Diary of Elijah Emory

Turpin Bridge

Posted in Uncategorized by Elijah Emory on August 16, 2016

It is only a few kilometres away from school and also from town, almost a halfway point if you’re going from one to the other. Turpin Bridge has a dark reputation for being haunted. They say that a girl from school committed suicide in the years of the Emergency in the 70s. No one knew why, but there are a few theories why she did so:

  1. She was not allowed to be in love with a boy who was in her class. (Elijah doesn’t really believe this, because that’s too typical – a story of love torn leading to a suicide.) As tragic as that may have been, the theory sounded silly.
  2. She got mad. Simple as that. As Sir Sebastian (English teacher) put it, she just went mad as a cookabura one day and ran away from school and was missing for a few days until a fisherman from town picked her body up after three days.
  3. She was raped, then murdered by bandits in the forest and then thrown into the river. This was possibly not true because there were no telltale evidences on her body, which an incident like that would have left.

Her father was an official in the government and close ally of the Prime Minister and they say their family even got a personal apology from Mrs. Gandhi for the tragedy – not that that did anything to lessen the mourning.

Elijah found himself at Turpin bridge that night in the silver moonlight. He didn’t fully believe in the bridge being haunted, but at the same time he couldn’t help feel a cold chill run down his spine. Night has a way of changing one’s perspective. He atleast should have put on a jacket, he thought. The deodars around him were moving slightly in the wind and that cast dancing shadows on the forest floor. He couldn’t tell if a movement in front of him was from a shadow (or a ghost) or his friend he was going to meet. He quickly looked at his watch afraid of losing sight of the road below him. He was fifteen minutes early.

From that forest cover, he could see a good way around him. He would see them approach and there was no way he would be caught unaware. He had a good view of the bridge and the road that forked out of a thick cluster of deodar and oak. No one in sight. The little river beneath the bridge gurgled pleasantly.

Even the ghost of Turpin bridge would not escape his sight from there.


At The Town

Posted in Uncategorized by Elijah Emory on September 22, 2011

Melody wanted to go to town. Its always her that instigates these sort of trips. We met Deirdre at Aunty Corner on her own. I’m still mad at Tenzin. She went over the line yesterday telling me what to do with my exam study schedule, and then got mad because I didn’t do it. She probably thinks she is under-appreciated. Funny.

It is a great warm afternoon. The mountains are clear. Not a cloud in sight. I know we don’t always live in the constant awareness of them – we wake up, we go to school, we eat, play and sleep and the mountains are always there. Sometimes we don’t even notice it. But a day like today makes you step back and look at it. You can almost hear them humming with authority and power.

Got to follow Melody around, she wants to buy some fruits from New Market and hints that she needs help tugging the bags of shopping. I think I’d rather escape to a tea shop behind Onesius and waste the day away before it is time to catch the bus again.

North Tower, Sirion School

Posted in Uncategorized by Elijah Emory on September 22, 2011


Posted in Uncategorized by Elijah Emory on November 9, 2010

I am making a few decisions and what direction I am wanting to take in regards to my future.
I want to be free. I want to be able to live without obligations.
I want to live in a small house, doesn’t matter if I own it or not (as long as I can just pay the rent).
I want to roam the bazaars and love and be loved by all I meet,
Just because of who I am and not because
I have achieved much in life, not because
I hold a powerful title, not because
I am popular.

I want to drink the same tea that my neighbour drinks,
Attend the same street hullabaloo that hundreds others go to,
Shop in the same stores that sustain the common man,
Eat the same food that they would eat.

I want to rebel against the idea that few have taught me;
Their idea of contentment and luxury.

I want to have nothing to do with their disillusionment.

Not that I know only the truth,
As opposed to their ‘disillusionment’,
But because
Even though what I want to be might be a delusion
I’d rather believe in this lie than the lies that they have taught me.

Posted in Uncategorized by Elijah Emory on November 7, 2010

Dear Emory

Posted in Uncategorized by Elijah Emory on November 7, 2010

Dear Emory,

John Keats reminds me of you. The quiet restrain that he seeks, the gentle use of flamboyant words never extravagant.  The calm assurance of hidden confidence.  And the sadness in those eyes which he keeps to himself. He died before he could see his works become famous. He only heard them being criticized, not praised. I wish genuinely, that it might not happen to you. People admire your work for a lot of reasons. I have my own. Not to appreciate such great talent as yours is foolishness. To ignore the joy that your creation gives is utter stupidity. To deny the right of going to places where you take us to is denying life. Although i wish you success, more than that i wish you and your readers’ satisfaction.  A satisfaction that keeps yearning.


On the bus

Posted in Uncategorized by Elijah Emory on September 30, 2010

The route that Bus Number 3 confuses me sometimes. Today I was so bored on my way there and was starting to dread everything around me. I suppose it is one of those times when reality grips you tightly without giving you any breathing space nor any space for thinking. The bus took a detour before turning into Turpin Bridge and took a longer way through the forest. My music player was running out battery and I was saving it for the walk up to dorm from the gate.

Sunny was talking loudly at the front. I think I was dizzy too.

Road sign

Posted in Uncategorized by Elijah Emory on April 8, 2010

Road sign where the bend reveals the first view of Turpin Bridge on your way up to Sirion Gate from Gabalpur:



Posted in Uncategorized by Elijah Emory on February 14, 2010

Mrs. Elaine Wright, of the English department who is in charge of Kensington Hall Annual says Disquiet can never be allowed to play because they ‘endorse unruly behaviour’ which is not permissible at the annual ball.

