Sonam came in carrying a tray with freshly brewed coffee and bright yellow omelettes. She had a kind face with good, honest eyes.

- What do you like about Sikkim the most? You have seen the world when working for Qatar airlines, you could have chosen to live anywhere, you are young, yet you have chosen to settle here with your air b’n’b.

A puppy just run into the dining room and licked Hugo’s hand.

- I went to pick up Spotty last week. I jumped in the car and went down the main road. I drive it often, after all it is the only asphalt road in the state. I looked at the signs to Pakyong where we will open our airport this year. People here work so hard. Can you imagine building an airport at this altitude in Himalayas, on the land with no even grounds? The opening was postponed year to year because of landslides and water eruptions, but we never give up. I have turned off the main road going through thick jungles. I finally arrived at magnificent Rumtek monastery. I could be sitting there for hours just listening to the chants of Tibetan monks. Spotty was the weakest puppy around so I took him in. He was a bit scared at first and shaky, wrapped in blankets at the back seat of my car. I was going down the curly narrow serpentines of steep dirt roads, looking at the terraced fields. The people here are poor, but they are respectful and honest. Our economy in Sikkim is agriculture, we owe everything we have to our land, and although it would have been easier or cheaper, we have driven away all the big companies with their fertilisers and seeds - our whole production is fully organic. We are the only state in India like that. We don’t have plastic bags in here and we place the rubbish bins even on your trek paths in the mountains, all our energy is sustainable. I think of my people and I can not be prouder of who I am. But then I drove back home, sat down with him at the window, just like now, and looked at Kangchenjunga. Standing there blushed with the warm light of the sun, she shone. Her five cones covered with silver shimmer of snow are always so close. She is a goddess, still sacred and worshipped by so many of us. She looks down at us with love, that’s why we don’t allow people climbing it. When I look at her, I know I could never call any other place home…. - Sonam paused, looked at the peaks in the distance. She smiled gently.

I will be making fresh momos for dinner, would you like to have some?

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