The next day we headed for Dehradun. My three-year-old was simply unstoppable, it was his first train ride, at least the first one that he is old enough to remember. Dehradun Shatabdi snakes through the urban jungles of boroughs of Delhi and Meerut in the first half of journey and then through the beautiful terrain of lush green forest and here and there a glimpse of the numerous hillocks and tall mountains, not so far on the horizon. It was no lesser a picturesque experience than riding the steam-train in the Austrian mountainside of Tyrol.
Dehradun, contrary to the general notion of the plain folks, was hot and humid with a bubbly energy in that din and commotion of a new state capital. Speaking to local folks, learned that half a decade ago people had only heard of air conditioners and it snowed at times even as late as in March. The rapid urbanization and surge in a number of migrants seeking opportunities in the budding capital have taken a toll on this once quiet sleepy town.
There we stayed at dear friend’s home in Dehradun, and enjoyed their warm hospitality in that beautiful cozy place, with a huge backyard full of fruits, vegetables, and flowers, and it all surrounded by unbroken Sal forest.