Update for week ended 13 November 2009
We had just settled into our comfortable room in the lodge atop the hill. Looking out through the French windows, you could survey the valley beyond and the distant hills and mountains. For a government run lodge, this place was quite well appointed and quite tastefully done up as well. I am not sure if it was the weather – a crispy cool breezy November, or the dreamy kingdom in the clouds (of Sikkim), or the smart staff at the lodge, or simply the quaint wooden lodge, but I was smitten by the place – as were my co-travellers. After dumping our luggage into our rooms, and a quick freshening up – we wanted to be out in the sun to soak it all up. Some smart alec had in the meantime placed the lunch order of hot and crispy parathas (stuffed Indian flat bread). We wolfed down the tasty food and headed out for a stroll down the road to the town below. The absence of any traffic or human noises along the trail made us appreciate every little creature of nature. But what caught my fancy was the landscape with a good measure of man-made structures but so well blended in. The zigzagging slopes around us were dotted with little buildings, almost all of them were white with a distinct maroon border at the bottom and smart sloping tin roofs. The larger expansive building roofs were mostly green and had large compounds surrounding them. The smaller ones had red roofs, but were sparse in this part of the town. From atop, the view was of sloping roofs at various elevations and truly admirable. One wondered how the town had got so synchronous with their architecture and then the revelation appeared. All these buildings were schools and hence the expansive proliferation of buildings with compounds and sports fields abutting – and this was the edict of the town fathers to ensure uniformity beyond just the school clothing the children draped. A marvellous way to enhance the beauty of the already beautiful town and countryside!
The school roofs of Sikkim inspired the D Street Boyz today as they traced its contours to map out onto their favourite graph – the SENSEX. But unlike my friends and I who started from the top and moved down, they started from the base and moved upwards. So the opening was close to some residences (I presume –given the red colour at start), but then they entered the school district and the admiration flowed. The SENSEX also clambered up the slope 152 points up to inch closer to the 16900 mark – but fell short at 16848. The week turned upwards despite some distractions from some “bad stomach” to inch up 4.3%. The rupee however has been oscillating in the Rs 46 to the Dollar range, while the oil traders have been rather subdued at around $ 78-80 per barrel, but the clear shine in financial markets has come from gold – hitting all time highs, and threatening to shine brighter.
Children look forward to November 14 to celebrate their day and I find it absurd to lug them around to “children’s festivals” being arranged by adults; why don’t we just ask them how they want to enjoy their day and flow with it? I know I would enjoy it thoroughly, even if it is to eat cotton candy from a street vendor or the Indian version of Fruit sorbet, to be sucked at from a bamboo stick and dipped constantly into the fruit concentrate in a clean tea tumbler; and grinning with orange, purple, devilish red lips and tongues. Slurrp!!
Have a nice weekend ..