered cubicle, I wonder if its raining today in Dwarahat.

Yes, today morning?. The Hyderabadi weather took me back to that valley in the Kumaun hills.

Comments from the past:

Jaan
15 Apr 2005, 4:00am

How wonderful to discover your blog ~ I found myself going back and reading each and everyone of your earlier posts! WOW. Thanks for making my day ๐Ÿ˜€ Btw, my cousin married a Tamil Iyengar Brahmin guy and they are doing fine. Hope you like sambar ๐Ÿ™‚

Ashish
15 Apr 2005, 8:48am

Hey Thanks… and as far as Sambar is concerned, I believe its an acquired taste… though i have not really been able to appreciate it even after being in Southern India for almost a year now !!!

Radhika
16 Apr 2005, 9:55pm

I love the way you write…really.I am right there with you, going thru ur experiences, when i read your piece. And am not saying this because i love you. Is it possible to be jealous & proud at the same time…? ๐Ÿ™‚

Ashish
17 Apr 2005, 4:32pm

THAT fellow bloggers, was Radhika making her debut on my blog… anyway, she is here to stay… in more ways than one.

Jaan
18 Apr 2005, 10:17pm

How cuuuuuuute! You both are just awwwwwwwwww! Welcome to FHBlogs.

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