A Bad Feeling! - Part III



My only hope was on the hot stream to do the job of ‘cooking’ the rice while we make our way to the monastery. Other was, of course, a miracle to happen! I believed in god. I cursed myself so much that I hesitated to even join the team. I didn’t know what or how to confess the truth. Through the phone, I hinted them the worst but it was for them to unearth the hint. Nevertheless, it was not going to fix the problem. When I reached the spot where my friends were believed to be waiting, I could barely breathe. I am so particular about time and I become impatient when people fail to stick to time. Today though, I felt like a hypocrite. When I saw madam Karma, I didn’t know what to say as she sounded lil mad while calling. But to my surprise, she was the only one waiting there. Upon enquiry, it seemed like others were still on the bed. We waited there for next 30 minutes or so. That time, I frowned at Karma saying that if she didn’t call me to hurry up, I could have even cooked new rice. She hasn’t expected it to be worse. Sensing worse from my tone, she reached out to the bag where the rice cooker was and pulled the lid open. She didn’t overact (good on her), but I could figure out from her expression that she saw the worst. She plainly remarked, “It looks fine, may be water wasn’t enough?” Soon everybody came and we set off for Barshong. I could make out from their looks that they had a rough night, yet they were pumped up for the eventful day. But I was in a deep pain of worry. I felt really terrible and ashamed. Till then Karma was the only one who knew the condition of food, but I knew rest would eventually see and the worst, might have to come back empty-stomach. The fact that another friend madam Kezang had brought rice comforted me but it didn’t justify me to be happy while failing on my task. They were talking, laughing and enjoying the moments, but I was with those thoughts of spoiled rice. How will they react, how will we eat, how will they think of me hereafter, will they laugh on it, or rather angry on it, those were the thoughts that haunted me throughout. I have never felt this bad in a long time!

As eventual moments are bound by time, the lunch time came and they had already taken the food to a nice place by the stupa overlooking the Barshong village. By the time Tshewang and I reached on the place, some of them had already started serving themselves. I was so ashamed and beaten up by the thoughts. Nobody seems to dig in from my rice cooker, and that was clear enough an indication. Not knowing how to tell or rather what to tell I took out my camera and clicked on each one of them. I was the last one to serve. I thought I was the one who has created that mess, so if there is anyone to clear up the mess, it would be only me! I picked a plate and a spoon and dug out the half cooked rice, plateful and helped myself. I didn’t add pressure on the rice brought by Kezang as it was barely enough for them. That was why I had decided to serve myself at last. While everybody was helping themselves, I struggled to find a tiniest of ‘place’ to hide my face J. What a shame! I would never forget in a long time. Thankfully, though, nobody, except for one, remarked anything on the spoiled food, at least directly. Rather they quietly had the food as if nothing was wrong. Since nobody was willing to remark on it and that I knew too well that nobody had failed to notice that, after much hardship I finally apologized for the food. I begged their forgiveness over and again. Thankfully, they were kind enough to say that it was cooked fine and that there was not a point to worry about. I knew it was just a word of comfort and hardly meant it. Despite all these havocs, the session was finally over. At least everybody knew the truth and saw the worst, so I sought solace in those light breeze kept blowing from the valley below. I promised and assured them that I would not repeat such ‘offense’ in future. I promised that I would cook from evening itself if such a situation ever arises in future. Sumjay sir, a senior most colleague in our group made a point for future direction; he suggested that if such events are to be planned in future, the information will have to be floated well in advance so that everybody would be able to come on time and that nobody have to put up with the half-cooked rice. Everybody agreed in unison and we set back to our respective destination.

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