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A quiet winter morning drinking tea on the balcony of a wooden house facing fog clad forests at Himalaya’s mountainside. Inside, some Basmati rice is cooking with yellow spices- saffron, turmeric- outside the cold dry wind that blows from the mountains brings notes of camphor, cedar and most of all sandalwood, in its cleanest and sternest version. A faint hint of flowers appears suddenly, like a sunbeam through the mist, but it doesn’t last long, the forest keeps swaying in the wind and releasing its balsamic notes. (I wish to thank Miller et Bertaux for the fragrance, my local Indian restaurant Rajput for the spices, Kiran Desai’s book “The inheritance of loss” for the location and the countless cups of Darjeeling tea for the inspiration).
30th October, 2011