Victor Banerjee on life on a cold winter’s day in Landour, Mussorie. In Express Eye:
We have no winters of discontent up here. Without rambunctious Dilliwallahas and Haryanvis, Mussoorie has become the paradise we all retreated to and retired in, to die happily one day.
Ruskin Bond spends most of the day turning from one side to the other, contemplating stories under his quilt and roaring expletives, sending fans scurrying down the hill every time they open his front door and let in a chilling draught from wintry icicles that hang from his eaves. Steve Alter, our handsomest writer, chugs around the hill, diurnally, to look as beautiful as his wife and waves a petite but dangerous magic wand (imported from the US) at monkeys that might attack or cows that might gore or anpadh tourists who mistake him for Ruskin or sometimes Tom his cousin, or what utterly shatters him, me.
What is, however, making our toes curl and our pheasants’ feathers ruffle, are a new bunch of flamboyant social proselytizers who have insidiously infiltrated the community of laid-back and indolent creative wasters (like moi) who, from time immemorial, have inhabited the Landour hillside. More: