In the spring of 1989 , I was posted at the Centaur Lakeview Hotel , Srinagar. At the earlier posting in autumn of 1988, I had a bad time adjusting to the suddenness of that trip, and was terribly homesick.
Hence when I got news of this second posting, my family decided to help me by also taking a holiday at Srinagar during this time. We had Karen ( nearly 3yrs old) and Annalize ( 1 and 1/2 years old) with Anjean and my Mum along for this trip.
They took the flight to Srinagar via Delhi. I was thrilled to receive them at the airport.
As I looked throught the terminal glass, I first saw Karen, who looked so lost amid the other passengers. When she saw me, her face brightened up as she wondered what I was doing beyond the glass panel. Finally all came through the formalities of checking out of the terminal., and it was a grand reunion of family with me.
We then proceeded to tḥe Hotel Brown Palace for their short holiday. I was granted 4 days leave during this time , to be with them.
The hotel was quaint with the comforts of a medium hotel. The family room was spacious and well furnished . The General Manager gave us a warm welcome. He also cautioned us about the cold weather at night, and hence sent extra heaters.
We had dinner and retired to the room since they ( family) had travelled and needed to rest.
The room looked cosy with heavy curtain at the windows. We started all the heaters.
Soon it was lights out and all in bed. But the night was still young when little Annalize cried and cried with the cold….despite the heaters., .. we could do nothing., except cover her as best we could.
The temperature ,.was too low; the heaters made no difference, but we survived the cold night.
As the sun rose next morning,,and the weather changed a bit to become warmer, we met the .General Manager again. He enquired “ how was your night ?” … with a twinkle in his eye .
“ The heaters were not helpful , and our little ones could not bear the cold .” we responded.
“ Its not surprising , that you felt the cold. Your windows were open. I noticed this on my round last night,”
So with this embarrassing bit of information we made ,sure that the windows behind the heavy drapes were closed.
Thus the remaining nights were peaceful, and we enjoyed the stay , and sightseeing in Srinagar.