By MeraPahad on April 21, 2009
Read today’s story of Himalayan Tracking.
Tall and moustachioed, with a perpetual grin, Jagdish, too, stands out in this region. As well as being the porter, he’s the cook for our small expedition, always ready to give me more chapattis, more dahl, another spoonful of rice, more yams with my lentils. He’s also a social networker par excellence. When we stop on a hillside in the afternoon, Jagdish disappears over a garden wall for a conversation with an elderly couple and comes back cradling an armful of guavas.
I have named him Mr Have-a-chat because our walk is punctuated by the chirrup of his mobile phone, which rings with pulsating Bollywood-style music. The mobile phone has transformed communication in Kumaon. Where a line-based telephone network would be impractical, mobile phones provide instant links with sons and fathers working in India’s big cities.