With a long list of things that needed to be done, i left early for town today....armed with my to-do list , i crossed each thing off with quiet satisfaction . The weather was lovely ...and every once in a while i would smile at the mountains in the distance and the thick cottony clouds that clung to them .
With no intention of walking back uphill ..i was trying to hail a cab ...Kalimpong has this concept of shared cabs ...any cab going in the general direction of where you are going will pick all those walking in that direction...I got into one too , put on my headphones and settled with my packages between a tattooed man in shredded denims and an old gentleman who seemed to have bought greens for the next 6 months . Opposite me was a gorkhali girl humming along with the cabs radio playing the latest bollywood numbers . And in the front seat next to the driver was a woman with a small baby ...she literally had her hands full ...the woman leaned back and placed her handbag between my packages and the other vegetable packages of other people and went back to playing with her baby.

The cab stopped several take people in...let people off . Not once did the lady look back to check on her handbag . Not once did anyone look at her handbag....I don't know about any of you but coming from other parts of India...i have this zealous habit of ' keeping an eye on my things' especially my wallet and handbag....Maybe i was the only one in the cab who was keeping an eye on her potatoes and onions....i looked around at the faces of everyone in the cab...the people of this land....this small town....almost envied them their ease and trust ...their faith in their fellow humans....

A town isn't made up of its mountains and hills and snowy isn't made up of vada pao or its beaches or temples or. its famous dance forms.....its soul and spirit comes from the those who inhabit it.....and that is what makes kalimpong so so special.....From the time I first landed here , the first gust of clouds and mist that enveloped me within its folds....that first sight of the mighty kanchenjunga from my bedroom window every single morning ....the first momo that literally melted into my mouth...the relentless rain ...the ever smiling monks...the confluence of bengalis and gorkhas....Kalimpong had a way that no town has ever gripped me. But it was the people who with their sheer generosity of heart..their ever smiling faces and their gentle yet fierce spirit even in the midst of turmoil , that blew me away. 



Sonika Uppal 


I try to capture more often what i have come to term as ‘the intangibles’… it in my writings or in my images….not just the moment but what happens beyond the pool of light….My work is almost always a reflection of me , my personal experiences and metamorphosis…often abstract …….an effort….a struggle not to answer the questions around me but the emotional fabric from which they arise. A Published Writer and Photographer across India and Abroad ,I don't like to think of myself as one ...what i like is to tell stories, in every frame, in every composition .The small details be it of emotions, moments, people or their surroundings are what fascinate and overwhelm me and what i try to portray .


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All the pictures in this post are copyrighted Sonika Uppal. Their reproduction, even in part, is forbidden without the explicit approval of the rightful owners.

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