I returned from my road trip to Mussorie this weekend to hear the sad news that an Indian friend of mine had passed away from a brain tumor. He was the project manager for our client and I worked beside him every day. I’m just shocked and heartbroken!
I want very much to attend his funeral but I’ve been told that it is not appropriate for a single white woman to go to a married mans funeral. Apparently people will presume we were sexually involved and the rumors would cause disstress to his family. It sickens me really, that people could be so shallow and judgmental, and because of that I can’t show my respect and say a proper goodbye.
Vinay shared my sense of adventure. It is ironic that I was in Mussorie because of him. It was one of his favorite places to visit. He was always sharing with me places I should visit and things to do. He was like my own personal travel guide. I could see the sparkle in his eyes every time he showed me pictures of the beautiful places I should visit in his homeland.
Mussorie is in the Himalyia Mountains, about 300 kilometers northeast of Delhi. It is what they call a hill station, which is just a town way up in the mountains. It was full of spectacular views of the valley below. The night air was cold and refreshing and the town lively with excitement.
The town itself was too crowded for my liking. It took us 3 hours to drive the 15 or so kilometers up the mountain. It is nothing but switchbacks and climbs to an elevation of 6000 ft. The roads are so narrow that sometimes only onc car can go through at a time, and sometimes the turns are so sharp that you have to make a 3 point turn to maneuver your car through it. Kirti was far more patient than me and handled the driving with his usual expertise.
We wanted to go to Robbers Cave and go exploring, but when we arrived we had to park 3 kilometers away because of the crowds. With the extreme heat, and a rushed schedule, we decided against it. It took us 12 hours to drive the 300 kilometers home, so half our time for the weekend was spent in the car. We had a nice time anyway but it was a good lesson in what to expect when traveling within India.
In summary, we enjoyed the views, shopping and the hooka lounge, but didn’t have time to do much else. The sites we saw along the way were as usual, fascinating. We passed little thatched huts, sugar cane fields and saw monkeys playing. We also saw a number of nomads wandering through with all their earthly possessions strapped to their backs.
I would recommend people go to Mussorie during the week or in the off season. Still, we had a good time and I am grateful to Vinay for his suggestion. Rest in peace my friend. You will be dearly missed!