Up in the lower Himalayas, just at the border of West Bengal and Sikkim, at an altitude of a little more than 4000 feet, lies a small sleepy town. Nestled among the snow-capped peaks of the eastern Himalayas, it hardly wakes up to the fact that it is the 21st century already and there are places in the world, where life is gushing through as fast as water rivulets along the mountain sides during the rainy season here. It is a small town called Pedong. Life goes on at snail’s pace, and you feel like you have been stuck in a time-warp. I am sure Rip Van Winkle can go to sleep here, wake up after 50 years and still not find a thing amiss, of course till he locates his home.
You go for a short evening walk and you get to know people staying around there. Here people look up at you and smile, unlike those in the cities where people are forever typing away into their cell phones, hardly looking up, sitting across dinner tables like two strangers more interested in the going-ons of other people’s lives. I am not even aware of what my neighbors do. Are they normal, boring 9 to midnight workers or serial killers, who knows?!
The favorite pass-time here is local farming, horticulture and football. At every house you will find a riot of colors at their doorstep, from purple pansies to white orchids and red poinsettias, even bright yellow daffodils. You wont find glitzy malls or over-priced restaurants here, nor would a 40 inch flat screen fit in their houses, so whenever there is a football match, the entire town turns up for it.
In places like these you may not find the body lotion for your overtly sensitive skin, nor would you find the right food stuffs for your taste, but what you do find is your heart.