Its been a week since then. What have I been up to?
- Been trekking enough to actually not have to gasp before tackling distances in double digit kilometers. One Kinnauri actually said, "Aap toh Dilli ki nahin lagti." I decided to take that as a compliment : )
- Been learning that you cannot buy land in Himachal and if you do want to own some land in this paradise of a state, you will have to marry a Himachali girl. To top it, your kids will only inherit your land/property if they also marry someone from Himachal!
- I have come to understand that polygamy exists here – the eldest marries a girl and she is wife to all his younger brothers. People who retaliate against this system migrate to lower places (altitude wise of course) like Kullu, Mandi etc.
- I have learnt how to use dry toilets, which are common here because of the lack of water. Ingenuity at its best.
- And most of all I have come to learn about the ephemeral nature of our being. Witnessing the spoils of an accident that had occurred hours before we reached the spot. Seeing wailing relatives beside flattened metal that had once been a car. Peering out of the window and marveling at the blue waters in the gorge below. Watching the dust rise as the wheel of the car spins uncontrollably over the edge. And so:
Making of Chang, the local alcoholic brew, made of wheat/jow by rudimentary distillation.
Enjoying a simple meal in a Kinnauri living room. Homemade butter and freshly chopped onion serves as a good accompaniment to rice and curry.
Wool making is an activity that involves the entire family. The old lady wearing a Kinnauri cap (green) had a marigold flower tucked over her ear.
The moon at Reckong Peo. The mountains are the Kinner Kailash, considered Shiva's abode.