“Coffee should be as hot as a girl’s first kisses, as sweet as the night in her arms, and as black as the curses of the mother when she finds out. (An Arab saying)” engraved on a wall plague in Onesius Cafe, Gabalpur.

Peregrine Gill, East Tower, thinks she will never stop loving Westlife and still plays to them on her iPod (that she quickly changes when anybody tries to hear what she is listening to).

“Been dazed and confused for so long it’s not true,
Wanted a woman, never bargained for you.
Lots of people talk and few of them know,
Soul of a woman was created below.”
(Disquiet does cover of ‘Dazed and Confused’ Led Zeppelin at Sirion Talent Show)

“latte+capuccino=coffee content too less..
thus, latte+capuccino=GAY.”
the philosophy of Dani Shimray

Second Hand shopping in Splendour Plaza, New Market Road, rounded up with momo at Aunty Corner to catch Sirion School Bus No.3 to Sirion gate latest by 6pm.

Hazel Buijs, West Tower simply loves Bollywood films, and thats where she gets ideas for her drama role when she got chosen as Juliet. She even suggested a song item in the play (‘just like in the movies!’); an idea that was snuffed out quickly by Sachin Vaze, East Tower (the Romeo) who detests Bollywood.

Dani Shimray, South Tower, likes to plug into her music player and listen to Interpol as she watches people talk in the cafeteria.

Zubair Said, West Tower, dreams of becoming a fast bowler for Rajasthan Royals. For now he is the captain of Sirion School Cricket Team.

Valentine’s Day

Posted in Uncategorized by Elijah Emory on February 14, 2010

Onesius Cafe is packed. It’s Valentine’s Day, but that’s not entirely why it is so packed today. After all, it’s just a sunday and a weekend out til 6:30pm. The love birds are perched on the window sills scattered across the school as well as many more at the water’s edge of Lake Hira. And Archie’s Card shop is blaring love songs and flaunting pink at dizzying proportions. Principal Baldwin is not overjoyed at the sight of couples cuddling everywhere, but Mrs.Wright tells him, it’s just a day. Let it be. So, let it be. The raunchy attempts of the love industry has managed to get a severe grip on kids these days. And somewhere down at the water front Zhorx spits red paan juice onto the ground cursing at the pink lights reflecting off the rippling water.

Far into the mountains

Posted in Uncategorized by Elijah Emory on February 11, 2010

I took a vehicle far into the mountains. All by myself. All by myself and the soft sound of music that floated in the air. The vehicle glided on nothingness. I closed my eyes. Despite my closed eyes I could see the blight red of the mountain reflecting off the glory of the sunlight. I stopped near a river. Green like gemstone. There were birds. Singing in their worlds. A thrush calling out to the foaming rapid and whitening river. From behind dark vines and branches of an ancient tree. 

Far behind had I left my life. Here I was a stranger. Walking through an unknown forest. Watched by birds and beasts. Hearing the roar of a nearby waterfall, and smaller drops dripping from the ferns that stood like sentinels on the edge of the river.

List of teachers and their subjects in Sirion

Posted in Uncategorized by Elijah Emory on February 5, 2010

Roland Baldwin: Principal
Atul Scindia: Vice Principal

Elaine Wright: English
Sebastian DeCosta: English
Sergil Singhania: Political Science
Namrata Joshi: Indian History
Meshach Spears: European/World History
Gopalakhrishnan Nayar: Economics
Lemuel Freise: Art
Krishna Tilak: Coach
Dr. Tara Singh: Hindi
Meghna Phalke: Hindi
Sarita Dolma: Life Science
Aryan Thakur: Physics
Rowan Cotswold: Chemistry
Manikya Roychoudhury: Chemistry II
Asumi A.: Biology
Umendra Nath: Math
Binita Shan: Geography
Gauri Shah: Geography

Photographs by Yiru Namade

Posted in Uncategorized by Elijah Emory on February 3, 2010


A Few Laughs And Puchchka

A Few Laughs And Puchchka: Sameera Paulus, Deirdre Niden and Ana Razat enjoying a few laughs and puchchka at the Mall, Gabalpur, on Friday afternoon to celebrate the end of summer term. Note: Missing neckties and not fully buttoned tops. Teachers and 'well wishers' of the school are not pleased to see the uniform being misused this way, but then everybody takes chances. Especially when you're rejoicing the arrival of a two weeks holiday, some things just don't matter. (Photographed by Yiru Namade)




Squatting Session

Squatting Session: Yuki Tana, Sachin Vaze, Zi Tana and Tshering Kalsang Lama having some squatting session outside Hira Studio, waiting for their passport photos to be developed, New Market Road, Gabalpur. Note: The heavy jackets they all wear, either fur collars or large hoodies, also reflecting their musical taste. When asked about her preference to shop in New Market Road, "There are good days and bad days to shop in N.M.R.," says Yuki, "obviously stuff are cheap here, and if you are lucky you can find really cool stuff here." But how do you know when a 'good day' to shop is? "Oh, you just know it. It's a feeling in your bones, like in the song.." When asked about the jacket she wears now, she laughs, "oh- no, no! This is from Shibuya!" - New Market is the shopping area - a major, if not the only proper shopping place in town. Don't get me wrong, there are no flash branded show rooms (except for a mini adidas showroom, and that too at the Mall). But as Yuki mentions, there are lucky days. And most normally when people shop, it's for the experience and not simply to end up buying. New Market Road is one straight road with rows of shops not just for clothing, but also a restaurant, a few cheap tea and food stalls, barber (Bollywood Saloon), tailoring shop (Glam Scissors), bookstores just to mention a few. And at the end of it, where it meets Downing Lane, Onesius Cafe stands facing out towards Lake Hira. (photographed by Yiru Namade)




