Alive

The soft wind blew through her hair, tangling it into a million knots. Goosebumps erupted all over her skin as the cold got to her bones, and she shivered.

She looked up at the sky, dark with monsoon clouds, not a ray of sunlight streaming through, even though it was 10 am.

She inched closer to the cool, wet, metal railing, and peered below the edge of the cliff. Lush hills of various shades of green rolled endlessly on either side of the deep valley. A tiny river trickled between the hills, disappearing beyond the horizon. Little clusters of villages dotted the valley, and the dark highway snaked its way through the green hillside.

She watched as the clouds descended towards the earth, enveloping the mountain tops in their grey shroud.

She listened as the wind whistled amongst the trees, leaves fluttering as it swept through.

And she shivered.

Someone handed her a paper plate of hot cheese pakodas. She bit into them gingerly, tasting the tangy masalas, as the warmth of the melted cheese seeped through her body.

The heavens gave way and suddenly, tiny rain drops began to fall on her face.

She closed her eyes and breathed in the petrichor, and she got goosebumps again, but this time for a different reason.

One monsoon trek to the Western Ghats, and she’d realized she didn’t want to sit in air-conditioned cabins or breathe pollution filled air.

She had been living for a long, long time. But right here, right now, she finally felt alive.

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