People think that living in the mountains is a dreamy affair but it’s not really a bed of roses. Meet Laksh Arora, who left his digital marketing job in Mumbai to open a gorgeous, eco-friendly boutique hotel in Mashobra, called The Nilaya (45 minutes from Shimla). By Japleen Kaur
1. Tell us a little about your journey before Nilaya came into existence.
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A couple of hours into first meeting Japleen's not so imaginary friend – @abhiandnow, I was asked to stand. Don't move. Chin up. Look there. Don't talk. Pose. But not pose pose. And 6 months later, he finally posts that image! Love love love 😍😍😍 #TheNilaya #Shimla #Sunset
My maternal roots are from Himachal Pradesh; the visits here were limited to summer vacations when we were growing up, and weekend holidays as an adult. I had never really planned to shift to the hills; I just got there for a month to help out with the hotel. The weather, a forest behind my house, dramatic sunsets, snow-clad mountain peaks, and just the proximity to nature changed my entire outlook. When I went back to Delhi following that month, and couldn’t even see the colour of the sky properly, I knew I was craving to go back to the hills. And now, its been two years for me living in the lap of nature.
Brace yourself for you will get a solid does of ‘me-time’ in the hills. Although it seems like something that city-dwellers might crave, but trust me, after a while it can get a little overwhelming. My suggestion would be to pick up local hobbies. I personally got into birding, astronomy, mixology, and just driving solo for hours discovering new artists to listen to. Another pro-tip would be having your own transport. It really helps.
People have it tough, yet they are so happy and welcoming! You will get invited to people’s homes without any shadow of foul-play. We could all learn how to be nicer to each other.