What is it about driving in the hills that could fascinate you? The pristine, untouched beauty? Or is it the gently pleated folds of the earth quite like a gypsy woman’s skirt gathered around her as she sits? Or the serpentine road winding through the miles and miles of these folds? Or it just might be the promise – of a ‘more-breathtaking-than-the-previous’ view from around the next bend?

Though I’ve driven less myself than I have been driven through the vast expanse of the great Himalayas, I prefer the latter because I then have the freedom to take in the scenic beauty – The hurriedly falling cascades of water – ranging from tiny, little more than drips to gigantic waterfalls – often showing the same hurried pace… The streams and rivulets – not so hurried, generating a rhythm as they flow over all obstacles in their path…

The tall pines – majestic and all – observing, some leaning on others as if tired from the eons of standing, some that had fallen prey to the restlessness of the soil beneath but are being held on to by their neighbours … probably their friends? The sun’s rays glistening off the needle-like leaves of the yellow pines… making them look like they’re made of shiny plastic – ironically, nature imitating man-made objects?

The cool breeze rustling through the trees in the forest… nah… the woods… brings about the peace and tranquility one seeks for in meditation. Even the sun, despite being strong through the clean, clear air, seems playful rather than harsh… And the aroma… the scent of the woods, pines, water, grassy mounds – impossible to capture in a bottle – the aroma of beauty… the aroma of peace… aroma of serenity…!

Yes, I think it’s all this and maybe much more that fascinates me – tingles all my senses and leaves such an impression that sitting here in my room, in the middle of a busy city in the plains, I can imagine myself far, far away … driving through nature at its finest! What about you?