Did you ever think I’d say that, Mi? But I am, and more often than I’d care to admit these days, what with the frequent tummy ‘flus, probably thanks to the diabetes medication – or maybe just a weaker system.

Whatever, at least I am risking it with my eyes and mouth wide open. After we returned from our HP trip, I got the runs and pukes and felt as though I didn’t exist for two days – sleeping, drinking butter milk and visiting the loo in alternation.

Miracle that our body is, I feel better now, and hence the decision to risk coffee. I fondly remember how you used to scold me when I would stubbornly drink my morning coffee no matter what, even if it meant suffering the consequences. Sigh.

We kept wishing you were with us during this trip, as with every trip. The snow clad mountain range, the gorgeous nature treks, the visits to the temple, and the highlight, the meeting with His Holiness The Dalai Lama are unforgettable.

When I held the Dalai Lama’s hand, all I could think of was the absolute peace I used to feel when I hugged you or Paati. Your smiling faces just swam into my mind and stayed there, making me feel that everything is perfect!

Right from the time we arrived at the guest house, to see peacocks flitting around the place to the fabulous Rock Garden, to our winding car rides to Dharamsala, we kept talking of you and our previous trips. As usual, Vidur had his share of temples – this time shakti peetams we all enjoyed. Best of all was the oneness with nature we experienced in every single place.

You would have loved the hotel we stayed in, an HPTDC resort that had a superb view of the Kangra valley from our french windows and the Dhauladhar mountain range of the Himalayas from the other side.

I could actually visualize you singing songs and composing verse. What a series of if-onlys we work ourselves up to, don’t we? But I know you would have been thrilled just to know that we took that holiday – well, seized, more like it.

Now of course, we’re back to the grind with Vidur busy prepping for his various entrance exams. Gosh, still can’t believe that baby boy will be 18 this Nov. And I’ll never get over the reality of you not being around to see it!