Darjeeling Sling

Posted by admin on February 04, 2017
OtherCities, OtherWorlds


Darjeeling, Darjeeling, oh Darjeeling…

Queen of the Hills… Darjeeling

To be in her laps, is like stirring in the midst of clouds

flowing down the crag

that embraces you in its chilly, cotton,

nauseating swing

transporting you to a distant past, memories that are

black & white – the monochrome that sets in the town,

in the drenched high streets, ridges, alpine trees

after a cold, sad rain that brings

thick, bluish fog of eve

that chokes the life out of this presumptuous old hag


Along the streets that rise

from the chaos of lower bazaars

Past damp, derelict looking wood

and concrete clusters of buildings,

past the moss-covered clock tower

The ticklish whiff of momo and tongba steaming

in the air from roadside eateries and bars

Walking up the winding streets

dazzling with yellow lights from shops, as girls with fresh pinkish cheeks

haggle and boys try to woo them playing on guitar

until you reach the wide expanse of Chowrasta

where people congregate on the benches

and talk about filthy local politics and their garden flower


In the morning, the town bobs up and down,

recover and disappears again in the mist

The Kanchenjung seem like a stately iceberg

that appear and vanish in thin air

While the verdant tea gardens roll in the hills in a gentle tryst

On a clear day with the erratic sun

blazing the town suddenly come alive,

all flushed like a comely young girl, blooming spring flower, unplucked, swirling as a feather, crisp

This sudden transformation of this frazzled old maid

reveals the innate delicateness of her youthful days

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