'Sherlock' and the case of the Idyll Holiday in Ooty

a poem by Rita Joyce Singh, India

"Elementary! My dear Watson".
No,no, it's incorrect to believe
Ranked as the enormously famous Quote number One
As what Sir Arthur Conan Doyle did conceive
Mr Sherlock Holmes never said it.
Though this quote has a life of its own and earns plaudit...
even to this day. The actual line runs thus:
(Mr Holmes' response to Watson is typical, understated, no fuss)

"Excellent!"I cried(Watson)
"Elementary!" said he(Mr Holmes)

That said- I shall move on to my family outing and treat
Organized by my son in law to this quaint retreat
We had just driven over dizzying heights with 36 U-pin bends
Cutting off the city, mobiles, office and friends
Arriving here-this isolated Blue Mountains' place
Almost lost in the noon mist a ghost-like trace

My thoughts raced to the second most famous quote
Sir Doyle of Sherlock fame wrote

"You know my methods, Watson"

This quote preceding
the run up sentence in the story of 'The Crooked Man'

My city life and bustle mode went receding
For

"I was engrossed in the careful (methods) examination
of the room(s) and the lawn"

Fine livings- all nine rooms suitably named
from the stories of Sir Doyle ..so famed
Black Peter, Dancing Men,Six Napoleons,Baskervilles
Three Gables, Gloria Scott etc..creating fancy, mood and thrill
There were scattered clues..pipes,candles,
cloak and dagger excerpts ...
mounted on the wall. ....
... Applying Holmesian precepts
I proceeded.....

..."To eliminate the impossible for whatever remains, however, improbable, must be the truth."

The truth is:
No one can reach you or disturb
The service and hospitality is superb
The staff, so gentle, so courteous,all apron and bows
The decor is old wood, old world, antique with low front windows
Overlooking the hamlets and wild flowers, terraced fields
Orchids, fir trees and potato yields
Long evening shadows of folks playing chess
Lit fireplaces and a whiff of pipe tobacco..I ..guess
And maybe just maybe if the mist is clearing
Imagine ..you see outside -part wishing part fearing
The devil of a tall, gaunt man, pipe in mouth, cap and cape
Making the hair stand upon the nape
"Is that you Mr Holmes?" I almost speak aloud
No luck-just another city-man..getting away from the crowd

'Sherlock" is a theme hotel of the Little Earth Group
A spit and polish home with hot water, food ,chocolates and soup
Atop Tiger Hill cradled amidst the Nilgiri Mountains
Would Mr Holmes have relished his stay with Jazz-Music and Uttapams for breakfast in the elegant sun-room and surrounding Tea Farms
Where there are friendly locals, nippy air, haunting scents and charms
Slanting sunrays, rain and rolling mist
You could just plain decide to put this... on your bucket list

Leave the city and instead
Getaway to this spiffing homestead
Peruse its library-Adventures of Mr H
Catch his silhouette..(if possible-near the fireplace) and see his framed sketch
As for me..
"Excellent!" I cried,"It's a beautiful place."
(Surely, you all believe me when I say, I heard Mr Holmes say to Watson).."Elementary!" "It is the case."


Note: Lot of lines from the stories of Sherlock have been plagiarized here.. ofcourse with no intent evil...and. must visit this place for the ambience. Nilgiri- a long and great cluster-chain of Blue Southern Mountains known for its flora and fauna..especially Nilgiri teas. Forgive me the changes of tenses.. Uttapam: kind of fermented rice batter-portions of which are fried as pancakes with stuffings... (Also.Three of the Sherlock- famous quotes have been wedged in here)Love and regards to all at VN. Notable also is that the pictures of the actor Jeremy Brett who acted in the Holmes ' TV series is framed in all the rooms..a wonderful theme.rita singh

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