I was walking down de road (actually , the narrow maze of alleys in Manju ka Tilla that put definite limits to your BMI and karma , or both ) the other day when I was blessed. It came in the form of a white polyethene bag being closed with a snapping move, handed over by one of the the guys in shorts and flipflops near the temple square.
" Here , you take this."
"It is a blessing."
I peer in to the mixed blessing , balloonish from the trapped air . The only thing I can make out is a two centiliter pack of Frooti Juice. No one else is being blessed at the moment , no clues in that way of how you actually handle white poly bag blessings.
Thanks is not the answer , shorts man clearly doesn't want the act polluted by gratitude : "You take it " is the only answer to my question. Move along.
Later , waiting for the bus to Manali, I break it open . First thing is a real blessing , a perfectly ripe sunwarm mango . One cut pole to pole with the knife , and a gentle tug makes a perfect bowl where the slices gently fall : that goes to the nun next to me. Less perfect deal with the kernel half : I've always been the messy one.
(Mundane matters : twentyfive minutes from the wheels hitting the ground at IGI airport in Delhi to loading my pack in the cab , ninety minutes to hitting the bed in Manju - including bucket shower. New glasses , a wool unchu for the cooler nights that probably won't come , bus out the next evening to Manali , some twelve hours. Sleeping in Vashisht, 2098 meters. )