ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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At the Bus Stop

A long wait at a bus stop in Lahaul Valley and the briefly converged trajectories of monk, shepherds, chai-shop lady, and trekking family from Uttarakhand

“The bus usually reaches by 1.30 pm and I give the drivers chawal and rajma (rice and beans). Then they leave by 2 pm,” explains Dolma, the chai-shop lady. We are sitting in the only shop in a village, in the remoteLahaul Valley in Himachal Pradesh. After a week of trekking with my husband and four kids, it is now time to start the journey home. But, the bus is late.

Three shepherds (locally known as gaddi) are waiting too. They had walked a full day to get here from their high altitude alpine camps. The older man, his face tanned and leathery, explains: “My nephew is staying with the goats while I go to town for a few days. We all like to go and meet all the other shepherds.” All three gaddi are wearing their trademark homespun jackets and colourful caps. They sitpatiently and speak little. Watching and waiting is something they perhaps do a lot of.

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Updated On : 24th Feb, 2017
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