Friday, September 22, 2006


Infact everyone in Ali loved eating yak meat but they still hated the butcher. He suddenly remembered why- the holy one said so. But how will they eat if they don't kill?

Before he could remember the answer he caught a glimpse of the white man and the small group of people with him. He knew they were the
Khambas from the far-east. He often wished he was a Khamba, they were fearless fighters and travellers.

He did not understand what they were saying but he could see that the lamas talking to the whiteman were excited. He remembered that before the entourage left for Kailash, the elders had showered him with gifts, food and even a gold mani. He had wished he could go with them to Kailash. He had loved to perform the customary khor around the mountain every year with his friends from the monastery. He thought he could lead the khambas and impress them with his knowledge of the difficult trail. He remembered that Salim wanted him to meet Sonam and bring the cows for slaughter in the morning.

Nima was sitting behind the whiteman. Her skin was darker and she was sipping tea. Pasang hated making tea for Salim every evening. Nima was smiling at her son who had decided to join the group in singing hymns.

Nima had told Pasang that they will go to Lhasa where her father was waiting for their safe return from the pilgrimage. The whiteman will go across the Himalayas back to his home. Her father will go with the whiteman and take her son across the Himalayas.

Nima said her son will grow lots of pineapples and become a big man. She told him all Khambas grew pineapples there. Pasang could not remember eating a pineapple.He imagined it to be tastier than yak meat. She said her sons will protect Kham till they die and she will not run away like the rest of them.

Pasang wanted to say goodbye to Nima but he was the butcher's son. He started walking back, dreaming of the pineapples he will grow one day.