Monday, June 18, 2007


I like small towns. Touristy ones. Quaint ones. Rameshwaram, Hampi, Mahabalipuram, Pondicherry, Gokarna, Yaelagiri, Manali... They're filled with people from far and wide. People of different kinds. Some, energitically running around to squeeze in all the places they had read about, in a 2 day span. Some, sitting back sipping tea and drinking words out of a book. The hippie kind. Without a fixed agenda. Sitting in exotically named eateries that prefer white-skinned customers to brown-skinned ones. You could walk around. Taking in all this. Putting stories to faces. Wondering if India is the only place where the natives are racist against the natives. Wondering a lot of other things. But the air is very holidayee and it is generally nice. The obvious reason is probably that you would be there on a break, and you are predisposed to feel holidayee...but still..

Happened to spend some time in Uttarkashi recently. While at NIM hostel, we were allowed two 3 hour slots in Uttarkashi town for 'shopping'. The objective was to buy essentials before going to the higher altitudes. I was not inclined to shop. So generally walked around town. Ate veg momos in multiple shops. Drank multiple teas. Took random pictures. Sat by the Bhagirathi. Gaped at beautifully arranged coconut slices, arranged against a bright red plastic sheet. Did not take a picture cos i thought i might offend the shop-keeper (i dint want him to go, 'here comes another fkin tourist taking pictures of ppl trying to make a living!'). Bought a slice of coconut and ate though. Then there was this long suspension bridge across Bhagirathi. And the omnipresent Sadhus. Quite a few of them smoking what i beleive is ganja, on a terrace by the river. Pseudo-nirvana. Temporary suspension of reality. Not that it is bad. Quantum smokes of heaven? Tried it once in a far away land. Gives a weird kindof high. Then there was this small temple by the river. Sat there watching faces. Faces earnest in prayer. It is nice to watch people pray no. Whatever they're they'll probably be more inclined to be vice-less at that point in time. Not sure though. At length, my 3 hours got over and i reluctantly walked back to our bus, to resume the brief regimental life. Not before Uttarkashi firmly added itself to the list of small towns i would gladly go back to.

On the way back from Uttarkashi to Chennai, managed to spend a day in Haridwar..will keep that for some other time...