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View of Kachenjunga from Darjeeling

Two years on and I still remember it like it was yesterday.  I had been meaning to write about it but never got round to doing so because it felt too soon to deal with the reality that I might not get that part of my life back.  But as I sit here drinking my green tea, I got flashbacks from my trip to Darjeeling and thought that even though it was for a limited time only, it didn’t mean that I won’t ever get to do it again.  It’s about time I dealt with it and got it out of my system.

So my memory begins with having late afternoon tea and some Nan-Khatai at Glenary’s (the local coffee shop), overlooking the hills dotted with houses and the view of the Kachenjunga mountain in the distance.  It was December and the air was cool and crisp and the sun’s rays were just strong enough to cast a warm glow on our table.  We were both writing postcards to our families back home, updating them on the progress of our trip so far.  We had gotten to Darjeeling in the early hours of the morning, 2am to be precise via a hired jeep.  It was a 3 hour trip up the winding path from New Jalpaiguri train station from where we arrived.  We had taken the train from Delhi with a stop over in Varanasi.  It had been a long journey with a 12 hr delay in between and subsequently having to spend an extra night in Varanasi.  Nonetheless, we were both relieved to have finally arrived at the hill station when during colonial times, the British and Indian elites would escape to during the hot summer months to find some respite from the heat.  And it was just what we were needing as well from three weeks of driving around in the desert state of Rajasthan…