Friday, November 03, 2006

McLeodganj -Diwali

This picture would have benifited with a polariser but I pretty much like it the way it is.

I never thought I would actually get around to spending a Diwali all alone at Mcleodganj, but the I am glad I did.

A picture I took from the tearrace of the main temple with my Om1, supported on a tripod and a 28mm lens. The streaks are the fireworks.
If I came to Mcleodganj to escape from noise, memories and myself-I succeeded in some of these aims. And looking down from the temple, everything was quiet and everything seemed very far away.

I had a cup of tea at a little stall close to the temple and the owner was very happy to be able to converse in Punjabi with a sikh. Told me that he had run away from Amritsar in 1984 and had been living in Mcleodganj since then. had raised a family. I mistook his being stoned for natural happiness. He insisted I take a picture of him, called his wife to join him. She refused so he made do with the his friend who had wandered close to his stall by then. There is a story in every life.
The sun sets over Dharamshala and heralds Diwali night.

There was a debate going on inside one of the temples. I love the way the attacking monks claps to make his point and the audience make a sound in unison to support him. Quite fascinating. These debates are mostly associated with a lot of good humor and smiles, with a lot of laughing. I dont know what they find funny. Next time round, I will ask.

I walked out of the temple by which time it was very dark, and on reaching the Sardar Patel chowk was intrigued to see this open air party goin on, with a live band, lots of dancing, and many onlookers. the presence of an alcohol shop nearby no doubt helped up liven things immensely.

Fireworks were tossed up, the din was enormous and so i helped myself to a bottle of beer and took some pics with my mobile phone.

The audience- watching the crowd including some very tattooed and stoned looking whites dancing step for step on Himesh Reshammiya songs sung by a dude in a baseball cap. Reshammiya Rocks.

Photography, record keeping. This monk standing there was a handed a camera by a dude who asked him to take his picture. so, I took his. Its tough taking pictures with beer in one hand. I thought seriously about getting another one, but the party folded up as quickly as it started. I was about as disappointed as another guy who took great pains to explain to the alcohol shop owner that he wanted a quarter of good tasting, EXPENSIVE booze. By the time, he got his point across, the music was over and the guy lost the chance to have a hangover and the business man lost the chance to make another couple of hundred rupees. All for a Himesh Reshammiya song that never got sung. Such is life.

Walked back to Chinar only to find that was no dinner to be had for love or money. Helpfully told to take my butt to Pema Thang down the road and eat where all the goras eat. So I decided to live it up and went to Pema Thang and ordered a Tibetan "Thali". Wonderful stuff though I dont remember the names of the items now, what was better was this guy-Tsering. He is absolutley inexhaustable, wonderful.
So I took his picture and put in tip for him in this cute little box they keep in all restaurants.

Got a few phone calls from people I knew while i was eating.

Got back to my room with a head full of need for sleep and the thought that I would have to wake up early the next day and catch up with HH.
More on that tomorrow.

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