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Saminder

Amir Mountain

Book 1

Rishi Harrison

Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2018





Introduction

“Saminder” is a delightful story for children of life set in the post-colonial Indian state capital Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, in the Himalayan foothills, one of many tales written by Rishi Harrison in this series. She is well known to younger readers since 2010, when she published many short stories. Her own sympathy with the instincts and longings of the child’s heart reflecting Indian society following the days of the British Raj is shown in her portrayal of Saminder’s Short Stories. A record of the early life of an Indian child amid the beauties of her passionately loved mountain home.

From the old and pleasant hill station of Kufri, a footpath winds through green and shady filled mountains, which on this side look down from their stern and lofty heights upon the valley below. The land grows gradually wilder as the path ascends, and the climber has not gone far before they begin to inhale the fragrance of the short grass and sturdy mountain-plants, for the way is steep and leads directly up to the summits above.

On a clear sunny morning in June two figures might be seen climbing the narrow mountain path; one, a tall strong-looking girl, the other a child whom she was leading by the hand, and whose little checks were so aglow with heat that the crimson colour could be seen even through the dark, sunburnt skin. And this was hardly to be wondered at, for in spite of the hot June sun, the child was clothed as if to keep off the sunshine. She did not look more than five years old, her little feet slowly and laboriously plodded their way up the slope in the heat. The two must have left the valley a good hour’s walk behind them, when they came to the Temple at Mahasu Peak, which is situated, halfway up the mountain. Nearby in a hillside hamlet the wayfarers were met with greetings from all sides, some calling to them from windows, some from open doors, others from outside, for the elder girl was now in her old home. She did not, however, pause in her walk to respond to her friends’ welcoming cries and questions, but passed on without stopping for a moment until she reached the last of the scattered houses. Here a voice called to her from the door: “Wait a moment, Aunty; if you are going up higher, I will come with you.”


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