"If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or a Gurkha."-Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw A legendary statement made by a legendary man. I had my light bulb moment when I first heard of the Battle of Nalapani. It was fought between the Gurkhas and the British right here in… Continue reading It’s All About The Light And The Way A Gurkha Fights.
The last time we wore our ‘Kumaoni pichora’, or 'leopard spotted stoles' as my youngest insisted on calling, was for my cousin’s wedding two years ago. I took this picture of my mother around that time. She was among the few ladies who glowed in her distinctive Kumaoni nose ring. Draped on her was the… Continue reading Spots And Dots Of A Kumaoni Pichora
82 Araghar was my Nana's house, my second address all through my growing years. It was tall, white, double storey opposite the Araghar Post Office. In fact Nana's house looked like a slice of cake with pretty white trimming, served on a narrow platter. A gushing canal ran along its boundary walls for many years… Continue reading The House That Nana Built.
Lansdowne is a small military cantonment, tucked in the hills of Uttarakhand, India. I often find myself reminiscing of it, 'a land frozen in time'. It was the last place I visited before the COVID pandemic hit us all. Lansdowne is not flashy. You would recognize it as a small hamlet from a Ruskin Bond… Continue reading Lingering In Lansdowne, India.
Last week we went to Santala Devi's temple. Ms Teen had experienced the divine power of the goddess, 'an impossible wish that came true'. Hence she wanted a darshan. Was it another favour or just an excuse to get out of the house, she wouldn't say. The Government had unrolled Unlock 5 Guidelines but home… Continue reading Loud Conversations And A Quiet One
Corona Virus with an official name COVID-19 hopped across China, Korea, Iran, skipped to Italy and finally jumped to India. When WHO declared it a pandemic, I had to google the word since my vocabulary on contagion began with outbreak and ended with epidemic. Social distancing physically continues to be propped up like Captain America's… Continue reading When Corona Came Marching Home.
Things I tell myself the night before Sunday walk: a) Be resolute, be strong. Be ready to abandon bed-blanket on a Sunday morn. Sigh! b) Be on time to hit the trail. Set the alarm for 5.45 and 6.00 am. Another one for 6.15. Then RUN! c) Carry the essentials. Excitement , wonder, curiosity, and… Continue reading Sunday Walk Through Paltan Bazaar, Dehradun.
The Forest Research Institute (FRI) in Dehradun India, is every bit grand as its name. Ask the locals and on cue they go into raptures. See the sweeping emerald green lawns and don't miss the museum and the botanical garden! The monkeys are a menace and be careful of leopards. Yes! They sneak up on… Continue reading A Hauntingly Good Walk!
"Where are you from?" I am often asked this question. I blame my non distinctive looks that place me anywhere from the North Eastern region of India to Nepal, Tibet, Thailand. Once I was even excitedly pegged for a Japanese by my country men. Sigh! Closer home, confusion reigns supreme in my state of Uttarakhand.… Continue reading Identity Crisis and The Indian Election Mahakumbh!
Nestling among the mountains, Kumalda Village beckoned me like a siren's song. People spoke of its breathtaking beauty during the rains, the nearby River Song would swell in size and water cascade down in sheets. Well, I missed my chance during the monsoon but when my favourite walking group Been There Doon That announced another… Continue reading The Water Trail Of Kumalda Village