What do I tell you, friend? Dear friend of mine.
You ask me what I have seen and I wonder where I should begin.
Should I tell you about the setting sun from the Umananda Temple, an tiny island on the Brahmaputra? Or the way the river dolphin sinks into the river? Or should I tell you about the little girl in the yellow dress? Standing on the tracks somewhere between Maheshkunt and Lucknow. Can I accurately describe the night sky shimmering in the mountains? Or how the food menus bring a smile to my face?
You ask me what I feel and I wonder where to begin.
Can you put into words the way the trains lull you into sleep? Or how cold river water feels on your feet with the sun on your back? The cleanest mountain air rushing into your body. The rising sun over the flowing mughal architecture at Lucknow station. The look of innocence in the eyes of the Mishmi women that is so enticing.
You ask me why and I wonder where to begin.
Sitting on the stairs of the train bogey, watching the green fields stretching so far away. The random conversations at a tea shop in a tiny, tiny village waiting for the mountain bus to come. Waking up to hear a mighty river and sit on the verandah and sip hot chai. Walk the streets of towns and take in the crowds and their conversations and the buildings which so much history.
You ask me to tell me my stories and I wonder where to begin.
Bomb scares and sniffer dogs. Railway retiring rooms and bribes. Sitting outside the ADC’s office. Questions from the Army and the Home Ministry. Long walks and longer breakfasts. Mountain women and their perfectly shaped thighs [they are bloody circles i swear]. Hitch hiking in ambulances and bone jarring army trucks.
What do I tell you my friend? Dear friend of mine.