Hailstorm!

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As we left Khajjiar and headed back to Panchpulla after seing some threatening skies which promised to drench one and all it seemed like the crowds were riding faster than us… they were always engulfing us no matter how fast we drove!

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And then it began, rain at first and suddenly the sound on the tin roof sounded rocky! It was not just rain, but hail….

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Slowly at first…

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We even went out and caught some

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then the pace increased…

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So much Hail!

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The feeling of driving in the Hailstorm was wonderful and something new for me… we gushed with excitement as it went tip tap tapak on our tin roof!!!!

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And after about half an hour of driving the hail bid good bye and blue skies again appeared! :D

Hut on a ledge!

In Dalhousie, we stayed at a humble homestay named birds and chirps, true to its name, it had a lot of birds around it, apart from the birds, there was this house on the edge of the mountain which really caught my fancy. I didn’t manage to go around to the house to check out what sort of views they got of the valley as their house seemed on the bend of the ledge. Regardless the house made for some good pictures especially with the sun setting behind it in the evenings and the clouds deciding to make unique patterns in the sky!

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Every evening, the residents of the house would all get together around this cot and chit chat and gaze around. I can seriously assure you, these guys although they live here are not at all bored of the view or perhaps never get enough of it! The thing about not going there or not interacting with them I can actually keep imagining what all they were thinking, doing or loving about the place.

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Here are some other hues of the same hut! :)

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The keen eye!

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The thing with photography is you start visualising frames everywhere, every blade of grass, every bit of cloud, every wrinkle on a face you see, you imagine framing them, you imagine capturing them in the stillness of your camera. This bug is just unbelievably infectious and wonderful, I see so many things now that I used to ignore earlier!

A bit of pollination has perhaps begun, since its summer and growth time in the Himalaya’s! :)

Junior falls in love too!!

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Remember exactly a year back, I had posted about the start of a new love affair. I had promised myself I will surely visit the place again, I did, this time with my son.

We were skeptical for a bit whether our son will like the place as much as we did, he suffers from the modern kid syndrome, plus he is hyper active so he is always like what next to do. Raju’s Guest house has a lot of activity to do if you choose to, but then on most of those activities your 10 year old will need some monitoring and plus no TV was a sort of a challenge we wondered how will the kid take.

To tell you the least, when we left Raju, the kid was quietly sitting in the back of the car. After a while I just turned back to see what was he upto, the kid was weeping, I stopped the car and I had to ask why!?

In the three days we spent there, the kid loved the place so much he was utmost sad to leave the place, he almost kept at crying for more than half an hour quietly weeping and remembering the place. The air of the place is such that we just can’t help but mingle with the other guests, he got extremely attached to two other guests in their 60’s who were staying there, we even took them with us for a trek which they gamely tried for a while then decided to sit and wait till we exhaust our lungs and come back, afternoons would be spent playing pick up sticks with uncle and aunty sipping on Rhododendron juice and evenings after dinner would be relished playing UNO with the lip smacking ‘Sevaiyaan’ cooked up by Raju’s wife.

Sometimes when all the adults had ate too much and wanted to sleep, the kid would happily spend his time plucking cherries or spotting a different bird or simply patting the four lovely dogs that Raju has! We were amazed that a kid that was petrified of dogs before this trip was all of a sudden hugging them! He would chase the cats, which were shy and kept distance. On on dinner occasion he infact didn’t sit with us for dinner and sat with his favourite Uncle & Aunty and actually gobbled up three roti’s!

Most of the time we had difficulty getting him to finish one and half. To say that he loved the place would be the understatement of the century. Like me when I returned back from Raju with a promise of surely returning again, this kid has probably made his own promise to himself!

I say, our family has all but fallen for this beautiful haven!! The hospitality of Raju Guest House is stuff of legends, I can never thank Karan and Varun enough for the wonderful job they do.

Window?

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A house in Turtuk puts an old destroyed jeep’s body to good use!

This little village that is the last settlement before the Line of Control and PAK, is a wonderful place to visit, curious kids run about everywhere, gazes keep following you from every window, the lanes are small, narrow, the architecture is ancient and peculiar, a part of Baltistan till 1971, this village has some pretty somber tales of being caught in the cross fire of two nations not exactly at peace with each other.

We also met a guy there who has a small museum of sorts with a complete date line chart of his ancestors, he claims he is a heir of the king of Baltistan and tells us the story of his ancestors quite fondly and proudly. Yagbo dynasty is what they call it, perhaps in my next post I will write more about that.