I walked with the local to his village, Luj. The village is strikingly similar in altitude and topography to Breswana. They even have their own version of Bhakarwals (Nomadic shepards) and Nun chai (Salt tea). So, in a lot of senses this felt like home.
As we walked up to a local shop (run by the lady in blue) there was quite a bit of excitement about this crazy guy who had turned up to the village on a overloaded bicycle. Then, there was this buzz going around about me being from Bangalore.
One by one the characters in the picture turned up, first was the gentleman in the leather jacket and Beret cap, I’m going to call him Dev Anand ( no particular reason why, heh ). He was one animated bugger, took my cycle out for a spin and in the process came back with the others in the picture.
Next to him is a shy kid who is the grandchild of the lady who runs the shop. She was bribing him to stay in the shop but Dev Anands charisma drew him near the bicycle with the rest of the people.
The next person is Rajkumar. He is the Bangalore connection. A couple of years ago, he moved to Bangalore to work in construction. His work was near Kalyan Nagar at an apartment. Over there he met a woman from Belandur and they fell in love. Soon he got married to her, against the wishes of his parents and the village (read as relatives) but they welcomed the bride to Luj. A year after they’re marriage and a child later, the wife suddenly decided to move back to Bangalore because she wasn’t used to the harsh winters here in the mountains. So, right now Mr. Rajkumar stays with his parents in this beautiful village, with his daughter and the wife in Bangalore. They are still deciding how to work things out. By the time we spoke about all this, I was invited to his house to stay the night and he wouldn’t take no for an answer. So instead of moving towards Killar, I would be moving up the hill (in a bus thankfully) to his village.
The last two characters were from the same village, now, all of them would have climbed up to the village and not taken the bus, if not for this crazy guy on a cycle from Bangalore. We waited 4 hours for the bus (the road was blocked due to a landslide).