It was a hot and humid day, and it wasn't surprising as it was in the mid of summer. Whenever it is hot, swimming comes to our mind. But with the river swollen till the brim, it is risky.
The day was the Birth anniversary of Guru Rimpoche. Aptly, a visit was planned to visit the holy places. A drive and a trek towards Khamsum yulay Namgayel chorten in Punakha, drenched us in sweat due to a scorching sun.
'Nyendars' - a contribution/offering of money were made at every alter of the three storied monastery, constructed in a shape of a pyramid tapering towards the top. Additional offerings were made in the Punakha Dzong on the way back.
While returning, three boys waved to stop the car. There were spaces for all three as the official (Gypsy) vehicle was driven by my friend and I was the only passenger. While we were deciding whether to provide the lift or not we overshot them by around fifty meters.
My friend stopped the car, before he waved them to come, they were already running towards our car. They got in and told us that they were going for a swim. The only swimming pool at one of the hotels. They were told not to go the the riverside by their parents. The entry in the pool was not free, even though it was not a proper swimming pool a nominal fee was charged.
They were carrying only 150 Ngultrum, which would be enough for only one of them to get entry. But they assured us that they would request for a discount and succeed in doing so.
Upon reaching the hotel I asked for the fare for the ride. One of the boys with tears in his eyes reluctantly handed me 100 Ngultrum. Taking hundred bucks from him and I added another hundred of mine, I gave it back to the boy.
The kids stood there speechless. It was not even one tenth of the total offerings that I made that day in the monasteries, but giving to those kids, gave me more satisfaction than all of them put together. The look on the faces of the boys, the sparkle in their eyes, the smile on their lips and the gratitude that they had towards humanity would go a long way.
From one kid, two decades back, who could not forget the hundred Ngultrum given to him at Paro town by an acquaintance of his parents, to another kid, who was running short of funds to take a dip in the hot summer day. The value of money remaining same, due to level of possession and requirement, despite inflation and devaluation after so many years.