Hills are a natural feature which is located at a higher pedestal than surrounding ground. It rises above the surrounding area and provides a bird’s eye view. Don’t get confused between hills and mountains. Both are same land features having varying heights. In fact , mountains are even more charming than hills but they are hard to conquer.
But, why I am talking about hills ?
Reason is that hills are intriguing feature for people living in plains of big rivers who loves to climb it and enjoy the view from top.
As someone has rightly said that it is easier to go down a hill than up but the view is much better at the top.
So, climbing hills is tough but once you reach the top , you realize that effort was worth every penny. Soaking the fresh air of hills is especially beneficial for people living in fast-paced life of metros.
Few days back , I saw the viral video of long and serpentine queues of big and burly 04-wheelers on a hilly road trying to enter a north Indian mountainous state. Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand provides the perfect getaway locations for people living in nearby States of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana. Everyone wishes to get away from scorching heat of plains and soak into pleasant climes of hill states.
A new term, revenge tourism , was coined for the people speeding towards scenic and cool locations of these hilly state.
So, why are affluent people heading in towards Himalayas ?
One reason I can fathom is the forest cover enjoyed by these states.
Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand boasts of a forest cover of more than 66 % and 71 % respectively.
Now, compare it with nearly 06 % forest cover for Punjab as well as Haryana.
The purpose of above-mentioned data is not to bamboozle you with statistics but get a reality check about our priorities in life.
Once you get your basic needs fulfilled by any means. You need to live life. How will you live ?
Long time back , when I drank water from a packaged drinking water bottle , I laughed about the irony of situation that how will humans survive if free water (available abundantly in nature to our predecessors ) has become a precious commodity.
I have not read in any history books about the need of packaged drinking water for any ancient civilization.
So, how come we reach at this destination about packaged water system ?
Same way , I got a deja vu about Oxygen during the ongoing pandemic.
Is oxygen also going the same way as water ?
If water isn’t available, air isn’t available , then how will 07 billion people survive on planet earth ?
We need to search another Planet desperately now, if our civilization wishes to survive for foreseeable future.
I am not talking about distant future. I am talking about a time span of 30-50 years from now.
So, people going uphill for getting oxygen is a phenomenon which must remind us about our vulnerable civilization.
Anyway , hills are literally abode of gods for us. Every hill boasts of a mandatory installation of some deity. If hills are so pristine and pure, it means that gods must be living amidst sylvan green cover. Sometimes, I feel that hills get scary during night time and that’s why people remember gods fervently and construct religious places at tough spots to remind them of protective umbrella of almighty.
Since earlier times, kings and rich people used to have long vacations in Himalayas. Entourage of kings used to visit hills for several months whiling away time amidst godly forests.
So, the concept of revenge tourism is not a recent phenomenon.
English people formally established the tradition of going to hills for ruling class in India as they got tired of sultry and irritating summer in plains of India. Lord Curzon (viceroy of India from 1898 to 1905) even named his youngest daughter after Naldhera, a charming hill town in Himachal Pradesh.
So, the hills have always been a fascinating site for powerful people.
I remember an interesting story about people in large private automobiles wishing to use scarce resources of government of the day to get away from a hilly state in times of war during the tumultuous years of 19th Century. People wanted planes for their Cars to get away from hills.
What they were doing in the hills in times of war ?
May be, it was an earlier version of revenge tourism !
But, hills have an intrinsic quality of making you fit.
Walking on hills is a task in itself and people tend to get fit just by living among hills. It is a fact that native hilly people are stronger and hardy people. They live in harmony with their surroundings and are normally happy as compared to city people. That’s why many well-off people after spending their youth in mundane tasks in city tend to go towards hills to get near to god in their sunset years.
Now think about living in hills in your prime youth ?
Not as nomads ? Though, nomadic life is not a bad choice but how will you get Internet to read this blog in distant hills ?
So, live in a habitable area in harmony with nature and take life easy.
Nothing happens without a reason. Slow down your pace of life and go towards hills.
Nothing matters more than your happiness.
But, remember prophetic words of Nelson Madela :
“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”