Thursday, 13 November 2008

The tale of two dinners and before and after

October-end, I rode a bike from Pasighat to Jenging to Ramsing (about 225 km) with a large rugsack behind me, a laptop bag in the front and a camera bag to the right. Most people must have thought I am a travelling salesman! It might have been a very pathetic mistake but well I took the risk and enjoyed it too. The bike was just repaired and I was not to travel faster than 40 km so it took me about 13 hours in total. A slow peaceful ride with the bike giving me trouble only about five times when I thought “what am I gonna do” and then the bike starts up and I continue precariously. Well anyways I reached Ramsing camp to meet the DFO, Mouling national park. Slept well and the next morning got to Bomdo village.

Here at the village things were a bit different now than last time, I had no person to cook and firewood at my disposal, so a meal was a painful ordeal. So I bought an electric stove from Itanagar, so now I cook using that but that takes a long time. So I spoke to friendly neighbourhood and requested them to cook me breakfast and pack-lunch which I can carry to field so it will save me a lot of trouble. The deal went on well, I give them fifty bucks a day and they cook me two meals and then I come back from field in the evening and cook my long-evening meal. But yesterday was different; as I finished cooking my meal another neighbour called me over to his place and asked me to get there immediately. I told him politely that I still need to eat my evening meal and then do some chores too. Anyways I obliged since it is extremely rude to turn down offers to come home in villages here. When I reached, he offered me rice wine which too I pleasantly obliged and after a mug or two, it dawned on me that he had me over for dinner! So he also set out dinner for me; fish from the Siang river and rice. I ate very happily drank another mug of rice wine and reached back my inspection bungalow where I stay. Then, watched a Chaplin movie just for some humour and then thought I should not waste my cooked meal and grabbed some to eat. When I took my first bite I realised it wasn’t cooked well! Then I felt really glad that I did eat some at another place. It was just luck that I was invited over for a meal before even I knew that my meal was not done well!

The day before that we had a birthday party of a kid; the first year birthday. By the way, when I walked into the home I was advised to cache my slippers in a place I can recover since its common here that people with old torn slippers walk out with new better ones, never to be retrieved! The old women sang together many songs and one of them is a really really beautiful song called “Tayer gamcha”, the theme of the song is about a man being old enough to get married twice! Here it’s a common practice to get married more than once, if you can afford it. The ex-Chief Minister (CM) Gegong Apang from a nearby village called Karko has married five times and has been the CM for about 22 years of the Arunachal State!

Anyways, today is the day after and I had a good field time for the last four days and I had my dinner at neighborhood too; rice and beans with a little meat.

No comments: