Kanchenjunga Expedition- Flight cancelled -Song and Dance and weather (Day 15)

The one-month Lakhi festival in Tapleyjung. The masked men go about with small boys on small drums and percussion asking for funds.

The Army Jawans get themselves shot with the masked men of the Lakhi festival.

4th September- Flight Cancelled-Song and dance
Today its confirmed. The famed punctuality of the army and their being different is a big myth. The weather clears up quite unexpectedly and the expedition team is in a huddle. They have been caught napping literally as they didn’t expect the weather to clear.
One sortie with Gary etc leaves about 6-15 am –The next with Amitab returns with the men inside. The weather has `packed-up’ as they all refer to foggy weather here. I had landed with my rucksack and small bag and two cameras-all too heavy for me, I just pray Col. Sharma remembers his promise to send our luggage with the porters. I cannot carry the rucksack and do any climbing or shooting.

I had to wait a long while for this gal to turn back at me at a football tournament. She was just a child and had no interest in the tournament. I was somewhat more interesting with my camera . The moment she turned around i pressed the shutter.

I am improving my badminton game and Major Chauhan who beats me the first time said as much. As for Ashok I thrashed him 15-2. The hotel owner chats up with me and he tells me about the one month `lakhi-Festival’ they celebrate in Tapleyjung and other areas. There are 3 masked men prancing about in horrifying maskes and swirling skirts, going about Tapleyjung collecting funds. I shoot pics of them with the army chaps.

Thats me hiding my shaved head with a baseball cap trying out the `Tomba’ with the army officers.

In the evening I go with the doctor, Major Amit, Amitabh and Taprez to have a laste of the famous local alcoholic brew `Tomba’. It tastes like warm apple juice to me and they tell me it is made from fermented millet. It is served in big wodden covered caskets with a pipe to suck the liquid from among the millet grains. One can add hot water from time to time depending on how much one wants to drink. When we come back there is a song and dance pary at the hotel.

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