One of my most beautiful memories:
The place is Shivpuri, 16 km from Rishikesh and a water rafting hotspot. I’m a newly turned teenager and puberty has set in (as sis so ruefully remembers how ghastly my screeching voice sounded). Its my first time white water rafting and I’m taking in the scenery – rolling hills, swirling deep river, icy to touch, awesome weather, the whole shebang. While the others prepare and get into their necessary clothes, I drift away to one side where the view is especially pretty – a golden sun just peeking over one hill, positioned so that I can easily tell the demarcation between the sunlight and the shade, however much they splinter. I stepped into the water and go on until the water reaches my knees. I get so mesmerised by the whole atmosphere that when a girl suddenly appears to be standing in the water not 3 paces from me, I almost fell over into the water, startled. She’s pretty in a tomboy-ish way, with hair cut uptil her neck and a lopsided smile. She laughs at my reaction, and its such a melodious sound, like the husky chirping of a mockingbird mimicking the sound of icicles breaking. Then she became unsteady herself. She reaches out her hand to me and my hand automatically reacts, going out towards her. She clasps it and steadies herself, then smiles at me again. I smile back and together we continue enjoying the sensation of being completely comfortable with a person we’ve never seen before (although I can feel my heart thumping a bit harder than usual), while surrounded by the exquisite vista. It seemed like in no time people were calling for us.
We never met again. We didn’t even ask each other’s names.
I don’t remember her face exactly. I would’ve liked to meet her again. I guess some things are just meant to be memories…