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Himalaya

Day 34: Shimla

Shimla, India 
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The Vice-Regal Lodge at Shimla. At the height of the British Raj, one-fifth of humanity was ruled from here.
Michael Palin - HimalayaWake to grey skies and rain. Filming delayed till the weather clears. Retire to the best bed on the journey so far and read the Dalai Lama's book The Art of Happiness. We have been granted an audience with him in a few days time and I began the book a little out of duty. Now I find I'm getting a lot out of it. There is something infectious about his optimism, an optimism which comes from confronting rather than avoiding the unacceptable and acknowledging, understanding and demystifying it.

An hour later the clouds have passed over and I can see a crystal clear sky beyond my monkey-besieged windows.

I can see the enemy clearly. They move in family groups along the wall opposite, scratching themselves and ambling rather cockily along, until some commotion breaks out and they race in all directions, shrieking and snarling.

I gaze out in frustration, feeling an unlikely empathy with those mega popstars, besieged in hotel rooms by their fans.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Day 34: Shimla
  • Country/sea: India
  • Place: Shimla
  • Book page no: 74

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