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Soon the day broke and the gentle and cool breeze picked some speed. On both sides of the highway, there were farms mostly of wheat with the crop ready to be harvested. ( After all, the festival of harvest in northern India, Baisakhi is around the corner).
It was around 6 and I had almost entered the outskirts of Rohtak when I encountered another bifurcation. On asking a local which way to go for Tilyar, he told me either way I will reach the same place. I rephrased the Question and asked which way is better in his opinion. Pointing towards one road with his finger he said, “This one”. I thanked him and took the other road! That road passed through a village where people were busy with their chores (which includes defecating in the open!).
Finally I could see Haryana tourism welcoming me to Tilyar. The tourism minister couldn’t come up with a garland so instead he put up a Welcome-board to compensate for it. The Tilyar resort was getting prepared to welcome its guests. The Garden around the lake was lush green but the lake was still an enigma. I asked a guy, busy with his exercise, “where is the lake”? “Right here”, he said with a hand gesture. And there it was - a huge lake with a mini ecosystem with dense growth of trees in the middle of it and lots of ducks, fishes and polybags and filth everywhere else in the Lake of my fantasies . A perfect tourist spot, whatsay..??I walked around the perimeter of the pond; even lay on it with my bag as my pillow but couldn’t sleep because I became too cautious of the clumsy looks of the passing joggers. Dropping the idea of boating, I headed towards the mini zoo they have with some native and exotic birds, leopard and their prime attraction – tiger. Something coerced me to think like Menka Gandhi when I was in front of the cage of the Indian parakeets (tota). There were parakeets inside the cage and there were parakeets mocking them or probably giving them moral support outside the cage as well. I thought how bad the ‘inmates’ must be feeling to be inside when their fellow members are having a rocking time outside. Braving the monkeys, I got a glimpse of the leopard but missed the Tiger which I hardly bothered about in that state of mind. I was done here; time to move on but had to fill my bottle and so I went into the resort’s restaurant. I took permission from the manager but before giving the permission he gave me a preaching. “You guys set off from home with a bag for school or college but end up visiting Tilyar. You don’t have studies to take care of; all you do is loitering around.” I couldn’t say anything to him, I was amusingly surprised. I only said since we have exams, our college is closed today. I asked for his permission again to which he replied, “You rather have milk than water but keep in mind what I said”. That was amazing.
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