Monday, June 29, 2009

The Ladakh Diary - Day 4

On this day, the Other went to see Lake Pangong, and I went to see the Sindhu Darshan Festival. After the lovely experience of Day 3, I did not want to attempt 17,500 feet. However, the doctor on a visit to the hotel (to see another unwell patient) checked my saturation level and at 88%, cleared a local trip.

What happened at the Sindhu Darshan festival was another story altogether. The first part of the day was dedicated to speeches by politicians and other important people. Then started the cultural festival. I just wanted to sit by the river, so went there by default.

At the river, one was apalled to see plastic floating everywhere.. people oblivious to the Seven Ups and the Aquafinas that they were surrendering to the holy river. So one got cleaning up and soon another lady joined in. Within that hour, we pulled out almost 1.5 kilos of plastic waste from 50 metres of the river stretch. But the remarkable part is what happened next.

Yours truly went looking for a dustbin. The first person in saffron whom i asked directed me to a side that had ice cream vendors and the like. I asked the vendor "Where is the dustbin?" "Just throw it here." I asked him "Is there no dustbin in the entire venue?" He stopped pulling out the icecream long enough to say that there isnt. Then, i went right to the podium, and asked for someone from the organising committee. A distinguished looking person said "Bataiye" so i asked "Sir, dustbin kahaan hai?" (Sir, where is the dustbin?) No kidding, the person looked at me as if I'd asked for a piece of the moon. He just stared for a while and then said "Aap ko dustbin kyun chahiye?" So i told him that we have abt 1.5 kilos of waste waiting for a dustbin. He understood this was a "environment vaali" and said "Mangva dete hain" .
To cut a long story short, i waited next to his seat for abt 1 hour, almost in a Gandhi style dharna. I was told that the dustbin is on its way from Leh, and Thank you for letting us know we missed placing the dustbins.

This was the second day of the 3 day Sindhu Darshan festival, with more pilgrims than you can count, and NO ONE THOUGHT OF THE DUSTBINS!

The Other liked the Pangong lake and realised that its a salt water lake, AFTER getting there. but its 9 hours in the car for about an hour of being at the lake. No tourist brochure tells you that.

Also, we found out that its possible to get mountain sickness later in your stay, because the next day, The Other got up not so bright and positively unwell.

1 comment:

Mampi said...

I can Imagine our little "environment wali" doing her bit.
Am so proud of you. I would have done that too.
This is how they are to be told ke dustbin wi use hundey ney.