Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Hard fought coffee

Not to make my Dashain and Tihar a terrible vacation, I had carried with me a packet of coffee from Kathmandu to my village at Khotang. Whenever I used to ask my granny for a cup of tea she would throw a satire at me as if I had brought her kilos of sugar to store. But I was quite clever this time. I used to be alone at home during the day. Other family members would be at fields. I was jobbed to safeguard the house and feeding chickens. Sometimes, my younger brother, Prithu, would accompany me after he was done playing with other kids.

Prithu & me (Daaju Bhai)
The Chinese say it’s better to be deprived of food
for three days than tea for one. My appetite still craves for more if I am not served tea or coffee after each meal. Although I do not add nicotine along with tea, this habit of mine has been an addiction to be careful of in coming days. The long night stays during college examinations, to bad of my father’s earnings, replaced this tea habit with coffee.

One day, for the good of my day, I had managed to hide some sugar from Granny’s store. The same day Prithu chose to confine him at home with me. I shared him my plan for coffee. It was no wonder to see him more than happy for he was getting a special treat after so many days.

It isn’t as easy as in gas stoves to make yourself a cup of tea/ coffee. You have got to ignite the fire out of dead firewood. If there isn’t any remaining in the oven (agena) then it becomes quite a big job to make cook-able fire. After fire job was accomplished, things were almost done then. Prithu asked me if I would prefer milk-coffee. How could I say ‘No’?

Coffee is a very occasional treat for a village lying in a remote hill area of Nepal. It’s still a far of a thing where chance for a cup of tea is considered a very healthy moment. This low chance for tea is due to the high cost of sugar and not anything else. It would not fit to mention that the people here are health conscious. (Witchdoctor is still the supreme choice and one cannot see the face of a hospital unless his condition is much serious.)

A labor a day can be hired for fieldworks with the price of a kilo of sugar. At this current era when youths are being drained to Gulf areas, one can hardly dare to exchange a labor for a kilo of sugar.

He went for the milk that was poured in the wooden pitcher (theki) for the purpose of yoghurt and ghee. After a while, the coffee was poured in the cups from a kettle not cleaned for a long time. The final product in the cup was black coffee with undissolved solid milk particles. The milk was already contaminated. But it was a long plan and a hard fought coffee. So, we started serving ourselves happily.

Rajan Kathet
Dashain, 2010



Abhishek said...

It was a nice diary of that day... ani tyo dudh ko chokta haru sangai khais ta coffee??

rajankathet said...

अँ यार, त्यस्तै खाएँ, के गर्नु उपाए नभएपछि ।।