The grimy header has changed…and I am sure to the pleasure of a few of my readers. It was inevitable. I saw time at its truant best. Was it because I walked into a cloud? Was it because of the condensation on my spectacles – which altered my city-bred vision? Was it because I was distracted by the sound of my own heartbeat thumping in my ears? Was it because my senses were confused with the moss-dew-lily-cloud fragrance that upstaged my Parisian cologne? Was it because my ears were straining to catch the tales from far away which arrived perched on top of a vagrant cloud? Was it because I experienced this descending heaven through the eyes of my angel? Whatever it was – I saw time like never before. My concept of time was one of tired seconds ticking tick-tock-tick in tandem with the mechanical ruminations of a local train. Or the minutes spent in waiting for a red light to turn green. Or hours passing with the irritating precision of pre-decided weekly conference calls which more often than not left me none the wiser.

Kasmanda Palace shattered my thusfar comfortable relationship with time. Here the seconds travelled in reverse – as I strode through a manicured garden from the times of the Raj… the minutes flew by with the speed of cavorting swallows and the fluidity of Ruskin Bond’s tales…the hours, well, all but disappeared as my “civilized” disposition was found terribly wanting when trying to make sense of the raw splendor of natural beauty that lay before me, in the “Queen of the hills”. As the more observant (and patient) readers would have guessed – Dee and I just returned from a momentous trip up in the clouds of Mussoorie. I could write a detailed travelogue with the faint hope that I would capture all that I felt within the time-proof confines of this blog…but that’s just not possible without understating and in the process doing a great amount of disservice to the feeling itself. No…this time I would rather let the pictures speak. Hope you like them…click on the images to see wallpaper size. (If they are not loading it is because your firewall blocks Flickr.)

1) Kasmanda Palace – Mussoorie.

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2) The reception at Kasmanda…old world charm…

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3) The maple tree above our room…

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4) No wonder the English loved this place…

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5) Corridors of the Raj…

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6) Tea garden of Eden…

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7) Trying to hide in the clouds…

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8 ) One tree hill…

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9) Waiting to pounce on you…only not…

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10) Blood or dew?

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11) Gates to heaven…at “Laal Tibba” above Landour… (this is where the Bond goes for walks)

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12) We weren’t the only ones interested in the flora…

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All images copyright Dee or me. Clicked by absolute amateurs with an absolutely amazing piece of photographic equipment. The Olympus E-520 is a marvel. Hope I can learn how to use it one day…;).

Special thanks to Ruskin Bond for inviting us mortals into his humble home and regaling us with exclusive stories. We will never forget those 40 minutes (or was it seconds?). All said and done it was a beautiful trip – which ended with a scrumptious dinner hosted by the vivacious Mad Momma and her delightful hubby, and shelter provided by Sammy-boy…a perfect end to a perfect trip.

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