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People's Environmental Awareness - Khati (PEAK) Follow PEAK with the financial assistance of World Nomads on the path to delivering educational, water supplies & solar home lighting systems to Kumaon villages....

Banking & other oddities....

INDIA | Monday, 26 May 2008 | Views [483]

In Almora, the banking world is a curious blend of the old (dusty triplicate ledgers) to the new (computers). Somehow the sparkling new ATM seems incongruous to the old bank building that stands with its rear windows open. Where else can you sit on a comfortable couch with vast sums of rupees, sitting in an unlocked drawer 'highly reachable to a grass roots NGO' from the aformentioned couch, drink cups of quintessential Indian chai and talk philosophy while observing khaki clad guards with a WW11 double barrell shotgun relic slung nonchalantly over their shoulder under the pretext of security?  At best the experience lets me test my Pahari/Hindi skills and at worst my patience! However, two hours later I have survived with sense of humour intact and transactions successfully completed.

I am calming my slightly frayed nerves with a chai where I have just watched Prakash diligently clean the tables with hot water, smearing the food across the table as he goes, black rag in hand leaving an Exxon slick replete with the odififerous scent of rotting food. The staff are an ecclectic mix with Lalu having affected the look of a laconic rockstar and Red Pants spending an inordinate amount of time preening his coiffure in front of the mirror. Still, they churn out a great cup of chai and mouth watering samosas... 

The nightwatchman's whistle rings out through the night as he patrols the once cobbled streets. Under the veil of darkness stray dogs take over with their incessant barking that mingles with the Mecca call to prayer that seamlessly floats through the crisp night air. We have a myriad of business dealings to contend with - from international banking to Solar Home Lighting. All fraught with bureaucratic idiosyncracies that require a certain amount of that magic word 'patience' and perseverance....

Bonnie (PEAK) 22.02.2008

Tags: mountain water project

 

 

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