Old Manali - Alternate realities

As I sit down to write this, I have too many things going on in my head. Too many Manali stories, too many ideas, a lot of great places to visit if you ever happen to go down there and maybe somethings that made me think.

Let me start by saying, that this short vacation to Old Manali, was by far the most chill 4 odd days I have had in I don't even know how long! It was a lot of French fries, every board game ever, sitting by the river and listening to the gushing sound of the water, smoking up to the point of indescribable chill, talking endlessly and enjoying silences, walking along the street with no purpose and trying to take one decent picture on the bridge. This was my trip. Though the best part was trekking to the waterfalls, sitting down along the water with Magoo (the doggo who led us there), eating Maggi, listening to soft music, glancing at my Malcolm Gladwell, laughing at strangers as they were attempting to get a candid profile picture just right with the girl who broke her popsicle and shared it with me! :)

I was almost completely cut-off from everything, no communication with anyone except for the person right in front of me. I loved this. I wasn’t being bugged by my phone or the hundreds of thoughts that run around in my brain trying to get my attention. I could just sit by the river, listen to the water flowing and believe me that was pure bliss. Walking around aimlessly, no worries of any kind at all, literally.
So in this post let me talk about the one thing that made me think. It was during the evening, we were just strolling around the colourful street. While walking uphill into the market, I passed a building that was supposedly a middle school for “Manali gaav”.

I could barely see any classrooms, even the boundary wall wasn’t properly built and I just stood there, looking at that “school” and then it hit me. I was staring right at my alternate reality. A reality that I have always have at the back of my mind but is very unlikely to come true. Things we would do if we weren’t so tied up in our lives. An alternate reality is our ideal situation. Leading a life that would make us happy and content. I know these are two different things, but somewhat connected. We all have such fantasies. And in that moment, standing there, getting drenched in the rain, I saw mine.

I could be living in a small house here and teaching the kids at this school and helping them get some structure in terms of their education and help them get the right kind of education and resources. Something that I have always wanted to do full-time. And later in the evening, I could write, for myself and anyone who would be willing to pay for my pathetic writing. There wouldn’t be a lot to do, no PVR, no Zara, no Uber to take me around or swiggy to get me food. I’d have to be completely independent and fend for myself. I would not a lot of money also, to be honest, but life would be simple and peaceful and fulfilling. I stand there and just imagining what it would be like to actually follow through, and would it actually make me that happy? Would I not miss the city lights? I don’t know the answers. I take a deep breath, smile to myself and continue walking.

Alternate reality, some other time, some other place, maybe!


  1. In Manali, Gulaba, enclosed in the blanket of snow is one among the best known visitor destinations explored in Himachal tour packages. This picturesque spot in district is situated on the way to Rohtang Pass and 20 km away from Himachal.

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