December 1976, and I was enjoying my very first Christmas with snow in a place you might not expect – India.
I was up in Kashmir staying on a house boat at Dal Lake, and decided to take a trip up into the mountains for the day to go tobogganing. I was blissfully unaware of the tensions at the time in Kashmir, and that venturing up into the mountains might not have been the best of ideas.
I was taken up into the mountains in a taxi, and this little boy came along for the ride. I presume he knew the driver. Probably his dad.
He is looking back at me in this photo, very curious about this western lady from Australia. He didn’t speak english, so I never had the opportunity to speak with him.
I was dropped off at a point where I was put on a donkey and led up a mountain slope, where I then got on an ancient wooden toboggan behind a ‘driver’ to whizz back down the mountain slope.
It was an unforgettable day for this Aussie who would wait a further 8 years before enjoying another Christmas in the snow (in Canada).
I’ve never forgotten the little boy with his amazing big eyes. Conflicts have continued in Kashmir since, so hopefully he grew up safely.