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During this highlight trip around the north-east, one small desire was to drink yak’s milk. There were people who recommended it while some didn’t think it merited a bother. After much travel we had finished the Tawang part of the tour and were returning by the highlight bus of our lives, in fact the highlight bus of anybody’s life if they travelled in it.yak
So this self-styled disciplinarian of a driver completed his many errands en route and stopped by at a cafe which was precariously placed next to a precipice. That was hardly the worry, because someone had started using a big hammer to plug in a bigger rod into the front of the bus as part of maintenance. We thought it to be a better option to enter the cafe and so found a nice vantage point which would obscure the molestation of the bus from us.
There was predictably no menu card. There were not even any waiters. The chief matron, who also acted as the chief cook, was taking all the orders. Everyone who came in was ordering yak-milk tea. Bingo! I ordered one and waited. The first few cups of tea went to those who had walked in before us. They all looked to be from the neighbourhood or from other parts of Arunachal. After the first sips, they closed their eyes, as if meditating. Nice omen. The hammering of the bus was still audible, but I ignored it.
After a couple of minutes, my cup of yak-milk tea was brought. I remember it was just half full for some reason. I didn’t bother to ask. Every time you are about to taste something new there is this feeling that you are being watched. I looked around and nobody was looking my way. They were all still meditating at each of their own sips. I had also forgotten that I generally didn’t drink tea. All I had left to do was taste tea made of yak’s milk. And here it was, right in front of me. I took the cup and found it less hot than I’d feared. So there was no need to spend time cooling it. The hammering of the bus seemed to have stopped. One last look at everyone and I drank a sip. I closed my eyes.