(This is a fantasizing view of reality as it unfolded; a semi-fictional, semi-autobiographical account of past events with hopefully no future implications. This will be a three part series on what could have possibly happened if dreams came true. For some people, some dreams actually did. )
Why hill stations are favored more for honeymoons, against say, beaches or any other tourist spot? Infact, I don’t see a third option other than these two. But a hill station would win pants down, oops, hands down. Some say it’s got something to do with the temperature. Well, inside the honeymoon suite or outside? Anyways, for kids who were sent to boarding schools on hill stations at a ripe age of eight (many younger than that) a hill station for pleasure was a fantasy in itself. Or was it?
At the beginning, hill station signified a prison. There was only one word to define life up there – discipline. Everything was a routine. Get up at 0530 hrs , breakfast at 0800 hrs, 10 mins breaks in between never ending 45 mins classes, lunch at 1245 hrs, tea time at 1545 hrs, get refreshed by 1830 hrs, finish dinner in 15 mins and lights out at 2000 hrs. Next day get up at 0530 hrs, breakfast by 0800 hrs and so on..… You had to follow the tick of the clock. Life started with an ear smashing, teeth cringing wake up bell ring and ended with a single shout of “lights out”. Life took twists and turns as you kept moving up standards. Gradually, you started getting used to the tick of the clock. Later, it felt weird if things didn’t happen at the designated time. A lot of times it got depressing, irritating and desperate if things didn’t happen at the right time. (more on the depressing and desperate times as it ‘chills’). Anyhow, the early morning wake up bell ring remained constant. Everything during the day was also more or less stagnantly similar. Life brightened, though, after the “lights out” shout. Boys turned nocturnal creatures. In the cold dark night when most of the world would be getting ready to slip into their warm beds, boys would crave for fun and pleasure. Many a times, it would be experimental. Some liked it slow and smooth. Few preferred a quickie. There were the odd ones who slept off mid way. Because of low temperatures at most times of the year, the least preferred was the wet one. It was an addiction, though. Once back in the dormitory, it was lights out, flesh in.
Yes! But before your imagination runs wild and gory, let me clarify. By flesh I only meant massage. Seniors had only two modes of entertainment. The most common and entertaining was the massage. Sportsman or not, if you are a senior you got to get tired. If you are tired, you got to get massage. Most seniors had one boy massaging his whole body. But there were some who had a boy massaging their feet and another on their arms! I don’t think even Rocky Balbao had such a lavish massage after a massive fight night. The “wet” variation was the other entertainment, i.e. washing clothes. Some or the other senior would throw some or the other garment at your face. You had to manage the washing soap, the scrubbing brush and manage not getting caught by the warden. Shirt, trouser, handkerchief and socks were the norm. But, there were some boys in every batch who got the “sacred undies” to wash.
Many of us, juniors, had started believing that these hills, these Rocky Mountains were making us a rock from within and the outside. We didn’t feel anything. The cold certainly did its magic too. As a junior, in the freezing night temperature, while washing clothes, hands in that cold water, we stopped feeling our own fingers. If the warden caught you and kept slapping you, you stood without feeling anything. But God forbid, if clothes are not cleaned properly, the million slaps that were smacked across your face, really made the cheeks senseless. You stopped feeling anything. It was cold out there, no doubt. The weather, attitude of seniors, water from the taps, the winds, everything was cold. The only feeling that kept it warm up on the hills was what most of us mistook as the most pure and innocent feeling in life; knowing very well we desired the unachievable. We knew we were never ever going to conquer what we dreamt. We could never touch. Hence, it remained pure. We never complicated it and it remained innocent.
But it wasn’t the feeling of love. It never could be. What kept it hot and burning; heated arguments over “the look”, burning discussions on “the moves” and hot descriptions of “the encounter”. In the “chills” of the hills, what covered our eyes and minds was the dust of lust.
(to be continued....)