My Friend Dalamo, from a Fairytale Realm called Darjeeling

My Friend Dalamo, from a Fairytale Realm called Darjeeling

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My Friend Dalamo from A Simple Realm Called Darjeeling

I first met Dalamo at the stream of Gorkhey, a piece from children’s literature in the magical world called Darjeeling. She was this tiny superhuman, jumping from one rock to the other, in tattered clothes, while I sat on the bank and shrieked at every touch of the icy water. Dalamo then walked with us to our guest house, scrupulously maintaining the facade in front of the other villagers that she was just a wanderer, and had nothing to do with us.

Her home is actually in the little village of Samanden, about a kilometre from Gorkhey. The reason I had brought her to our guest house was to give her medicines for her eyes that had been attacked by some insects near the river and were watering profusely. Her reasons to come were – “Biskut, Choclet”. She left that day; her eyes were still a little puffy and red, while the kangaroo-pocket she created by picking up the hem of her skirt was full of chocolates and biscuits.

My Friend Dalamo, from a Fairytale Realm called Darjeeling

I next saw Dalamo playing with her friends in her school playground. This was at Rammam, some 9 km away from Gorkhey. I learnt that every day, Dalamo walks for about 8 km to go to school. And this school is NOTHING like St. Joseph’s North Point School, where SRK’s “Mai Hun Na” was shot.

When she saw us, she made sure her friends didn’t see her with us; so, she took a long, precarious route of adventure along the slope of the mountain to reach us from behind the canteen in front of her school. She knew she would be rewarded with toffees, and did not want to share. Or, perhaps, she had realised that we were in love with her; she probably did not want us to give her share of love to her friends. She left to join her friends once she got her loot.

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Dalamo in Her Fairyland, Darjeeling

Dalamo never spoke much. She probably just said three words to me. “Biskut… Choclet… Dalamo…” She is not very expressive, either. There’s something enchanting in the simplicity and minimalism that shrouds her world.

Dalamo left the memory of a rare, lovely smile that day, before disappearing into the playground full of red-cheeked faces.

When I left Rammam for Sepi, I hoped to see her the next time I would travel to this region.

Dalamo belongs to a land that is nothing like mine. She belongs to the mountains, where people give like we never can. In that world, villagers come together to build someone’s house. They don’t just open the doors of their houses for the guests; they also open the window into a realm that you once read about as a child, or have thought of escaping into when you were too tired of your own world.

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People from the Darjeeling can Teach You Simplicity and Minimalism

The people in that world, and the moments of simplicity there, teach you to be happy with every bit you have, forget everything that you don’t, and laugh in unadulterated joy.

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You Learn Laugh in Pure Joy among the People of Darjeeling

I don’t need to explain why I was deeply shaken when, at one point, the political scenario led me to fear that I might never be able to set foot in that world again. And, I am grateful everything is better now. I can’t say the same with my life, though. Now, I don’t know when I’ll see her again, and if she will remember me when we meet.

I hope that Dalamo, and every nook and corner of the otherworldly realm called Darjeeling to which she belongs, will remain just as simple and innocent when I see them next.

[Clicks by Sushmita Ganguly and Just-OD-Things: Clicks]

 

Oendrila De

The unique, odd, crazy journey of OD, i.e. Oendrila in the world of fashion, food and everything else in this big, bad, beautiful world.

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3 Responses

  1. Sapna says:

    Love the simplicity of your words which always leave a deep mark on readers mind. Darjleeing is no doubt a beautiful and mesmerizing hill station. Stay blessed.

  1. June 18, 2018

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