…with the sound of drumming.

It’s blowing on the wind, from a village further down the river from us.

We are back in one of my most favourite places in India, the lovely Tirthan Valley, staying with Shefali and Christopher at the Himalayan Trout House.

While Himmat and the Bahadurs fish, I do what I always do, and so love doing on these trips here – long walks, running, reading.

And, of course, the obligatory spot of retail therapy in Banjar.

You can never have too many shawls, right?

After the heat and the atrocious pollution of Delhi, Nagini village is tranquility personified.  Clear blue skies, blissfully quiet (other than the rickety rackety buses hurtling past every hour or so) and with a view of a river and a mountain from our room…doesn’t get much better.

Such are the joys of technology, that I just took some photos of my view with my iPad, so here you are, fresh off the press. My view. Right now.

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After a lazy day on my balcony, spent reading and writing, I’ll head out when it’s a little cooler and run down the road towards Banjar, and see how far I get, and what I get to see on the road, and who I stop to talk to.

Or should I run uphill towards Gushaini, and see if the hungry goats are still hanging out there? Both times I’ve stopped, they tried to eat my windcheater, so perhaps it’s time for a change of direction.

And that’s about my biggest challenge here. Which lovely bit of the river to run along.

#wanttolivehereforever

Oh. The drumming has suddenly eased off.

Perhaps whichever “devta” (God) was on the go, has arrived at his destination.

Yesterday, at the top of the Jalori Pass, we sat and chatted and had tea with a group of men from Banjar who were carrying their deity over the pass to Ani.  When I asked the reason for the devta’s journey, the answer was this:

“Ek private function ke liye.”  Definitely my kinda Hindi, that.

It had taken them 2 days to get up to the pass, they said, and when the drumming sounded, they all picked up their rucksacks, their drums and pipes and horns, shouldered the palanquin carrying the deity, and cascaded down the steep hillside in a joyous cacophony.

Like so.

Not difficult to see why I love coming to this pretty corner of Himachal.

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