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SUNRISE IN KANCHENDJUNGA
The little town of Manebhanjang stands at the confluence of two torrents that come down in two deep valleys from the middle Himalayas, in the eastern frontier of India. Turbulently, for they still remember their mountain source, the united streams run on two sides of the town. Silence in Manebhanjang is the continual sound of running water.
Dominating Manebhanjang itself, a bold promontory of hills juts out like a wedge between the two valleys. Near the top of the hill and set amidst the ilex and tall cypress trees that rise up in their black silhouette above the misty olives, stands an ancient house. Now its been made up into a hotel. Only those selected few who take a distinct interest in the most sublime but unconventional, care to come to such a God forsaken place. They are too few and yet they come at this time of early winter just to catch a glimpse of the white damsel, that is Kanchendjunga!
There is nothing much to do throughout the day here, except for the sun to set and rise again. This is precisely what I have come to do. The local cuisine in the shanty was excellent and hot and as I took a walk to cool my system, I glanced at the mist that slowly inundated the landscape. It came up from somewhere below, gradually obliterating the low hills below. A similar misty veil descended from above where the imposing Kunchendjunga stands proud in her pristine glory along with her less imposing sisters. I awaited the sunrise.
The road is steep that leads up from Manebhanjang to the top of the hill. There is a little tea stall that offers black tea and a magnificent view on the hilltop. As I trudge up that hill at four-thirty the following morning, I curse myself as I stumble for the umpteenth time. Another ten minutes gets me to the top and amidst the thick envelope of fog, I discern a little woman in a little stall, serving tea in little cups. A French couple greets me as I secure a vantage point for myself. I stare at the black...
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