Archive for March, 2009

birds,butterflies and GPS

March 31, 2009

Hi all,
This post would be about some more flora and fauna discovering while living in bhagsu.

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raining in bhagsu

March 28, 2009

Hi all,
Yesterday it rained the whole day. There seems to be a pattern building up. It seems it will rain one day and then not rain the whole of next day. The local people need the rain as they depend on the rain water for their daily needs even though its piped. In fact the piped water from the mountains is not just for bhagsu, dharamkot, mcleodganj and dharamsala but also villages like dadnu and few others which the local people don’t feel generous.

Yesterday found a very nice Punjabi Dhaba on the Jogiwara Road going down from the Post Office, near/around ROGPA on the 2nd floor above memory restaurant. Also found couple of cinemas also there as well. Would go to one of them to also experience that mini-theatre as well.

Also met an old yet new friend called Krishna. Krishna is a Reiki Master, Yoga Teacher and Massage therapist all rolled into one. We are on similar paths hence had a nice deep conversation. While conversing as it was cold very much also used alcohol. While I have taken alcohol many times in my life yesterday could actually feel the alcohol mixing in my blood and giving warmth and energy as I was drinking it.

Seeing beautiful women and getting heart-broken is the other order of business of the day and women here are just beautiful to look at. 😉

That’s it on another beautiful day in Bhagsu, Mcleodganj 😉

Indrunag, bhagsu

March 27, 2009

Hi all,
Yesterday went to a place called Indrunag. Indrunag is famous for a temple made in honor of Lord Shiva. Its the only place around from where one can see the whole of North, the whole of South, East and West without obstruction of either the mountains or the trees. I’m not much of an outdoors person so it took me roughly three hours to get there. I started something like 11:30 a.m. and reached there around 14:30 hours.
There is no trail from either bhagsu or Mcleodganj to go to Indrunag. The best way to go by walk is to start walking from a very small temple which is next to Triund View Cafe (which is between Mcleodganj and Bhagsu). One needs to go down to a village called Hiro, still go down to the riverbed and then across and climb up. After climbing up for about 30-40 minutes, you hit across a sorta plateau which leads to a sort of half-built road which goes till Indrunag.

One of the interesting things which happened was couple of landslides which happened just before our eyes. I would say we were really lucky for had it been 2 minutes we would have been in pieces. It wasn’t a large landslide (as seen on TV) but the small one would have also done the job.

One of the other things which was interesting to see a tree species. It had drooping leaves (like porcupine spikes are but slanting downward due to gravity) and upturned few sticks which were like candles (almost like the candle chandeliers we see in old homes).

While going also observed a pool which had a bunch of tadpoles jumping in and out. Sadly the pool would not be good enough for even large frog.

After reaching Indrunag found there were couple of cafes. One is much better constructed then the other. Had delicious chowmein there and tea and lolled around a bit in Indrunag. Then as it started getting 16:00 hours went down walking down to Dharamsala .

While walking down an hour or so hit the small village/town called Dadnu. In Dadnu saw ‘Harmony through education special needs school, Dharamsala’ , Khando Chazotsang, White Gate. On inquiring further came to know this Special Needs School started operating few years back but now the Tibetans have taken it on rent. The school operates from 9 in the morning till 15:00 hours evening. Bang opposite this saw a Goan/Portugese architectural house which has been there for more than 40 years or so. It has couple of peaks and a small pyramidical structure at two sides. The owner was said to be some Colonel something. Tried to find a bit more about it but couldn’t 😦

Going down to the main bazaar came across another Sony PS2 Playstation parlor. This time couldn’t stop myself and played ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ for around couple of hours. Then came to the main bazaar took a bus to Mcleoganj, did the 2 kms. walk up to Bhagsu and another km. till my place and slept like a log.

Another post from the land of mysticism, romance and samsara 😉

Life, death and celebration

March 26, 2009

Hi all,
Sorry for not putting up any posts in the recent past. Just so many things have been happening just absorbing stuff takes time. This post would be about recent events happening around Bhagsu.
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People, Mcleodganj, Bhagsu

March 21, 2009

Hi all,
This post would be about meeting some of the different people I have met in Bhagsu.

