Summer holidays during school days meant only one thing; a trip to Mount Abu! We would rush to get our student concessions on the railway ticket, pack our bags eagerly, carry a crate full juicy Alphonso’s and babble excitedly even as our mom would try to shush us to sleep in our berths. At the crack of dawn, Palanpur would arrive and mom would buy two matka rabdi’s for sis and me. The minute the train entered the railway platform, our eyes would frantically scan the blurry crowds to figure out where our mama (uncle) was. Surprisingly, every year he managed to stand right in front of the compartment when the train came to a halt.
One ice candy and another round of rabdi later, we would be bundled into the car and take a round and round journey from Abu road to Devi Cottage, the house where my Nanaji lives. Mama would stop on the way to buy some fish for me and I knew that Naniji would have already prepared my favourite dishes and pineapple Rasna that I so loved.
We visited the same place year after year, but somehow my excitement never abated. Mt Abu was a home away from home and I loved its idyllic ways. I even coined the term ‘God’s personal air conditioner’ to describe it (I was quite proud of this phrase as a kid) because even though it would be summer, I would require a blanket and a sweater to sleep comfortably while my cousins roamed around in shorts! They never failed to make fun of me. :)
It had been 8 long years since I visited Mt Abu. Board exams, college and then my job just did not give me an opportunity to visit. Yet when I boarded the train last March, I couldn’t help but feel excited again.
I had faint memories of the happy days that I spent in Mt Abu and this time I had a fancy camera to capture all the moments that I cherished.
I can say with a lot pride and conviction that I know Mt Abu better than most travellers and I would love to show you Mt Abu through my lens.