Shimla, the journey and its decent beginnings....

 Mall road, Shimla, HP, India
It was 13th December, Friday a BLACK FRIDAY, when I was due to board the Drukair flight KB-204. I knew NASA would not launch its space shuttle on a BLACK FRIDAY. You may well imagine, the extent of belief in superstition, which the hardcore scientific community had. But half of seats are filled by Tourists though. I was skeptical, and I was right; nothing happened.

The flight touched down at the Indira Gandhi Airport in New Delhi at 11 am Bhutan standard time, because my wrist watch was still on BST. In about 30 minutes we met the people who came to receive us from the National Academy of Audit and Accounts, Shimla. They escorted us to a Toyota Innova Taxi without us knowing that it will be our home for the next 8 odd hours. It took us more than an hour just to get out of the honking Delhi traffic. The taxi calibrater read 80 km/h on an average that covered around 400 or so kilometers in 8 hours. No sooner we reached the Famous Yarrows we were greeted by the course director for a party. Invitation for a party is not a bad deal on any other days but not at this hour. We could not say no, because we were Bhutanese first.

2 days and three nights passed being away from friends and relatives in Bhutan. More prominently my lovely wife. Just before starting to type this, I talked with my wife. I said my back started itching and I miss your scratching hands. I said my head too needed a touch and she giggled on the other end of the line. We resolved to keep chatting until our eyes are dreamy, keep calling until our balances re out. That's how we thought we could get going.

First 3 days were the worst part of my stay here at Yarrows. One reason could be because we lived the child in us when we were together. But again as I look back, we made the most of it. We are not here forever and we must enjoy while it lasts.

I was not the rat that would wait for cheese to come and things to change. Instead I asked the seniors to get us SIM cards on their names because getting our card could take time. By the fourth day we had our own SIM cards and could call home at our will. My loneliness gave way. I started feeling better. Homesickness was going away but slowly.

By the 5th day we got our laptops and I installed Skype. A better way, to keep in touch. I called my wife and saw her for the first time since our departure. Sometimes 5 days seems like a hell lot long, especially when you are away from the person whom counts more than anyone. Thanks to Skype I could video chat with my mom-in law and my own mother.

Night in, night out we were calling for hours. Had it not been for the erratic internet connection we could have made a heaven on Skype. I could go to bed in happy mood.

The Academy on the other hand had one program after the other. Starting from the inauguration till the Tara Devi trek, they tried their best to keep us engaged. This gave us no lonely times. One day we travelled to the worlds highest cricked pitch standing at more than 7000 feet above sea level. It was a dry picnic for the OT's. They played and I watched & cheered.

10 days has passed and its a Sunday. As I opened the curtains of my window I was greeted by a surprise. The trees on the opposite side had collected the heavenly fleece, it snowed. Shimla received its first snow fall of the year. Now I realized the reason why my Indian friends were sleepless all throughout the night. For some of them, this is their first in life real experience with snow.

I went out to see around for nice sceneries. Occasionally took shots on my phone camera. Had it been in Bhutan I would have expected Monday to be declared a holiday but there are no such anticipations here. There are a lot of excitements though.

A beginning cannot be better than this!!!


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