This “Queen of Hills” needs to stretch her arms at times and take it easy after the crowds leave and the revelry is over and done with. This is exactly what it has been doing for some days now as is evident to the chance visitor who becomes a part of this lazy picture. However, the Valentineseason coincides with our “Basant Ritu” and the hill station has started getting quite a few guests duringValentine week. To break its slumber. Another factor that has broken the silence this winter is the election activity in the hill town.
The New Year merrymakers went away, schools were mostly closed, there was some rush when it snowed in January, It was too cold to work and what else is there to be done except bask in the lovely and bright sun, play a game of carom, bring out that forgotten pack of playing cards and settle down to cups of steaming elaichi tea, munching peanuts and discussing the weather. In Mussoorie, February has been the time for the locals to relax and pamper themselves. The exams are another factor that keep most people away!
At the “Jhoolaghar” which was of the busiest and noisiest points on the Mall Road during the “season”, it’s a sad state of affairs as it has been demolished. No longer can one have the creamy, frothy coffee served by a couple of cafes there.
The rickshaw walas look forlorn as they have not been able to get any passenger to go to the Company Gardens or even upto the Library Chowk since long. They will wait for a few days and perhaps go on for some other work till April when tourists begin arriving in large numbers again.
At some shops, stylish woollens are up for sale. Some are offering the buy one get one free scheme, but there are few takers. At the churches, the X’mas decorations have been brought down long back and they now wear a solemn look. At the Union Church at the beginning of the Landour Bazaar, some women from nearby homes are enjoying the sun in its vast compound while children play on the see-saw. Candy Floss, bhuttas, imli and chooran stalls line the deserted mall at several places. Makes one wonder whether these people are selling their stuff to each other!
So it has been time for the locals and traders to be laid back and take stock. Time perhaps for a quick visit to friends and relatives in Dehradun or somewhere in the plains. Time to rejuvenate themselves before another spate of visitors to the hill station puts them in the mid of a flurry of activity
This is Mussoorie’s time to breathe free and naturally. However, theValentine Day may bring in visitors, especially youngsters, from the Doon valley and surrounding towns of Himachal Pradesh. Traders are looking forward to some brisk business. The election fever is already on in this hill town. The Valentinemood will soon add to it and Mussoorie may not get much more time to relax before the proper “season” begins once again.