The white mist followed us to the resort as we walked back from the village, just when the sun was setting in. We were told that the landscape ofTerai were one of the best ones in the country by our resort manager, especially during the evenings. At that moment, I almost spitted “No.” For me, the best evenings meant silhouetted houses, stacked like cards with pitch black gallies in between. It meant sitting on a stone slab in a falcha with wooden beams and staring at the people passing by. The best evenings were those in Durbar Squares of Kathmandu Valley, where you would be staring at the mighty palaces, always surrounded by the locals – young and old, alone and in a group, quiet and noisy.
This was my first trip to Chitwan, near National Park and I was staying at a resort in Kasara, right near the community buffer zone. I was here for the weekend and my package included a village walk to learn about the Tharu villages nearby, Elephant ride for the next morning, canoeing in the evening and a short jungle walk. I was excited to be here, part of me wishing to get the glimpse of Rhinos and Tigers (yes, the impossible dreams). And this was my first night.
As we walked around the village in Patiyani, the surroundings amazed me with the yellow fields full of mustards. The traditional houses of mud and thatched roof were decorated with traditional murals and instruments used by the villagers for fishing. We walked till the end of the road where the elephants of the resort were kept and I managed to catch a glimpse of a mountain which was pretty far away from the place we were. And at that moment, I got the sense of what our manager meant when he said the view in Terai is one of the best. “You can see far and wide from any particular place here” he’d said before we started the walk, “there are no mountains or hills to block the view you see.”
The mist had started to develop right when we had decided to return back. It was also slowly getting darker while the sky was slowly turning into pink. The closer we were to the resort, the whiter the yellow fields were turning into. It was as if the magical mist was following us, trying to engulf everything around. I could see the faraway fields, already submerged inside the mist. And right there, when we reached the resort, I finally understood what the manager meant. I was looking at a dark blue sky with a tiny star twinkling and a crescent moon above a pink horizon which was followed by dark silhouette of fields far and wide. And this was basically the best twilight I ever came across in my life.