(As captured on 30th August, our last day at Leh)
Today is our last day in Ladakh and Leh. We are sitting at Penguin – a café we seemed to have frequented the most. There is lovely music playing in the background – what seems like South Indian classical fusion, though the café manager claims it to be Nepali. Quite a change from the Buddha beats which seemed to be their favorite.
Yesterday, on the way back from Pangong Tso, I was panicking. Pangong was our last trip in Ladakh, and right towards the end as we were returning back Leh, I was driven by this sudden urge to photo-shoot like a mad woman. Had I clicked every single moment, recorded every memory? My friend, M, sitting opposite to me refuses to even listen to my already beginning ‘post vacation’ cribs. She doesn’t want to talk or even think about the Monday morning that’s up ahead of us, not until she absolutely has to.
I have heard of people saying that their vacation was a total break from reality – and this one was truly like that. Maybe it was the length of the trip – fifteen days seems to have been enough for us to completely break from all things familiar. Or maybe it was fifteen days with nearly no cell connection, no TV, no news (for some of reason, none of us even really thought of picking up the paper even while in Leh), barely any connection to the world we left behind except for quick calls home assuring family that we were indeed alive. Or maybe it was simply Ladakh - long hours spent hiking, or driving and just soaking in the beauty of these mighty ranges, the nights spent lost in one of the best night skies we have ever seen.
The iPhone 3G has been launched in India, Bihar has seen a flood, J&K is worse off, Salman and Shah Rukh seemed to have made up, and Air Deccan is no longer Air Deccan. A lot has happened.
The hope for today is to laze around at Leh Café. Maybe chew on a book. And maybe search for stoles and jewelry to break the monotony of lazing around. A one last visit to the Shanti Stupa for a view of Leh sprawled below and the unreality of the mountains would be a perfect ending. A day of endless possibilities...
PS: Yes, we made it to Shanthi Stupa for one last time after all...
PS 2: Did I already mention it? It was glorious 15 days! And reality hurts!
Lying down on the terrace of Shanthi Stupa on our first visit
The lay of Leh beneath us