Someone said, “Travelling is like flirting with life. It’s like saying, ‘I would stay and love you, but I have to go; this is my station.'” But I didn’t travel to Darjeeling, you see. Darjeeling was the home I had been looking for forever.
Some places,you only visit. Some places, you fall in love with. And then one place swallows you up, heart and soul. And this is the most dangerous one. This is the one you never really leave. You visit this place, and you feel like you already know all there is to know, and have felt all that you can ever feel. You feel like you know the stories within stories,the dreams within dreams, the secrets within secrets.
Darjeeling is so much more than a few momo shops and pretty mountain tops and Tiger hill and tea estates. Darjeeling breathes, stumbles, falls, and picks itself up. Darjeeling protects. Darjeeling loves. Darjeeling gives.
In Darjeeling,dreams fly high. Over a little girl’s head,over tin roofs,over 9 to 5 offices. Over Tiger Hill, Glenary’s, Keventer’s, nameless momo shops. Disguised as the smoke coming out from the Toy train, as the little boy’s laughter, as the wind that blows always. As the random blue slipper which makes you wonder about the person to whom it belongs. As the rosy cheeked schoolgirl,straight out of an anime. As the quiet turning at the corner of the road. As the uncelebrated flowering tree. As the almost hidden perfect home. As the dilapidated bench where lovers sat alone, not alone. As the cherry red fallen petals on the grey concrete.
But they settle in one place only. A place where even time takes rest. A miracle, a little home. A home called Darjeeling.
Written by Ayantika Nath
Artwork by Satyaki Sarkar