All my life, I have heard that the first trip a married couple takes together is called a honeymoon where two adults, who have recently vowed to be with each other, do all the merry things together, for the first time. For couples who have had an arranged marriage (a typical custom followed in India where the bride and groom are selected and finalized by their families after a lot of horoscope-matching, personal and official scrutiny of the individual, especially the bride), they get to know the other person to whom the martial promise was made. For couples who have had a love marriage, they wear their hearts on sleeves and flaunt their new status as ‘newly-weds’. In either cases, the bride’s hand, full of red-white bangles that are popularly called ‘suhaag choora’, and are an imminent part of the marital fashion trend, exhibits the happiness of being a new bride. Likewise, I and my beloved husband went on our first trip together post marriage, but we both, in equal voices, abstain to call it honeymoon. Rather, we unanimously agreed to name it as ‘The first trek of Sharmas’ instead of ‘Honeymoon’.
Me and my husband – we have known each other since quite a few years before we agreed to tie the nuptial knot. So there wasn’t much of knowing-each-other remaining as is prevalent with the couples of arranged marriages. We knew the pros and cons of being with each other. One common thing between us is that we get easily tired (Now that we are talking about married couples, I must mention that we get tired ‘On certain occasions only’), and love to travel to shake off the lethargy.
After we have finished all the rituals of an Indian Hindu wedding ceremony that is incomplete without the great pomp and show, loud music and ‘thumkas’, over-excessive eating and drinking, prolonged broad smiles in front of multiple cameras that keep flashing in our eyes, incessant holding hands and posing, and being surrounded by so many people (let me get this clear – we haven’t done all this while were dating; we are a very straightforward couple), our hearts longed for a break, a proper vacation where we would give some rest to all the weary muscles in our bodies. Hence, we decided to visit Mussourie, a wonderful hill station in Uttarakhand, and a perfect place for honeymooners.
We have been blessed by our beloved relatives who gifted us, the newlyweds, a handsome amount of money. All thanks to them, and also to our most-beloved salaries, we booked one of the best rooms in one of the finest hotels, Country inn & Suites by Carlson, in Mussoorie. The room was clean, had optimum temperature, elegant lighting, glass bathroom, an exquisite view of the mountains and the city from the balcony. The service was top-notch. As soon as we checked-in the room, our eyes gleamed with joy when we saw the crease-less, king-size doubled bed with a spotless white bed-sheet inviting us. It was the best, silent invitation offered to two tired adults by any hotel bed so far!
As far as my memory goes, we both were engrossed in slumber for the entire day. The next afternoon, we made plans of touring the city, as it was the first visit to Mussourie for both of us. I still don’t know which God sarcastically blessed us in our slumber that we decided to tour the city of Mussourie on feet! We were there for a short period of time and decided to keep aside few places for the next visit (Talking of this, I have to start buzzing in his ears to plan the next trip soon!) Thus, sacrificing the leisure of vehicles, we braved ourselves to start the infamous, not-very-honeymoon-like tour by foot.
Disclaimer: Do not try this if either of you have breathing problems. It can land you in serious trouble.
We trekked up and down to the following places:
• Gun Hill
• Lal Tibba
• Camel’s Back Road
• Company Garden
• Christ Church
• Kellog Memorial Church
• Happy Valley
Each day, after we reached the hotel room, sarcasm had the last laugh, because we had come to give ourselves good food and proper rest. But now, we were horrified to recognize ourselves in tanned skin and we couldn’t even feel our legs owing to the tremendous amount of walk. The hot shower and the relaxing bath tub were the ultimate rescuers that saved us from getting a sprained muscle. I would like to emphasize that amidst all this reckless trek, we took some really candid pictures and captured pretty awesome moments together. We also ate like a horse, and slept like a log.
On our way back, the new Mr. and Mrs. Sharma joked about how to describe this trip, as we both knew the curious relatives would have all their ears up to listen to some spicy, tittle-tattle about our ‘honeymoon’.
We chuckled at each other and remarked, “It’s true that we both went with our ‘honey’, but thanks to our adventurous spirits, we definitely saw some ‘stars’ above our heads instead of the ‘moon’.”