When I read about the “Inspire that fragrance “ contest by Godrej aer, I was transported back into time about 12 years back .
Eleven years , eleven months ,11 days and a few hours … to be exact .
It was the second day of my stay in Manali (Himachal Pradesh ) , on our honeymoon .We had arrived the day before by a tiring overnight bus ride .I had been sick throughout the journey .So after reaching our hotel room ,me and my freshly minted Hubby just wanted to freshen up and rest and…some more rest .
Coming back to the day I was reminiscing about .After a night of much needed rest ,I woke up in the morning and was spellbound .It was the glorious sight of snow covered Himalayan peaks bathing in the morning sun visible from the French windows of our balcony .What a sight to behold !
Out to explore Manali ,we did the ususal rounds that all tourists do,the Hidimba temple ,the Rohtang pass,the shopping at the Mall road and stuff that all tourists do in Manali .
But that is not what comes to my mind when I think of Manali .
The name ‘Manali ‘ conjures up the wafting fragrance of the pine trees … the crisp mountain air tickling the face and the distinct smell of swaying, multi-hued wildflowers sprinkled along its rocky winding roads .
It brings the spectacle of the romantic Chinar trees, the conical Firs,the tall Deodars … .Clouds of mist floating through them.It all seems so vividly etched in my mind as if it was just yesterday .
The roadside was punctuated with lush green pastures ,verdant valleys and gentle meadows.
The city dweller in me was thrilled to actually see the green apples dangling in bunches from trees and thick shrubs full of small juicy and luscious strawberries .In fact , we ended up having only fruits throughout the rest of our stay .The heady scents of ripe fruits was irresistible .And why eat something else when you are right there in the fruit bowl of India!
I have been to many more hill stations after that .But none could recreate the magic of Manali .Maybe it was a young couple’s new- found intimacy or maybe there really was something (intoxicating ) in that air.
Something that left an imprint on my mind …. forever .