Published: Darjeeling hills of tea ready to boil?

Face

I spent time in Darjeeling at the end of May reporting a political magazine story on the tension in the Gorkha movement after the leader of a smaller separatist party was killed in daylight near a crowded market. That story was published this month in a Delhi magazine and is available online now. The full-text version is also available here.

The photo above is from a massive political rally in Darjeeling the weekend I was there.

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Nothin’ but blue skies…

...do I see.

India is generally a dusty and often smoggy place, especially in Delhi. That makes a clear blue sky a real treat.

This one comes from Darjeeling, interrupted only by prayer flags and strings of green and white Gorkhaland decorations.

I’m continuing the Darjeeling photos while I’m off diving in Pondicherry.

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Mountain road cricket

Just don't hit it into the valley just out of frame

Quite regularly, the Darjeeling region in West Bengal organizes a bandh, or strike, to show support for creation of a separate state called Gorkhaland. On those days, the usually choked, winding mountain road and rail tracks between Ghoom and Darjeeling are practically empty.

Perfect time for a pickup cricket game. Indians will play anywhere, after all.

Of course, on the other side of the road, the valley plummets hundreds of meters. Best not to swing for that side.

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