|Reminding Ray's Kanchenjunga|
Vast lush green hills lying before enormous length of snow clad Eastern Himalayas is undoubtedly a thing of beauty seen from Shrubbery in Darjeeling town. For that all you need is silence. A child not more than six, so garrulous, holding his father’s hand on way to school had just turned the corner at Lover’s Walk (Mall Road in Darjeeling), went mum in the face of Kang-chen-dzonga standing tall, heavily dressed in white before azure (sky).
Such is it’s authority that the father drops the school bag from
his left hand and genuflects, now face to face with the mighty Himalayas.
Seeing his father do so, the son acts accordingly but not that fast with ease.
I am sure he too will follow the humble weakness unspoilt, soon. Such human
behaviour exhibited by this man who has not even seen the walls of a school, is
the need of this hour.
Darjeeling for that matter is still alive adapting to the changes of human behaviour. So long you are alive you change adjusting to the new conditions within and without. A man, likely a tourist from the plains, had littered the clean asphalt down the hill toward the Nightingale Park only to be cleaned by a little boy silently walking behind him unnoticed. Such appearance though not common puts a slap on my face, but not silently this time assuring Darjeeling is breathing. Changes are there with heavy carbon deposits from the innumerable four wheeled modern dragons. Glenary’s
still exists but without the
table being laid immaculately, the fork and the spoon equidistant from the
plate. Das Studio’s existential agony to upkeep the city’s history is
visible in spite of Mrs Das’ veritable
presence adorning huge displays of old
Business is in the air like any other metropolis. The seller must sell his product whatever it may be, by hook or by crook. Rule books disappearing fast in modern world, chaos is imminent. With the vanishing of Capitol Cinema and Rink Cinema the Englishness is no more a feast. Now is the time for the ‘Desi’ idiology to come up, making it known to all what’s cooking in the kitchen. Loud gestures mainly from the tourists fill the air throughout the year. Morning walks are difficult, the air seems heavy. The Natural History Museum behind Alice Hotel is in a shambles but still holds the rarest of collections from the hills only for the man who has an eye for it. The Mall is now called the Chowrasta,
kept fairly clean when
you take into consideration the quantity and quality of crowd it has to bear
with. Makeshift shops populate the narrow stretch down from Sunflower Hotel to
the home for government vehicles. Some congest the romantic walk toward Mahakal
Mandir likely waiting for an extension
till the view point.
The concrete is eating away the cooler presence of hills.
The humankind knows it well but
have no strength to resist. Neither they
have the courage of Aurobinda nor the humanness of Tagore. The hills no more
breathe air, it breathes money. From Tagore to Goswami or else from Gandhi to
Basu the hills are alive,may be in their own different way, crying out for a
passionate, peaceable coexistence.
|C R Das' House|