yet no one is seen.
Where the sky is always clear,
yet many colours gleam.
Where there is silence all around,
yet whippoorwills scream.
Where nature runs a riot,
yet peace reigns supreme. – Ami Titash, Balur. October 2014.
It took us over a year to go back to Balur and the experience this time was no less enchanting. If the first time was about discovering the estate, eclectic conversations with the other guests at the bonfire and indulging in the mouth-watering meals prepared by the in-house cook, this time was about letting the estate heal our frayed nerves.
We drove up one fine day after a gruelling six months, seeking the magic of Balur Estate. Off-season and mid-week with no other guests on the property, the two days we spent at the Estate were the most wonderful days ever. The drive up seemed so familiar and it was with great joy that we re-discovered the many turns, coffee-stops and village homes that had been our guide on the way up in 2012. We drove in to the Estate, revelling in the tranquillity that had enchanted us last time and from that moment onwards, it was perfection.
What could be better than dining in a room that overlooks clear skies and the mountains surrounding the Estate, with nothing but the sound of the breeze and the birds to break the sound of our munching? The staff has changed since our first visit, but is no less warm or courteous. The rest is just as charming…the serene beauty of the plantation, the endless supplies of coffee, the delightfully fresh onion bhajiyas in the evening and of course the bonfire as soon as the sun set.
All alone on the Estate, to enjoy all of this, it was easy to forget that deadlines awaited us back home. Of course, the fact that we were in the newly renovated Coffee Cottage, a large suite with an amazing bathroom and its very own reading room, just made it so much easier to do as W.H. Davies suggested in 1911. We stood and stared…and we let ourselves soak in the beauty of plantation with nothing to do but linger in leisure.
This time, we will go back soon. Just as promised. Within a couple of months.