The Himalayan Heidi

November 01, 2019

Living the Heidi life ..... the daisy picker !
Growing up in the hills my childhood was spent going for long forest walks , picnics, climbing on trees , discovering new hide outs in the mountains , camp fires , picnics , tree houses , eating wild berries , flower picking and everything wild . Indeed life was all about adventures and new discoveries every day.
This is what I think a quintessential ‘Pahari kid’ is all about .
I was also very much influenced by the cartoon Heidi, I think at one point of time in my life I wanted a house on top of a mountain just like her, a bed which was made with brown hay and big vat to make fresh cheese . The Heidi imagery has lived very strongly in my mind throughout and I think till date I fancy a life like that .
I loved the fact, that she was passionate about living every moment and committing to it in heart and soul . I think we all need such ‘ Heidi moments’ in our life where you find paradise in creating such moments , in connection , in flashes across time which is the true eternal bliss of life .

One of such things which I fondly remember is about flower picking with my childhood friends .The onset of the spring in Shimla would turn the hill sides more greener and the fragrant scent of fresh green grass would mix with the tall deodars and pines ,creating a mix of enchanting fragrances which still creates a hypnotic charm in my mind and I get transported to the mystical world .
I remember in the early spring months the dainty daisies would dot the hillsides in huge numbers tossing their heads in a sprightly dance . Their dance was indeed an invitation for me and my friends to go for a session of flower picking . I would call myself a Daisy picker .
However I must mention the tradition of being a daisy picker was set by sister and I followed suit . A word of caution - Credits for tradition and legacy and should never be forgotten when you have a elder sibling around .
Holding our tiny cane baskets we would set out for the day for hours at a stretch to pick the best flowers of the season . There were fairly like daisies , wood sorrels growing in all colours of pink,violet and yellow , ramblers in all shades of pastels , ferns of all different kinds and each one of us would try to get the best pick of the day .
When we would come back from our escapade we would be full of mountain dust , our clothes would have thorns but our hearts would be full of joy and contentment as we had managed to get the best spoils for the day .
The daisies have a long life span than other flowers and after being decorated in the different corners of our house my daisies would be pressed in books which would be further used for making designer bookmarks . So it surely didn't end with flower picking but would culminate into memorable bookmarks forever to be cherished .

These memories are still the most treasured moments of my life .However with the changing times , the number of daisies blooming on the hill sides have reduced and I would not like to be daisy picker again because their dwindling number scares me of a lost childhood dream .
However my daisy book marks preserve my dream of a Daisy picker and help me to relive my daisy days .

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