They say, “Beautiful things never crave for attention.” Paren is one such beautiful hill station located between Bindu and Jhalong. Throughout the tour I was messing up with the name of this place. Neither it is astoundingly famous nor does it claim to offer something exquisite to its tourists.
So I was initially least interested to visit this place. At one point, I even wondered why the Bagpackers included this site seeing in our package. But wait, the best was yet to come. After the early morning elephant ride in Kalipur (Gorumara Forest), it was a long journey to Paren taking around 3-4 hours. I was semi-asleep while visiting to this place but our car then gave us a halt at Jhalong. We got down the car and found several tourists. People were busy taking pictures standing in front of the viewpoint. I was no exception. After witnessing this beautiful view point, we got refreshed and started off for Paren. After crossing Jhalong, we could literally feel the chill. The late December days were casting its effect on us. The route was like one Anaconda snake with zigzag shape. Soon we were welcomed by the scenic beauty of the place. The colorful flowers of the cottage helloed us. Our stay for that night was this beautiful cottage of Mount Valley. What I find the most amazing while visiting hilly areas are its people. The cordially and warmth with which they treat you are unparalleled. We were being led to our rooms which were neatly arranged. There was no extravaganza but the room was cozily kept with everything at its place. The scenic beauty of Paren was just in front of our eyes and it was nothing short of a paradise. The garden of the villa was teeming with the bright and blooming flowers. Soon it was time for lunch and we were served with sumptuous meal of rice,dal and chicken curry. Somehow I did not like one thing. And that was a small boy whose age would be around 10-12 years old serving us, he should ideally be studying now. But we soon became friends. I must say that he sings really well. They were a Bhutanese family. The boy and his elder brother urged me to have more rice like our own family members do. The food had some Bhutanese spices and was new to my taste buds. In the afternoon we went to Bindu and the place was refreshing. Besides the tourists, I found the local teenagers spending some quality time. The Bhutan border was clearly visible and it had a restricted entry.
After returning back from there, we were being treated with lip-smacking pakoras and garam chai. There was so much peace all around, away from all these hustle and bustle. After the sunset, when darkness and cold crawled in, the boy and his family arranged for a camp fire. They were singing some songs in their language. Though we could not understand the meaning, we enjoyed the melody and its tune. Around 8 pm we were being served with roti and chicken curry. As I am not too fond of rotis, I ate less. The boy asked me if I would like to have rice. His courteous way touched me but I did not let me cook rice for me again.
After a brief walk, we were warmly embraced by the comfortable fat sheets of the bed and slumber kissed our eyes.I woke up early morning the next morning and witnessed the beautiful sunrise. The early morning chill along with the cup of tea seemed heavenly. The place seemed like an abode of calm and peace. Our driver was still sleeping soundly. Suddenly it struck me and I wanted to buy some chocolate bars for that boy. I started descending downward from the cottage. There were hardly any shops. The only few shops we came across do not keep luxury items but the basic stuffs. After travelling so much by foot, I became a little tired. I bought some cakes and éclairs and returned back to the villa.
I was greeted by the boy and his elder brother warmly. In fact they were searching for me.The breakfast was ready on the table and I was being served with my favorite aloo paratha. I was pleasantly surprised. The parathas were delicious and I asked them to give me two more. The face of the boy was blushing with happiness, he quickly ran to kitchen and he was evidently so much happy that I loved their cooked foods. These small things can make you feel so special. After completing the breakfast, it was the time to leave. Our hearts became a little heavy but still we hoped to meet again soon. I handed him the cakes and stuffs which I bought for him. He hugged me back in joy.
Learn two big lessons from them.
Firstly don’t confuse your needs with the luxury.
Secondly, we should remember that happiness comes in small bundles.
The stay was worth cherishing and I could not thank Bagpackers well enough for including it in the package.
Author: Krittika Samajdar