Not Now – Friday Fictioneers


Genre: Memoir

After a grueling 8 hour walk, I reached the hanging village of Jhaka. A trekking novice, I’d trailed my group by almost an hour. After lunch, I stepped out for a smoke. My system craved for its shot of nicotine. As I was about to light up, the owner of the house, George Negi, came running up to me

‘Sir, smoking is not permitted in this village. Please smoke inside my house.’

I sat inside, near the window. The Negi family heirlooms were on the sill. I looked out. The pristine beauty of the village and the mountains moved me. I kept the cigarette inside. Smoking can wait.

Note: This is an excerpt from my diaries during the Rupin Pass Trek I went during this May. Rupin Pass is one of the most challenging treks in India. Jhaka is the last village on the way before we are at the mercy of the wilderness. You can find an earlier entry from the same trek here.

The picture in the prompt immediately reminded me of George Negi’s house. A couple of pictures of the same are below. 


The hanging village of Jhaka in the Himalayas.


George Negi’s House.

Thanks to the lovely Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for her amazing Friday Fictioneers.

Photo prompt credit – Janet Webb

Jhaka photos – Varadharajan Ramesh

Find other awesome entries for this week’s Friday Fictioneers here.




    1. Thanks for the kind words, Russell. The trek has some really unbelievable scenic locations. Glad I went through with it, inspite of my acrophobia.

      Cheers, Varad


  1. Lovely story. Funny how the smoking ban is reversed compared to most places, though it does seem a shame to pollute that lovely crisp air.


    1. Thank you. The village elders have sincerely implemented the ‘Swachh Bharat’ (Clean India) program in Jhaka. It was delightful to see a pristine little hamlet at the edge of civilization.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great to read this bit from your memoirs, loved how you mixed vast open space with events


  3. What a wonderful memory. I loved that you did not want to defile the beauty around you by smoking.


  4. What a great mix of memoir and prompt. Great descriptions, wisdome and insights, what could be better? Kudos for keeping the need to smoke down in the house.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a lot for the kind words. Once the breathtaking vistas fill your mind, you lose the urge to fill your lungs with smoke. That’s exactly how I felt that moment. Cheers, Varad

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Awesome and breath-taking and not in a nicotine way. But no riding over habit; as an ex, I know how hard it can be. Wow, smoking inside — now that would be a very long time ago.
    Wonderful link twixt story, picture prompt, and your pictures. Thoroughly enjoyable.


    1. Thanks for the comment, Lorraine. Yeah, giving it up is a tough process. Smoking inside is not a big thing in the mountains. Cheers, Varad


    1. Oh this one is a brute of a trek, Bjorn. I’m pretty sure you’d love the challenge. And even as a smoker, I could appreciate the village for having a strict anti-smoking in the public policy. George, our host was kind enough to offer a rarely used room for our proclivities. But the place was just too beautiful for me to even contemplate polluting it. Thanks a lot for the comment. Cheers, Varad


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