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Night, dogs and Shantaram

March 20, 2009

Hi all,
There are many stories which are happening and keep happening in the triad called Mcleodganj, Bhagsunag, Dharamkot . One of the small interesting (now I can call it) experiences happened 2-3 days back one fine late evening (20:30 hours) . This is mountain area. I was going back to my room which passes some dark patches on the way. On one of these patches there were 2 dogs, one I guess was playful the other making grrr noises.
Just as this was happening, I imagined the dog-fight scene from Shantaram . Unfortunately I didn’t have a stick with me to push the dogs away, so I did the next best thing, just take very slow steps away while seeing them to outside the territory. Somehow the tactic worked and I was home-free. The whole experience might have not lasted even 10 mins.

Its not the bite which is terrible, its the 14 anti-rabies or 3-5 expensive anti-rabies injections which are the real pain.

Anyways, there’s much more to share but perhaps another time 😉

shiva cafe, jam session,waterfall, bagsu

March 16, 2009

Hi all,
Yesterday was cool. First item on the day’s list was to see another place. Finally found a place which has a good view and is pretty comfortable as well. Will be moving there come tomorrow morning.

The next item on the agenda was to go from Upper Bhagsu to Shiva Cafe. The path was uneasy at few places but rest of it was cool. Reached Shiva Cafe something around lunch time.

While having lunch came to know that Venus Cafe was doing a jam session from 18:30 till late. As it had been a long long time that I had been in a jam session decided to be in this one.

The jam session was held at waterfall. I would have to describe the waterfall to you. The waterfall at this point in time is just a little hole in the wall. Not much to look at, in the monsoon though it becomes a torrent. Its between two mountains connecting each other where the water from the mountains (the snow melting) comes down.

People started coming something like 18:45-19:00 hours. Met somebody named Claudia (she was French Canadian or something for she understood french as well as English). We chatted a while and then the jam session really got underway. While Claudia and her friends departed at 22:00 hours the party went till the wee hours of morning. We sang a mix of bhajans, some S.D. and R.D.Burman hits and everything in-between. I sang after a long long time as well hit some notes on the djembe and felt nice.

Then something around 3 a.m. people started to drift to sleep. Could see the half-moon and the stars and finally slept among the stars and the moon. All in all a nice day 😉

The Nepalis

March 16, 2009

Hi all,
Had met a bunch of people whose ancestors were in Nepal and had come to India. Talking to people came to know that there is significant chunk of population which lives in Forsythganj, Dal Lake, Chandwadi where 100% of the population is made of the Nepali community and all of them are in the Gorkha Rifles. There is also a village called Tota-Rani which is made of ex-servicemen and their families only.

Most of people came from Nepal in the 18th century. One of the interesting things I found is adultery as we know it is practiced with most of the Nepalis having atleast 2 wives. I came to know of two cases (in one case the woman knows, in the other she doesn’t)

Also came to know that in Malana people have multiple wives as well.Something in the range of 7-8 wives.

All in all a very productive day. Out for now 😉

Dal Lake and John in Wilderness

March 14, 2009

Hi all,
Today went to Dal Lake after 5 years. Went through the concrete road to the lake as don’t know/remember the way which is through the jungle. Took up better part of an hour, hour and a half and back the same. The lake is much much dirtier then the last time I was here but its good for the walk. On the way and back saw lot of construction happening. Also saw that TCV is also building couple of floors adding to the building which is already there.

Coming down from Dal Lake saw some children. most probably they are in TCV, maybe 6th-7th class students who were cleaning a nullah or the drainage (maybe it got choked or something don’t really know) but felt nice to see that young people are doing some bit for the environment. If nothing else, hopefully they will have better civic sense than me (and/or people of my generation). It is a slightly complex issue but let’s leave that for some other time.

Then in the afternoon was invited to a walk to an old church which is known as John in the Wilderness.
For me the name seemed a bit weird (thought it was a song we were going to sing in the church or something) , the walk is about 10-15 minutes from Mcleodganj and was nice weather.