Yiru Namade

Yiru Namade: Photographer for Sirion Times, also photographer for the photos in this section. From East Tower and this is one of the rare photos of her, taken by Nilanjana Choudhury. That's simply because most of the published photos in recent times have been taken by her and obviously, she is always behind the lens doing them. Interests in kitsch art and people photography. She flaunts her interest to try nude photography on Gabalpur streets. "Uh.. Yiru, good luck with that.." Lizzie Fisher, Head Girl of East Tower tells her, "Maybe you should return after thirty years and do it then.." Yiru laughs, and imagines a model pose under the vintage street lamps, her hair caught in the breeze like like a ship's sail in good speed, and her skin glowing in the sepia tinted sunshine. Thirty years from now. Maybe.

People Of Sirion, a directory of people compiled by Deirdre Niden

Posted in Uncategorized by Elijah Emory on February 2, 2010

People Of Sirion, a directory of people compiled by Deirdre Niden for Sirion Times Documentation. Random pickings, not according to favours.

Title Page

Title Page

Introduction Page

Introduction Page

Deirdre Niden

Deirdre Niden

Moses Lalminthanga

Moses Lalminthanga

Persis Laila

Persis Laila

Elijah Emory

Elijah Emory

Zhorx (George Banerjea)

Zhorx (George Banerjea)


Melody Asha Purie

Melody Asha Purie

Onesius Cafe, Downing Lane, Gabalpur

Posted in Uncategorized by Elijah Emory on February 1, 2010


Interior sketch of Onesius Cafe, Gabalpur

Interior sketch of Onesius Cafe, Downing Lane, Gabalpur


My favourite place to have coffee in Gabalpur (or maybe even compared to other places I have ever been) is clearly Onesius Cafe. It is located where Downing Lane meets New Market Road and it faces the Mall where all the people gather for no specific reasons, but to just enjoy being in a crowd. And also to enjoy the food stalls that litter the area, offering views of Lake Hira, placid and cool. Onesius Cafe has been around for a while. I do not remember when it started, I am sure I have read what the coffee table photography book about Onesius says about its establishment date, but you see, I am terrible when it comes to numbers. I am sure it was before 1976 because the photography book has a picture of Melody’s mother and her class mate when they were in Sirion (picture: Bobby Aier and Priya Dahl in 1976).

Onesius Furniture and Accessories

Onesius Cafe Furniture and Accessories


Onesius Cafe Furniture and Logo

Onesius Cafe Furniture and Logo

street lamp

Posted in Uncategorized by Elijah Emory on September 11, 2009

Deirdre held the glasses with her ivory hands, “ah, just an old glass – just for fifty bucks. It’s pure vintage.” She put it on. “The guy who sold it said he got it from a hippie who ran out of money and needed a train ticket from… Murti Colony to Delhi.” The old street lamp reflected on the round glasses. And Elijah smiled against the cool breeze coming up from the lake, “You just got lucky…”


Posted in Uncategorized by Elijah Emory on September 7, 2009

They say everything beautiful happens under the rhododendron. It is a saying that Professor Elaine Wright kept quoting, a saying from the hill people. Maybe not everything per se. But to me everything that happens under the rhododendron is beautiful.

We got five bags of Wai Wai and gathered under a rhododendron tree: me, Mel, Toby and Ameno. Ameno bought the five bags. It was his idea actually. Another day of boredom after classes, it was a pretty hot day too and we were looking for notebooks and diagram workbooks that Miss Binita Shan had asked us to get. They costed heavily burning holes in my pocket.

So it was a relief that Ameno suggested we go eat Wai Wai uphill where he knew “a perfect place to sit. No one really sees you.” And he was going to buy the food. Mel bought a big Sprite bottle. “We’ll just have to drink straight from the bottle,” she said, “without the cups.”

We hurried to Christmas Thapa’s Tuck shop. He was as usual in good mood. The dark shade under the flowering rhododendron was a great relief. So was Mel’s Sprite.

about Deirdre

Posted in Memoir by Elijah Emory on July 24, 2009

Deirdre came into existence as much as I am concerned one fateful day in autumn just before the commencement of basketball and Sirion Annual Sports season. That I remember well because.. well it’s a long story.. maybe I will reminisce about my first meeting with her a little.

To be honest, that day I met her first, I was sent out of the class by Gunner (Professor Singhania) because I was caught dreaming inside her Political Science lecture (about Impeachment of the President of India, so I learnt later from Tenzin). And I had half an hour to kill and was having coffee made by our good old Christmas Thapa in Northwest Cafeteria.

Deirdre had just arrived in Sirion then. She came into the cafeteria looking a bit lost so she came and introduced herself since I was the only soul inside that place (except for Christmas with his awesome Nepali Hindi accent).

Deirdre offered me Lay’s chips, the spicy one, (yumm..) that I didn’t accept in line with trying to be chivalrous and cool. I was having Christmas coffee anyway.

