It's snowing in Murree and the heart is melting
Weather is a great metaphor for life -- sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, and there's little you can do but carry an umbrella. Or you can opt for Murree and its all-weather beauty and balm for the troubled Pakistani soul
By Adnan Rehmat
Murree is probably Pakistan's favourite all-weather hill station. In the summers it gets crowded by people seeking to beat the heat of the plains. The cool scent of pines and the wheezing breeze feel like a soothing balm on tired sores. In the winters there's the same crowd but for a different reason: the snow. Heaps of it; a layer of white on all layers of all colours… on trees and hills and houses and roads.
Come winter and a mass of people of the plains, mostly hordes from Punjab's north and central belt, make a beeline for what is popularly christened as the 'Queen of the Hills'. Make no mistake, Murree in the winter serves as the poor man's Switzerland. The rich man, of course, maintains strategically located - mostly off-road and off-the-beaten-track - bungalows and cabins with sloping roofs and logged fireplaces, terraced and winding tracks leading to them from the main roads. For them public is not a delight; their pleasure is private.
Murree is also where you take your wife to for the honeymoon (if you live within 500 miles of the station) whether immediately after the nuptials (to light up the nascent flame of love), or even 10 or 20 years after, to relive a youth slipping by like water through your fingers and to light up a fire going dim inside you both. You can pick out the new couples in winter Murree straight away; their woollies and jackets are new and bright colours always slip out of corners to defy the drab dull shades of their overalls. Many are not shy to hold hands and their steps are pregnant with purpose. Their measured gait is akin to drawing a map for found lovers, the snow and the cold acting as an antidote to runaway passions.... [continues]
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