Go on, take a deep breath and feel the clean air pervade your smog-filled lungs. I somehow seem to remember an MTV advert from back in (was it?) 1994 that stated 'One day breathing in Bombay is like smoking ten cigarettes'. I'm sure that the number of ciggies in question has now risen exponentially, but that's digressing.
What we're discussing here is a tiny nondescript little hill station called Badhok. Before that quizzical expression on your face results in a permanent frown, let's put some geographical facts into perspective. Badhok is a place up in the Shivalik Ranges in the North of India. That's
somewhere in the foothills of the Himalayas.
So there we were, driving along a red-bottomed monkey-inhabited road winding up the mountainside, when we pulled into this quaint resort called The Pinewood. (Yes, unlike apartment buildings in Mumbai called Beach View when you can't even see a stall vending bottled water in sight, this one does have pine trees surrounding it.) Now the view from this resort was heavenly rows of bright red poppies swaying in the breeze, huge rose blooms in eye-catching reds and oranges, dainty little purple and yellow flowers nodding their heads in time to a tune of their own. Bliss.
Badhok itself has nothing much to write home about, except for some scrumptious local Himachali cuisine, and gorgeous weather even in the summer. A good place to run away from it all for a weekend. As we did.