November 30, 2013 | post a comment | Betsy Woodman
It was odd enough to be experiencing mental double-exposures of past and present during my recent India visit, but how about combining fact and fiction?
Walking through the town of Mussoorie, I kept my eyes open for the fictional hill station of Hamara Nagar (“Our Town”), where I set my Jana Bibi novels.
Granted, it was hard to screen out the automobile traffic. Motorcycles beeped incessantly and swerved by, apparently trying to get as close as possible without actually running over people’s feet. (That may even be a charitable interpretation.) In Jana Bibi’s world it’s still the early 1960s, and people mostly walk.
This store with televisions, microwave ovens, and washing machines would not have been found in Hamara Nagar.
Nor this sign for communications companies.
However, the Kashmiri merchants would definitely be selling their wonderful wares.
And guess what—in Mussoorie, there appear to be multiple branches of Ramachandran’s Treasure Emporium! This one had a good selection of brass figurines…
along with clocks and a motorcycle.
I kept waiting for Ramachandran to pop out and greet me. Maybe he was out to lunch.