A cheerful batch of research scholars and paramedical post-graduate students were on their way to attend a conference at Ooty. Sylvia joined the gang along with Mona, Vandy, Mike, Richard and others. Sylvia had never been to Ooty and it was the first visit for her.
The tickets were booked on a train that traveled till Ooty. The batch planned to get down at Mettupalayam and then board the train that went to Ooty. Sylvia had read about the travel by train to Ooty. The entire group did not sleep till it was 12 am and every one was chatting with one another. The train reached Mettupalayam around 7 am.
To everyone’s disappointment the train to Ooty was cancelled due to technical reasons. With a grudge, they moved out of the railway station to the nearby bus stand and took the bus to Ooty. The entire group could not get the seats in a single bus. So, the group had to split and take different buses to Ooty.
Traveling through the winding roads was also a fun. The younger group who traveled in the bus made use of the moment and cheered whenever the bus took a hairpin bend and moved upward successfully. The trip was a pleasant and memorable one as Sylvia got the chance to move closer with Mona.
Every one was preparing for their presentation. Research scholars and post graduate students gathered at the lobby of the guest house to practice their presentation sessions.
“It is boring.” Mona grumbled with a murmur. “I don’t want to do it once again. I want to go out and see Ooty.”
“Shut up” Vandy shouted at her. “It is very cold even now. You can’t go out.”
“No. I want to go.” Mona shouted back. “Syl, will you come with me?”
“Sure.” Sylvia replied with a jerk. “Luckily, they didn’t ask you to give a presentation” Mona pulled her out from the crowd and pushed her toward the door.
Ooty was quite chilly as it was November. Yet, Sylvia loved to stroll on the streets of Ooty. Mona and Sylvia walked toward the shopping center. The shopping area was quite warm and Sylvia could not believe she was at Ooty. The buildings provided the warmth and so they could do their shopping at peace.
On their way back to the guest house, Mona stopped at a temple. Sylvia was quite surprised to know that Mona could find a temple at an unknown place. Both of them went to the temple. There was no one at the temple except the priest. It was so calm and soothing to be there.
When Mona stood there praying with her eyes closed, Sylvia wished within her heart that Mona would succeed in everything in her life. Without praying for herself, Sylvia prayed for Mona and could not tell why she prayed for Mona.
Dusk had set in and the street lights were on. The evening walk turned out to be a pleasant one. After sipping a cup of hot tea in a nearby dimly lit shop, they walked enjoying the beauty of Ooty.