Monday, September 28, 2015

Back to the Bazaar on Sunday (again)

Last Sunday Dan was in Dehra Dun visiting a friend, so we didn't have our usual poori khana. This week we went again and did a bit more shopping. We got some Kashmiri pillow covers to perk up our living room. I took a number of random shots that I found interesting.

Power Break
This manhole cover is laid about three inches lower than the road surface. Cars straddle it and motorbikes must go on one side or another. Hitting it on a bike would not be a good idea.

Nirula's has shrunken to a very small space where they are just selling ice cream. Up until last year, they had a large space where they also sold snacks and meals. Now Domino's has moved there from the nearby space they had occupied. That was the old Kwality Restaurant. The top level is still Cafe Coffee Day, but the lower level is sitting empty, at least for now.

I had berry ice cream with chewy dried fruit bits.

This peek inside the Cambridge Book Depot is meant to show you how full it is. There are two aisles like this. If a person is in it, such as the man shown below, no one else can get in. But if you ask the owner about a specific book, he knows just where it is.

We came down the back side of Kulri from Windy Corner. This hotel is now abandoned. It was still open just over a year ago. I suspect someone will grab it and renovate it before long.

This shows the terrace dining area of the Hotel Shiv Continental, just below the road above Picture Palace. The plantings are lush and beautiful.

I generally try to avoid the many stray dogs around; they don't usually bother people, but they are often mangy and there are too many. But I liked this mother and her pup sleeping on the road.

Between the hospital and Mullingar they are digging a ditch. An old pipe is visible inside. I'm not sure what they are digging for, probably some new pipes. In the back you cake see the pile of rocks that are being broken up for building pushtas.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Quarter Break

Friday was the last day of classes before a week-long quarter break. When the students return, they will have another week of classes, then everyone will head off for Activity Week. Last year these two weeks ran together and it was complicated!

No students were allowed to leave school until Saturday morning. Friday evening was the high school talent show, an annual event. Around 5:00 several vendors set up tables in the Quad where they were cooking fresh snacks. Students and staff swarmed around until nearly 7:00 when the show started. We got several things and ate them for our supper.

Papri chat, covered with dahi and other sauces

Aloo tikki, similarly covered

Chicken frankie (I unrolled the chapati to show the inside)

Making aloo tikki (sorry it is a bit dim)

Saturday morning I walked over to the vegetable shops below the hospital to pick up some subzi for supper. I got carrots and parsnip to cook with potatoes in preparation for a frittata for supper (starting with sautéed onion and green pepper).

On the way, I passed these men cutting down the overgrowth on the pushta below Woodstock Villa. Just around the corner is where I took the picture of dahlias yesterday.

One of the shops below the hospital sells meat. I don't think these roosters were going to serve as alarm clocks, although one of them was crowing as I walked by.

Friday, September 25, 2015


Thursday was a fairly ordinary day for us -- I spent most of the time in the office, Dan helped with a few string classes and went to the bazaar to get some produce. Over lunchtime and into the early afternoon there was a College and Career fair in the Quad. Representatives from many universities were there. The UK, India and Australia had the most representatives, but there were some from the US as well. It was interesting to walk around and look over the information they had brought.

Looking down into the Quad

In the evening we had one of our regular suppers, tomato soup enhanced with sautéed onion and dried peppers and sandwiches with some Darjeeling Gouda Cheese Dan had gotten at Prakash. We get pre-sliced brown bread that we use for our sandwiches. We like to put dahi (yogurt) in our soup.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Back to the Bazaar

First:  I have added a box to the right so that you can subscribe to my blog by email, if you prefer. Sorry it took so long to add it!

Wednesday night was our "regular" night out for dinner. (I used quotes because weather and other things sometimes interfere and change the date.) It was a cool, damp night, with mist swirling around through the town. As we sat in the upper level of The Tavern, we could see it wafting through the street. I suspect we may be going directly from monsoon to winter. The rains appear to be gone and I'm hoping the mists will dispel soon.

When our friends the Lals lived at Woodstock Villa, Brij could often be seen on the khud below tending the flowers. The entire pushta is now covered with dahlias in bloom at this time of year. They are quite lovely and I know this picture doesn't show the full extent of the lushness.

Patches of blue were showing through the clouds as we walked along Tehri Road.

Near the hospital, they have trucked in more huge river rocks to be hammered into smaller ones to be used for building more pushtas.

I loved the sign at this little shop just above Picture Palace. "We have what you need best." It might be an exaggeration.

A glimpse inside Picture Palace, which is now full of arcade games and other amusements.

I mentioned last week that The Tavern has a new cafe at street level. We stopped in to see what it is like, and were quite impressed. It is small and sells more snack-like food than upstairs. The menu boards were fun -- they are using the names of local places and celebrities to describe their foods. Brentwood is the name of the hotel owned by the same people, Capt. Young was the first English resident of the town, Vincent Hill was the Seventh Day Adventist School, Steve Alter is a Woodstock alum and writer who lives here. Don't you love the Missionaries Delight Chicken Wings?

We did eat upstairs. First they brought the condiment tray -- fresh coriander chutney, pickled onions, and achaar (a type of pickle).

Dan had mutton biriani with raita (yogurt), one of his favorites.

I decided to have American Chop Suey, one of the first dishes we ever had there back in the 1970s. For some reason there is a fried egg on top. Crunchy noodles are on the bottom, and the sauce is chicken, mutton, and lots of sweet peppers. It turned out to be very sweet, almost cloying, which I didn't remember. Otherwise it was pretty good. I brought half of it home. It doesn't seem particularly American or Chinese.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Saturday evening we went to a birthday party for Swati, who works in the music department. We enjoyed visiting with friends from previous years as well as new ones. People arrived from 6:30 until after 9:00. Swati's mother had cooked a variety of delicious curries.

