The idea of a New Year is an appealing one, that with another sunrise we are somehow in a different situation than we were the day before. Of course, tomorrow will not instantly change us. But there is no harm in hoping against all odds that the new year, if not just the next day, might bring fresh flow of laughter and an exceptionally bright future to all of us. To celebrate and welcome this New Year, we went for a three day sojourn to Ravangla, Sikkim with our close friends. Ravangla has it all – from unspoilt nature, stunning scenery, waterfalls, mountains, colorful monasteries, unique but extremely affectionate and helping people. It is still blissfully untouched.
We were staying at a beautiful ‘Home-stay’ with adorable hosts. The kids from the family played Football and Cricket with us. Many a times, while playing, the ball would roll off the cliff. These kids would talk in their language but would not expose their displeasure. Our kids had a joyful time playing around with them. One of these days, while we were at a local market, I saw my friend buying shoes which were slightly bigger than the foot size of her son. When I asked her, she said, the kids back at the hotel play barefoot or with borrowed unmatched sandals, these are for them. Honestly, I was little bewildered at my own ignorance. Probably I was too busy to see if a glove had slipped off my daughter’s hand or capturing them playing on my smartphone. She gifted two pair of shoes to these kids. The true value of the gift is the sentiment behind it. Next morning, the younger one of the two kids was all dressed up in football uniform, with new shoes! She not only gifted priceless jubilation to those kids, but also in a way endowed me a new outlook to pursue in the coming year.
On the new year’s eve, we were sitting in front of the bonfire enjoying this little getaway. These couple of days had been spent roaming around and visiting local attractions. In evening we had played cricket, after ages of having forgotten how much fun playing is. Surrounded by lush greenery, we felt energized. The night was dark. The lovely, old trees seemed ghost-like with large shadows dancing across their branches. We were chatting, laughing, reminiscing the passing year. The fire in front of us was crackling. The wood was slowly turning to ashes but was giving it all just before the life fade out of it. Staring into the glowing embers, my thoughts turn to my kids. Their habits, interests and sensibilities have changed as they are growing up. And so are we! In routine, with kids busy with studies and us in our respective works, we hardly had time to take notice of the maturity in our relations. These little getaways, undisturbed and placid times bring you more closer to each other. There is an immense joy in watching the spontaneity and happiness that a child exhibits just looking at a star filled sky. I wanted to seize the moment of that beautiful clear cold night.The mind and heart was at rest; the soul felt satisfied. It was a perfect beginning of a new year.
The money we spend on experience is always better than money spent on stuff. Travel can gift you magical moments and lessons that last a lifetime. Unlike last year, 2017 has plenty of long weekends. Let’s promise to use them for the things that really matter—spending quality time with friends, family, even by ourselves. Go on now, start planning!