She liked working with her hands

She liked working with her hands so that her mind was free to think. To the villagers she was getting old, but inside she knew she was still the girl with three-ponytails and a runny nose. Her mind would wander off to faraway places. Particularly to the place with trams that clanked together as they moved, or weekly markets that smelled of fish.

It is usual, agreed the villagers, for someone from there to long for cities and city people to long for mountains. Only a few like what they have. The rest, allow a subtle dislike to slowly grow into hatred.

It all started with that radio her grandfather had brought back as a souvenir, gifted by a Saheb when he was shipped off to Colonial Calcutta with a foul smelling sack of freshly shaven wool.

The batteries dried out too soon. It was a while before the family could afford another.

He was her only window to a world that lay far, far beyond the white mountains. Where it never snowed.

Now, before she was gone too, she had only one burning wish. To visit that place. Alone.