Swati with her son Avi

Cutting the birthday cake 
Woodstock School board meetings were held last weekend, so there were lots of visitors around. This was the last meeting for the president, Eleanor Nicholson. She had served as interim principal in 2011, then as president of the board since 2012. There were multiple farewell dinners, assemblies, etc., culminating in a staff tea on Tuesday afternoon.

Her gift - a brass lyre tree sitting below the original

Wonderful spread for tea -- lemon tarts, samosas, patties, and eventually a cake, of course

Eleanor receiving flowers and taking with staff

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Saturday Morning

Last evening there were many students hanging out in the Quad after their dinner (usually they eat down at the dorm levels). I'm not sure what the occasion was, but they were having a good time with fairly loud music playing. Eventually they had a bonfire in the middle of the Quad and then went down the hill. This morning I saw a school employee cleaning up after the fire. You'll notice they had a large, safe metal tub to contain it.

We woke up to a steady rain on Saturday morning. It did let up by 8:00; I don't know what the rest of the day will be like. It is definitely a bit cooler than it has been. 

I took advantage of the clearing to go out on the balcony at the back of the Quad. The Doon (valley) below is clear and lovely today. These are the views we remember when we think of living here in the mountains. (Although, yes, we do remember that heavy mist, too!)

From the balcony, I had a good view of the Lyre Tree at the edge of the Tea Garden. It has died, engendering much nostalgia and sadness from many alumni. It's unusual shape has served as a symbol of the school for around 70 years or so. Although it was to be completely taken down, I've learned that they are going to preserve the basic shape of the trunk and major limbs in place. It does look pretty bare now.

We have no particular plans today except for attending a staff member's birthday party this evening.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Dinner in the Bazaar

We had planned to walk into the bazaar and have dinner at Golden's Restaurant near the Clock Tower on Wednesday. However, another thunderstorm broke loose about 5:00. It let up for a while and we thought it was finished. But pretty soon it started again and rained hard for quite a while. So we ate in our apartment and postponed our walk to the next day.

On the way through the bazaar, I stopped to greet Sardarji, the shopkeeper from who we bought our vegetables and fruit back in the 1970s. He is quite old now and his son runs the shop. Over the years they have added many packaged foods and that is now the main thing they have. Their shop is one of the main sources of food for many of the WS staff members. They have everything from imported wine to muesli. I'm still amazed to see things like prepared mustard, mayonnaise, bottled olives, etc., all of which we would have been happy to find back then! I got a packet of my favorite biscuit (cookie) here, Ginger Nuts.

Our next stop was one of the many phone shops. Unfortunately, the Indian SIM for my phone is still in my desk at home, so I needed a new one. Dan had been in earlier in the week to make application for it, and we were ready to pick it up. The shopowner's son put it in and set it up for me. The whole thing, SIM plus 100 minutes of talk time, cost less than $5.00. If you need my new Indian number, just email me. (Not that anyone ever does phone me!)

The bazaar was being decorated with many lights and banners for a festival -- but I'm not sure what it was; the major ones of Dusshera and Diwali aren't for another month.

Lights still being put up near the Gurdwara at the bottom of Mullingar Hill

Light displays at the Clock Tower (or where it used to be); lots of them were blinking

Paneer pakoras, my favorite appetizer

Dinner of palak aloo (potatoes in spinach gravy), murgh do piaza (chicken in double onion gravy), and tandoori roti 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Tuesday Afternoon Storm

As I mentioned earlier, it has appeared that the monsoon is over. However, this afternoon a thunderstorm suddenly blew in about 1:30. The rain was very heavy with plenty of hail. If you've never heard it, you can't quite imagine the sound of hail on a tin roof! It stopped for a short while then  started up again. By shortly after 2:00 it was all over and the sun came out. As I looked online for the weather forecast, it seems we will be having more rain next week. I was happy to be cozily inside during the rain! Here are a few shots I took from the Quad balcony, the first two during the rain, the last two afterwards when the sun came out.

Monday, September 14, 2015


Sunday we headed into the bazaar for our usual brunch of poori-khana at Agarwal’s restaurant. This has become a tradition while we are here, although last year I only made it in once or twice. It was a good day for a walk; cloud cover much of the time, temperature in the upper 70s. I did walk it both ways, a total of four miles. Going in wasn’t bad; coming back there are two major hills to climb. I was pretty exhausted, but fine.

We made several stops to pick up some things we needed (or at least thought we did…). Mustard at Ram Chander’s, Vicks at James Chemist, a pillow at an unnamed shop, and a few other things along the way.

In the evening, we went to Darab and Naz’s place for dinner. More uphill walking, as pretty much everything is here.

This view shows how the monsoon clouds are still around, but there are patches of sun.

The tree ferns are turning brown, a sure sign the monsoon is finished.

Vehicles use every possible spot for parking.

Mulling Hill. Yes, these two managed to get by each other without scraping, as did the one waiting its turn.

New restaurant:  venerable Tavern has now opened a Cafe on their ground floor; there were miscellaneous shops there before.

Looking out from Agarwal's upper floor, we noticed a new hotel/restaurant across the street. (This is right next to the Kulri Methodist Church.)

Poori Khana:  fresh pooris, potato curry (one each), pumpkin curry (one), onions, dahi, chutney. This is served only at breakfast time.

A beautifully laid out subzi/phal stand (vegetable/fruit).

Multiple pipes along the road; they've been there a long time, we wonder what they are all connected to!