My weekly Slice of Life are my letters to my Doddamma. She is my father’s elder brother’s wife. Doddamma literally means ‘elder mother’. She is 88 years old. She cannot hear properly if I telephone to talk to her. So, I have been writing letters to her since October 2017. I enjoy writing letters and she is happy to read them. They are only about the everyday moments in my life. I post my letters to her every week.
My letters to my doddamma are about our trip to Amritsar and Dharamsala between 1st and 9th of this month. So I am sharing the same in my Slice of Life post.
Around McLeodganj 7-01-2020
We set out from Norbulingka to our next destination. It was raining and my husband was uncomfortable in his wet shoes. We asked the driver to stop at any shop where we could get Hawai chappals. It was raining and we passed many small villages and towns. We stopped in front of a small shop which was selling all sorts of things. My husband bought the chappals and also an umbrella. But we were not sure if it would be of any help for three of us. 😊
We reached Karampa Monastery or the Gyoto Tantric Monastery temple. The buildings were symmetrical and we had to climb wide stairs to reach the temple. The yellow buildings with green roofs and the wide red staircase looked beautiful. There were not many people about. We rushed up the stairs because it was raining. Inside the big hall there were different statues and seats in rows for the monks. There was notice that no one should sit on them. It was beautiful inside. At that time we did not notice the beautiful mountains in the background. It had been cloudy and raining. We walked around but did not sit there.
Our next stop was the Chamunda Devi temple on the banks of the Ban Ganga river. Here we could not really appreciate the place as it was pouring and one umbrella was not enough. We walked to the temple, a small one. Inside devotees were singing devotional songs with religious fervor. We walked around the sanctum and received prasad.
After this we went back to the car. My brother had told Aravinda that he should not miss eating piping hot Maggi noodles in the hills. We told this to our driver and he stopped at a small roadside eatery. He seemed to know the shopkeeper. We had tea and a plate of vegetable Maggi noodles. We had not eaten it for ages but it did taste good. We were lucky to purchase a bottle of local honey there. But unfortunately, we were not destined a taste even a drop of it !! ☹.
We next proceeded to the famous cricket stadium of Dharamsala. It is a beautiful ground. We bought tickets and went to the stands. My husband enjoys cricket. I used to enjoy it long back. We took many photos of the soggy cricket ground. As we were walking back we spotted three men ahead of us. We asked one of them to take a photo of us and it turned out that he was from Gulbarga in Karnataka. His friends started making fun of him because he was happy to talk to us in Kannada. From there we went on to the War Memorial in a garden. We did not step out because of the rain but took some photos from the car. Our last stop were the tea gardens. The tea bushes covering the hill sides looked beautiful but I knew that tea-pluckers’ work was hard and back breaking. We don’t think of all that when we drink tea every day.
Aravind’s friend had told him about Café Illiterati not far from our hotel. We asked our driver to drop us there. The ambience of the café was fascinating. There were floor-to-ceiling book shelves filled with a variety of books. The café was on the hillside and the view was beautiful. We ate a pizza and drank tea. Aravinda had double espresso which I secretly I could have made at home at 1/10th of the price he paid 😊. There were many people about. A little dog was warming itself in front of the fire.
From there we walked up to our hotel. The distance was not much but we had to walk up all the way. At one point I thought it would be difficult to go but we did, good aerobic exercise 😊 and reached the hotel at 5.30.
A wonderful and rewarding day. We asked for hot water to drink and relaxed. We did not go out again as we had to finish packing. We had dinner in the hotel and retired for the day.