13-12-2017, 0802 hours, Viceregal Lodge (IIAS), Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India:
Winters…! It’s the second day since the winter rains started. Though the weather cleared last night with stars twinkling in the dark sky, the clouds and the fog have reappeared this morning, same as yesterday. Many higher regions in the northern Himalaya have witnessed snowfall as well, including Kufri and Narkanda near Shimla. It might still be snowing there although we don’t have any updates yet. But for now, I can’t get enough of my favourite man-made structure in Shimla – The Viceregal Lodge (a.k.a. Indian Institute of Advanced Studies). Aahh…!!
The grand Viceregal Lodge stands tall with the mist and fog; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal
A walk to cherish; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal
12-12-2017, 1914 hours, Deodi, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India:
So as the rain drenched the thirsty land the entire day today, students could be seen gathered at the Verma Tea Shop, a little distance away from the Himachal Pradesh University, chatting over a cup of tea. As of now, the winds have picked up speed and the clouds seem to be headed north east towards Kinnaur and upper regions of Himachal Pradesh. I guess the weather is going to get clear by tonight.
Though not a big tea enthusiast myself, grasping a cup of tea in my hands while sipping in the warm flavours is something that just cannot be given up in the cold season.
Students sipping warm tea to beat the cold as the rain comes to a halt; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal
12-12-2017, 0802 hours, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India:
After a long dry spell that saw negligible amount of rainfall in the last two months, Shimla received its first decent rainfall! As predicted by IMD, it is forecasted that the higher or upper parts of the state will receive snowfall while the rest of the state will witness rainfall for three days, starting yesterday the 11th of December.
For now the rain has stopped but visibility is down to 10-15 mts with the hills covered in thick layer of fog since early morning. The wind has also picked up and it seems the fog will lift soon. Walking through the fog is always a delight after a long time.
The Silhouette of the Indian Institute of Advance Studies; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal
Foliage gathered on the road after the rainfall last night; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal
Viceregal Lodge, obscured by fog, gives one a feel of haunted mansions from the 1800’s; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal
View of Boileauganj covered with thick fog in the morning; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal
Winters have begun and the effects of it can be felt as the cold dry winds somehow manage to enter from the nooks and corners of the jeans and jackets worn for protection. While stepping out of the house after sunset is a task in itself, the lure of the beauty that bestows itself upon you during this period is something that cannot be ignored or avoided. Clear blue skies in the day with mountains visible up to where the eyes can see towards the horizon, and pitch dark skies in the night with millions of stars shimmering high above your head on moonless nights. And if you are lucky enough to be here on a full moon night you can actually feel the cool and calm rays of the moon falling on you and I suppose I know now why werewolves and vampires like it so much.
Christ Church on The Ridge, Shimla under the mesmerising full moon; Photo: Abhinav Kaushal
While walking on the ridge this morning I saw this beautiful dog calming sitting down and keeping a keen eye on the people passing by. It was cold but for him it seemed as the perfect weather. Couldn’t help myself but had to capture the moment. A moment of peace.