Previous post: A trip to Manali, India.
Women who sell tea and snacks at the Rohtang Pass return to their homes
Not many options were available to us at the taxi stand. Manali is a small town, every taxi driver appeared to have known the other fairly well. So the bargaining ended pretty quickly. The journey started with an unexpected warning from our driver. The road ahead, he said in a calm voice, is not so smooth.
Near the Pass: A man leads horses down to Manali
Five kilometers passed in a jiffy. Songs from Hindi movies were blaring from the taxi’s CD player. The driver spoke again. It would be very cold up there, he said. Our clothes were not enough to keep us warm there, he explained. “There’s a shop a few kilometers ahead,” he said. “They rent jackets, trousers and boots.” Was he telling this because he had some sort of understanding with the renter for commission or was he genuinely interested in making us warm at the pass. Either way it wasn’t a big deal. I mean renting jackets. Continue reading
Next post: At the Rohtang Pass, Himachal Pradesh, India
Pavan Nithin arrived at my apartment in the morning. Were I ‘up for this trip to Manali’ in the evening? He wanted to know. He had asked me the same question a few days before during a G chat session. He was in Kharagpur, near Kolkata, spending his last days in college (IIT). I wasn’t sure then, I wasn’t sure now. His friend in Delhi who was supposed to accompany him had pulled out from the trip that afternoon making Pavan possibly a lone traveler. Nothing tempts me more than an invite to travel. The city of Delhi was boiling in the heat of May. What did I need more? “Let’s go,” I said. I called Gokul Dahal to cancel our get together scheduled in the evening at my place. “Plan changed,” I told him. “I am going to Manali with Pavan. You are welcome to join us.” Continue reading