Having lived in small towns all my life, I was elated when I came to Mumbai after marriage. Who doesn’t want to live in this City of Dreams? But wait..it was not easy. I was slowly getting used to the hustle and bustle of the city, the traffic, the liveliness and was beginning to enjoy it. Three years later, my husband got a promotion. Being in a bank, it was mandatory to serve a rural posting. Since he was born and brought up in Himachal Pradesh and it was his home state, he opted for posting in Himachal Pradesh. Wow..again another dream come true! Since childhood I had always wanted to visit Shimla but for some reason or the other could never visit it. But now..I was going to live in that beautiful state!
Soon with a lot of excitement and dreams, I along with my husband and toddler son landed in the beauteous Dharamsala. I was mesmerized to see the magnificent Dhauladhar mountain range. It was a picture postcard. Soon, we rented a house. It was a huge house after Mumbai’s 1 BHK and the rent was also very less. My son started with his playschool there. Everything was fine except that like any hilly place or small town people winded up pretty early. Every shop was shut by 7:30. This was in stark contrast to Mumbai, a city that never sleeps.
After a year my husband was transferred to Mandi. We rented a house just next to the Beas river. Everything was beautiful but I missed the vibe of Mumbai. I missed the hustle and bustle, the liveliness. We enjoyed the long drives till Kullu, drove down to Chamba, Shimla, everywhere. Still, everyday I prayed that some miracle happen and we go back to Mumbai. My husband still had to serve his rural posting for some time.
One day out of nowhere, my husband got a call from another private bank for a job offer. It was a position based out of Gujarat. I was happy as my parents were in Gujarat. A month later my husband got his appointment later and we were going to shift to Baroda, coincidentally a place where my parents lived!
I was happy. This is what I had wished for, isn’t it? I wanted to move out of Himachal and I was moving out. But somewhere I felt sad. Funny..right? I myself didn’t realize when I had got attached to the state of my husband’s birth. This was a place where my son started with his education. This was a place where we soaked in the beauty of each and every locale. This was the place where the people were simple and down to earth.
We drove down from Mandi to Baroda. On the last day while we drove down, I bid adieu to Beas river, to the greenery, the mountains, the now-familiar locales, the roads, the market, the bridge, the temple, the Gurudwara…
Present day I am in Mumbai but still I get vivid dreams of those days in Himachal..