A Walk to Remember

The night bus dropped us at Shimla at 6 in the morning. We were told at the hotel that the check-in time is 12 pm. We left our bags at the reception, took out the only umbrella we had brought with us, and set out to stroll.As we started down the winding road, we heard a thunder. A minute later, it started drizzling. We opened our solo umbrella and huddled together under it.The road was now deserted as everyone scampered away to find some sort of shelter. We came across a giant map of the city, marking all the major points to visit.Institute of Advanced Studies seemed like a nice place to visit. We walked about five kms to find out that the place wouldn’t open for another hour. After another five kms, we reached Jakhu temple. The rain had stopped by now, but the whole city was misty. We could barely make out anything beyond 20 mtrs.The temple is situated on the highest peak in Shimla. As we started climbing the path, we received warnings ”beware of the monkeys”.We made it through the arcade with my glasses safe.As we reached the lower landing of the temple, a gigantic statue of Lord Hanuman became visible through the mist.And we were surrounded by an army of monkeys. We walked towards one of the railings, and found a monkey playing with Lil Boo’s slipper. I called out.It ran away with the slipper further down the slope. Lil Boo grabbed me around the waist to prevent me from tumbling down accidentally. I looked at it pleadingly.The monkey was wiser than it looked. The mist had begun to dissipate. As we walked back to the hotel, Lil Boo held on to me a little tighter. I was silently thanking the Lord Hanuman’s army.