The vendor wanted ten rupees (about 12p) for a gloopy crimson drink in a hastily wiped glass. In a nod to hygiene the sidekick wore a grubby cloth tied round his head, but over his sweat stained shirt a grimy woollen vest was streaked with Jackson Pollock stains. After nine hours of almost uninterrupted walking […]
The sports field lies on the edge of a high ridge above Barranumber, overlooking the Alpha Nursery School. The fields and jungle drop down into the river valley a kilometer below us. In the distance we can see Sikkim and Nepal. The common language of all the tribes (Lepcha, Limboo, Rai, Tamang, Tenzing, Bhutia and more) who live in the Himalaya is Nepali. The fiercely fought borders drawn on maps by diplomats, kings, and politicians mean nothing to the people of this region.
In New Jalpaiguri station, on a sticky pre-monsoon night, I drink sweet masala chai, while fat mosquitoes stab my ankles. My woollen shawl, useful for keeping out the chilly Himalayan air earlier in the day, has morphed into a cushion, softening the concrete slab that supports me and my churning tummy. “Jamie, I think the […]
Leap Local magazine, What on earth? has launched and I am very proud to say they have used one of my pieces in their WTF? section. (That’s Weird Travel Files, in case you are wondering.) I submitted an edited version of Murder on the Kolkata Express to the competition, which reached the short list, but […]
Half-remembered images and sounds spring into her head: her father creeping out at night with a small bundle of cloth, her mother sobbing, the bundle crying. If only her baby sister had lived, she would have had someone to share the chores with by now. She buries the shards of memory deep in her heart and makes her way along the familiar cool path.
WIN MEMBERSHIP OF THE ITINERANT WRITERS CLUB The Itinerant Writers Club The two main reasons for setting up this website were to meet other like-minded people and improve my writing skills. If you live in a house, flat, bungalow or palace – or anywhere in one place – the chances are somewhere not too far […]
As the train pulls out a man jumps through the open door, and takes up residence opposite us. Sporting sunglasses balanced on top of a sharp new haircut, tight jeans and a smart shirt, he radiates style and bonhomie. We smile. He lurches towards us and we recoil as the sour alcohol oozing from his pores hits us.