17th November 2014 – Darjeeling, India
In the warm south, I was raised. And the north was a snow-covered dream. And now I find myself, toasting my coffee to the world’s tallest peaks. In a land, where people are fighting to make a different governance, A mesmerising railway train hoots its way through, amid joyous shrieks.
My heart had skipped a beat yesterday, when I rode into Darjeeling in the cold.
There was some political procession going on, by the local Gorkha groups. Darjeeling is often part of what is called Gorkhaland, a demand by the local Gorkha groups to get a separate entity/government. And strikes by these groups do happen from time to time. Yesterday was not a strike, just some political procession. But out of all the demands that were being shouted out in the local languages, 2 words were very clearly audible. Blah blah blah, GO BACK!
I didn’t know who that message was for, but I didn’t face any other harassment on my way. I walked out today, around the Railway station area, and found that the locals were suspicious, but did not show any kind of malice towards me. I didn’t care much too, given that I was already freezing here, and a little malice might have actually warmed me up! 😀
The highlight of a visit to Darjeeling is the Himalayan railway, a seemingly ingenious feat of engineering if you consider the local terrain. I just took down the timing of the trains, and put it in my plan to do it one of the next days. And of course, I clicked around the railway station, especially at those train drivers. The ones who had it all under control.
More about the train ride, soon.