Diary

Leo the Lion, the Lion of Lions…

Right now we are sitting a few kilometres from #Malling Nallah. Traffic is at rest up ahead due to road work. A long line of trucks and cars are waiting patiently. We can sort of see #Nako (our destination) and we are less than half an hour away.

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The Himalayan “traffic jam”; Photo: Sanjay Mukherjee

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With traffic stopped ahead, we got a lot of time to take in the beautiful views all around; Photo: Sanjay Mukherjee

We have been thinking of hiking it up to Nako and having the car catch up; but at the moment we are content to sit at the edge of the road and look at the #Spiti winding its way around the village of #Leo. Have been looking at that village and that river and been thinking of an old long-winding narrative we used to narrate in college: “Leo the lion, the lion of lions, the greatest lion in the jungle.” I guess I know why I thought of it: first because my childhood friend Dmess and I used to travel together and coz Dmess is a Leo and the Leo the Lion narration was one we used to do together – kind of like a routine.

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The unique setting of Leo village; Photo: Sanjay Mukherjee

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Pleasant sight of a bright color in the barren landscape with Leo village in the background; Photo: Sanjay Mukherjee

And it fit too coz according to The Wayfarer, the apples from Leo (and #Hango, #Chango and #Tabo  – basically upper #Kinnaur) are exported and very famous for their high quality (firm and juicy) since these villages have very limited use of pesticide and insecticide.

After an hour and a half, the vehicles started moving one by one. All this while, every one waited patiently, chatting with other people, talking about road conditions further ahead, of crops, and in general whiling time constructively while the #BRO (Border Roads Organisation) supervisors and workers worked methodically to complete the tarring of a bad patch of the road and clear up loose stones.

In these parts, it’s the BRO that tirelessly builds, rebuilds and maintains all roads, keeping them safe and functional in all weather conditions.

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