For the past 7 years, I have been going to McLeodganj at least once a year, with the exception of 2009. Over the years, I have seen the place transform.
What earlier used to be a quiet tranquil town is now abuzz with activity. Whether that is good or bad is not for me to judge. But I do miss the sense of calm that used to be all pervasive, even in the main chowk. What used to be a small bus-seat adorned video hall where you could watch screening of movies like Eric Valli's Himalaya or Kundun, has now given way to swanky eateries catering to the domestic and international tourist market. The nearly empty road, where while walking down, I befriended some of my oldest Tibetan friends , is now home to only shoppers. Small empty cafes where you could spend a whole day reading, is now full of just-arrived tourists.
Though all this makes perfect commercial sense, a part of me is anxious. I have seen it happen to Darjeeling, reached after it has already happened in Shimla, and see it happening in McLo.
Somewhere, in the hectic pace of being a tourist hot spot, the place loses it's soul..