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When the mountains call: Authors on their favourite hill stations

With India’s top authors heading to the hills for the upcoming Dehradun Literature Festival, we ask writers to pick a getaway that inspires their writing.

brunch Updated: Apr 08, 2017 21:27 IST
Indian authors reveal the mountain destinations close to their heart(Shutterstock)
Anita Nair

High on Himalayas: Anita Nair

Kandaghat in Himachal Pradesh is my favourite mountain travel destination. It has typical Himachali houses that offer amazing views of the Himalayas. I first went there last November, and was awed by the pristine beauty and untamed nature of the place.

Durjoy Datta

Summer special: Durjoy Datta

I love going to Dehradun/Mussoorie the most. I always felt like it was a summer home of sorts. I’ve grown up reading Ruskin Bond and with time, I believed I had been to the places he had described in the books even without going there.

Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi

Wholesome affair: Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi

Growing up, I spent my summers in Matheran, near Bombay. My cousins and I went riding at Olympia Racecourse; at dusk we’d stoke each other’s adolescent bravado with ghost stories. Outside the old house dense jungle blanketed the land; there were snakes, leopards, mongoose. It was in Matheran where I wrote my first piece of fiction, it was here I escaped to after an important love affair failed. It’s not a place one goes on holiday; its where you take the pieces of yourself and sew them into something like a whole.

Karishma Attari (Zahid Hussain)

Southern charm: Karishma Attari

I remember staying for a month in Coorg, and working on a draft of I See You, my first novel. The mountains were lush and cloud kissed and rolled into each other. So many treks led through tea plantations and somehow, I was never alone, whether accompanied by bird song, the pattering feet of a stray dog, or the rustle of wind through the valley. I felt a part of things, enfolded in this vast unfolding of nature’s bounty. For this is what mountains do, they remind us we are part of something bigger than ourselves– and isn’t that what writers do?

Meghna Pant (Arijit Sen/HT PHOTO)

Homely haven: Meghna Pant

Shimla is my favourite mountain getaway. It’s my birthplace and was the inspiration for my debut novel. I love it for the tea shops where we drank chai after hiking in the valleys, for the smell of spices that wafted in from my naniji’s kitchen and for being the place I call home.

Hindol Sengupta

Bliss and beyond: Hindol Sengupta

For me, bliss is waking up in the tiny village of Majkhali beyond Ranikhet in Uttarakhand. Bliss is eating fat bajra rotis, spending evenings looking up at the skies to see the millions of stars that got lost in the fumes of the big city. For me, bliss is befriending those stars again.

Rakshanda Jalil

Landour love: Rakshanda Jalil

My perfect getaway is Landour. There I walk along the circular road past the cemetery to the American Presbyterian Kellogg Church and Landour Language School, stop at Sisters Bazaar to buy gooseberry jam, cheddar cheese and banana bread – a perfect antidote to the city blues.

From HT Brunch, April 9, 2017

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First Published: Apr 08, 2017 21:27 IST