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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....


INDIA | Friday, 27 July 2012 | Views [830]

The Pindar River

The Pindar River

As previously mentioned, this is a tale of a missing notebook and a dodgy Indian photo processing shop, from here on in memory has to take over. But where to begin in a world of small children, wound stitching, overwhelming hospitality, solar maintenance and installation, new born babies and a tragic death of a young girl in a watery grave. A world were the impossible is made possible or was that the other way around?... and the harshness of Himalayan life all too real.

The photos in the photo galleries tell part of a visual tale but then many are missing moments, like medical operations in the peAK building, the little beaming darlings in the Library and their artwork and some solar shots. Lost into the abyss of a photo lab. That mental note: buy digital camera still high on the list of things to do.

Sometimes the smiles bely the realities. But this is a small village and there are many things never revealed. It is always a balancing act writing a blog site on a small community, sometimes a minefield of ethics or ethical decision making. Many things I leave unsaid.

Neema's death in a watery grave and her subsequent 'burial' high up in a mountain crevice left indelible marks on us all. A tragic accident in the icy torrent of the Pindar River. A dead fifteen year old girl, a grieving mother - who has already buried her husband several years before - sister & brother whose wailing and songs of grief will remain etched. Of Neema's smiling face as she stood with the sunlight behind her, vibrant suit, sparkly eyes and toothy grin. Of a family collecting Satu (A Himalayan root used for medicinal purposes) worth only a few rupees per kilo. Of a fast, icy cold flowing river. And an outstretched hand across a rocky outcrop that was left with nothing but a cardigan...

Memories of a day that time in the town stood still, of hushed murmurings and shocked faces. Memories of day where all the village men - including Scott equipped with a backpack full of solar torches - went out in a search party to an isolated place three kilometres from town. A search party that didn't return till late into the night. Of a body stripped naked, wrapped in muslin cloth, lain to rest. In keeping with Hindu custom, being an unmarried girl there is no cremation. Memories that no one involved will ever forget.



Tags: death, india, khati, solar home lighting, uttarakhand



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