Things people do..


Thing People Do.

I have seen people do tons of stuff to entertain tourists while earning a livelihood for themselves. Many parts of the world have these immaculately made up living statues. I have always been fascinated by their ability to not bat an eyelid for hours. Then there are the sorcerers and performers, astonishing us with their tricks and daredevilry. I once saw a British gentleman at the Trafalgar Square juggle 9 balls while holding a raging fire-stick between his teeth. He took it up a notch then by standing on top of a pile of narrow top stools. The audience was left gasping. Of course he got a generous tip, including from the mesmerized yours truly.

Then there’s some simple stuff. And that’s magic too. It doesn’t have to be spectacular to be magical. It merely needs to touch a cord somewhere in your heart.

Recently at Dalhousie, I came across this phenomenon of people carrying Rabbits (or Hare if you so please) in a basket backpack with colourful flowers. They would offer to let you hold and caress the fluffy creatures in exchange for a nominal sum.

I have seen many things, but nothing of this sort. Is it endemic to only the Chamba valley? I don’t know. But surely I haven’t seen it in other parts of Himachal Pradesh. So it seems pretty indigenous to the area.

Meet Sunil (pictured here). Sunil is a 6th grade student at the local village school. His father works on a small farm, and mother runs the house while taking care of his little brother and sister. His sister has just started her school while his brother enjoys sitting by the stove as his mother prepares food for the family. Sunil helps the family supplement their earnings after school by carrying their pet Rabbits (whom Sunil calls Deepika and Priyanka after his favourite Movie stars) to the Khajjiar grounds. For 20 Indian Rupees, he lets kids and even adults get clicked with Deepika and Priyanka.

Sunil wants to go to Bombay someday and work as an actor. Until then he is happy in his picturesque world, enjoying the company of Deepika, Priyanka and his family..


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