Read 1st part here – Get Busy Livin’ – Delhi, Nainital, Mussorie, Jim Corbett #SaraiRohilla
2nd part – GBL #2 KemptyFalls
3rd part – GBL #3 TheGanges
4th part – GBL #4 InTheAir
Wooden structure, polished and sturdy was noticed in the gardens at the backside of Mapple Hermitage. Slowly it filled with fresh morning faces and mobile phones and post some clicks we were enroute Nainital. Blue waters and onto them colorful wooden boats summed up Naini Lake sitting in the vicinity of the Ayarpatta hills. We mounted one of them and sailed across, disturbing peaceful ducks and oars splashing waters. Going around the crescent shaped lake we witnessed the town of Nainital surrounding the lake with settlements and temples. On one side lay the mountains throwing their green reflections onto the pristine waters and on the other bordered the Mall Road, the shopping hub, upon which we found ourselves walking in a fine sun and some breeze.
Crusty on the outside and with spicy-tangy water filled, Gol Gappe were served into the bowls at our first stop at the Mall Road. For the next delicacy, the patty was slipped onto the oily tawa as boiled lentils and chat was added on in the bowl, putting the crackling aloo patty into it, the taste incredibly blended with fineness of the spices. Marching forward there came rows of shops selling locally made handicrafts, winter wear, wooden antiques including vintage clocks and replicas of age old portrait frames. The labyrinth of small lanes were never ending as we immersed more and more into it. At the end of the walkway came the Uttarakhand High Court perched upon the slope. The building was bright white with the British era architectural style imbibed into it. Adjacent to it was the Administrative Training Centre and the residence of the Chief Justice. Coming out of the High Court complex we had a trisection before us with one leading towards the Capital, we took the other one, the one that traveled from the other side of the lake.
The shops were closing their shutters now and it wasn’t even dusk. We entered a half opened cake shop and got to know about a curfew that was initiated. The owner was a amiable guy and suggested we try out the momos that were in making inside the kitchen. Stuffed with fresh veggies with the goodness of perfectly diced mushrooms, the crunchy fried balls and a fairly pungent sauce were arguably one of the best I had eaten. Adding to it we also ordered a Rum Cake that was also made indigenously and was unlike anything I had seen before.
We were back on the road and saw people emerging from a stone pathway that was going upwards. That was the way to the Tiffin Top upon the Ayarpatta hill. The call back time of 4 decided upon earlier in the day by our organizers was long gone as we came down now near a dargah on the other side of the lake. In a mood of exploration, we undertook another of the road following a trail and returned at the meeting point a little late much to the amusement of our fellow explorers. Dusk was setting on the waters of Naini Lake as the hills dotted lights that matched the faded twinklings in the dark hue of the evening sky. The bus now returned to Bhimtal, a good 4 hour journey that had a pit stops for tea and some local TV entertainment
Continuing on our late night adventures from the previous night, we got ready after dinner with our jackets and ear plugs, when the ‘Hangover’ moment struck!
“There’s a freaking Rottweiler in the corridor!”
screamed a friend as I was busy finding the key. We peeped through the door to actually find a well built canine, with shark like dead eyes roaming on the second floor of the hotel building at 1 in the night. We contained our excitement for next 20 minutes raking our brains to find a way out. It was an odd situation to be locked inside one’s hotel room because there’s a damn dog outside. We opened the latch again. And he was gone. We came out and stood at the railing. Except for the loud music playing in one the rooms there was absolute silence in the hotel. The spiral design meant every other room was visible to us and we suddenly noticed the Rottweiler on the floor below us. We took the elevator and escaped through the lobby to continue our light strolls.
The cottage was still there and the light still burned on that floor. We now came at the back of the hotel, right under the room where loud music was being played. Imagine four eerie looking figures standing in the gardens below your windows staring back at you with hoods on their heads in the dark of midnight. Post this, we roamed around some more as this was our last night at the hotel, before we entered from the first floor door. In the chain of the events, we had forgotten about our watchful dark knight only to realised him staring back with his twitched brows and broad mouth looking confused as much as we were not-really-excited! We smiled and threw the best friendly faces while going back to the ground floor to take elevator back home. As I quietly closed the door after everyone got inside, I noticed our newly made acquaintance making his way onto a sofa, probably calling it a night!
[To Be Continued…]
Read Ahead – GBL #6 Mafia!