When I first came to Darjeeling from Bhutan in 1968, I must have been just six. As a boarder in Bethany School, I grew up in the shadows of the Kanchenjunga and have many happy, multi-coloured memories. A pony ride in Chowrasta, an ice-cream at Madan’s store (today it’s a booze shop), a few Kalimpong lollipops and white stickjaws were enough to make my outing perfect. After two wonderful candyfloss years at Bethany, like so many boys at that time, I moved on to what’s popularly called NP—St Joseph’s School, North Point, on the spur pointing north from Darjeeling town.
Darjeeling chugged along like a toy train. When we felt rich, we went to Glenary’s or Shangrila. When pockets were empty, we went to Penang’s for a heaped plate of momos, Janata in the lower market, or to the hidden-away Chuks if someone wanted to smoke. Keventers was the place to go to if one wanted to date a Loreto girl, its outdoor setting perfect to flaunt your girlfriend in front of your friends. Some good grub to hog, a movie at the Rink and skating at the Gymkhana made our day. Walking around the Mall with your arms around a girl made you a man.