Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Tehri and its dam

26 October 2010 Tuesday

Hard to keep the blog going much, like last night (Monday 25th Oct) I finished up the 320 emails and tried to reply some at the Hanifl Center's computer room, but by then it was 10:30 pm, way after my usual bed time.  I moved my photos off my cameras but was tired and fell to sleep about 11 - waking as usual at 4:45 am, which is a good 6 hours sleep for me (I usually sleep at home from 3-7:30 or 4.5 hrs, so 6 hrs is more).

Then went on a walk with Alan - like we have done the last three mornings from 6 to 7 am - this morning up the back side path from Jabbarkhet to Fairy Glen - not too far up the path, and down to Fairy Glen, a clear, flat area with concrete flat seats to sit and look out, north to the snows - which were out nicely this morning.  The Class of 1963 had donated money to fix it up as part of the 150th Woodstock School anniversary and it looks nice

Today Alan and I rented a car ($25 each) out to Tehri, where they completed a huge dam around 2004, which the backed up lake has submerged the 80,000 population town and built a beautiful lake or jeel - supporting hydro-electricity production.  All the residents were built new homes by the government, about 4,000 feet further up the mountain side - the new Tehri town has about 100,000 population now, living in the new homes.  Had a great lunch on the outside terrace of a very modern hotel/restaurant - alu muttar curry with pea pallau and roti followed by gulab jamans, masala chai, and mango juice.  The 2-hour trips there and back were interesting, but a bit scary.  It goes through Danolti about halfway there - the road winds its way along very, very steep mountain sides (Deej and others of the Class of 1959 will remember the treacherous ride to Danolti there and back in 1998).  Yvonne didn't want to do it, and Helen also refused to do it, after her experience of her brother George falling down the khud and eventually dieing of injuries. We left the Woodstock gate at 8:15, got to Tehri dam around 10:15, up to Tehri around 11:30 for lunch, left there around 12:45 and got back to the Hanifl Center around 2:40 pm.

But Alan and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  Alan is great - even though his Hindi vocabulary is more limited than mine, he has some great phrases he knows and modifies to meet the occasion, and is never reluctant to try his Hindi, like with your driver Jagdish.  Alan learned 4 words today bimar (sick, as in Yvonne gets car sick easily), araam (rest or with ease, as in don't drive back quickly, just go with ease), and then two other words I can't remember - one is for translate (anuk?, as in Alan's father did a lot of translations from and back into English to Hindi or to Urdu), and the other is for cattle ranch (gokul, as in Alan runs a cattle ranch back in New Zealand).

We learned our diver Jagdish grew up in a village, now on the other side of the new Tehri dam lake, and the government supplies a motor boat to take villagers back and forth

I better stop now, since I need to go to the School and pay my bill before they close at 5 (it is 3:38 pm right now, and it takes a brisk 12 minute walk to the School, and I said I'd be there around 4 pm)

And when will I have time to upload some photos! awck!

I am feeling better, have had no stomach or bowel problems, having taken two days of the arithromyisine (something like that).
Later Alan wrote these remarks in an email (26th December 2010)
For the rest of the class, I don't know whether Phil Mc told you or not (I haven't seen it if he did), but one day we two took a taxi out to the Tehri dam. Leon didn't want to come, nor did Helen or Yvonne, and the Rughs had already left the hillside. It took about 2.5 hours to get there, with magnificent vistas of the snows and other mountain scenery on the way. The dam is strategically placed to dam the Ganga and one other river (forgotten the name of it) where they come together to carry on as the Ganga. The resulting elongated lake, running more or less east west as far as I could make out, covered about 100 villages and some of the most fertile land in the area. All to get more water and more electricity for Delhi!! The new town/city of Tehri is relocated to near the top of the hills, from under that water. What a shame, in the name of progress. More dams may be built in the future too, it seems! Somewhere in those hills. Our driver, Jagdish, shared a lunch with us at a roadside eating place.

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