(She has beautiful black hair that is long and heavy. And olive skin, well atleast I think it reminds me of the word light olive, and dark intriguing eyes: not dark and mysterious, just dark and beautiful.

(She has gorgeous hands too and sometimes I see her hands pickled with deep nail colours.)


Anyway its been a while now that Deirdre has been in Sirion. She seems to be liking it a lot. She finds the oldish English architecture very charming. She writes in Sirion News already under a pen name. There is a novel that she wrote when she was in Goshen International School, Nilgiris.

I don’t know much about her though. To be honest.

Sometimes I meet her in the streets of Gabalpur, maybe down Downing Lane, where normally she would be with Lolita or Tshering. One day I met her in Choudhury Book Depot doing some book shopping for her course.

Another time I was eating puchchka after chaat from the popular Mall places when she appeared with what looked like a 60s pair of dark glasses with golden coated rims that she said she got from New Market. For just 10 rupees. It did look good. I mean it was a little scratchy in the sides, but that was the point. It was an antique piece. She told me the seller didn’t know what she was selling. And proceeded to ordering a serving of chaat.

I think about her all the time, and that is why I have written this little piece just about her. It’s not meant to be any sort of infatuation letter or anything of that sort. Just a sort of self discovery and asking myself what is it about her and so on..

And Meshach Spears, the teacher for European History complimented her on her essay on the Balkans Crisis. Smart girl too.

Summer Pains And Joys

Posted in Uncategorized by Elijah Emory on June 27, 2009

The music in the sumo hadn’t stop for a minute since we left Murti Colony. I watched Toby sighing and moaning all the time, wiping his brows and his shoulder beneath his shirt with his towel that he painfully pulled out of his rucksack. The music was ok. I could bear Bollywood music (and this time it wasn’t the popular ones that you hear on tv, but the one cheap ones that gives you the impression that it’s been recorded in some dingy studio with a smattering of harmoniums and local made guitars) but Toby detested them and very very rarely mentions them only except to mock them. The music obviously wasn’t helping to his situation.

I don’t know what the heck we even went to MC  for (MC slang for Murti Colony by Sirion people). We knew MC would be hot as hell. And I was actually looking forward to being in real summer just for a day. Nigel had to clear some of his visa things and there were some people in MC who could help him. So since it was saturday I decided to go with him, and then Melody said she will come and then Toby joined in and lastly Tenzin.  Toby wanted to check the new electronics store for new laptops.

The guy Nigel was supposed to meet was some West Bengal well spoken fellow who was very interested in Toby’s home state and kept insisting that he had been there in the North East India. Toby was least interested but kept up talking about Kaziranga and the tribal groups there. I didn’t dare to mention that I was from that place too. I just kept mum and swore at the fan blowing warm humid air onto my face and stared blankly at wires outside that crows perched on and cawed what sounded like evil curses. As Nigel cleared his visa documents, I listened to the whistle of train rolling into Murti Colony Platform.

Somehow though, I enjoyed that summer air. Like a heat that reaches into your deepest depths and strain you out so that you just go numb.

That done, we decided to check out Toby’s electronic store. “Half an hour alright? We shouldn’t spend too much time there.” Nigel told him, “It’s not like you will buy it anyway.”

“Who knows?”

We couldn’t take it anymore. We bought some coke and sugarcane juice from the street that took me to heaven for a while. And boarded one of the better looking sumos that lined the whole row of Murti Street, ignoring another fifty or so taxi drivers cawing like the crows, “Gabalpur? Sirion School? We will go now! How many people” and some in hindi and some in inaudible tongues.

Nigel kept swearing about summer.

The drive upto Gabalpur as usual was beautiful. And especially because every minute we could feel the air cooling down. We passed the oak forests in good time. Traffic was less so the driver who sang along with the hideous music, seemed in a racing mode. I didn’t complain. Melody was asleep, the shadows of the trees over hanging the roads fleeting by across her face, her brown hair dancing away. Toby in front calmed down bit by bit as we reached the swerving roads that would take us back up the mountains. Nigel didn’t say much. He opened a bag of chips and ate it looking ahead at the road. Tenzin was sleeping too at the other end of the seat, by the window.

“Do you want to stop and have tea? Maybe just outsie Hema? Stretch your legs and pee?” I asked Nigel.

“Yeah, man,” Toby interrupted, “I need to pee so bad. And I’ve run out of talab.”

I needed tea. And we chose a small shack of a tea hotel, just beside the road that had the path that led to it framed by wild daisies. I remember stopping here last year on my way to school with Toby and it was winter so the air was clean and we could see the mountains clear against the sky. Today the summer sir was cloggy and we could see nothing.

We couldn’t linger there too long. Daylight was waning. And Melody wanted to have dinner at Onesius Cafe “to make up for the crazy heat at MC,” she added.

Everything was orange when we got out of the sweltering sumo just outside Choudhury Book Depot. The sun had just dipped behind the mountains and it was a great great change after that crazy summer down at MC. There was even cool breeze that made the shredded plastic hanging on the electric post sway gently.

“Should we still go to Onesius for dinner?” I asked Melody, “It might be late to catch the bus already.”

“Yeah I know,” she said looking at her watch, “forget it. Let’s go back.”

bata building

Posted in Uncategorized by Elijah Emory on June 24, 2009

“I want to go home so much.” Melody said, as she swallowed a gulp of puchhka wincing with delight at its sourness, “Most of my friends are home at this time of the year and I am here stuck, with all you losers.”

