16-09-2017, 2120 hours, Kaza, Lahaul & Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India:
‘Maine aaj tak kabhi koyeley se aag nahi seki hai yahan pe‘ – this is how a boy greeted me as he approached the burning coal placed in a container in the center of the lawn of Sakya Abode. He introduced himself as Shannu, the head chef at Sakya Abode. He is from Assam and has done a hotel management course before coming into this profession. He has been working here for the past 5 years. While he spends the six summer months in Kaza, he spends the remaining six in Goa during the winter season.
We talked for a while during which he told me that he had never thought in his wildest dreams that he would be working at one of the world’s highest destinations, and he was thankful and content with this. Another thing that he said was that this year it had rained here more than he had ever seen during the past five years; which was also informed to me by a shop keeper at Gramphu. We chatted for some more time, after which he took his leave and went off to do his work.
I had reached Kaza approximately around 1745 hours, as the sun was just about to start setting. We were two hours late in comparison to what I was told by my cabbie, who had said that we would reach by 1600 hours. The delay had all been due to the Traveller breaking down twice, but still we reached Kaza while day-light was still there. It was a tiring journey, much because of the road conditions. But upon reaching, I was warmly welcomed by Mr. Tsering Bodh, a well known and much respected local, also the owner of Sakya Abode. It was really refreshing to meet Mr. Tsering who had been anxiously waiting for my arrival.
I am now in my bed and I have got to say that I can’t keep my eyes open any longer. Good night then!