Growing up in a Hill station is a magical experience. There is something enchanting about the hills that draws people to it. I consider myself fortunate to have taken birth in a hill town. My memory is loaded with countless awe inspiring experiences that I know will last for a lifetime. I’m sure if you’ve also spent your childhood in the hills, you will instantly connect with the following:
1. Clean air, cool mornings, lush green mountains. A delightful dawn with an amazing sunset.
We’ve spent time growing up in the lap of nature.
2. Pollution-free environment. Our devotion for keeping it clean is unquestionable.
We can’t stand dirt anywhere.
3. We always carry an umbrella and sweater, for the weather may change just any time.
4. Misty mornings and frost on the grass; these were our companions to school.
5. We knew so many picnic spots, that we would be the perfect guides for our cousins in summers.
As we grew up, many of these spots became our private lovers’ points and daaru-addas
6. We’ve grown up knowing just about everyone in our area and a whole lot of people in our towns.
And they’ve known us. As kids, we hated it that we had uncles and aunties watching over us almost everywhere in the town but as grown-ups we come to realize just how wonderful it is to meet people you know on the streets, at bus stations, and in the market.
7. Trekking is not leisure, it’s routine. We just love walking up and down mountain slopes, every single day.
It’s the best mode of transportation in the hills. And we often call it ’11 no. gaddi.’
8. Hill stations usually have the best bakeries, many of which are quite ancient.
9. We’re crazy for hot momos. Even better when served with soup.
10. We get many exotic fruits like cherries, strawberries and kiwis, that grow locally.
Besides which apples and all sort of stone fruits, such as apricots and peaches are also common for us. And we don’t have to spend a lot of money on them. We either get enough from our relatives or we buy them cheap from hawkers.
11. Many of us get to study at some of the best schools in the country; experiences of growing up in a hill station are nonetheless wonderful for every child, regardless of the school s/he is in.
We hardly care if the guy/girl next to us is studying at one of the top 20 schools in the country or had to walk 10km every day. Our friends are a mixed bag of sorts.
12. The long winter break. We’ve enjoyed as long as three months winter break in school.
That’s a long-long holiday. I still miss those days and I’m sure you do too!
13. We’ve grown up listening to horror stories about every place in the town.
14. Off roading is our favorite pastime, we prefer taking the forest trail back home, than the usual road.
We have been taking the roads-less-traveled-by since we were two feet tall.
15. We all had secret ‘addas’ in the forest somewhere.
We didn’t have to go to CCDs or McDonalds. Our hangouts were usually in forests, nature parks and fields.
16. We’ve all run into wild animals, at least once growing up in the hills.
Some of us have even spotted leopards and wolves in the wild. And so began the legendary stories in schools and colleges.
17. We’re too fond of tea. We can even have tea with salt.
Feeling chilly, let’s have a tea… need to study for hours at a stretch, let’s have a tea… is the mantra we follow in the hills.
18. We enjoy riding on bumpy roads, even when it becomes a challenge sometimes.
For us, it is similar to roller coastal ride. From cycles and Maruti 800s to Gypsies and SUVs, we’ve tried them all.
19. Somewhere close by is always a valley of flowers.
Where our childhood romance had bloomed.
20. When movies are shot in our town, we just feel so damn proud.
We can watch a movie just because a scene or two were shot in our town.
21. Fireplaces maynot be so common anymore, but most of us have grown up sitiing in front of them in the winters.
And we love them a whole lot more than electric heaters and central air-conditioning. Who doesn’t like bonfire?
22. We have grown up looking at antique bungalows and ancient buildings that make the town look so pretty.
It’s only when we grow up and have to leave our hometowns for work that we start appreciating these old monuments. Don’t we all adore them?
23. Irrespective of religious background, almost everyone in hills celebrates Christmas with huge fanfare.
24. Even when we were kids, we had seen all kinds of people there could be in the world. Everyone comes to our places for vacations.
So, we never judge people based on how they dress or look. We have seen domestic and international tourists, people of all sizes and colors. Did you grow up in a hill station? Tell us the name of your hill town and share your stories in comments below.