It was raining when I woke up.
The music of the rattling drops began when I felt the kerosene heater was getting heated up too much. I was lazy to wake up to turn the heating knob down. I preferred to breathe in the suffocating kerosene smell. But listening to the rain was solace.
This was the first winter rain known to bring snow with it. I opened the curtain, expecting to see flakes on the hill that rises from outside my bedroom window.
“The weather is crazy,” my landlord, who stays in the bungalow around 10 meters away from my log cabin, said. The snow rain pours only in late December or in January.
As I write this, the dark clouds still weigh their options to descend as snow or rain. But there is a general feeling of goodness. On reaching office, a colleague said it rained today as the chief abbot of Bhutan left for his winter residence in Punakha, around 60 kilometers from the capital, yesterday.
I was fortunate to receive blessings from His Holiness on his onward journey yesterday. I was returning from Punakha, and villagers and school children were lined up along the streets burning pine leaves. I sneaked into a line, stood next to a woman in her late 80s. Tears welled her eyes as she bowed before Trulku Jigme Choeda, who was in his ‘Bhutan’ number plate Land Cruiser. The last time I received blessing from His Holiness was three years back. I was in Punakha then, standing in a line of students.