There’s so much about living in India that I completely forget the moment I leave. For example, how to order a cup of tea without sugar. Yesterday, my first attempt went something like this.

“Milk tea, no sugar,” I smiled, using a tried and trusted formula that has served me well over the years.
“Black tea, milk and sugar,” replied the waiter, without a smile.
“Black tea, yes, with milk, yes, but no sugar,” my patient, still smiley correction.
“Black tea, no sugar,”  said the waiter, with rather too much confidence.
“Black tea with milk, ‘milk tea’, no sugar,” was my slightly passive aggressive correction, to which he made no response but scuttled to the kitchen, muttering something incoherent under his breath.

Five minutes later he brought some black tea in a glass.
“Can I have some milk, please,” I smiled, forgivingly.
“Black tea, no sugar,” he insisted, brushing aside my specious forgiveness.
“Milk, no sugar,” I grimaced, but charmingly.
“Chai, no sugar!” he corrected, firmly.
“Yes!” I almost applauded. “Chai, no sugar!”
He removed the black tea and, thank all that is good and true in this world, brought me a wonderfully delicious, and much needed, chai, no sugar.

Can’t think of an elegant segue and it’s raining, so I may not have much more on-line time…
As I’m sure you already know, when Khyentse Rinpoche presides over the Chimé Phagma Nyingtik drupchen he is required to perform various elements of the practice while wearing traditional adornments. Although I’m not sure if the drupchen has really started yet, here are some snaps of him during a preparatory session, of OT Rinpoche during the same session, and part of the procession marking the boundaries.

5 thoughts on “Bir

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