I was walking back home after getting a packet of DDC milk from my local kirana pasal. Plethora of YouTube videos had suggested me to wake up early and start the day with a hot drink. There was no harm in trying. As a result, every morning, I would wake up whenever I would wake up, take a two-minute walk and get a packet of milk for my morning coffee.
I walked past the loud zoom of an expensive motorbike. I did not know which company produced the bike, nor did I care which model it was. A few seconds in, a slapping sound of slippers shuffled past me. A bark of a dog came next. A bark back from another followed. Two men exchanging greetings. “Namaste dai, sanchai hunuhuncha?“ “Hajur, sanchai.” The rustling of leaves. A loud chant of “khaali bottle kaagaj“. The chirping of sparrows. The morning bell from a nearby pujakotha.
I was about to open my front door. I had forgotten my keys and so I had left it unlocked. As I reached to push the door open, a voice called me from behind, “Sahuji, khaali bottle, kaagaj, kehi chha?“
I turned around and thought for a while. “Paanch, chha ota bottle cha, dai. Hunchha?“
“Hajur,” he replied, as he wrapped his loose gamcha around his neck.
With an “ekchin hai ta“, I dashed to my room and gathered a few empty bottles in a large plastic bag. I went back to dai walking to the rhythm of clinks and clanks from inside the plastic bag on my hand.
I handed the bag to him. “Eti chha, huncha?“
He looked inside the plastic bag and smiled. I could not exactly point out why.
He did not look back at me even after a few seconds. I took that as the end of our conversation. I closed the door and walked back to my room.
I snuggled myself inside my warm blanket. Days had started to get chillier after Dashain. At a distance I could hear the chant of “kaagaj bottle kawadi“. A crow crowed.
Title inspired from Sagar Shah. Listen to his music here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TH9YWmphAVg