One thought on “When is a river more than a river?

  1. Hmm.

    Sundry Bootean Weirdness flashback:

    Date: Mid-late September 1978

    Time: between 4.00 and 5.00am in the pre-dawn warm velvet dark

    Location: me and my girl sitting on the platform of Pathankot railway station, the railhead for the former ‘Hill Station’, Dharamsala, and more recently home of the Tibetan community in exile from China since the early 1950s. We had just just got off a semi-overnight train from Delhi.

    So had another man, an early-mid forties aged Tibetan in steel-rimmed glasses and monk’s robes who was presently being hurried along the platform by a detail of hugely tall and wide, robed Tibetans.

    The man stopped before us two children of God with backpacks and gave us a quick, friendly smile.

    “Do you mind if I ask what that very large black tube is [my 6-foot x 4-inch rod tube] is … my monks were rather concerned that it might be some sort of weapon….”

    After standing up and shaking the man’s proffered hand, I told him what it was and that we were in India on what we hoped you would be a very long, all-India fishing trip, stressing as I did so, as he was clearly a Tibetan Buddhist, that we would not be killing or eating any of the fish we caught but returning them alive after a photo to the river.

    “Oh, well done!” he said with a wonderful chuckle of a laugh and an impish smile. “I wish you two young people every success.”

    And then he was gone, escorted by his giant robed-Monk bodyguard to a car and more monks riding Enfield Bullet motorcyles outside the small station, to be whisked off to his residence at Dharamsala.

    We had just hung out and talked catch-and-release fishing with the Dalai Lama.


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