Sacred serpents coiled around their clutches of eggs yet to hatch in rock caves had the faithful attending in droves to offer their prayers. Some dubbed them ‘suckers’ while others merely found some value for astonishment and surprise. I felt both; legend of the ‘Guardians of Taras’ floated and the cliff next door with the elephantine protrusion added still more gravity to the story. Yet when I drove past that road I did not feel the need to actually go out and check out the serpents firsthand. People were still hurrying up and down the road from where the snakes lay. What am I gonna do even if I went up there? My lame thoughts came and went, and with that, I was already kilometres away from the scared premises, my son in deep slumbers and me lost in great mental numbers.
I did make a trip to Taktsang though, and found myself panting and praying at the Guru’s
In-flight, fears of the future, immediate and relative, started hatching their own eggs. Had I been a good son during my yearly sojourn back home? A good brother? A good uncle? A good cousin? A good friend? A good husband? A good Bhutanese? A good Buddhist? A good person? The answers were shouting out in unison, a loud collective thunder roaring ‘No’! That didn’t feel too good, but worse still were my irrational worries about stuff like how would I get to the Royal Embassy of Bhutan? In an auto-rickshaw or an ambassador car? Would the embassy guest house ensure me a room? What if they didn’t really get my half baked reservation? And how would I spend the 48 hours I had at my disposal? Wouldn’t the heat and the pollution be too discomforting? How would my son react to
The first hurdle of finding transportation to the embassy was solved by a chance encounter with an acquaintance I barely knew; she was travelling westwards and had a pickup arranged for her by the embassy. We could join her, ‘Fantastic’ I said and started worrying about the rest of the fears left on my list. The immediate one being, ‘Now that transportation has been solved, what about the accommodation? Arriving at the embassy, I was pleasantly surprised to find out they had indeed had a reservation in my name, though they had had to downgrade me from the ‘suite’ to the ‘deluxe’ room. The going rate was Rs. 2000 a night for two occupants, since I was with a minor, I only had to make do with a 1000. Thankful and surprised, we checked in. I showered while my boy watched Mahabharata cartoons. To double check that it was really my name the room was booked under, I walked over to the reception and asked the man behind if there were any complications with my reservation, ‘No complications’, he replied. ‘No complications?’ I ventured again, totally surprised, ‘No complications’, he shot back, a wee bit amused and cheesed.
The rest of the day passed by like a snail on a sprint, a turtle on the run. The hot and humid
It’s a real tussle trying to get a sleeping five year old, a trolley to roll and documents to show with just two hands. We get to our airline and find a long queue of passengers and baggage. An eternity descends when I’m at the counter. The airline man takes another eternity before he declares, ‘No seats’!
Three hours and three thousand mental clogs later, we are boarding Turkish Airlines to
I just had to think of the Venerable Singye Samdrup, and knew there was something more to deities and dices, serpents and eggs.