One has the greatest belly, one has the largest nose and one sells oranges picked from the hills of nearby Darjeeling, West Bengal.
It’s a drive from Bagdogra in West Bengal to Kalimpong, further north, to lead writing workshops. Vijay Chettri, who picked me up from Bagdogra, is on the left. He used to serve in the Indian army for 26 years. Now he has his own car rental business with 4 cars. He shares great stories on the drive up.
On the way, we meet Diwas Thapa, a seller of handpicked oranges Rs 200 for 12. He drives a hard bargain. The oranges are a bit pricey but mostly sweet.
Both Vijay Chettri and Diwas Thapa are from the Gorkha tribe of Nepal but they were born in India. Each a character in his own right.
© 2021 Marlon de Souza