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A walk through the breathtaking meadows of Mussorie
With the occasional exception of lakes, streams and a stadium - that is Mohammad Azharuddin's cricket academy in Mussoorie- the view from top is quiet yet, disquieting, resembling a huge grotto that is bottomless.
THE SWIG of coffee seems like a breath of warmth cutting from side to side the otherwise chilly conditions in the mountainous Mussoorie. The view from the ridges is extensively cavernous and hollow where the roads and such objects appear infinitisimal and glibly take one back to childhood watercolours.
With the occasional exception of lakes, streams and a stadium – this is Mohammad Azharuddin’s cricket academy – the view from top is quiet yet, disquieting, resembling a huge grotto that is bottomless. The cold winds are ephemeral. Weather conditions, strangely enough beat permanence in which every ten minutes of walk greets one with a different climate. The nippiness prompts a shawl ten minutes prior to a descending journey on a rickshaw that brings a steep rise in temperature when the fur becomes redundant.

Maybe the playful sun is the culprit – the rickshaw puller says so. The narrow road circling upwards promises topographical delights and interlaces the entire settlement, where on one side of the road repair work is in full swing. Mudslides had ripped through the area some time ago… and the repair seems explainable. But the community feeling here is too full of meaning to be encumbered by disasters like landslides.

Like everywhere else, business is big in Mussoorie too. The thin lanes are lined with shops where some are selling beverages for the cold bitten tourist, some are advertising Mussoorie specials that travellers are inclined to buy to keep as mementos, some have put up woolen garments for sale as sightseers horde to purchase economical winter clothes… The place is called Mall Road. The name can be traced to the Hindi word ‘Mal’ which invariably means goods. Few though have an undisputed idea of the etymology of the place, which is a five minute long walk from a picturesque – although manmade – place called Company Gardens.

The area, an enclosed one and thrown open via a gate, hardly resembles a millionaire’s private bungalow lawn and boasts of a synthetic waterfall but one will not realise unless the scarf-wearing lady in the nursery, who is busy with plantation work enlightens you upon enquiry. Foreign nationals are occasionally spotted.
Inside the gardens too, there are restaurants and eateries, as also a modest brook that provides boating service for couples and families. The sporadic rain isn’t a spoiler…it is rather beautiful but enduring the chilly climate without an overcoat is a challenge. The drizzle – downpour some will prefer – lasts for a quarter hour and the refectory owner is kind enough to allow a gratis wait inside to those trapped by the conspiracy of weather! 

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