HYDERABAD: Imagine this. You are facing the east and watching the sunrise amidst the snow-clad mountains.
You hear the birds chirp and the dragonflies say hello in your hilltop cottage. You get served a fresh batch of puri-sabji with ginger chai.
You enjoy the scenario, log on to your workstation, wrap up early and then enjoy the view, a walk in the forest, a bath by the crook and of course dinner under the stars.
Sounds like fiction? Well, young Hyderabadis like you are all set to enjoy this starting in two weeks.
With many IT companies having declared that employees can take Work from home (WFH) option till December 31, 2020, and with the tourism sector slowly warming up to the new set of guests and business, the bored-at-home youngsters are going with their bag, baggage and laptops to work and vacation. The mountains are calling. Are you responding?
“Bored with the lockdown, unlockdown, social distancing and all the Covid-19 jargon, youngsters in Hyderabad have already booked four-week long stays with us. We work closely with cottages, hostels, homestays and rural communities and they are ready to host their guests, with all the Covid-19 protocols in place, of course. An excellent WiFi, is of course, part of the deal,” says Vandana Vijay, founder of Hyderabad-based travel company Offbeattracks.
“The mountains have gorgeous views and fresh, organic, local food. With fewer people, less pollution and cleaner air, it is a space that people are looking at and is ideal for social distancing days,” says Vandana who says that she has booked a couple for a month starting October 1 in Himachal.
She also has a bunch of six friends from Hyderabad who have booked three cottages in Manali and are all set for their workation,” she says.
Interestingly, Himachal Pradesh does not ask for any letters of permission or health certificates. However, Ladakh, which also opened recently, asks for a negative Covid-19 report for guests who enter the Union Territory. Although no visitors are allowed in Nubra Valley or Pangong Lake yet, the other places are open for guests.
Ranjani Sudheendra, a young CEO of a startup called Syncup in Hyderabad, says that she is celebrating her 30th birthday on October 12 and she is heading to a trip like this.
“I have worked super hard the last seven months, more so because I had no help during the lockdown and I want to usher in my big birthday in the hills. It was practical to club work with vacation,” she says. She is off to Manali from October 8 to October 28 and is putting up at a homestay run by a friend.
A typical one-month stay in a cottage (with a bedroom, furnished kitchen, a balcony with a view, electricity and WiFi) comes for around Rs 20,000 upwards.
“It’s cheaper than staying in Hyderabad for a month in Madhapur in this concrete jungle,” says Sameer Reddy Pulivetla, who works for a cloud company and plans to drive down for the long weekend in October. The new WFH is Work From the Hills is the new trend. Are you trending yet?