Tuesday, December 15, 2015

My Favorite Beer Point

My favorite beer drinking place has been a bend in the Dehradun Mussourie road for around 8 years now. It is one of those innumerable Maggi points that dot that road, one of those places which offer tea, biscuits , their own recipe of maggi and a makeshift stone bench. But this one had a bench further down the level of the road and a clearing in front of it which gave a clear view of Dehradun from it.

And the view was outstanding. The place was calm, not much noise of the vehicles filtered through the trees, there was always a breeze blowing, thought it was freezing in January and the Maggi was good. I was pretty stressed about my MBA entrance exams and other shit but there for a few minutes I felt entirely at peace, I did not think of anything else except how it would feel to live here. No fancy job, no loads of money, no other fancy materialistic bullshit, just come here once in a while to drink a beer on a bike and eat a maggi. Total expense 150 Rupees per trip more or less. Less than the cost of pint in a pub in Bangalore. You can read about the whole Dehradun trip here. It is strange how the priorities of life can shift, I guess this is also a type of masaniya bairag. I will elaborate on the concept of masaniya bairag in a later blog post.

I do not have a photo of that place and sometimes I am glad of it, I can mentally mold the picture every time to the perfect place that I want to be in, in that moment of time. And everybody needs a beer point, even if they do not drink beer, it is a place of peace, their garden of Eden, a mental sanctuary.
But that place has now been replaced, by this.

This is near the castle (called Alcazar) of Segovia. Segovia is an old historic town near Madrid, it has an aqueduct from the Roman times, an impressive cathedral and this castle. It is said that this was the inspiration for Walt Disney for the sleeping beauty castle and the tower of Rapunzel.


I entered the castle from the regular entrance and the view was not impressive as the biggest tower facing had scaffolding on it, so after seeing the castle from inside I went out and was trying to get around it to see a different angle and came upon some narrow and steep stairs. The stairs are a recent addition, after the discovery of Cueva de la Zorra,

literally translates to the cave of the bitch, though I think it does not mean that. After I reached the bottom of the stairs I walked around I entered the woods near the foot of the rock the castle stands on. These woods called Dehesa in Spanish are typical of all Spanish royal residences, a break from then the hustle bustle of the castle. It also has a stream, which was probably a river surrounding the castle, cutting off approach of armies and has a small wooden bridge, now renovated, on it

While the place isn't really hidden, quite a few locals come here, but it is off the tourist track and thus very quiet.

As I walked in it I saw the leaves on the ground, the view of the castle and heard the sound of the small, gentle stream and I did not want to do anything but stand there, to stay there, to have a beer and think of nothing. And luckily I had a beer in my backpack; you see I was a Scout in school and you should know that their motto is "Be Prepared". So I stood on bridge with my one arm resting on the railing, legs crossed, looking up at the castle and sipped my beer. While the view was mesmerizing I was soon disturbed by a lot of elderly people who were walking their dogs. I thought public drinking would be OK in Spain, but I guess Botellon (Spanish for drinking in the street/park/beach) is now frowned upon and I had to move a little to the side to a stone bench.

And again I was lost from the my worries, like what to have for dinner and what number of bus leads back to the station, which I admit are the biggest worries of my life these days; and transported into a bubble where there was no past, no future, but only the present. I was looking up at the castle and seeing the myriad colors of the leaves, hearing minute changes in the sound of the stream and tasting the flavours in the beer which I hadn't noticed before.

But like all good things this had to come to an end as well, as I had to pee.

Even though I am no longer in that place, and this time I have a photo, but I will not look at it, for me it's my private paradise. So the next time I am stressed, when there is a P2 ticket or my in laws arrive and I need a place to retire to, to think of nothing and to feel relaxed, I will mentally arrive here. My new favorite beer point.

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