My Blog

My Blog
Tanuja Shankar

Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Moments

18.12.09...8 am
As our plane landed on the Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airpor, I was kinda flabbergasted to see that we were landing in the middle of an ice bowl...all jagged snow capped, threatening, dark peaks!!! I double checked with Anshu bahin...whether we were landing right there...
The plane took a round circle of the Leh airport and started descending..a mind bogling experience for I had never stepped into a world like this.

18.12.09...10 am
We were sitting in a sunny parlour...all made of glass n wood in a cute hotel called Lotus Hotel in Leh.We were all dressed in more warmers than we had ever worn..maybe not Chinoo as shes much more used to the biting cold than us because of being in England.The day started with hot toasts, melted butter which froze as soon as it dropped on the plate, yummy apricot jam and omelettes with hot( gettng cold) tea and coffee.We were advised to sleep off our the drop in oxygen level can be really lethal..

We did just that...all of us...but by evening we were rearing to go and didn't much feel that lassitude and headaches...till much later.
Local Bazaars, Shanti ended with just that.


The day dawned bright and sunny and biting cold again...with snow all around...covering the Himalayas..the sleepy city and the landscape...all well..
except...the change in temperature and weather had probably affected me..and I got sick..usual symptoms of headaches, indigestion,exhaustion,lassitude,loss of appetite and ofcourse bad stomach disorder so I stayed put and everybody else scooted for a good sight seeing , visiting known monasteries and other scenic beauties!!
Thiksey Monastery, Spituk Monastery, Sindhu River, Ice hockey matches...and many such sites..Not to be missed the local bazaars!


The day saw me feel better so I decided to see Leh again...a day in bed had done me some good afterall...and ofcourse staying away from the typical Ladakhi food which I had to do away with..

We saw the Sangam of Sindhu and Zanzkar amazing sight...the azures and emaralds mixing in a hue so unique that it was diffficult to separate them..the temperature had dropped down to -22* at that point...surrounded by icings of snow all around...the rivers curled and gushed forward teppting the onlookers to snap away their cameras to glory!

Other sights..Pathar Sahib Gurudwara..12000 feet above sea level....toe melting cold stone floors covered by rugs ...and a huge rock in the middle..constructed in the 16th century in the memory of Gurunanak Dev to commemorate his visit .

Loads of places...loads of shopping of Ladakhi stuff...Shawls..gonchha..turquoise jewellery..metal and wooden artefacts..all this ended our three day trip to Leh..a trip worth remembering..
A visit to be taken AGAIN..but in summers for me!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Refugees or Displaced Persons or Illegal Immigrants?

We have heard so much about the refugees entering India via Jammu & Kashmir since 1947...after the partition of Hindustan...a curse given to us by the honourable Nehrus, Gandhis, Jinnahs and many others! Partition took many lives and made the lives of many insufferable.Those who survived on the borders, and in the areas close bordering India & Pakistan had to choose..Hindustan or Pakistan?
We have heard of Refugees of the POK...heard of Pundits and Muslims...but there is a motley crowd of West Pakistani Hindu Refugees who entered Jammu to go towards Punjab in 1947..Sheikh Abdullah stopped them midway and asked them to stay in Jammu and make the borders their home.he promised them land and jobs...
They got land on lease never to be called their own...they never got any jobs from the govt...and never rose above poverty line...because they are not citizens of J & K...they are still waiting to be called State Subjects on paper and verbally...
All this because they are not considered domiciles of J & they are from West Pakistan-Sialkot and Article 370 of the Constitution doesn't allow them to be called State Subjects.
Is this what is called justified?
Would they ever be called citizens of J & K?
Will they ever be a part of Hindustan?
Who is responsible for this?


We city birdies sometimes get numb...with so much sound around us...of vehicles,generator,ACs,constructions,pressure cookers,office humdrum etc we even realise that we need to just let go of ourselves and breathe IN fresh crisp air? Do we even notice the chirping of birds in the wee hours of morning? maybe not...because we are tossing and turning on our beds trying to catch that extra minute before the alram shreaks up and wakes us up...
Our numbness makes us exhausted, lethargic and listless...eyes heavy with sleep even when we have had a 7 hour nocturnal rest! Our numbness makes us crave to be in the lap of nature..go back to the old days of running around in the courtyard of our family home..makes us yearn to just close our eyes and hear the sounds of nature!
I experienced all that recently at a village resort close to Gurgao, called Surjeevan...a must day-visit if you want to just be away from the grind n grime of city life..a serene village ambience, huts for a comfortable stay..enough amenities for a cozy sojourne...tasty grub to tickle your palate...and far far from the maddening crowd!
What more can anyone ask for?