I laughed. Toby ordered another five rupees worth batch of puchhka and turned to Melody. “You think I enjoy being stuck with you baboons or what?” he said, “There’s a massive football tournament happening at home, man.” I watched the construction happening next to Bata building.

excerpts from The Last Time I Saw Sirion

Posted in Uncategorized by Elijah Emory on June 6, 2009

I read an excerpt from Sirion School Alumni magazine of a former student that was published when there was the Alumni Meet last week. I read it today and he wrote fondly of Sirion and Gabalpur. He said he works out of the country now and sometimes flashes of memories of this place come back and throws him down unawares.

Excerpt (title: The Last Time I Saw Sirion):

“in the bustle of my corporate life, though I am not the one who sit and dream in the middle of work time, sometimes a certain smell or a certain memory, a certain music will open a trapdoor for memories that sat inside me all the time waiting to overwhelm me. Suddenly the view of a cloud lingering on the peak of a shady pine hill I remember. Suddenly music from a stereo player comes back to me randomly. And I sit there on my work desk, wishing for that little fragment of memory to stay longer. I do not move or look around but continue to stare at that thing that inspired my memory. But then I would sense it going away, slowly fading off…
I do not wish to come back in time and re-live all that moments. That would be being ungrateful for all that I have been through between then and now. But all I am saying is that these little things made me what I have become today, be it good or bad. And some day I wish to return if only for a few days and pretend everything were as it had been the last time I saw Sirion. (Mani Crest)”

Singin’ In The Rain

Posted in Uncategorized by Elijah Emory on May 28, 2009

I didn’t sing in the rain but I knew what it felt like to tip-tap on the wet floor on the street. The water was muddy at some areas. And I wished there was something to jump about.

But then there I was alive, feeling the cool rain seep through my shoes into my socks. There I was alive. Maybe if I was supposed to have been dead this morning, I’d have been jumping around in glee in the rain this afternoon overjoyed to realise I am still alive.

Walk in Gabalpur

Posted in Memoir by Elijah Emory on May 27, 2009

I went for a walk in Gabalpur today. It was late afternoon after my classes. And as usual despite the fact that it was a weekday and working day at school, many students like me had found their way down here. Sirion had been unexpectedly less strict about students going off to visit Gabalpur. Unlike last year when Puri, the gate guard had been very particular about what time and who went out of the gate to catch Bus No.3.

Gabalpur today was no different. I sometimes caught a glance of Sirion as the windows of our school caught the sunlight high up way above the lines of the little town.

I met Kimberly Singh on her way out of Himalayan Beauty Centre and I was going to Post Office to drop off a parcel for my mother. (Don’t be fooled, Himalayan Beauty Centre is a well acclaimed place for girls of Sirion School, despite its Bollywood-masala-worthy name) Kimi told me there is a girl in South Tower who told her she likes me.  Rubbish. South Tower girls always have had a way of cooking up stories.

Anyway, I met the owner of Choudhury Book Depot, and he told me that they are going to bring in a lot of new magazines for sales since the demand has been growing in heaps. He claims that his shop is the biggest in the region, maybe even better in quality than M.K.B.C. in Murti Colony. I didn’t buy that claim but then agreed that Choudhury Book Depot is definitely one of the best shops in Gabalpur, especially since it is being owned by a knowlegdeable and book loving person as Mr. Choudhury himself. I bought the new issue of Travel Unlimited for 50 rupees. It featured Milan and Greece in its cover. I am not a big fan of Milan and Greece but I saw a little article on Shillong and decided to buy it for that. If only the magazine people would write about places like Gabalpur. (haha) well on second thoughts maybe not.

Gabalpur is best undiscovered.

I didn’t linger too long in town. I wanted to buy five scoops of puchhka but didn’t because I thought I’d save some money. Since when did I become so money-wise I thought.

Excerpts From Sirion Post

Posted in Sirion Post, Uncategorized by Elijah Emory on February 16, 2009

Rocked Our Socks Off!


We never knew so much of talent exists within the walls our Sirion School. None of us were ready for what awaited us as we all shuffled into Kensington Hall by 5pm yesterday. Thanks to the efficiency of the tech team, sound checks were all done ten minutes before the show began.

The air was tense. The students impatient for it to start.

The first on the list was Friendly Neighbourhood, a self-proclaimed indie-band front led by Sarah Choro. The crowd were pretty much pumped up from then. Sarah’s stage presence was awesome. She put the whole crowd up and about with their cover of ‘Seven Nation Army’ by White Stripes. Friendly Neighbourhood has been a band well reputed in Sirion School, begun by Sarah and Atul Ratn, the bassist. One of their originals

Y-Y also did their performance. Y-Y is a Korean boy dance band. A few Korean hip hop and a mixed version of Michael Jackson. The school favourite pop dancer, Jyun mesmerised everyone with his solo performance for 5 whole minutes. Amazing.

Disquiet was probably the highlight of the event. They did more of ballads this time, unlike last year when they did more heavy metal stuff. But they were right on it even with their more soulful renditions. There also was a full musical piece composed by Zhorxx (George Lampa) named Blushful Bliss, where all the musicians did their bit. The limelight however was taken by Zhorxx on lead guitars: “probably inspired by my trip to Dharamsala last holiday..” he said.

