…was digging into Banoffee Pie (which was an Israeli delight according to Pinku bhaiya, the sweetest simplest waiter at Sasi Restaurant who hailed from Mandi and prattled on cheerfully about life, love and loss and kept us satiated with conversation while we waited for our Shakshuka plates or Enchiladas to arrive) on a candle-lit check-cloth covered table under a star-studded clear sky, with the white Parvati raging endlessly to our left and the solid black mountains of Himachal all around.
Never had i thought that bananas could taste so delicious. Some Parle-G or chocolate biscuit crumble, honey, condensed milk, glazed bananas, almonds and walnuts, cream, butter, your expertise at layering and voila! you’ve got an eighth of an orgasm in each bite. Oh, and it is very much an English invention.
Of course, apart from partaking of such wonderful food, we did the usual frolic in the hills, dipping into cold water, emerging from shivering trances to take walks along green winding roads, talking, playing catch like children. Meeting fresh-off-the-Army-bus Israelis who loved India and chai and ‘gulab jabun’ and travelling. Scouring tiny shops for semi-silver cheap trinkets. Sitting on a lovely big balcony, wrapped up in sweaters and music and good company, sipping chai, breathing pine scent, feeling life re-coursing through one’s veins. Embalming bad patches, building reservoirs of energy to brace against more rough wind. Praying there wouldn’t be any.
Planning it would’ve been to ruin it. We went with the flow, wherever our mood and the buses took us. If vacations are about suspension of reality and taking a chance at living out a fantasy, this was IT.