Thursday, 1 December 2016

SHIMLA TIMES by Miss Ten Tso, Class XII


The tour to Shimla took ages to come and finally when it did arrive on the day of 27th October, 2016; it was gone in a blink of an eye.  It felt like a mirage, so much so that I don’t even believe how fast it went and how much I enjoyed.

It took about nine hours to reach Shimla from our school yet it wasn’t at all a long ride. The buses and the school van were bursting with songs, which much to someone’s annoyance would last throughout the night. For some, they made it to Shimla with the anti-vomiting pill’s lifeline. When I woke up at about 4:30AM I got my first glimpse of Shimla, a city on the back of various elephantine ranges. So many lights peeked out from the city; it was as if the stars themselves landed on the mountains to welcome us. The houses, hotels and every resident looks like something cut out from a brochure. I feel in love with Shimla’s charm.
When I and first batch of us to set foot at CST Shimla’s gate, we were warmly welcomed into its dorms by my class 10th Tibetan teacher, Gen Karma Singhe la, who would play a major part in making our trip to Shimla memorable and possible. 
At 7:30 I woke up to my duty as the service team and went in search of our makeshift kitchen. After waiting much for our brown breads to arrive, we were finally blessed with scrambled eggs and tea for our first day in Shimla. With the guidance of a fellow CST student, we went to Nyingma monastery where to my luck was able to circumambulate  the temples and witness the bodily remains of the late rinpoche. That afternoon, much to my disappointment I was deprived of the opportunity to visit St. Bede’s College as it was closed yet Geo sir took us to another interesting place, IGMC (Indira Gandhi Medical College) where I saw preserved foetus, insects and freaking animals that gave me goose bumps and as the college was really huge we took about an hour to compass it all. Finally after the trillionth time riding the lift we were asked to assemble back.
At 4:30pm that day, like caged animals released we swamped the Mall Road. I saw all kinds of items, clothes and restaurants there, everyone wanted to try out the KFC or Pizza Hut or Dominoes and I wonder if the KFC made a fortune during our two days’ tour. After feet achingly roaming the true length of Mall Road we shuffled back to CST with deep reluctance all the while asking for directions to the school. That night the CST students conducted a talent show for us and mind you they are good.
After the exhausting first day our second day followed suit except that we had more new places to go than before. We went to the IIAS (Indian Institute of Advanced Studies) where the gobsmacking Scottish baronial architecture of the institute literally blew my mind. We gained the honour of disturbing the researchers and seeing the various rooms on the ground level. After this we went to the Himachal State Museum where coins, skeletons, pots and paintings of ancient charmed the lights out of me. I strongly recommend you to read your history textbook before checking this place out. After walking and trekking the whole of morning and noon, we were given the last trip to Mall Road. I passed through every shop and boutique of Shimla. I guess I wanted a piece of this mesmerising place all for myself and did I mention that they had horses? Yep! They have! The horses are strong and huge. I really enjoyed riding this steed after eleven years. Photographers were swarming like ants on a piece of lollipop in the Gandhi Square. Each picture demands the Christ Church to be seen. It was all so magical.
When we reached back to CST, a cute tea party was waiting for us. We drank tea, ate snacks while Gen Karma Singhe la gave a really moving speech on the importance of maintaining our Tibetaness in the fast forward society. 
The only disappointment I felt on this entire educational trip was on seeing the state of CST Shimla. On the Annual Day ceremony their whole program was done in Hindi, not a single word uttered in Tibetan. The dances and songs were majorly Indian. Even the majority of students were Indians so were the teachers. It was as if the whole school was enveloped for Indians even if it was a school for Tibetans. Hence, lucky are we who have grown up in this Tibetan community. 
Lastly, without the school (my dear Gopalpur) and my subject teacher this trip wouldn’t be possible. Hence my heartfelt thanks to our tour prime minister, Gen Kunchok la, our home ministers; Gen Tsering Nyima and Gen Kalsang Damdul, finance minister Gen Rinzin, health minister Mrs Lhakpa Bhuti and foreign minister Mr Lobsang Gyaltsen. Not to mention our kitchen minister chef Rabten and driver Mr Kalsang. Thank you all for making not only mine but our (whole class twelve) batch’s last year memorable.

Tenzin Tso 

XII ‘C’ 2016

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