‘Never be afraid to sit a while and think’
It is a great piece of philosophical advice. It made me stop and think. I encountered it on a leisurely walk in Landour, Mussorie, pasted in neat letters on a garbage bin. Once I had absorbed the full scale and meaning of this line I ventured further. I realised there were other such philosophical garbage bins on the way to encounter.
The township of Landour sits just above the Mussoorie (a north Indian hill station) on a ridge. At the top of the ridge lies Lal Tibba, which has a television station at its centre. At the front of the Lal Tibba hill is the famous Char Dukan, where tourists flock to and indulge in waffles and momos. There is a road that starts from Char Dukan, makes a full circle around the Lal Tibba hill and comes back to the Char Dukan. This barely 1.5-kilometre-long round is one of the most pleasant walks you will ever come across.
It is a level walk, with rewarding views across verdant mountains. The walk is largely under the shadow of rhododendron trees and is interspersed with some old heritage bungalows, a British-era graveyard, and the iconic house of famed Bengali actor Victor Banerjee and a couple of heritage churches. This is a perfect place to indulge in some leisure walks and a bit of philosophy.
Interestingly, the philosophical bit has been very thoughtfully and innovatively provided by the authority in the form of garbage bins. What caught our intention was the messages that were displayed on these garbage bins.
On the side of the road after every few meters is a garbage bin, set up strategically to make sure there is no garbage littering by the tourists. These garbage bins have been set up by the Landour Cantonment Board.
One would find the placements of these philosophical quotes very opportunistic and eye-catching. It is expected that a person making the effort to stroll down this path would be in some sort of a philosophical and introspective mood. That makes the walk a prime and ready target for these messages. I for one was sold out to them.
Some of the philosophical gems we came across on garbage bins
-It feels good to be lost in the right direction
-It's not the mountains we conquer but ourselves
-The quieter you become, the more you can hear
Having completed the walk after absorbing the mountain views and soul-stirring philosophical garbage bins, I must say that it proved to be a very rewarding walk.