Leh. One more week to go. Less than a week. That hollow-gut feeling. Wondering what 16 deg C and 6 deg C (and lower) will feel like, after the salubrious climes one is used to. Well, when it rains here it rains the hell out, but that’s it. Since one had booked oneself way back in March, its not as if this is a surprise. Even if flight no’s have changed, flights dropped without any notice --that got me scrambling for the workplace travel desk. Volunteering . This time the living is going to be different. No qualis, no hotel room, no chattering tour group “safety in numbers”. I have a sleeping bag meant for the Arctic. And I will find my way there. This season the air will be very thin and oxygen scarce. Last week I was worried about the weather there, but this part of the state seems to have been saved of the natural disaster that has finished Srinagar for now. The Chini do periodically threaten, but that is par for the course, in the army museum one gets the feeling that this particular war was not over, it was just put on hold a few decades.
For some reason it seems important to remember the rain in A’bad that afternoon. Where did the gentle rain I was familiar with back in the 80’s go? This was pelting, drench to the skin rain, wading required—though I compulsively carry rain gear wherever I go. The home situation was sobering. Hammers home the point—life is a privilege. Life is too short. Do what you must do.
9000 full-grown , magnificent trees. That’s what BMC will massacre to widen one wandering lane (that was once a walking track) so as to join two suburbs better. I’d like to box their collective ears. For each full grown, few decade old tree they’ll plant 5 saplings and not one will survive past week 1. What rascals. The group ought to be airdropped on Khardungla and asked to breathe—that, gentlemen, is what low-oxygen content air feels like. And yet we have people like Dr. Usha and Renee to honor and cherish the green we have left—the teak are in bloom.
How can this scoundrel carry this off so well?