Director: Anushka Meenakshi, Iswar Srikumar; Cinematographer: Anushka Meenakshi, Iswar Srikumar
Duration: 00:02:35; Aspect Ratio: 1.778:1; Hue: 35.105; Saturation: 0.044; Lightness: 0.519; Volume: 0.083; Cuts per Minute: 6.551
Summary: Sonam told us about his teacher, Tulkuji, who lives in the next village, Lari, so we set off straight after breakfast. Tabo to Lari is a 5 km, thankfully more or less flat, walk along the main road and it gave us a chance to see the landscape that we’d seen on the drive to Kaza, but this time up close, and with time to stop and take photos. But we didn’t take too many photos, we instead shot lots of videos, of us walking.
When we finally reached Lari, Tulkuji wasn’t at home, and his son, also a Sonam fed us tea and Maggi and asked us to come back in a day or two. We didn’t have much to do till the three o clock bus which would take us back to Tabo, so we wandered down from Lari to the yak and horse farm, another 2 km ahead. This is Dorje, the guy who looks after the horses and showed us around.
The horses are supposed to be some special breed, whose name we have forgotten, but they look like normal horses, except that they’re a bit shorter than the usual kind. We went into the pen that held the females and colts. Iswar tried to pet a few of the newborns, but they were very shy and even though they could barely stand, the minute they saw him come near, they scuttled off and hid behind their mothers, so he was quite unsuccessful.
We went into the yak pen too which was a bit scary at first, but the yaks seemed pretty wary of us and kept their distance.
There are just two buses a day that run on this road, in either direction, both of which are long distance buses between Kaza and Rekong Peo. So the bus that we were waiting for was the same one that brought us to Kaza. When it finally arrived – about an hour late – it was packed, with people sitting on top of the bus along with all the luggage, and the driver didn’t stop to let us on. There were about ten other people waiting along with us, so we were all left to fend for ourselves and started walking towards Tabo. With Dorje’s help though, we got a lift from a couple of guys going to Kaza, and while they fixed their car tyres at Lari, Dorje took us to his home for a cup of tea.
That’s the ‘baithak’ room in his house. All the houses in Spiti have this large room with floor seating and low tables running along two or three walls. During the six long winter months, there isn’t much to do in the valley – no work on the fields, and until recently, nowhere to go, because the roads would often be blocked for days on end. So people gather in each other’s houses in these large rooms, which are lit up with a central fire in a tandoor kind of thing, and eat lots of meat, drink plenty of Chung – the local beer – and generally sing and dance and make merry. So they work hard for six months and party hard for the rest of the year, which seems like such a fabulous system!