“you must be november”

november3
different shades of blue
adorns our november sky
as the drying leaves indicate
the coming of winter in these hills

november7between age old trees
and cold colonial concrete
daily visit by these snow clad peaks
is a mesmerising sight that makes me believe

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how do we rid them?

how you
refused his
food only
because he
was not
upper caste

how you
wanted a
pundit to
bring food
and serve
to you

how i
wish we
could get
rid of
horrid men
like you…

Hatu Peak

Whenever we travel, we might have a destination
but along the way there are many stops and detours
that often determine how we got to our final destinationhatu4On our way to Hatu peak
our first stop was for chai in theog

thereafter we made an uphill climb
to hatu peak where the entire himalayan range
was lined up against the blue sky and dragon clouds
hatu5

there were these amazing rocks and
yellow wildflowers smiling on the hillside

hatu temple was up for a big event
as the chief minister of himachal was
visiting that day and i got to see him too

on the way back we stopped by this small pond
hatu11

near the pond was a Gujjar dera for the nomadic Gujjar tribe
who would set up temporary shelters when they passed through
but the driver told us it becomes a shop-stall during tourist season

then we stopped at narkhanda for lunch
at the new himalaya negi dhaba for raajma-chawal

the most interesting part of the trip was buying apples
from this boss-lady who was selling from the hood of her jeep

another discovery on the way
was this high altitude training centre

all in all, quite a good one-day getaway
from shimla to hatu and the in-between places.

 

international film festival shimla

filfestshimla
last weekend was beautiful october weather
as we chanced on the international film festival

hosted in the two halls of gaiety theater
it was such a delight to be able to attend
at least one screening that hit the right chords

we managed to watch sinjar
the first movie in janseri language
which apparently won best feature film
at national film awards earlier this year.

we also met the director -sandeep papally
and i managed to shake hands, congratulate
and take a smiling picture of him in himachali topi 🙂

flying visit to pokhara

in between europe and kyrgyzstan
i also made a quick trip to pokhara

and lakeside never gets old
didn’t go boating but it’s a good
reminder when i drowned in this lake

i really want to paddle board someday soon
but this trip i only looked at adverts and fantasized

we went to white rabbit coffee for brunch
and the breakfast was filling and reasonable

lakeside has a lot of good bookstores
where they also sell second hand books

since it was monsoon
the rains were inevitable

but my favourite part was a ride to the other end of lakeside
away from the touristy facade where people lived their simple lives
pkr9

victory park

we chanced on victory park
because it was just across our
air bnb in aaly tokombaev street.
since we reached while it was still light
we decided to walk around and what a find

victory park had lots of flowers and memorials
but since it was written in kyrgyz or russian language
its was difficult for us to understand but we didn’t need to
know the script to know we had arrived at a beautiful place.

the centerpiece is apparently dedicated to the blockade of Leningrad
but i loved how young people were playing cards at the bottom of it.

there are a few interesting statues
and well manicured garden with roses

i especially liked how the place transforms
to a local hangout as the sun sets and dusk settles

we too ate some horse meat wrap
and became part of evening encounters