sorry, no pic's yet. once i get back to palampur i'll post some. i'm seven hours away in kullu, visiting friends from last year's trek in the Great Himalayan National Park. let me set the scene for you - picture rugged hillsides so high that the sun sets at 12:30pm. the rushing river at the bottom of the valley is lower than it's ever been before due to climatic change. cacti grow beside the road and apples fall in abundance. the women wear scarves tied around their heads and men cover their heads with traditional himachali topee. there is a bite in the air as winter encroaches and people bundle up in the warm, beautiful shawls for which the area is known. i'm currently sipping an ayurvedic (naturopathic) tea to combat the cold resulting from this dip of the thermometer.
tomorrow heralds diwali, the Indian festival of lights. last night i got my first, up close look at a couple of the fireworks popular at diwali. i recalled the evening prerna sat me down and drew pictures of the 10+ different kinds of fireworks, each with a unique name. diwali is a day filled with sweets, puja (offerings to gods), & fireworks - quite the celebration. look forward to my post-diwali update next week.