But who will go down now to the gate and get wet and get my shoes soggy just to save a few rupees?

Posted in Uncategorized by Elijah Emory on February 11, 2009

I’ve just ordered samosa and tea from Christmas at the cafeteria. Christmas Thapa normally sits at the tuck shop nearer the dorms of North Tower, but in the mornings before the that opens, he stays at the North West Cafeteria helping Bondu out.
It rained last night and the sky is still murky. But I love the rain. My old converse thinks otherwise. A bit of water has found its way into my right shoe, and my little toe squirmed tightly. I’ll just go back to the dorm and get a new pair of shoes. I am so grateful today is only a half day at school. I plan to head down to Gabalpur with Nigel, Toby and Melody later in the afternoon: that is if weather permits.

There is a faint tinge of ginger in the samosa and the tea is just right. A bit expensive I agree compared to the stalls at the gate and at Gabalpur. But who will go down now to the gate and get wet and get my shoes soggy just to save a few rupees?
Bondu is not wearing the Mickey Mouse apron today. They obviously have to wash it one day or the other. Strange thing is that they had to do it today on a wet rainy day.

About Progressive School

Posted in Uncategorized by Elijah Emory on February 10, 2009

Sirion’s rival school, located 7 kilometers away in Murti Colony from Gabalpur and 10-11 kilometers from Sirion School. They boast of everything almost against what Sirion stands for. For example, their school name indicates that they take pride in their progressive-ness with regard to technology, facilities and disciplinary methods as opposed to Sirion’s legacy and their pride of the past.

Progressive School was founded in 1985 by a businessman Nataraj Nair, who saw the success of Sirion and not being able to come in terms with Sirion’s legacy and history, started something that boasts rather of its forward-looking policy, which he claims is absent in Sirion.

(Excerpt from Sirion Times, July 8th)


Sirion and Progressive sometimes meet up for inter school events. And when that happens sports is just the biggest buzz ever.


On Murti Colony

Murti Colony had been noisy and chaotic. It didn’t rain then as we boarded the sumo to take us to Gabalpur. School kids were everywhere. Sumo drivers, in all their flat voices, called, “Sirion Gate, Gabalpur, Sirion Gate, Gabalpur!”… Murti Colony was not striking at its first glimpse. I wasn’t in any inquisitive mood anyway to come up with a conclusion about the town. I just wanted to get the Hotel in Gabalpur and have something to eat.

As soon as our sumo left Murti Colony it started raining and the guy at the window seat, who told us was from East Tower, rolled up the glass with difficulty.

A list of people’s name and who they are

Posted in Memoir by Elijah Emory on February 10, 2009

Elijah Emory, North Tower
Need I say more? Heh.

Nigel Kenshi Yamada, North Tower
The fanatic of football from second year, my class mate. Has almost all the shirts of the Japanese football team accept for Inamoto’s which was stolen from him when he went home for the holidays.

Tobias Myamei, North Tower
Hogger of momo at Aunty’s Corner in Downing Lane, Gabalpur and Bapseed’s (dunno how to spell it) portable food stall at Sirion Gate. Loves Naruto and also secret liking for Pokemon. Biggest feat, defeated Zhorx at Counter Strike once.

Melody Asha Purie, North Tower
The tennis star of Sirion SChool who beated Kim Swu who used to be the school champion for 3 years running. Can die for Wai Wai. Can be found sometimes shopping the impopular New Market leather shops for antique fashion accessories. Oh, and Arctic Monkeys are to die for.

Tenzin Yongden, North Tower
Professor Singhania’s (AKA Gunner) favourite pupil from second year, haha. Thats not the only thing about her though. She is a genius in argument and despite her claims to teach (which should work) she could make a good lawyer. She dislikes Tibetan food, except momo.

Elizabeth Fisher, East Tower
From Final year, Head Girl of East Tower, who tells me she is writing a book but refuses to tell anyone what the book is about.

Deirdre Niden, West Tower
The new transferred student from Goshen Int’n’tnl, Nilgiri’s. She writes under a pen name in Sirion News, on the section called ‘Slug’.

Will update more people in time.

Hills beyond North

Posted in Memoir, Uncategorized by Elijah Emory on February 10, 2009

Yesterday, as a break from my crippling mundane life, I took a walk upper the North Tower with the faint cold air whipping around me. The monsoon had just passed and I felt the air like sigh of golden clean relief.

The hills hid in the shadow were blue and green like water. The trees strong and solid. The sun came out strong, not too strong to chase the cool air, but strong enough to bathe the hills in light.

As i left behind the clamourous tuck-shop of North Tower behind, I was greeted by the moan of the wind between the rocks and rippling grasses.

Here was a breathe of fresh air, just a few paces away from the world that I was tugging along.

More on Gabalpur

Posted in Memoir by Elijah Emory on December 14, 2008

People tell me Gabalpur reminds them of Nainital. Though I haven’t been there, I guess Nainital must be beautiful. They tell me there is a look alike of Lake Hira there, and the houses which look crumbling apart  line the edge of that lake.

I have had many a cup of tea on one of the cottages. One time it was winter and I rather liked the cold air wrapping its fingers around my bare neck, because it made the tea heavenly.


