shubhrachatterji shubhrachatterji

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Historywali  People / Places / Plates / Puppies / tales from the Past. @shuchatterji / @historywali on Twitter

Gola on a grey monsoon day! Ya phir Chuski, call it what you may. For a Bombay-wali like me a Gola directly points the compass to Juhu beach. This is the Mixed Gola, with four flavours and a sprinkling of kala namak into which a cone of shaved ice is dunked. I'm partial to the Kala-Khatta gola. Which is your favourite flavour? Whichever it might be, we are in august company as this humble little concoction has been first recorded as being enjoyed by Alexander The Great back in the BCEs as 'snow and ice flavoured with fruits and juices'. High-Five Alex, we love the gola too. #EatingIndia with #Historywali #FoodHistory #India #Mumbai

Here it is, the Makhania Lassi from Shri Mishrilal inside the little arch of the big gate by the Ghantaghar in Sardar Bazar, Jodhpur. It's been almost exactly six years since I first (and last) had this very dukaan ki lassi on a hot Marwar afternoon, whilst taking a break from shooting. We shot the lassi too. And the lassi shop as well. It was nice and cool and old-school in wood and brown tones. And I remember the lassi to be epic, one of my favourites from across the country. (Banaras wins the lassi game you guys, no arguments there) but this lassi was pretty yum too. Then. The lassi I had today was more 'shrikhand' less lassi, served up in a plastic glass instead of the kulhads I remember, and would definitely not make it to my top 5 India lassi-list. What exactly happened here? Was it me romanticising the past or have my tastebuds evolved (or changed palette preferences) in the last six years? #YehKyaHya #Dhoka #BringBackOldSchool #TBT #EatingIndia with #Historywali #OnTheRoad

Room with a view. And a dramatic sky to boot. Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur. This one is just under a hundred years old, a baby palace as palaces go. But when I look at it, I imagine a time before the clutter of concrete, plastic, and zinc sheets. That's the time I wish I was born in. What would I be? Who would I be? Back #OnTheRoad with #Historywali

#TBT Ladakh 2014, and this one is my favourite photograph from the trip. Yup, the one with no blue skies, nor rugged mountains, no snow, no butter tea nor Maggi! Because what made this trip truly lovely was this set of three I found there. We may not be as much in touch as we'd like to be, real life takes over, but these memories are precious. These moments made the mountains sing for us. 🎶 #OnTheRoad #GirlsJustWannaHaveFun

After posting all those lovely Kalap pictures I had to post one of us in my muse & mecca Bombay too. The Sea. The Mountains. And me, playing tag with both. Must stop with the sappy couple pics and get back to #Historywali & #OnTheRoad posts pronto. Sorry, you guys.

I haz two puzzled little pupsters. Motu on the left, Chotu on the right. Chotu got run over and broke a leg when she was very chotu but the leg has now healed beautifully and she is as jumpitty as her sister Motu. Motu has a lovely white line curving downwards from the middle of her forehead to her cheek and this line is IDENTICAL to one her Mumma has. Mumma Doggie is a tough one to nail, all the animal people in the area have been trying to get a hold of her for two years to take her to be neutered but the smart sassy long-legged missy is impossible to pin. Motu & Chotu live under the red car that is never moved from its parking space. They are impossibly naughty and hard to give a slip to, if you are trying to walk by unnoticed. You must stop and say hello or they will come bounding after you. Got a treat? Or two? Or a home to take me to? #Puppies #Instapuppy #RescuePup #AdoptDontShop #InstaCute

Grey weather. Bright clothes. Rediscovered these long-forgotten sandals after a couple of years today, stowed right at the back of the shoe cupboard. Perfect rainy-day footwear. Little joys. Smell the roses. 🌹#RedIsNotAColour #Red #Rain #Shoes #RainyDayFashion #RainyDayOutfit

In a time of grey skies, the waters of intolerance on a rise, we must stand for love, life, hope. #EidMubarak from my favourite dargah-in-the-sea.

Back in Bombay and this seems like a distant dream. Soon after this selfie was taken, we exchanged parkas 'cos I was cold. I like a boy who gives two hoots about colour stereotypes. 💕💖💗💞💓💘 #Mountains #Twosome #GettingUsedToThis #Kalap #Uttarakhand #Pinklove #Camping

Mountain dogs work hard to guide and guard the herds of sheep & goat. The herd of 700 yonder over the ridge has five dogs guarding it. The leader of the pack is kala-kutta, all black, and famed for taking on a leopard in a fight. Kala-kutta doesn't wear a spiky metal collar that the rest of the dogs do to keep the leopard (बाँग) from catching them by the neck and getting a hold on the carotid. This kutta (called och - dog in Garhwali) was on his day off from his sheep dog duties and was chilling at the campsite with the horses. After grazing the herds all day the shepherds come back to our the campsite, make themselves (and visitors like us) sweet tea with goat's milk and smoke an intricate chillum / pipe as dinner is cooked. Bare basics. Khichdi on most days. One pot cooking in a pressure cooker, cooked over wood fire. The same fire is fed into the night as the men and the dogs lay out their goat-hair rugs around it, and sleep. Life, as they know it. The horses or sometimes mules are used to carry supplies and necessities from one camp site to another as the herds and herdsmen make their way up the mountains in the summer months looking for green(er) pastures. They descend down to the settlements and villages come autumn and live a village life in the bitter cold winters. #Nomads #NomadTrail #Kalap #Dogs #Mountains #Sheep #Goats #NomadLife

Tea for one. Coffee for one. Morning for two. The houses in our mountain village of Kalap are made of cedar wood, the gentle sweet fragrance of the wood permeating into everything. This is the pahadi village that has adopted the TamBram boy I'm marrying. An unlikely, rather heady mix. Kalap is more remote than any place I've been to, from my life in Bombay it takes a two-and-a-half hour flight, a ten hour drive, a 11 kilometre uphill walk, and bidding farewell to telephone network and internet and urbanisation and home-delivery and a constant supply of hot water and a great deal that I take for granted. When you have to walk for six hours to reach a motorable road, your life-view changes. You use less, and you reuse more. Do you need that extra pair of shoes? Not if you must carry it on your back up a mountain path for six hours. Unlearning. Learning. And life-changing. The last two weeks have changed my life. From landing a dream gig to getting engaged to the nicest man I've ever met, to being christened the 'buhari' (bahu), to dealing with fears, to fighting an OCD, it's been more than a little crazy. Nice crazy. Utterly confusing too, cos there are choices and challenges. There's the life I've always known and love and this new life and the impending welding of the two that's going to make many sparks fly. Keeping. Letting go. Choosing. Priorities. Metamorphosis. Change. Love. But love is never enough. Self-preservation. Passion. There's a path in there that's becoming clear. It's the road less taken but then where's the fun in doing things as they must be done. :) For now, here's to collecting lessons as one walks along and raising a toast to what shall be. (Photo credit: @instakalap because I was too busy taking in the view, gorgeous isn't it?) #OnTheRoad with #Historywali #Mountains #Kalap #Uttarakhand #Twosome #LifeLessons #Mornings #MorningSky #LoveLessons #Coffee

Hug a lamb. Or ten. The last two weeks have been life-changing and overwhelming but more on that later when I've fully grasped what's going on. In the meanwhile, here I am, getting used to pictures of me taken from a foot above.
Disclaimer: Hugging Lambs gives you Pissoo, critters that cannot be seen, only felt - the little buggers bite you and leave you with very very very itchy red dots all over your body.

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