By D N Singh
It was a foggy dawn when we left the hilltop guest house in Phulbani, the district headquarter of Kandhamal in Odisha. The mist-clad surrounding was creating an ethereal feel outside the guest house, couched in a thick patch of Saal forestry.
After a short drive through the planes, soon started the ascend on to the picturesque Kalinga Ghati, snaking through the cluster of hills made of green, dense and deciduous forests.
As our vehicle roared, climbing up, tendrils of smoke seemed to billow out from the bottom but,I noticed, that was not smoke but the floating clouds caressing through the hills, a spectacle that would send anyone wanderlust.
A Silence Of Years
As we wheeled up, minutes before the daybreak, there started a drizzle on the hills, as if, serenading to the silence of years and an unending trail of miles and miles of loneliness.
From the monotonous air of political commentaries or dashes with the pessimism built by the pandemic, that early morning’s journey of wandering through the ‘Ghati ‘ was a long-felt desideratum really.
Negotiating the myriad turnings, some of them closely brushing the edges those end with precipitously down to hundreds of metres below, the sight can scare anyone suffering from vertigo.
Travel A Panacea Against Boredom
As we were nearing the peak point, the drizzle became less and less intense, almost like sprinkles revealing more mysteries of the nature. We were almost touching the clouds those were, as if, paragliding through the wonderful valley, aimlessly.
Nobody could have resisted a break there, at 2065 ft above sea level. From where the splendour of nature was mesmerising.
The chirping of birds, the humming of insects hidden in the woods and there were hundreds and thousands of rain water drops settled on leaves, creating a mirage of ear-drop pearls.
We walked on the Ghat road, loading our lungs with fresh oxygen. Crocking notes of toads interspersed the quaintness once in a while.
Suddenly we noticed two or three frogs emerging out of their proverbial hibernation making a feeling of an approaching springtime even in the mid-summer of April.
In The Arms Of Nostalgia
Being in cities sometimes there descends on all of our boredom because of the routine monotony and sets in depressing feeling. Nothing can be a better prescription against such a lifestyle than undertaking travel.
When the entire world groans under the shackles of Corona and a shocking departure from the nature, the spectacle before us on that spot could even make the huge rocks sigh, ushering in an all-pervasive lucidity of nostalgia we lost years and years back.
Incredible it may sound but, some seasonal flowers like the wild variety of ‘parijat ‘ and marigold were in abundance on our right when we started driving down on the hills.
The light drizzle soon saturated into downpours at certain parts of the hills. When the deluge stopped the morning appeared more polished and intense, more purified post the rains.
A short stint dream of a restorative intimacy with nature and solitude was abruptly broken by the heady smells of smokes from roadside shops at the foothills.
About the Author:
DN Singh is a Bhubaneswar-based senior journalist.
This is the personal opinion of the author. The views expressed in this write up have nothing to do with the www.prameyanews.com