Things are changing fast around here. I’ve noticed more this visit than any other. For example, a bridge has been built over a small river that we used to have to cross by jumping from stone to stone. I took a photo in 2007 of the un-bridged river and another last week and it’s really difficult to believe it’s the same place.
The Himachalis are becoming more prosperous by the minute. Houses are being built, more animals acquired, more poxy cars, of course, and inevitably more people. The changes are unstoppable, so there’s no point regretting them. But I’d miss the rice steppes if they were to disappear. They’re not being threatened quite yet—at least I don’t think they are. But we’re already eating imported Chinese rice, even though we live surrounded by rice fields, so who can tell what’s going to happen.