This post is a continuation of the Manali tale and my birthday celebration. Undoubtedly, it was the best birthday ever!
As the clock struck 12, I started receiving calls & messages which woke up my mother. She wished me! It was after 4 years that she wished me, gave me the special birthday hug & kiss! My father called from the next room as he was staying in a room next to us. When the barrage of wishes halted for the time being, I slept off.
Generally people start birthdays by visiting temples seeking God’s blessings. Even I started the day by visiting temple but the difference was, instead of God, I seeked blessings from demoness Hidimba!
From the very day we entered Manali my eyes were searching for local dogs as they are really cute with extra fur & fluffy tails! My wish was granted! In the temple premises a light brown coloured healthy & sturdy doggy! My father whistled at him & he obliged to stop. I was elated! We clicked pics with him & I must say that he was a very well behaved canine!
That’s Daddy & Doggy!
Next I clicked pictures with an Angora rabbit with a reasonable charge of Rs. 10!
Our next stops were Ghatotkach temple, museum and Vashisht temple.
Finally the time came for which I was waiting for last 24 hours! We entered the paragliding camp.
I was assigned a pilot who would fly with me. I would refer to him as wingman. Cute guy he was! *Blush*!!!
We took a ropeway to reach above 18,000 ft. There was another long trek to reach the place from where we would take off. A very sweet lady accompanied me. She is a trainer at the mountaineering institute. Then came the time. My wingman & another person harnessed me tightly, so much so that I couldn’t even move. I was scared to bits, honestly! I had half a mind to chicken out. The only thing I kept telling myself was, if so many people can do it, why can’t I? Wingman said you have to run & jump off from the cliff. I was like how can I ever do that!!! But when the time arrived, I saw the parachute going up & wingman screamed “Run madam run!” And voila! I was flying!!!
I could sense numerous butterflies dancing in my stomach. My heart stopped beating. I cherished every moment up there. I saw the mountain peaks, tree tops, clouds so close to me as if I could just touch them! I looked down. River beas looked like a tiny silver foil. The people… I couldn’t really identify them as everything appeared sooo small!
The wingman did some twists and turns which thrilled me! But me being not those expressive kinds, couldn’t really scream out loud. After spending quite a while on the sky, it was time to come down. The landing was smooth & I was too elated to describe how I felt at the moment. The world was spinning around me n all I wanted to do was to sit back, and rewind the experience in my brain again & again!
That’s me up there! It was literally breathtaking
After that we came back, lunched & slept for a while. I couldn’t get over my achievement and received oodles of congratulatory messages from friends & well wishers! Most of them couldn’t believe I actually did it!!! Even I couldn’t? Now I aim to go for sky diving & scuba diving.
In the evening we went to Johnson’s Cafe for dinner. It’s a beautiful place! The decor & the ambience were too good. It had a very English/Italian feel in it. I so wish it was winter so that I could see the fire place with the burning logs in it. The place also had a beautiful garden outside.
Lovely blue flowers in the garden
We had trout fish fingers & a white sauce pasta.
Happy, full & beaming, we came back being absolutely content. My dear parents, I can’t thank you enough for the lovely time!
The day ended with an absolute cracker. We discovered that there’s an unfinished brownie.
Ma: Come on, eat this brown cake.
Me: It’s called brownie Ma, nor brown cake!
Ma: But dogs are called Brownie na!
I just gasped, fainted & passed out!!!
Below are some really funny & interesting posters & grafittis!
Punjabi movie poster!
Outside a public loo
My father is so much in love with Manali that he wants to settle there and manage an apple orchard! Our driver Deepu sounded too excited & invited me too to be a part of life in Manali. In a quest to know how I can earn my living, he asked me, “Madam aap kitni padhi likhi hai?” Me: “Post graduation ki hu.” Deepu: Baapre, phir to aap yahan k school ki principal ban jana! Main to graduation bhi nahi complete kiya!”
He said something which was truly evident. In the hills, there is no dearth of resources to earn a living. If you want to lead a lavish life, you may not be satisfied, but if you want to be happy & a fulfilling life, this is the place for you.” Amen! 🙂