Apparently some of the dead have been vandalized and the church seems to be in slightly bad shape. There has been a call for 0.5 million Rupees and don’t know how much has been collected so far. There is a single father/parish who looks after the whole church and he has a pet dog who gives company to the father and roams the grounds at night.

One of the interesting things I saw there on some of the olden plaques its written as dharamshalla and not as dharamsala as is known today. Also met some people from the bible society who were there for the meeting and stuff like that. All in all, had a good walkabout. Till l8er 😉

Post from Bhagsu

March 13, 2009

Hi all,
There is lots to share today. The first though is some bad news. The bad news is that the Indian Goverment has approved a ropeway project connecting Upper Dharamkot to Triund and I fear that soon Triund will be full of shops and there may be no snowfall on Triund as well.

A good thing to report it rained couple of days before in Bhagsu. It just didn’t rain but there was hale as well. The rains must have been for 3-4 hours and then it became pretty cold at night. There is possibility that maybe there was snowfall at Triund.

The day after went to Bagsunag waterfall. It comes after the old bhagsunag temple. The route which was scraggy and stuff has been made of concrete although time to time landslides break the road.

The same night there was a trance/techno party at a place which was 500 meters from the place I’m staying. As this is a valley the sound travels everywhere. The music which I was hearing could be described as a mix of ambient pop-techno stuff. I heard lot of 70’s, 80’s and 90’s numbers (bollywood) as well as some music of the beat generation.

The next day after, Jean (he pronounces it john with the n silent) invites me for breakfast and I discover sesame bread. Also find a nice little bakery which is near the main square in Mcleodganj for stuff.

Another good thing that came to be is that the lady of the house is not single anymore and has found a man for herself as well as her children. The guy is an influential person in the village and has quite a bit of property of himself.

Little bit of the lady (from now on couple) couple’s property they also grow a bit of garlic, potato and have planted 5-6 saplings of apple trees. The apple trees would take something like 4-5 years to give its product.

They also have now two cows (a mother and her child) with the mother giving between 11-13 litre daily which she produces for the child. The child is around 7-8 months old. There also is a rooster and two hens.

Part of the extended property is also now a Hall which would be most probably be used as a meditation Hall when the season starts as well as a Cafe. Also they are now building a cow+hen-shed by levelling the ground.

For the cow (hen-shed project) they got a ‘mistri’ (a sort of building engineer or something close to that) and few labourers and a stone-cutterer. The mistri and the stone-cutter get between Rs. 250-Rs.300/- per day which includes their own tools. Material such as cement and sand etc. is provided by the owner. The whole project would take something like a week or something.

Day before yesterday, a Russian couple became my neighbors. There names are Lena and Pacha. Lena speaks little bit of English while Pasha cannot speak at all in English. They say they joined Buddhism while in Russia about couple of years back and many people do that nowadays. They seem to be a fanatic taste for Rum, they got something called ‘TomTom’ which they drink morning, afternoon, evening and night. They invited me for a drinking session and it was nice.

While conversing came to know they have been together for 3 years. Lena while being an individual also seems to still feel guilty for her lifestyle.

Chatted today morning with the the mistri. The mistri shared couple of stories with me. One was about his helper who has a habit of drinking, (in fact most of the male villagers seem to drink everyday in the village and its nothing new.) doesn’t come on time and has a loan of Rs. 1500 on his head. Apparently, he also doesn’t contribute to the household anything.

Couple of other stories he shared was about how a couple (from India, Delhi to be precise) started a body massage business and in 2 years have got a 4 storied building (the only one in bhagsu so far). He also shared about an agreement which was between an Engish woman and a local guy to where the lady would invest her time, energy and money while the guy would help with the land deals. 3 years on after all the land was bought, the villagers nixed the agreement and somehow made all of it in his name.

One interesting point he did share that people in the village would eat each other if the tourist does not come. He shared about how people in neighboring towns and villages have either apples or other fruits as well as ‘charas’ and people make millions in the process while here due to the terrain this is not possible here.

That’s about another post from the frontiers of bhagsu 😉