When we started on our journey, the air was chilly and I could feel it gently brushing by my face and sweeping through my hair. Its freshness and purity seemed to cleanse my very soul. Going uphill, I could see numerous trees of the distant forests, all swaying with every fresh current of the wind. My spirits rose and my heart inflated as I took in every little component of the landscape that presented itself to me as a fleeting panoramic painting, and my spirits rose only higher. What a feast for my eyes!
As I sat marveling the scenic beauty of the view, my nostrils were tickled by a sweet fragrance, a fragrance that carried me away and melted my heart at once. I peeped out of the window. There, ahead of us were the apple orchards. We passed apple trees on both sides of the road. On the right, rosy, blushing apples dancing to the tune of the wind and on the left, golden green apple orchards. The sweetness of their scents made my mouth water, as I had to control a strong urge to jump out of the car and run wildly amongst the trees.
Just then, it started to drizzle. I could no longer put my head out to feel the air whistling through my ears. Instead, I satisfied myself by watching the people walk earnestly amidst the rain, carrying black umbrellas. Then there were the children, laughing and blushing like little cherubs. They were dancing in the rain in their little raincoats, with their innocent giggles in place. I smiled as I saw them twittering and fluttering away in the rain.
Kulu had a lot of flora and fauna. I saw heavenly smiles in every blossoming flower. My heart was almost floating with happiness. I thought, seeing from the outside, that the environment there was in the perfect condition possible. But I soon found out how wrong I was.
When we entered the city, I found the environment contaminated, because of the human population. The woolen weavers are making a large profit due to the development of international tourism. Here the animal skin is used for making shawls, blankets, sweaters, etc. Even tiger skin blazers are still available. Though poaching is forbidden by law, the animals are being killed for their hide. Because of us, humans, animals are being killed. Not even for our need, but more for our greed. We are taking their lives at a time when they were fighting for their survival, when they are on the verge of disappearing from the face of Mother Earth.
I also saw the number of restaurants launched for the sake of promoting tourism and I also noticed that as a result, many trees had been destroyed. It was a scene that confronted my mind with varying images of global warming and pollution. It was difficult to even think about the Abode of Snow with no snow at all, or the landscapes without sufficient green trees.
We then finally reached the Sterling Resorts, surrounded by beautiful rose gardens. Later that day, we went to the peak of the mountain and I froze. The highest view points were the places were plenty of tourists swarmed and were littering the whole place, with plastic bottles, bags and other rubbish. There was a sign board saying, ‘Don’t throw plastic bags’ and one could see the wastes right underneath that board. It spoiled the very aesthetic scene of the place. The dustbins were there, and the rubbish too, inside the bin, outside it and everywhere else.
My heart sank when I saw these scenes and my mind began to wander in search for answers.