Experiment in Exile

Even at 1 A.M., the road to higher ground is crowded. Minivans, buses packed with people, bicycle-rickshaws, trucks carting huge bales of straw, shawled figures, groups of pilgrims and dogs are all proceeding through the darkness, their way lit by occasional small fires. As the road begins to climb, however, away from the nondescript Indian town of Dharamsala and toward the "Upper Dharamsala" that is the site of many Eastern (and Western) dreams, the crowds and cars fall away. I find myself on a winding, narrow mountain passage, lights in the valley below, stars beyond counting above, and nothing around but...

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