That's how long I've been here. I know my way around this place now- I have my favourite little nooks, my escapes. I know where to go for cheap coffee beans (Satyapal, Paltan Bazaar), for good coffee beans (Kumar's, Rajpur road), for a bit of flirting (my sabziwallah), for being treated with gallant courtesy (Inamullah building, Tehsil Chowk).
It took me a while to do all this. When I came here, I tried to look for replacements to the things I loved in Pune..my beloved Dorabjee's, the bounteous Shivaji market, the little Parsi eateries tucked away behind Moledina road, vadapav for Rs.4, Westside, Manney's book store, bananas and coffee from Kerala, the British Council Library, Mocha. That search ended in disappointment, of course. Dehradun did not offer me any of these things. They are still irreplaceable, longed for, and add zest to my annual trips to Pune.
But there are other things in Dehradun. Parsi cuisine is unheard of, but Tibetan foods are at every corner. Dorabjees isn't here, but Kumar's is. Street food leaves a lot to be desired, but the mountains are full of berries.
Off I go now, to eat my way through Dehradun and post about it over the next few weeks. Tough job.
The photo? Dehradun railway station.