Yeshi and I met in Dharamsala, northern India. Many Tibetan people live here. It is the home of his Holiness XIV Dalai Lama – his modest temple is situated on a picturesque hilltop in McLeod Ganj, just above Dharamsala city.
When we first became a couple Yeshi would walk very slightly ahead of me at all times. He knew people wherever we went, and he wasn’t ready to update his relationship status.
Before long, friends and relatives (the line between the two always seemed blurred) started to put two and two together anyway – there was always someone to stop and chat to along the three main roads in town. Some friends did business here. Others were just hanging out: people didn’t seem to do much in McLeod Ganj.
Yeshi used to joke that I’d bagged myself the “king” of Dharamsala – apparently there was nobody taller than him in town. But I got a consistent message from everyone we met as well: I’d done well. Cherish this man – he comes from a “good” family. Great news, but I had no idea what this meant to begin with. In the early days, everything about Yeshi’s culture was new and confusing.
I understand now. Back in the day, Yeshi’s family had been people of note. His parents came from aristocratic families, but these were kind and generous people. They had status, and they were well respected and liked.
After the annexation of Tibet by the Chinese, Yeshi’s family lost almost everything. This was the Communists’ intention – to create a level playing field. They redistributed valuable possessions and pieces of furniture from Yeshi’s family home among others households in the village. Most of these items were never returned, but Yeshi’s family, with their house overlooking the valley, have retained their standing in the community. You can take things away from people – their rights, their positions, their homes and belongings – but respect is built over time and its roots run deep.
Now that you know about Yeshi’s blue blood you can see it too, right? I always find it amusing that in people’s imaginations it is Yeshi who married up. In fact, I’m the one who’s punching.
We’re open as usual this week. Our opening times are as follows:
Wednesday: 5-9.30pm (dinner only)
Thursday – Saturday: 12-3 (lunch) / 5-9.30pm (dinner)
This week’s menu is out now – check the website for full details. Come by for hot food take away, to dine in or to stock up on momos and curries from our freezers. Don’t forget to take home a jar of chilli or pickles too, and we do love to sign a cookbook!
Looking forward to seeing you,
Julie and Yeshi
Opening hours this week:
Thurs – Sat: 12-3pm 🥢 5-9.30pm
☏ 01865 499318