Our little expedition is yet to be run-in: we start 1 hour later than planned, at about 9:00 am and, barely 10 km on the way, a sudden wobble of the bike forces me to stop. I find a 2 inch long nail nicely lodged into my rear tyre! Is it not wonderful to have the assistance of a Production Team? Within minutes my wheel is replaced, canibalised from another bike (our unfortunate crew member will have to deal with the problem!) and a mishap which normally would penalise us by half a day, turns into a minor nuisance!
This is the first real bad stretch of road that Kalki has to handle on this trip, and I keep a close tag on her, giving her guidance and instructions through our intercom.
After crossing a typical himalayan metal bridge shortly before Dirang, we bifurcate onto a narrow road that seems to lead nowhere, winding deeper and deeper into a narrow valley. Fourty five minutes later, we reach a remote village called Sangti.
I am instantly seduced by the beauty and calm of the place, and within minutes I hear myself telling Kalki “This is where I want to end my days!”
Kalki quickly bonds in an amazing friendship with the homestay owner’s daughter, an adolescent with great aspiration and ambition named Kunu, who very naturally becomes her guide in the village.
Watch our show to be aired on Fox Life in August, to discover the magical places where Kunu took Kalki!
When – with great regret – we have to leave Sangti the following morning, the only thought which comes to my mind is this: “for some unfathomable reason, this village is full of love”.. and something tells me that I will surely return one day.
(to be continued: to Tawang)