The Most Chilled out place on a Monday Morning!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sitting on the porch of a small yet comfortable cafe, I was sipping deliciously hot black tea on a rainy morning. The cafe was almost empty if not for very few travellers. The waitresses were huddled in one corner talking among themselves. All signs suggested it was a lazy morning. We were travelling in the Himalayas during the most unlikely time, when it pours cats and dogs because of which we were treated to lush greenery, overflowing rivers and streams, misty days, thundering waterfalls and all things beautiful.


MG Marg, GangtokEarlier that day when I woke up in the morning, through the curtains draped on the windows, I could see mountains playing hide and seek with the clouds. Sun was barely shining through the dense cloud cover and there was slight nip in the air. It was drizzling yet it seemed that heavens were ready to open flood gates anytime soon. As it happens to many while traveling, we were also clueless about the time and day of the week. MG Road was clean and sparkling thanks to the cleansing rains. Even as we first arrived in this pretty town few days ago, the first thing that struck me was the all pervading cleanliness. For an Indian town to be this clean, even more so in the rains was nothing short of a miracle. Traffic is not allowed on this stretch of MG Road, also known as MG Marg(Marg translates to road, in Hindi). Pretty benches and lampposts cut the road through the center, posh shops lined either side of the road. The low hanging mist only added charm to this already beautiful setting. 

One Friday, I was just noticing how many different groups sat on the benches opposite the cafe while I was there.

Elderly women dressed in traditional attire were walking in groups and greeting each other. Everyone seemed to carry one of those huge umbrellas, they came in all colors. The benches that lined the road were hardly empty. Students, youngsters, old people - someone or the other always took time to sit on these benches, they either sat silently or talked, laughed and left. No one seemed to be in any sort of hurry and everyone seemed to know everyone. Several greetings were exchanged between passers by. Things moved at an almost negligible pace, just like the clouds over the mountains. The clouds keep moving but you wouldn't notice but look after few minutes and you'd know something has changed.

As travellers, it wasn't anything significant to note that we were chilling out. But to see everyone else in the town chilling out was certainly not something I was used to. On Monday mornings like this, when I am struggling to get up in the morning, running after a bus, sitting with strangers yet talking to myself in my head, unbearable advertisements blaring in my ear on the radio, it is on days like today that I am taken back to the Monday mornings spent on the hill station. I long for the music of the mountains, noise of strangers talking to each other, dance of the clouds and wrath of the rain!

Turns out Monday mornings are that awesome in Gangtok, Sikkim. So are Friday evenings and the rest of the week.

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15 comments

  1. Dear Neelima
    How are you ? Enjoyed reading it thoroughly. havent been to the Himalayas in Monsoon , since 1995. Now let me see when I finished reading all your postings
    Have a nice MONDAY

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    1. I am doing good. Glad you enjoyed this post. :)

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  2. The rain brings freshness not in on the mother earth but on the human souls as well. I liked this weekend rainy writeup to start a fresh week. Nice pictures, narration always hallmark of your travelogue. Keep it going!

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    1. Well said, the rains do bring a lot of freshness and beauty with them. Thank you!

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  3. Ah, MG Road! As usual wonderful captured..

    Very unlikely monsoon in this time of the year in Sikkim. MG Road is not usually sparkling as it seen in your photographs..but generally it's always clean

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    1. This was from a while ago. Was there in Sikkim in July. No tourists, no garbage, it was a lovely time to be there.

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  4. Very nice description! Sikkim is a must-visit, I guess!


    http://renuka-mytraveldiary.blogspot.in

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    1. Thanks Renuka, Sikkim is a wonderful place indeed. :)

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  5. Very apt description of how holidays should be enjoyed. The rains reminded me of a trip to Munnar in the peak of rainy season last year, certainly one of my most enjoyable recent trips.

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    1. Thank you! Rains in the Western Ghats is my favorite time of the year. I am sure it must have been awesome.

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  6. Replies
    1. Yes, that too. There is another nice cafe called Cacao's ahead of Baker's Cafe. Much more chilled out ambiance than Baker's cafe.

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  7. MG Road is the most happening place in Gangtok and it's a fun place to "people watch". I was in Gangtok last monsoon season and although I love it when it's raining, the rain did play spoil sport as the MG Road was left deserted!

    I think monsoon is best enjoyed in the hot climate regions (like Mumbai) where it's actually possible to get drenched in the rain without feeling cold. hah

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    1. True, at times, rains are indeed quite troublesome in the mountains and it can get way too cold. But the beauty it brings is also nothing less. And yeah, it sure helps if we can get drenched without the fear of freezing to death! ;)

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  8. Hey Neelima,

    Just wanted to check, how safe is Sikkim for female travelers? Also, how expensive is the state for a 7 day trip.

    Planning to go in third week of April.

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