The Twenty-Seventh of October

Some days are crabby; you wish they’d pass by if only, faster. While some days are easily forgettable; no matter how hard the brains are racked, you are simply unable to recollect its incidents. Then there are days that can unrelentingly be categorised under ‘Worst in the First of the Orders’; given a chance to look back, you possibly wish they had never occurred. And then there are days that bring you alive. Irrespective of when they may have happened. A week, a year or a decade back, and their memories are yet as pristine. The details of those days no matter how petty, cling on. And these selective memory(ies) chaperone that feeling of elation topped with an intoxicating fondness. Just like that welcome smell of the damp earth after the first showers. Just like carving out that snowman successfully from the first bout of snow. Achieving that milestone you remember penning in your diary since forever, or cooking your first meal to be reciprocated with a spotless vessel even before you had gotten around to scrubbing it, signing your first autograph for that someone whom you do not even know recognised you from somewhere, or visiting someplace that made an impression on you no less than a lasting one…such days not only bring in us the alive-n-kicking, but also shape a meaning to our existence. A hope in the name of living that we look forward to.

Weddings – there is something special about its aura. The moment a wedding is on the cards, there settles an ecstatic air. More specifically, the soon-to-be groom and bride are known to do all sorts of unbelievably nutty things while sheltering under the going-to-be-a-new-beginning-for-two-lives umbrella. From planning the seemingly unceasing guest list to working out their logistics, and from the incessant shopping to acquiring that pre-wedding facial glow, it matters. Not in a mocking way. But in a sense of wanting way. In an extravagant and exorbitant way.

Pachai and I got married on October twenty-eight. However, more than our wedding day, it is a day back that has brought us those swaying-just-an-inch-above memorabilia. October twenty-seven is one of those days that has handed me a few ‘alive-n-kicking’ times. They say some of the best moments come to us when we least expect them. Needless to mention, such moments easily find their way into ‘one of those ultimate ones to be cherished in years to come’. The souvenirs of the 10/27s are stacked in a somewhat similar fashion. Not in a manner of impeccable planning, but just because the way they turned out. Just because the experience transpired into something more than I bargained for.

I clearly recall the four 10/27s I have spent in Pachai’s company. One of them of course, was the day we sealed the deal to make our bond a legal pact. This was the day I was officially engaged to be married to Pachai (yep, we were engaged just a day before we got hitched). The next twenty-seventh approached with a breeze similar to the streets of Koh Samui, an incredible and commercially isolated island about 800 kilometres from Bangkok, Thailand. While this getaway was a planned surprise, we roamed about the island’s streets on the twenty-seventh to finalise plans for our big day. Hopping on and off from countless restaurants to figure out our dinner place while being accommodated with a slightly customised edge – being vegetarians, we are not fans of fish or fish oil – was in particular, an experience. It helped us distinctively perceive the extents to which the locals’ hospitality reached out. And it turned out to be an absolutely carefree, breezy and a cracker of a day. We ultimately landed up trying a massage followed with a candlelit dinner by the beach. All of it done the Thai way, proving to be one of our firsts 😉 Now that was newness.

Came the next twenty-seventh by when our marriage had matured slightly, so had we! And strode with it another stunning getaway to Tulian, a lake on the outskirts of Pahalgam, Kashmir at an altitude of 11,000 feet above sea level. Indisputably, an immaculate beauty, it is not only the sight of the lake that makes your heart beat (or skip) faster, but also the day and effort spent to get to and back is an experience enough to last a lifetime. The pony that treks you up until the base of the valley, the deceptively uncomplicated-looking it-is-just-a-2-kilometre-trek-to-the-lake, the altitude that snatches the oxygen away as you tread up, the six hours each way on the pony resulting in unbelievable saddlesore towards the end of the seemingly never-ending-end, and the cold weather that eventually grips you, so much so, that even walking is no less than a handicapped endurance, are all worth the discomfort once you get to the lake. It takes about a couple of minutes to merely digest Nature’s wonder at having created something so pure made accessible to mankind. The mountains surrounding the lake burst with snow in October and also, the lake’s upper crust is coated with a layer of ice so thin, it can be broken with bare hands (God, our hands froze too quickly!). Taste the lake water once you have managed to scrape off the ice or slide them over the lake only to be immediately recalled of the slick slithers King Kong made in the movie! What. A. Day. That. Was.

While a twenty-seventh brought us to an island retreat, the other brought us ever closer to Mother Nature. As charming and captivating as these spots may have been in their own quirky fashions, who knew the succeeding (and the recent most) twenty-seventh would transport us straight to the Eiffel Tower in the City of Lights!

One of the most marvelling wonders of the world, when it comes to the Eiffel Tower, the hype does not disappoint. Did you know the scenic view on the Tower top that needless to mention, is breathtakingly gorgeous, can also be enjoyed with a bit of finesse, for it is aided with an exclusive champagne bar!? Talk about comprehending the aerial view of Paris and much beyond while taking a sip from the stemware in style! Cheers indeed, to concluding the visit with a festive moment!

Had it not been for us two blood-borne travel freaks, I might have still hung on to the presumption that Koh Samui is a tricky paradigm to beat. Had it not been for Paris, I might have continued listing Tulian on top in my so-called list of ‘favourite moments and experiences’.

If only, I had sooner understood him. If only, I had sooner comprehended how easy (or dilemmatic) would it have been for Pachai to break that fool’s paradise of mine. Every. Single. Year.

For this only makes me wonder what’s in store for the next twenty-seventh 😉

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