When I opened my eyes this morning I heard mantras being chanted by a lama on BBS radio. The loud and husky sound blared from my landlord’s room upstairs. It was already 6:00 am in the morning and my neighbor Miss Yashoda Sharma who is also my colleague at my school was busy baking a cake for our house owner’s children. She had promised them to bake one. We weren’t meant to be busy today as we have been invited by our colleagues and I was also invited by local people to an archery match but we couldn’t help it. We got into the thick of the thing.
I helped them chop the wet fish and fried it. And she helped in preparing other items like Alu dum, dal and fish curry which they, our host, felt we cook those items tasty.
It was 10:30 am and the most awaited event of the day occurred. It started to drizzle here. And I collected few drops of the Blessed rainfall in a bucket and sprinkled it over my head to be blessed! [Hope the lottery I purchased last month will be fruitful..haha]
Finally the feast was ready to be served. We had a good number of items laid neatly across a long table in our Principals resident. In the menu, Alu dum stole the show and followed by ama dashi, fish curry, dal, Alu dashi, fried channa, canned chicken( thanks to the recent birdflu outbreak) and fresh butter. But before we had our lunch the tea cups sprung from nowhere with wooden bowls full of Jow and Ter-thang ma.
|Head and the three colleagues enjoying the meal|
|The other colleague and me|
After a heavy and tasty lunch we engaged ourselves into a random conversation. The conversation started on different types of wine, dialects, languages and religions in Bhutan, school issues, position classification and ended with the best techniques known to manufacture alcohol at home. [The Head and the two ladies refrained to but you know what happened to three of us in the middle!].
The second invitation took me two kilometers away. The usual marshy route has become even more dampened by the Blessed raining. It was too slippery but somehow I dragged myself to the archery range.
|An archer with his weapon|
The archers greeted me with all their honesty and escorted me to a tent. I was then with the wives, children and older citizens. I gave sweets to the children [Part of Public Relation strategy] and greeted ‘Kuzu zangpo’ to all of them. The wives were busy serving beverages like Black mountain, 11000 Beer (second favorite among the locals), needless to mention; Arra the ‘cheap and the best’ available to the shooters. [Apart from serving, these women, like other Bhutanese women, were good at teasing and sweet talk. I was almost blown away by their cajolery.]
|A multi-purpose tent|
I just wondered how these beverages would help them hit the target. But that’s the way it is. The two As goes very well together, the Alcohol and the Archery. The shooters who frequently visited the tent were the ones who had many daars dangling from their waist.
It was 5:14 pm and I was getting late to return. I wished the archers a good luck and a hearty goodbye to the cheerful women and the children. On reaching home I found leeches feeding on my legs. They were as big as my little finger. The immediate thought that ran across my mind was that the leeches too had a grand feast on this Blessed rainy day as I did.
THANK YOU ALL MY COLLEAGUES FOR A WONDERFUL TREAT. GOD BLESS YOU ALL.