Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lachung-the land of Rhododendrons!

My sisters are home with their family for a much desrved reunion with parents -Marty and Rach wanted to have a go with the Rhodedendron festival in Yumthang..so they planned a trip.
Lachung is where the tourists base themselves.I have fond memories of Lachung.My great grandmother from my father's side apparently belonged to that land so we have a maze of relatives from the place...with whom we have lost touch..atleast our generation..but I do have fond memories of the place.The residents of Lachung are Lachungpas....a rough...tribe of travelling hill-folks.Goodlooking,tall,Hugely built and extremely rough in their demeanour when they want to bully.However,I have fond memories of them because my grand-mother's most loyal henchman was a Lachungpa.Almost six-two in height,well-built man with a long braided hair tied with a red ribbon, a traditional chuba with a sword tied to the front,he sure gave us a semblance of security especially during the turbulent political times when our father was neck deep into the sikkemese political drama.
I remember baskets and baskets of red apples,cheese,cabbages being brought in from the land when they came visiting.I remember going for a day's drive with the family to the hills and being fascinated by the snow...those delicious apples straight from the orchard,the tiny wooden houses with wooden roofs and the green wooden fences, the yaks around the place and the warmth with which our relatives received us with the tibetain tea and warm meal in that cold,snow-laden paradise.
The place has another emotional angle tied to the family.The first missionary who planted the congregation in the North of Sikkim,lived and died in the land.He planted the church in my hometown in our ancestral land and the church remains to this day a vibrant mother church to the mutiple churches in an around the place.The missionary was father Pilkinin.The town was in the foot-hills of the himalayas .Apparently an avalanche washed the missionary away while he knelt down and prayed.

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