Monday, September 27, 2010

Flag Hill

{A Small Excursion}

The weekend sunshine was a much-needed break from the 100-year record-breaking deluge the flooded state of Uttarakhand has been suffering through these past few months. Everywhere saris, blankets, mattresses and carpets were drying out on rooftops and along the side of the road. To make the most of the sunshine and because he has sick land nav skills, P. organized a hike with some of his fellow-grantees and other friends from our Hindi classes. We wound our way down into the valley and found the trail to Flag Hill, which is exactly that: a wooded hummock festooned with Tibetan prayer flags. We morselized cardamom-lime cookies and someone brought a thermos of hot jasmine tea. I gathered flowers for botanical paintings and scrambled over rocks trying to catch a glimpse of the Himalayan Range as the clouds rolled in. We finally made our way back to town in high spirits, wolfed down some excellent curry in the bazaar, and, because it’s India and anything’s possible, found ourselves in the midst of a joyous, deafening Sikh street parade (pictures to come).

We were complete slugs on Sunday and didn’t get out of bed until 11, then ate our way through the day with short breaks for napping and, on my part, some half-assed reading of Midnight’s Children that went like this: read a page, have a conversation with beloved husband about where that jar of Nutella might be and how much might be in it, reread page, get up to make some tea, skim the same blasted page, go searching for said Nutella. We didn’t do a drop of Hindi homework and I didn’t prime a single canvas. It was a pretty magical weekend, even by Joshua Tree standards.


  1. These photos left me speechless!! Lily I love the color in all of these and the last one is so calming. And I love being a slug ... it feels good to just slow down, take a deep breath and RELAX. Hugs my sweet friend!! XO

  2. i've loved checking out the photos you've shared since arriving there.
    I lived in india for a while back in '04 and your photos brings back a lot of memories - you've location looks much better though

  3. Your trip is everything i had hoped it to be for your reader(me) colorful, beautiful splashes of aromatic culture, mentioning curry often( so jealous that i will be having some this week) mountain peeks, sacred cows and written in away that makes you wish you could thank the writer in person!

  4. Thanks so much for these posts! I love reading about your life in India...the photos are wonderful, as are your descriptions of your travels and daily life...and cardamom lime cookies...those must be divine!

  5. Oh, just found your blog and it's so lovely! A friend sent me a link to it.
    We traveled for 6 weeks in India the year before last- went from Trivandrum to Mumbai. Your photos are fabulous.
    *loved Midnight's Chidlren BTW- by far the best Rushdie in my opinion.

  6. Loving those flags, those clouds, and that very fancily cut horse's tail.

  7. Your writing and photographs are so wonderful and evocative. Every day I check back for the next installment......

  8. 1. the first and last photos are breathtaking. 2. p also has sick handstand skills. 3. midnight's children is hard enough to get through without nutella in the house.

  9. Thanks all!

    Caro- Yes, slugdom is essential sometimes.

    HEARBLACK- can't wait to go sleuthing back in time at HB and see if there are any traces of your trip...would LOVE to see India through your lens. Where were you?

    Nadia- you made my day. Thank you.

    Miss. Bend- they are G.O.O.D. and esp. divine when dipped in masala chai!

    Jamie- but seriously, missing the desert.

    Melissa- thanks! A good break from the rain for SURE.

    Lost P- delighted you opened the link! Can't wait to get down south and experience Mumbai insanity. I'm loving Midnight's Children, or Nightnight Babies, as my sister calls it. It's just a focus problem I seem to be suffering from...

    Rachel- perhaps inspiration for my next attempt at cutting my own bangs?

    agirl- thanks, woman!

    Ro- xo.

    Giovanna- that's actually our friend in the pink shirt ripping off those handstands, not P., and yes, Midnight's Children can be a little tough when there is the possibility of Nutella in the near future;)

  10. my husband and I stayed for 2 wks in Mussoori in '05~ your photos bring back memories! how wonderful to have a long stay there. Can't wait to see more beautiful photos and hear about your adventures.

  11. Beautiful colors of India! Love the flags. Now what can be better than jasmine tea and all the beautiful colors.

  12. But this looks so much like Darjeeling. At least Darjeeling in 1982.

  13. Stunning photography! What an inspiration, thanks for sharing.

    XO, Coyote Kind

  14. Following your life has become such a magical and unique adventure. I was reading about your days in Joshua Tree and those were amazing enough but now to think you're all the way across the world, in ANOTHER WORLD it seems!! Those prayer flags were so happy and beautiful!! Thanks for sharing your journey with us :)

  15. Oh my goodness! I just found your blog and I am totally enamored. Your photos are wonderful! I can't wait to read about more of your adventures in India.

  16. ha! but it's perfect reading for mussoorie! explains many things...(better with nutella of course). we have a picture in our bedroom of flag hill--i am loving this trip (feels like going home) vicariuously through you...


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