A vacation is always welcomed by all. It gives us that rejuvenation to wash out all the regular stress and tension of life. But for children, vacation means not only some days of recreation and laziness in the midst of nature or in a hotel, it means a new world to them. It means endless happiness, a whole new world of wonders….the delight of discovering new things among trivial ones.
Everyone of us had our childhood experiences and we all have passed through that wonderful phase of life. I remember one of my childhood vacations to Darjeeling very much. It was memorable because I was 10 years old at that time and my sister was only 4 years, we enjoyed together a lot. So much that the memories are etched in my mind forever. My dear sis had just started to discover the world around her as a kid and I, being a little older, already began to grasp the beauty of nature and other enjoyments that are related with a vacation ( Yes, it meant a lot to me in those days to get a short respite from my studies and exams).
It was the month of October and cold had already set in its sharp claws in Darjeeling. It was extremely chilly and mother made both of us looked like a bundle of woolens. It really became my greatest entertainment to make my sister throwing tantrums every time I took off her rabbit shaped cap. During our stay, we went to the Tiger Hill one morning to witness the wonderful sunrise. Dear sis was sleeping all the way, but as we reached the sunrise point (a large crowd was already there), she woke up suddenly. After a few minutes the sun rose with all its grandeur and awesomeness, I still remember that big, round, orange ball peeping and rising up slowly, it was a spellbinding sight! All of a sudden sis said cheerfully,”I want that red ball, I’ll play with Bhaiya with it at the mall”. It made everybody laugh out there and she became very angry. But such is the innocence of little kids!
Every morning and evening we used to visit the famous mall of Darjeeling. It was much different those days from now. There were very few shops and the whole area provided an excellent view of the surrounding mountain ranges. There were millions of pigeons religiously paying visits to the tourists at a regular basis. My sister and me used to feed them every day, it was such a pleasure to watch those birds all around us. Sometimes they even sat on my shoulders too. Then there were monkeys whom sis thought to be as innocent as the pigeons. She offered them peanuts, one of them came and snatched the whole packet from her making her cry. I was really angry and chased it, it jumped up on a tree, made sounds like ‘hew-hup-humm’ and it seemed the monkey was laughing at me!! My parents and other tourists were laughing too but we were really very upset.
The foggy evenings looked so mysterious from the viewpoint of a child. I wondered from where such smoky clouds were coming up and never wanted to go outside alone after sundown. I’ve visited Darjeeling so far at least 6 times as an adult, but the charm and enjoyment of that childhood vacation were never to be found. Experienced eyes and adult wisdom have found the tours memorable in several other ways but the innocence has long gone, never to return again.
Image Courtesy : Club Mahindra