May 20, 2011

Letters to Lois - Hora Thatch

Dear Lois,

Dawn broke today, with ominous clouds on the horizon after a night of torrential downpour. As we started, the sun peeked through briefly and then went back into slumber behind the clouds. The road to Hora started with the village of Segli with its wood and slate houses and colorful looms and smiling people gathered here and there in each other's porches.

The village quickly gave way to the pine forests, it was here that the rain moved from a pleasant drizzle to a downpour. We huddled under a plastic sheet to break for lunch. The silence as we ate was broken only by the pitter patter of the rain on the plastic. It was sheer music, peppered now and then by someone giggling or a word in jest.

As we waited for the rain to let up, I stepped out, just to feel it on my face, to be grateful for the all encompassing poncho (generously lent by Vivek Rengaraj) and the joy of splashing in the rain again. We started our hike into the pine forests in the rain.

After a long while, the rain finally let up just about enough for the clouds to move in and envelop the pines in an eerie mist. It was in this mist that we reached the campsite located at 9000 feet. This remains my favourite campsite of them all. Tall pines surrounded the little yellow tents with sheep grazing around them. It was then that I saw your note.

Hot mugs of tomato soup were passed along with hotter debates on life and times. And gradually as day light faded and the mist blew away, the night gave us the most brilliantly lit sky with a sliver of a moon. As i sat out alone, gazing and feeling supremely blessed, I thought I saw a shooting star, but was too awestruck to wish upon it. Besides, when you behold a sky like that, it feels odd to want more.