“One Chicken Sandweech?” she would repeat after my order in an inquisitive tone. And then I nod.
I sat at that cafe in Sikkim for over 6 hours, writing stuff in my journal, of all those almost forgotten things about my Desert Trek done in Rajasthan the previous year.
The view outside was demanding to me to do just the same. It was a Friday morning, the mist was hanging low, the gentle drizzle never stopped and everything else was screaming relax! I had a crazy trip already for about a week. Today was the rest day. Today I would just sit back, relax and enjoy just being there. Sikkim without tourists is heavenly.
While I ordered cups of tea, coffee and food, this lady always served me with a pleasant smile. She would’ve seen a lot of foreigners do this every now and then but I am sure she didn’t see a girl from India do this, sit in a cafe alone writing some stuff. During the last order, I asked her for directions to my next destination. She asked me what I was doing here. Later, I asked her the same too.
She is from a village nearby and she works in this cafe in Sikkim.
Meet Tshing! (Doesn’t it rhyme with Ka-Ching? ;))
Two of us whizzed past them to go behind the small temple. Trying not to look curious they stole glances to see why we were going into the bushes. To tell you the truth, most of Orchha is in bushes! Dry and dense shrubbery has overgrown through the ruins giving a classic eerie feel to the remnants. If you are anything like me, who grew up fantasizing going to places as Indiana Jones, this is the place to be. The entire place has ruins strewn all over, ramshackled yet standing still. Later, my friend and I entered the temple and we came out again. I didn’t notice anything but my friend did. She said someone is living inside the temple. I went back to see a bed, some clothes hanging and some utensils here and there. Someone was actually living inside the temple and the deity was worshipped in here too.
I smiled at the man and woman sitting on the steps. They smiled back. I let them ask their questions to us before I started my investigation. Orchha is a small place. It sees few international visitors and even fewer domestic tourists only from places close by. They were surprised to know we came from as far as Bangalore. They were even more surprised to know we were staying there from more than two days. They came to Orchha to visit the Ram Mela which happens to be a pretty big event around here. They said the old man who was the priest cum caretaker of this place was sick. So they are looking after the place until the old man gets back from Jhansi. Back in the 1960s, the old man was given the job of taking care of the temple. He continues to do it till date. It would’ve been interesting to meet that old man. But since the old man with a thousand wrinkles and a million experiences is such a cliché, I guess I am not really complaining that I met this sweet couple.
These people were from Jhansi, farmers they were. I asked the man’s name. He told me. I asked the lady’s name. All I got was a smile and then more smiles from the shy woman. Her husband laughed, looked at her and told her name too. She smiled sheepishly again. If she was so shy to tell her name, wonder what would’ve happened if I had asked her to say husband’s name. 😉
Meet Alak Prakash and Krishna from Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh. I met them in Madhya Pradesh.