A Ritual

Sunday, April 11, 2010

When our officers conduct ritual ceremonies at their homes, we are all called. Drivers and messengers will flock from morning and start activities of the day: preparing dishes, irregular shopping, and attending guests. It is always fun working with them and share the regular jokes and to squabble each other over any petty things.

I oversee every work they do, a post commanded by my little education and hesitantly accepted by them. I check in the kitchen open the lid and sniff the pork like one smell expert detective. To make him queasy, I fish out small piece and taste it like a professional cook. He really cooks well and to let him know I have to nod him of appreciation once more. If I choose to walk away with disagreeing words then there are chances I become a cook in next similar events.

Morning I pick up the monks from different points of Thimphu valley. One stands in Dechencholing, another in Changangkha, one in Lungtenphu and two probably in Babesa. I have always noticed their greetings when they see each other; unusual criticism, intense language and they talk top of their voices. I am not surprised even if some are fake monks. They may overtake the truck drivers in terms of girl friends. I say this with faith because I am a driver too.

And evening I make another round dropping each like an early learner kid.

Sir's wife came looking for me during rumeneration time. She did not know the amount to slip inside envelope. In their bedroom, sir was holding the brand new notes with pen and envelopes aside. He wanted my suggestion and I felt important. His average came to Nu. 500 per head and I said no. He looked at me surprised but I gave him my approximate calculation which went below:

Pick up and dropping: Nu. 50 as taxi fare

Two times tea and snacks: Nu. 50 (minimum)

Breakfast: Nu. 50

Lunch: Nu. 150 (I swear it would cost 300)

Drinks before dinner: 70 (atleast each took two bottles of Hit beer)

Dinner: 150 (I again swear it would cost 300)

Total: Nu.520

Therefore, sir should get Nu. 20 from each monk.

I saw his face and was little scared. May be this was not the time for joke and I was about to agree to his Nu. 500 per head when he said, "They took my time and all our time which cost us one days's salary that need to be added on 20". I felt relieved but told him we took their time too. We laughed out loud to the extent his wife came to check in us.

Few minutes later, I saw him thanking each monk passing on an envelope.

I retreated with a bottle of beer before another round of Thimphu valley.


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