One early morning at the busy bus terminal of Thimphu city, I checked my wallet. My eyes peered through few green notes. My brown wallet made out of an elephant skin was probably under severe recession that time.
Hmm… If I take out all, my wallet would go hungry the whole day and might continue until next few days when it’s refilled again with fresh notes from my monthly earnings. To see-off someone empty handed is not something that I would like to cherish. I miserly pinched out three of them. By then my sister in-law and her friend got settled on their seats. I looked at them with a grin. Both of them smiled back simultaneously. Two other girls stood on my left. I guess they were friends of my in-law and her friend, probably classmates in the college. The two had come to see them off. They didn’t have much talk to share but were waiting for the bus to take off. None of us dared to introduce each other and not even my sister in-law cared about it. But it was all the more better for me.
I hesitantly stretched my right hand through the window of the bus, “Ya… I do not have much to give, but this should buy you nice lunch on the way.” Her friend straightened her back rendering straight view of my in-law. Both seemed baffled by my poor gesture. After about few seconds, my in-law indicated “No” to it. My hand remained there desperately seeking anyone of them to relieve me off that three old green notes. “Come on don’t let me down!” I spoke to myself and dropped it on their laps. The blood of shame and disappointment rushed through my neck and over to my head. I could feel my head swell as I withdrew my hand. Thereafter, I don’t know if they even cared to pick it up or simply trampled it under their feet. It wasn't appreciated, I know.
Two girls on my left silently noticed all these happen. I did not dare to look directly on their faces but from their chuckles I could make out that they mocked at my modest gesture. This came like oil over a flame and the next thing I wished for was “Oh Driver, take this bus immediately” bringing an end to this awkward see-off.
“Alright! Next time around, don’t ever show such gestures in open,” that was the first thing that came to my mind as I drove back to my home. But as I ruminate more over this incident, it posed more questions than solutions: Where they shy to receive because the amount was too small? Is it because they knew my financial status at that point of time? Was it because they were going home and there was no need for any extra expenses? Or, even worse could be, did they think who is he to show such gesture? Or did they think why should they depend on a person like me?
Whatever may be the answers to these questions, this incident finds a slot in my memory sheet as one of the most unforgettable and awkward see-offs of my life.