For centuries the Himalayan foothills have been summer retreats, where, the chaans or temporary thatch-shelters of the local hill folk were the only signs of human habitation. It was left to the British to come up, move in and claim all the credit for discovering hill stations all over India.
In the early nineteenth century, Capt Young, an intrepid official of the East India Company arrived in Landour, was charmed by the gentle climate—an indispensable relief from the heat of the plains down below—and built a shooting lodge in Mullingar.
‘Like meat, we keep better here,’ gushed Lady Emily Eden… ‘The climate! No wonder I could not live down below. We were never allowed a scrap of air to breathe…The air is a cool sort of stuff, refreshing, sweet and apparently pleasing to the lungs…I see this as the best part of India.’
The Raj summers in Mussoorie, chintz tablecloths and lace doilies, amateur dramatics of the Mussoorie Theatre Group at the Happy Valley Club: all these are woven together with long years of research. Ganesh Saili’s Mussoorie Medley: Tales of Yesteryear takes the reader down nostalgia lane to evoke the mystery and magic of the times gone by.