I can picture it only as a city full of chaffeur driven cars where the Richie Rich of the country come to pick up thier wards for the summer holidays from the Doon school .
One can also imagine it as a city in the foothills of Mussoorie all cloudy dewy and freezing the bones off .
But this summer
The Dehradoon platform I got out was anything but all this
it was the middle of june summer was at its peak
it was hot and fuming
It seemed like t he whole of India was there in that platform that day !
Its teeming millions was truly represented in the clamour and confusion in all its kaledioscopic glory .
jostled and ribbed I pushed my way to the exit
Suddenly I heard the cry "Thief , thief "
A burly guy ran pushing me out of the way
I collapsed clumsily into a heep on thedirty floor hitting my forehead on the hot stone and all I could see were slippers and shoes .
Extricating myself from the mess and thanking my stars I wasnt mashed and melded into the earth by the thronging janta .
I managed to catch a friendly neigbourhood post and stood up .
amusingly i found out that I now had a small cute handbag with me
where did this ome from ?
post fall reward huh !
oh no..oh no ...it all dawned on me now
The guy the thief he had left it with me in the confusion of his being tripped as he tried to escape .
and then I saw a tall lithe girl running past me still crying "thief thief stop him "
The thief jumped down into the rail track and climbed to the opposite platform and disappeared into the crowds .
"Hey hey " I called out to the girl
"look the guy left this with me , is this yours ? "
She stopped in her tracks and looked back at me at me irritated and angry .
the crowd just went on its way oblivous of all this
she stared at me
her wide eye lashes fluttered
should have been Lakme products doing all those wonders to those antennae !( this was retrospectively after I learnt it from her )
"Yaas that is it .... ya ya yaas mine mine .....give it me "
She grabbed the purse from me checked it and then slowly turned to look at me this time with a small smile in her face .
luckily for me she didnt call me the thief !
I patted my bag and purse thank God nothing lost from me in the confusion .
"Oh nice meeting you Kyra ....so you are for a holiday where to ?"
"where else ? away from this furnace up into the hills to my place my dad lives there
you know Colonel Mishra he retired from the Garhwal rifles
I am studying in Stephens doing my III yr literature uncle "
" oh nice.....me too planning to go up the hills just to escape the heat , came to Delhi for a week and had nothing to do for the weekend
what say we go up together ? " this from me .
she didnt answer immediately just looked me up and down
by now we were in a quite part of the station
"why not ? we could do that " Kyra said ( probably I passed in her judegemnt as a harmless non poisonous species of uncleji )
"sure but Iam famished lets have some breakfast first "and so we walked into a small snack bar and had some stuff
Kyra reminded me a lot of my daughter who was studying in a medical college in Chennai and I grew fond of her as we talked .
Kyra too loved books and loved to write and was a good singer and with that she was all the more like my little one .
She sat next to me in the small bus as we trundled ahead and her chatter made the journey pleasant for me
she was a great one for make up techniques it seemed as she talked for hours on how she always found the right shades for her lipstick and her sun creams from Lakme and nothing else .
She was passionate about her brand
oh yes she was
all Greek and Latin to me
I thought maybe if Lakme was so good I should find out what my daughter is using ! and ask her to start using it !
after a long time of this i felt bored
I just wished Kyra woudl stop jabbering about make up and we would get to her dad and drown the scotch on rocks which would be waiting for me as smsd by her dad .
I drifted into sleep
after a a quick nap and a small dream where Kyras face merged with that of my daughter I was shaken awake roughly
"uncle ji come out we have a small stop let us have a chai "
"Kyra why dont you go I will have my beauty sleep ...better than all those Lakme creams you talk on "
"no uncle lazy bones u are coming with me "
she even sounded like my dear little daughter .
I gave way and went out and we had a hot scalding red coloured chai from a perpetually grinning Nepali .
Then took a few snaps of the snow on the slopes .
it was pleasantly cold now and the flowers were blooming bright .
so was our friendship .
it was like I knew kyra for years !
Back to the bus we munched on some pakoras and then after many hairpins wefinally reached Mussorie
Colonel pappaji was waitng in the bus station and gave me a warm hug .
"thanks pal for bring my doll safe home "
not to mention ....she is a pet no doubt
"All I have is her after her mummy left me years back , and she leaves me all alone here ! "
"Well he never listens when I tell him to come down to Delhi you know we have an apartment there too
Oh no he wont leave his hills and his scotch " this from Kyra .
"ha ha "
We spent the dusky evening near the fireplace
as the fire spluttered the flickering flames of the fireplace made patterns over the fair smooth face of Kyra reflecting those Lakme brilliances .
I felt warm from the smooth scotch and the love that flowed from this new daughter of mine Kyra and a new friend in her dad .
oh what a lovely summer break it proved to be