(To Kausani on the 15th morning)
Amma and I were happy to talk to you the other day. We re all fine here. On Sunday
Kuvara plucked two raw jackfruits. He cut the them, amma and I removed the seeds from the arils. Amma cut them into two. I put them in the glass jar along with salt to preserve them. We use them later in some dishes.
In our villages jackfruit arils have always been preserved. In those days not many vegetables were available during the monsoon season. So raw mangoes and jackfruits were preserved in large earthen jars. It was a joint effort. There are some more jackfruits. We have to pluck them soon because they are splitting open. We are distributing them among our friends and neighbours.
Kuvara has gone to a place called Uppinangadi about three hours from here. His cousin Gopala passed away on the 22nd. He had a brain haemorrhage in February and suffered for four months. He was only 66. Close relatives were attending the rituals concerning the last rites performed by Gopala’s son.
Yesterday evening we went for a walk to EndPoint. We went there after a long time because of the rains. There is no shelter there. We have had less rains since the 30th of June .
I will continue about our trip doddamma. We had to leave for Kausani from Almora on the 15th morning. The strike by taxi drivers continued on that day too. We decided to leave at about 8 in the morning. When we came down to the reception we learnt about the taxi strike. Someone said there were no buses too. We talked to Kailash. He said he would talk to someone who would arrange a private car for us. We waited for quite some time but there was no reply from that person. We called Kailash again and said we would go to the bus stand and see whether the buses were available. He said he would come to help us. Fortunately it was not raining as we walked down to the stand. A bus to Bageshwari was there but it was too crowded and we had our luggage too. Kailash said the next bus was to Kausani. There were a lot of people waiting and we were worried whether we would get seats. The bus arrived at 10.25. Kailash went to keep the luggage in the dickie, I climbed in and reserved three seats 😊 just behind the driver. Kuvara and Aravnda followed. Due to the strike all buses were going full. The conductor said to the driver that local people traveling short distances should not be allowed on the bus because there was crowding. The driver got very angry and said whoever wanted to travel should be allowed in. The bus left Almora at 10.30. We bid Kailash Kandpal goodbye because he had gone out of his way to help us.
We enjoyed the bus journey through the winding roads. A woman sitting near me explained that people usually travel by share taxi (each passenger has to pay a certain amount of money). But because of the strike, the buses were running full. Some buses were not stopping for local passengers. At one point a very old lady and her elderly daughter got into the bus. People immediately made place for the mother. At 12’o clock we reached a place called Someshwar, about 16kms from Kausani. The driver stopped for tea and tiffin. That is a place where drivers stop for a break. It helps everyone to stretch their legs .
Many passengers got down but no one else tried to take their places. Just before setting off again the conductor found one of the tyres was punctured. He and the driver quickly changed the tyre and we proceeded. I was sitting behind the driver, and listening to him was a fascinating experience. One very old man wanted to get down at ‘number 4’, I was wondering what that was. I asked a boy sitting nearby. He too did not and he asked the driver. Number 4 means the kilometre stone at 400 metres from Someshwar. Every 200 meters there is a kilometre stone. So there are five stones for a kilometre. An interesting concept. We reached Kausani at 1 o’clock. and our hotel was walking distance from the circle or as the driver said ‘chouraha’ (where four roads meet).
I enjoy writing to you about our trip, it makes me remember the days more clearly.
Advaith and Kavya are fine. Kavya is trying to balance herself on her palms and kn. Asees I am writing this amma is doing yoga. The sun is shining brightly outside and Aravinda is reading.
With lots of love,
Living far from each other
The roads snaking between tall old trees
White mist floating between green trees.” ( Sidlak poetry)
“An eventful trip,
With strikes and tyre punctures.
A regular holiday,
Different in a nice way. (Tanka)