Gabalpur has that weird nostalgic air to it. It keeps reminding me that I will have to leave one day. That I might not see the little shops that flaunt the narrow streets crowded with Sirion kids unleashed in all their loudness and un-mannerism. That I would not smell that smell of that typical Indian bazaar- the mixture of both holy and unholy fragrances- anymore. That I would not hear the sound of Bollywood music (and occasionally Avril Lavigne over the FM channels) accompanied again by the loud Sirion kids, and further crescendoed by the noise of shopkeepers and God knows who buzzing and yelling about things (things, you know. Things that shopkeepers normally talk about, whatever they are).


Gabalpur is an amazing little town, though much smaller than a town is supposed to be. (But since no one seems to care, it remains a town.) There is a landmark squire of a church with an upturned clock on its tower. No one knows how and when the clock became this way. Then a little further away rises a proud Hindu temple, as though competing with  the steeple about who stands taller. The debate over which is taller is a controversial subject. Believe me, you don’t want to talk about it. Not when you are in Gabalpur. Much of the town lie on the bank of Hira.


One or two fancy coffee houses have mushroomed up here. These places become a favorite haunt for girls of Sirion. And believe me (even if you don’t believe me about the church and the temple, do so this time) if you are a guy looking for some peace and serenity, a little break from the assignments, a little bit of sanity, you don’t want to go to these coffee houses. But if you are a guy looking for some prospective <ahem> partner for the Great Kensington Hall Annual, you might want to go. I have been there for the same purpose. And I was dumbfounded by a stark question:

Which one is the expensive one, the girl or the coffee?


I mean think about it. I am buying coffee that costs some trips to the cyber café not because I like the coffee as much as the fact that I wanted to meet the girl. But my money goes to the shop and has nothing to do with the girl.


I do remember an incident where Dre (Deirdre) and I went to this Onesius Café, which is like THE expensive of the lot. And to my embarrassment, she paid for the coffee and the French Fries I had. Cappuccino, to be precise. (Cappuccino and French Fries, was it even a good combination??) Well she paid for it. And I was like hands on my pocket, ready to sacrifice the magazine that was coming on the stalls this week. The good news is, she didn’t seem to mind the whole affair and we even got closer. (Oh well, its not your business anyway).


Girls these days are so nice.


What I love the most about Gabalpur (and for your information, Dre shares the same idea) are the antique-like  buildings that fence the street. You could see a group of 1850s British soldiers galloping down the road talking in their ‘Thee and Thou and Doest and Doeth’ sort of English and still totally believe your eyes. What I am trying to say is Gabalpur has stood still in time, except maybe for the newer cafes  that I mentioned which I like and dislike so much.


Life is slowly paced here. Even the beggars have some dignity. You almost feel like giving something to them. The town sleeps early and gets up late. Very few cars.


Sirion School and Gabalpur are two totally different places, but can never survive without each other. Sirion equals Gabalpur. Gabalpur equals Sirion.



The more I talk about it, the more I miss it already.


Elijah Emory

East Tower

Posted in figure by Elijah Emory on November 12, 2008


East Tower one bright afternoon

East Tower one bright afternoon

East Tower one bright afternoon after a trip to Gabalpur where we had lunch at Onesius and the day we found out that Progressive School is coming to Sirion for Combined Sports. Shucks.


Posted in Uncategorized by Elijah Emory on October 19, 2008

The clouds came sweeping from across the mountain. I could see them coming. Like an army, come to run us over. Grey and dark. Felt their heavy thundering footsteps echo across the mountains. Suddenly the snow peaks disappeared behind them.

In the thick of the presence of the clouds, the school seems to reel in preparation. Raincoats are being pulled out of the wardrobes. There is fresh high demand for umbrellas at the canteen and Mohun’s Ltd. at Gabalpur. Smokes billow from the cafeterias.

There are some who complain about the rain. Clearly it is not the favourite time of the year for many. But I love the way the world is transformed into a beating musical reality. Where the showers monotonously drone you to sleep during class.

But nothing beats the times when you wake up to find that your world has been washed fresh with a bit of rain and there’s cloud sitting with his belly rubbing your window. It gives you the feeling that it could be a holiday today. 

Suddenly the chaotic vastness of the air and the universe becomes a little enclosed area around you, closed in by the mist, becoming your own.

Monsoon is here.

Tagged with:

I don’t know

Posted in Uncategorized by Elijah Emory on October 9, 2008

He tells me what am I doing writing fantasy poems when there’s a great upheaval going on, when people’s lives are changing, when souls are being won?

I don’t know.

When the morning lights come streaming in

Posted in Memoir, Uncategorized by Elijah Emory on September 11, 2008

It is not my tradition to wake up early in the morning. Not that I hate waking up early, I think it is one of the best feelings in the world, to be up before much of world is, and to know that you beat the sun. 

For some reason I got up this morning and saw that it was 5:13am. I almost dropped back into my pillow, but I decided I not to. It was a holiday anyway. That is a double feel-good-factor. Waking up early – and that too on a holiday. The day seem to stretch in front you like a decade and you anticipate all the things that will happen as the hours crawl on in their sometimes slow, sometimes fast pace.

I flung my window open, like a stereotypical good house-keeper would do on waking up. The air was cool, rather cold, I admit. But the birds’ song came in like good music that they are. Apart from that, there was a Hindu devotional music that floated up from Sirion Gate. 

I did my share of devotional reading for the morning and watched in anticipation as Hira was lit slowly and steadily by the morning sun’s glowing beams, like a face of a beautiful woman unveiled. The woman looked sad and beautiful. What was once cold and dark became lit and green.

