I recently accompanied my brother in law, who was returning and proclaims himself a ballu-ite, to Dharamshala and stayed at this homestay. I still have not got over five majestic days spent in and out of Ballu. First of all, as I was warned, it is not for everybody; certainly not for people accustomed to impersonal cookie cutters. Everyday, at Ballu, is different; full of surprises, as life should be. The location, amidst dense vegetation and besides a rushing mountain stream, ensures this. In your rum infused warmth you doze off to different moods of the gushing or gurgling stream sounds, and wake up to the chirp and sights of different birds each day. No sound and sight is same. The scenery is constantly evolving and growing upon you. This unpredictability extends even to the people. Abhishek, the articulate and warm owner, is well read and well informed about almost everything, including Dharamshala. Do share a drink with him, if he agrees. Also, ask for his mothers south Indian breakfast if she is visiting. With her around, it is like home. And the guests you do not know whom, and from what walk of life, you would end up meeting. Sharing stories, over drinks, sitting outside in verandah savoring junglee silences with these people will make for lifelong memories. Last, but not the least cheerful house helps, personal guests of Abhishek (who can drop in at a short notice and enliven the evening with a guitar session, for example) and the pets (intended and otherwise) would make you want to return.