Me and my wife, we bought every items between the sky and earth, including chunks of beef, pork, chicken and fish, which I believe villagers once agreed to do away with, especially during the Lochoes. My mother-in-law had by then brewed barrels of liquors that tasted more like whisky and had removed loads of rubbish from the house that remained uninhabited for years. As usual, I made sure that our altar room is decorated to the fullest like Lhakhang.
So all preparations done, driving two cars, we heeded to Punakha to pick up the monks, who I believe were requested way in advance by my father-in-law and his freind. We reached there beating all wintry wind and dust, but there was no monks in the sight. We waited and waited more. Still there was no trace of monks. Then I realized how difficult it is for people to find monks even in Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel's Palace, -the Great palace of bliss.
After hours of waiting and enormous amount of coaxing, we managed to get five little monks. Some I believe have not even reached puberty, but we gave them all the full Lama respect. As we drove back, they wanted to discuss about the corruption. girls, monastic discipline and Buddhism with me. To this, I told them that corruption is serious issue that needs our attention. And a young monk from back seat said, corruption is there even in our Zhung Dratsang. While I discouraged them in discussing about girls, they shared their experiences about how corporal monastic discipline is still. One interesting thing I observed from them is that those guys were never resentful. In fact they seem to enjoy the discipline.
Next day, the Lochoe began. I woke up at 4 am to render helping hand to my over burdened mother-in-law and wife. I was a dish washer, sweeper, errand boy and server. Just when I was starting to think about the success of the first day, I saw the failure of the second day creeping. Those young monks from Punakha wanted to leave our Lochoe half way and go elsewhere. I was little mad with those juvenile monks. But to my advantage, it was dark outside and its snowing. The traffic on both highways and on the feeder road remained closed. So they had no option other than to stay back and continue.
Then on second day, all the villagers came for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Its like a Tsechu in the East. Every one drank to the fill and ate to the full. Even immature monks drank without our knowledge. I felt not so happy to see a young monk drunk in Buddha's cloth. Not only that he threw up in our well decorated alter like a drunkard in the street. I felt it was disgusting but my wife, father-in-law, mother-in-law and grand mother had other interpretation. They said its a 'sign of good luck'. lol.
After two grueling days, our much anticipated Lochoe of 2013-2014 came to a happy end. I felt happy for being able to fed the entire village and the monks, irrespective of how drunk and sober they were. It gave me a unique feeling especially while the monks recited the prayers of longevity Bhddha, I felt my hair stand. I sensed the red colored Longevity Buddha blessing me with with his Longevity vase. It was a feeling, intense enough to erase my earlier sensation that Lochoes are an Economic nonsense.