It is a wonderful morning today, in a rush though. Suvin holds the checklist and pen. “Passport?”, “Insurance?”, “Drive permit?”. One by one, he ticked all the items on the list. My lover boy has this habit since our salad days. Quite a meticulous packer. And funny angle is, when we come back from a vacation, there’s always a souvenir that we leave in our hotel rooms. Belts, UGs, sometimes mobile chargers.
Its’ almost 5 years ahead of my Christmas tale. Our taxi is waiting. We embark on accomplishing the most awaited vacation on my bucket list. Scandinavian holidays, Yayy! My dream of seeing the Northern Lights, the fascinating Aurora Borealis. “Bloody overrated they are! You take a trip of DMT and you see better kaleidoscopic images.”, Suvin always dismissed Norwegian trails. I desperately wanted to prove him wrong! “Jaldi chalao Bhaiya, Chawal kha k aaye ho?”, I cried at the taxi driver as the cab moved around like a drunk serpentine towards New Delhi International Airport.
I read through my travelogue while being stuck in traffic on AIIMS flyover. Scandinavia is a region in Northern Europe, with strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties. The term Scandinavia in local usage covers the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Helsinki is Finland’s southern capital, sits on a peninsula in the Gulf of Finland.
I literally blackmailed Suvin to book ourselves on direct flight to Helsinki. “I can’t wait to witness the magic.”, my rationale. “Babes, we’ll book non stop despite it being costlier because we don’t have much time”, Suvin had said. My Heart Sank.
My checklist lad had done deep analysis about accommodations, local transports, learnt few jargons in local language. He preferred travelling with a free heart than with a tour operator. Although, this time I was not really sure about his choice of AirBnB. Okay, Let me board the flight first. We rushed past the emigration and security checks. We took off after slight delay.
Our real destination is Tromso, however before that we’re gonna see couple more places.
From Helsinki, we reached Rovaniemi, this place is known as Santa Clause village, let’s see if I get a chance to meet Father Christmas.
We got on a night train. A Double-Decker called Santa Clause Express, which takes less than 15 hours. It was breath-taking view. As we traveled from Helsinki to snow-clad Lapland in North, the moonlight reflected on the snow and made for a stunning view. I clicked so many pictures on our Kodak as Suvin snored next to me. He was boring sometimes. We entered Lapland after crossing the Arctic Circle. This place is also known as mystical place where sun doesn’t set for weeks in summer and you know doesn’t rise for weeks in winters. “Bhishma Pitamah ka murder yehi hua tha,” Suvin chuckled as we planned to take a halt. Two reasons. Both of us were exhausted and more importantly, I wanted to say, ‘Hello Santa’. I know he is a mythical character, but the child in me is in no mood to agree with logic. So, we see Santa, his reindeer park and Arctic center here. “You can gaze at northern lights here”, exclaimed Santa. So, we stayed back to try our luck.
If you plan to be in this geography anytime, don’t forget to explore Kiruna. it has the famous Ice Hotel and Absolut Ice Bar. Despite Suvin’s hatred for cold, we went there. And it was lovely. We weren’t able to see the northern lights yesterday at Rovaniemi, they say you need to be really lucky to see them in first attempt. These lights are moody, they don’t have a schedule. Just like Suvin from here we are going to one more place called Narvik, to try our luck, it’s more fun as we go up a cable car, its absolutely a beautiful and guided tour.
All these places are so beautiful. The nature is untouched by modern monsters- concrete jungles and pollution. With or without lights, the sky is so beautiful, always throwing surprises at us. Finally, we cruised to Tromor, we are still waiting to get experience of our lifetime. Its 3 AM already. The cold is getting bitter and we are still sitting and waiting to see the lights.
I am sure, today is the day that all my prayers are put to test. I leaned into Suvin as we sat in the open area. Covered in thick blanket. And many more people. All looking upwards. The tour guide yelled, “ready folks?” And then flows so many shades, mostly fabulous green, often with a lining of pink on the edge, and sometimes deep violet centre. Its just flowing, coming and going. As if Gods are enjoying a laser show in sky.
We sit holding each other tightly, not even blinking once. I don’t know if I am breathing. However, what I know is my love for this man is as special and unique as these lights. In this cold night, the warmth I am getting in his company is my life. I never had such moment in life, I will never let him go, with my eyes glued on the beautiful dance of light in the sky all these thoughts running in my head and tears rolling down my eyes. This is it, from a humble beginning today we have reached here, because we are together. “You still think this is over-rated, Suvin?”, I asked. He turned to me and said, “I saved the best for the last. You wouldn’t want to die without seeing the Auroras, would you?”, pat came his reply! We broke into a laughter. Under the dazzling sky filled with magnificent lights, our eyes met. “I LOVE YOU”, both of us uttered it together. As always!