“She’s a *****! She’ll jump up on you in all her glory when you’re least suspecting,” said the Doc, the cigarette almost jumping out from between his index and middle as he threw open the window panes to let the smoke out. The Nepali driver had convinced us earlier during the dusty trip west towards Pelling, “No one can see the pahaar at night, nothing is visible in the dark.” He was resolute and his words absolute. No one knew the mountains better than he did.
The rocky trail slathered thickly with whipped snow. There’d been fresh snowfall the night before. Hailstorm while dining on M.G Marg. Street below Pub 325 covered with tiny homeopathic globules of ice. No local food, only Chinese. Pubs slamming doors on beef-eager faces on the Eve of Losar, Tibetan New Year. Winter kept us warm, covering Mountains in forgetful snow, feeding a little life with smuggled alcohol. Nip in the air curled once about the winter jackets, and fell silent.