We reached Kausani late. The hotel spread down a cliff facing the valley. I’d chosen it for the views we would get of the Himalayas, but on the way in to Kausani, I was dismayed by the ring of fire on the surrounding ridges. It was a wonderful hotel, but there was a smell of smoke everywhere. We decided to cut our stay short, and leave in the morning. Perhaps we could be back some other time.
As I packed in the morning I looked out to see monkeys sunning themselves. They are highly conscious of status, and one monkey was afforded a bubble of serenity. He surveyed others to make sure that they kept the proper distance. A very old song popped into my head as I watched this: “Mere monkey Ganga aur tere monkey Yamuna mein, bol Radha bol sangam hoga ki nahin.” Looking at the way they move, probably not.