April A-Z Challenge - T is for Tashi - Prosperity ( Origin : Tibetan)
Theme: Short stories highlighting the lives of 26 fictional characters
(Image Courtesy: Wikipedia)
Tashi rushed down the hilly road towards the bus station, she had got word from her most reliable source that there was a bus arriving that day, with a lot of tourists. She carried a box filled with her famous homemade momos to hand to the man in charge of the bus station. He deserved a special treat for sure, for an information like this. It was not everyday that they had tourists in their hilly city in the cold month of November. She had informed two of her other friends too, families like theirs definitely were in need of these blessings. They had four more months till their regular jobs as tea leaves pickers would resume in spring.
Tashi stood with her two friends, smiling looking at the prospective sign of a bus driving into the bus station. She secretly wished that there were a few visitors from outside the country, she had a special way with them and had at times managed a really handsome tip. As she spotted some brown hair amid all the black heads, she rushed towards them, explaining to them in the few English words she had learnt, that she was a porter and could carry their luggage up the hill where vehicles could not go.
Tashi climbed up the hilly road eagerly, smiling through the burden of the leather on her head and shoulders, as she pointed at various sites on their way to the hotel. Her chirpy conversation with the visitors with less words and more animated actions had won their hearts. They had asked her if she could lead them to the inside stories of the city and its people for a documentary movie they were going to film.
After promising to be back the next day, she headed back home during the early evening as the sun went down over the hills. She paused briefly to take in the sights as she lit a bidi, it was her treat at the end of a tiring day. She closed her eyes with gratitude, clutching on to the small sack of money tied around her waist - her earnings for the day.
As she entered her modest dwelling, she saw her four kids playing together in a corner as her husband approached her looking happy to see her. He eagerly tugged at her money sack, explaining to her that his friends were waiting for him for the past hour. They would be gambling again that night, it was the only hope for them to survive through the winter he said. She handed him some small bills, explaining to him that business was not exceptionally good that day.
As he saw him leave, she took out the remaining bills of money from a secret pocket she had stitched in her traditional robe and hid it in a jar in the kitchen. She would take it to the bank the next day on her way to the hotel to deposit it in an account that she had secretly opened for her kids.