The days when I was shooting in Dalhousie, himachal, one of the mornings me and my photographer bunch hit off to khajiyar. We had a very informative driver who drove us through the ghats and showed us places around and my bunch being photographers too, had there ears to the information doled out. We never sat up playing antakshri or some travel games. I absorbed every little information he gave, soaked the air which had a pretty smell of the pine trees and my ear druns percussed to the tunes of the beautiful birds who sang.
In scorching heat The way you would fill up your water bottles till brim, the same way I filled up my lungs with the cleanest and coolest air, till I though they would explode.
Though the car I was traveling was a local tourist TATA sumo, it felt better than traveling in an Audi or a Porsche. Never got such a peace of mind. The scene passing by us as our car moved ahead with maple and pine trees on the side, a carpet of maple leaves which made boulevard for us as our car rolled over them and they flew in the air. We halted at a spot which was absolutely breath taking. A beautiful tree with orange leaves and lovely blue sky to compliment. Pheew!! I just wanted to sit there and stare at the lovely painting god has painted for us. God is a hell of an artist. As we moved ahead our driver stopped at a point and mapped a way for us through the wood to the point where everyone was reaching by the car. It would have taken extra thirty minutes. This was totally worth it. We got down and followed the route which probably was marked by nature lovers like us. As we walked it was something I had seen in wallpapers and a pretty wooden bridge which was made by a huge tree which might have fallen because of some wild wind some years back. There was pin drop silence none of us talked much to each other as everyone was busy soaking this beauty in our systems perpetually. This is how our hearts must look when we are in love or when we are blissful. Not like the broken and dug up roads garnished with pollution. We rambled down for another thirty minutes and saw something that took our breath away.
This was a total ecstasy to our cameras.
One of my friend from the bunch wasn’t with us was still making his way through the woods. He was last to join us on the khajiyar ground. We were all rolling on the green carpet lawn and getting our foot relaxed. Mean while my dear friend tawde urf Pratik came from the woods and joined us. he gathered our bunch and asked me to stand in front of him. He caught me off guard he went down on his knees and gave me the most memorable gift ever. Somehow I had never like the concept of gifting flowers to each other, coz eventually they die and the sight of those dead flowers makes me hate the person who has gifted me those flowers. But this incident totally changed the way I look at flowers. While we walked ahead Pratik waited up in the wood and picked up a flower of dry wood and attached a stem to it and presented it to me. I was joyful because I had done something that fetched such a gift which will in no way die nor will the friendship that I share with him.
I love to travel coz it’s on my travel that I meet people who fill my bag of memories. This was the best token of friendship anyone has ever given me. I will never be able to have a high regard for any other gift other than this one, be it a diamond. For the reason that, this gift was given to me by a person who didn't invest money in it but invested his heart, mind and emotions in it.
Thank you so much.