The Road to Kalimpong

By Wangchuk Bhutia

The distance between

Siliguri and Kalimpong is
sixty eight kilometres,
to be accurate. Over the
last three
decades the temperament
of the
road has remained quite
the same and
so has it’s narrative.
The monkeys
along Likhuveer will tell
you the
unchanged stories of
hunger and
some with decapitated
limbs will tell you of
vegetables driving
vehicles. The mushroom
sellers at Rambi will
hound you with the perils
of
capitalisation while the tigers
at Bagh Pool chuff about
colonisation
and for some reason about
The Orient.
The momos or the maach-
bhaat at
Kalijhora will teach you
that taste
has nothing to do with
hygiene. The
orange vendors squatting
along the
route will tell you that
winter is here.
The many spring waters
used to leave
you with lessons on
medicine and elixir
and the power of human
belief while now
they, or their lack of,
demonstrates to
you urbanisation. The
rainforests of the
Mahananda where elephants
have right
of way or the Himalayan
temperate forests above
Chitrey will unfold
before
you the tale of that one
big wild cat
that someone you know
witnessed with
his own eyes. The point
where the road
parts towards Gangtok
tells you
you are here. And the
Teesta. Oh!
The Teesta! The river
that once gushed
songs of life, today
hushes ballads of
death. Of the end. Of
truth. Of reality.
Of humanity. The
traveller I, have
traversed this road a
hundred times
but every time this
journey seems
a lifetime long. And over
the past
thirty decades, it is
also with I,
the goings-on of my heart
that
nothing has changed. I
still feel
only two things on this
journey.
Euphoria. And melancholy.
Depending
on where the journey
begins.
And ends.

- Wangchuk Bhutia,
Instagram @9.2.11.experiences


3 comments

  • You’ve portrayed it very beautifully ❤️

    Leena
  • Loved the end a little too much ❤

    Harshada Pawar
  • Always love to travel those roads. Sweet reminder to me and lovely written!

    Zenzen

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