Stranded across the Rohtang

India-Travelogue  |  Travel time: October 1995  |  by Roshni P.

Night in Rangrik & start of our journey

We were invited to witness 'chanka' – a celebration in the village. Every visiting family contributed 2 or more bottles of chang (the local brew – alcoholic of course!) and poured it in to the large communal drum. There was singing and dancing going on.

We were first invited to sit in the dance hall. A man held a large drum, which he would beat once every eternity! (Actually it was every 30 seconds or so). There were women in their fineries surrounding him, forming a circle. They moved in the circle with tiny steps that you could hardly notice and their arms were spread out as they twisted their wrist slowly with each beat. I thought I had been transported back to a pre-oriental world or something! It SEEMED SO ANCIENT!!!!

We were then invited to sit in a private room with the major guests. Everybody was offered the Chang – which looks like water. Since I don’t drink alcohol, I was offered some butter tea followed by 'Indian' tea (milk and sugar). It is a custom there not to let a visitor’s glass go empty – not even by a sip. So, every time someone sipped, the hostess would promptly fill the glass again! In between someone would raise a toast and everyone had to finish the drink in one go – bottoms up! Everyone was getting drunk so Sweety fetched a mug of water and pretended it to be chang and poured it in our gang's glasses – to avoid getting drunk! Poor me had to drink endless cups of tea!

Around 4 AM the next morning, we made our way to the rest house.

© Roshni P., 2003
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The trip
 
Description:
On a recce trip to the newly opened Spiti valley, I learned why mountains are nobody's friends! From there on, no matter where I go, I am always prepared for the worst!
Details:
Start of journey: Oct 12, 1995
Duration: 14 days
End of journey: Oct 25, 1995
Travelled countries: India
The Author
 
Roshni P. is an active author on break-fresh-ground. since 17 years.