Very soon, North Tower basketball team comes out for their practise and with the bouncing of the basketballs, the whole school wakes up, yawning and cursing.

Where in the world?

Posted in figure by Elijah Emory on August 30, 2008
Map of Sirion and Gabalpur

Map of Sirion and Gabalpur(c)copyright ningtoutao ben ezra 2008

of Gabalpur

Posted in Memoir, Uncategorized by Elijah Emory on August 30, 2008
Onesius Cafe Downing Lane

Onesius Cafe, Downing Lane | (c) copyright ningtoutao ben ezra 2008

Downing Lane is a place to be in Gabalpur. Its over-ridden with Sirion kids. There’s Onesius Cafe that you can visit in one your more lucky days that you have some money to spend. Otherwise there are always the road-side tea shops where you get a beautiful steaming cup of tea in classic glasses that I feel have been in service ever since Kensington came here first.

There’s also Aunty’s Corner where all my friends get their stocks of yak milk butter from. I also got my very practically cheap and reliable jacket that claims to be Timberland and Woodland at the same time. Anyhow it was cheap and looked durable, and thus too has it proven to be. Aunty (owner of the shop, a Tibetan woman, whose children moved to Tibet or Dharmsala for spiritual quests) says she gets her stuffs from Bangkok straight. I don’t know how much of truth lie in these claims. But it doesn’t matter, because we all love Aunty and her yak milk.

Bollywood Salon is a typical salon, where you get a massage treat and a haircut, and shampoo wash if you like, for a very very reasonable price. Hrishi, the barber says he has been taking care of Gabalpur folks’ hairstyling for the past 20 years. But he hardly looks 35.

But the best thing about Downing Lane and the Town Centre are the puchhka and chat stalls. And to have puchhka and the view of the Himalayas simultaneously is… there is no word to describe it.. i just go spellbound.

at Onesius Cafe and Aunty's Corner

at Onesius Cafe and Aunty's Corner | (c)copyright ningtoutao ben ezra 2008

 There is something purely nostalgic to the air of Gabalpur. Some sort of a vague feeling of memories and longing. The narrow roads and the crowded Mall wears a deserted look after the last of the school buses have headed back to the school gate. And yet, people of Gabalpur have their interesting lives, no matter that all we really know of the town is only that which we see in our trips outside school. Unknown to us, however, the street puchhka sellers have their homes, a history somewhere between Delhi and Banaras and Bombay; Hrishi walks home everyday thinking to himself how times have changed since his supposedly twenty years of his trade here on this quaint little town. And many countless hearts beat of their fond loves, hate, prejudices and their fulfilled and unfulfilled dreams, shattered and treasured.

As our one and only aunty keeps saying (in her wind-like bubbling hindi), “there are things that never change.. these things are closest to our hearts.”

Like Lake Hira rippling in the evening sun. Like the old street lamps that were last lit on 1967 but continue to stand strong adamant. Like people who stayed on, despite of the lure of the plains. Like the eternal Himalayas, blinding in today’s afternoon sun.


Town Square, Kavita Parvat and Lake Hira rides

Town Square, Kavita Parvat and Lake Hira rides | (c)copyright ningtoutao ben ezra 2008 Pictures excerpts from graphic novel Sirion Diaries

Arrival of spring

Posted in Memoir by Elijah Emory on August 28, 2008
North Tower

North Tower

The sun came out today after many days of grey… North Tower glittered in the sunlight, flashing brilliant rays of brightness from his summit. The birds sang as though many fetters have been lifted from their wings. The pines, dark and thick, held the sun’s ray on it speckled trunk and feathery needles.

I climb North Tower and drape my neck with a grey muffler. 

I should have brought some coffee with me, I tell myself, Its pretty cold…

If I had a wishing star, wishing candle, I would have wished Dierdre was here with me. But she is probably down at Sirion News Clubhouse or at Downing Lane under its twisted banners, shopping for a book recommended by Sir Meshach Spears. We both love history so much. She regrets not having picked Indian History in her subject combination. 

Anyway, the wind whispers into my ears. The wind brings up sound of laughter from the school grounds. There’s a game of basketball being played, a few guys and girls, looking like they’re from East Tower. The wind even brings up random sounds of vehicle from Gabalpur by Lake Hira, I swear.

The sun is warm. I am alone up here. This is where I like to be. Closest to the clouds. I gaze at the utmost peak of North Tower, wishing I could go up right there. But students are not allowed, for safety reasons. In fact, even the Tower caretaker, Krishna, never goes up there. They say the door that leads there is stuck and sealed forever by age and moss.

I intend to stay here forever… forever, that is until the sun sets and I have to gather at the mess hall or the cafeteria for dinner. Or maybe that forever will be pre-poned if I remind myself that I need to go to Chatterjee Book Depot myself and get myself Comprehensive Guide to European Literature.

Oh Shoot! I have to go soon.


Tagged with: ,

spin like the dropping autumn leaf..

Posted in Memoir by Elijah Emory on August 27, 2008

Spin as you fall … though you are headed for destruction, spin and dance, like the falling autumn leaf … for you know, there will be spring again and you will witness the rebirth of life and sunshine …

It is winter in Sirion, and the sky is draped with a shawl of grey clouds … the Towers loom and in the rare moments that they catch the sunlight, they glitter and pause, drinking in the warmth …