Life is a beautiful journey…
There are tips that you plan for , for a long time and then there are others that you just don’t plan enough.
My last weekend trip to Kasauli was one such “not so planned” trip and it was one of the most beautiful solo trips I’ve had in a long time.
I was invited to attend a music Festival by one of the nicest people I have known in the professional world, for whom I have great affection and respect. Affection because she is extremely warm, endearing and caring. And respect because what she does beyond her work is incredible.
She along with her husband runs a foundation to support the treatment of children who suffer from Congenital heart disorders and cancer and whose parents earn less than 10000 per month and therefore can’t afford the treatment. Through the foundation they have enabled the treatment of many such children.
Now coming back to Kasauli- I landed in Chandigarh and there was a cab waiting for me to be driven by Bittu ,my driver. We got talking and he was a very intelligent and warm person. What struck me was his big heart. We stopped on our way because I wanted to have a glass of sugarcane juice. I told him to have as well. After much persuasion, he agreed but did not let me pay. When I insisted, his simple one line response was — “madam, you are my guest, how can I take money from you.”
We reached the resort where I was staying. It was a beautiful place and my room faced the valley and the mountains. I could see the sunset and the sunrise right outside my balcony. I could hear the birds chirping and I could see the sky filled with stars. It was beautiful and perfect.
Evening 5 pm , after walking uphill I reached the point where I could hear music from a distance. As I walked towards it, the setting was lovely. There was a lawn where people were sitting down on mats. Lots of children playing around. On either side of the lawn were green colored wrought iron chairs. And right in the center was the stage where the first band had already started performing.
Visualize this — a stage surrounded by hills on all sides, clear skies, sun is about setting and there is music…I was totally taken in by this beautiful ,enchanting and melodic environment. Next 4 hours was spent with music of all kinds…from soft music to folk to head banging. All in a day. And the icing on the cake was this little girl on stage who survived two massive surgeries and thanks to the foundation was smiling and living her life. Her mother shared the story of their struggle and success.
I went back to my room with my heart full and a great sense of gratitude.
Next morning after a late breakfast, I was invited to the house of this “nicest person.” A 5 km distance turned out to be a 45 minute drive because a small town of Kasauli had traffic jams which I didn’t mind as much because t was nothing like the metro jams. People were helping each other to clear traffic along with police and everyone was extremely cooperative. A rarity in the world we live in today. The 45 minute drive was totally worth it because where I reached was no short of a paradise. A flight of stairs, I reach up to face a house which was built I 1885. And so beautifully and tastefully done up. Every piece of furniture, every painting, every photo had history behind it and that history was shared with me. I felt so nice and welcomed in this space. I don’t think I will forget this part of my trip in a long time.
Evening we were back at the resort for the last day of the music festival which was as amazing as the previous evening. And next day was the brunch at the Kasauli Army Club and then a short sightseeing trip to the church and Mall road. And I was back with Bittu who was driving me to Chandigarh airport.
Things that stood out for me :
- Inspite of going solo, not once did I feel lonely. I always had company in form of music or people.
- When people embark on the journey of doing “good” ,God is always with them. Kasauli had heavy rains two days prior to the festival, temperature dropped drastically and it seemed difficult to do anything outdoors. Everything fell in place. The sun was shining bright.
- As humans we have the tendency to cling to negativity and doubt people’s good intentions but these 2.5 days I met the nicest people from my driver to the hotel staff and everyone else who came to the festival.
- Lastly, the people who worked hard over the last few months to put this two days of magic together are the most incredible set of people I have met and I am so lucky I did.