Short story from Key Monastery, Kaza, Spiti

I had been to Leh once through Manali-Leh highway so we decided to travel through Spiti road this time. The most dangerous road to travel on in India, I wish I had taken flight to Leh instead of traveling by road this time. After riding for almost 12 hours a day, we decided to stay in the key monastery with Lamas instead of Kaza town. Not only they gave us the place to sleep in the monastery but the food for everyone who was staying in the monastery served by Lamas for free. I enjoyed the super delicious rajma Chawla(kidney bean and rice) every afternoon and evening but the breakfast was a nightmare for me.

One morning, We were in the kitchen with other lamas where they served us breakfast. It was butter tea with Sattu powder(Flour consisting of a mixture of ground pulses and cereals ). After having a cup of butter tea they asked us to mix the Sattu with butter tea and make round balls like laddu.

The whole thing was interesting until I took the first bite of laddu šŸ™„. I looked at my friend Bhishma and before I could say anything to him, Lamas in kitchen asked us “how is the food?”. I was confused what to reply meanwhile Bhishma told them it’s very tasty and asked for more. My silent opinion was ignored and they just poured more butter tea and Sattu in our bowls. I still remember how it took me an hour to eat those sattu laddus where Bhishma had eaten 4-5 of them. It was the longest breakfast of my life with minimum food possible.

During this breakfast, the discussion was going on about our journey. And when we told Lamas that we will be leaving next day. They asked us to stay for 2 more days and join them for annual prayer on top of a mountain behind key Monastery.

We went on the mountain where they did all rituals. After the prayer, they burned old clothes and we had lunch together. And this time also, the special menu of lunch was Sattu and butter tea šŸ˜² and again I had to eat.

This picture was taken at the end of lunch when everyone is heading for the picnic. The excitement in eyes of lamas could be imagined as if kids are going on the school vacation . It’s part of rituals when everyone who had joined lamas in prayer takes rice and Sattu in hands and throw them together air. I was happy to be a part of cultural program with lamas but I was more happy to see them throwing all Sattu in air hoping I won’t get the Sattu laddu next morning in breakfast šŸ˜

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