Sunday, 26 October 2014

The Man with Broken Wings

It was Sunday market day. Usually karma and his wife went for shopping but that day his seven years old daughter blocked the door and would not let them go. “Apa, I also want to go along” she would say with tears welled up and wouldn’t move from the door until he agreed to take her along as well.

It was a warm Sunday morning where sun was young and gentle. They had just reached the market when their neighbor Tashi called out “Karma, came for shopping?” extending his hand for a firm shake. Karma nodded.  “ You know, the price of asparagus has gone up by five Ngultrum compared to last week?” Tashi said showing his basket full of vegetables. And they started their talk about the rise and fall of prices of vegetables. Mean while, bored by the talks of the adults, the little girl looked around to see that an old man with his weak and frail body was sitting at a dark and dimly lit corner. She went near to have a closer look. As she neared he looked much older than she had seen him from afar. She was horrified to discover that the man had no legs. But the horrifying feeling was overruled by feeling of pity and sympathy.

 karma missed a heartbeat to find that his daughter has gone missing. He scanned the crowd and saw his daughter giving the old man her ten Ngultrum which Karma had given to his daughter for the sake of shopping. Touched, he went closer and he too was engulfed by pettiness and sympathy looking at the man.

But he was curious as to how the man reached in such an unfortunate situation and when asked replied the man, “ few years back, when my daughter was too ill to be conscious I carried her to the road point near Thinleygang from our village to take her hospital. When I reached the road point it was already late in the evening. I laid her by the side of the road and cried out to all the vehicles that passed by for help. Nobody stopped to care, so when I saw a vehicle approaching from far I went to the middle of the road and waved for it to stop, but it rolled over me, crushing my leg. That is how I lost my leg. My daughter died there and later my wife committed suicide. I can't work so I started begging.” The man started weeping.

Just then a cold feeling ran down karma’s spine and he started shivering for few years back while he was working as a site engineer at Punatshangchhu, he had one evening secretly loaded bags of cement on his Bolero from his site to be sold to his friend in Thimphu. That night just as he had crossed Thinleygang a ghostly thing had appeared in the middle of the road. Out of fear he had accelerated his vehicle over the ghost and fled.         

Friday, 17 October 2014

My Taste Buds are Changing

A blogger had posted on his blog that his taste buds tastes old and classical bollywood songs sweeter than our own Bhutanese songs. In reference to this, these days my taste buds also like such sweet things. Of course I had been living my life as a diehard fan of AC/DC, GNR, and mostly Greenday, Simple Plan, and others for punk and modern rock. But I just don’t know which material has invaded my mind to start liking classical bollywood songs.

To tell a brief history, I have a roommate whom I asked once if there is anything that he doesn’t eat and any classical bollywood songs that he doesn’t know. To which he bluntly smiled and chose not to answer. For the new liking I blame him partly for he always moves around singing classical songs, if not singing at least humming. I think the songs that he hummed repeatedly started soothing my auditory cells and thus the liking evolved in me.

These days I find myself downloading those songs. For couple of days I haven’t gone to sleep without plugging in the earphones with those songs playing. It’s a crazy feeling to be changing. I needed to tell it someone. As I explained this to my sister she told me she likes them too but then she went on asking me “are you in love or what?” “ It’s the classic sign of being in love when you start listening to songs like this” she added. My sister is doing medicine and this time I want to tell her that she has wrongly diagnosed a patient. I am not in tentacles of love but my taste buds are changing. But i tell you, you dare not question her ability in real field. 

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Holidays and Freedom

From today my Diwali holidays have started. It stretches till the end of the October month. I have a heap of holidays and ridiculous freedom with which I can do nothing. Freedom is always ridiculous: you can do anything you want but you wouldn’t be able to do anything. And this specially fascinates me.

A little part of me, just a very little, has already died for this diwali would be empty and hollow. I wouldn’t be spending any time with family. And when I see my friends happily leaving hostel and heading home for diwali a tinge of cold sadness runs down my spine and make me realize again that I wouldn’t be home for diwali.
I am still not sure what should I be doing to make the time pass for as I have known to this day it has its pace and never hurls itself. A friend of mine who is also not heading home for diwali reassures me that we will spend our days playing football. “Man, we have all the time in the world to play football.” He tells me. And I feel its true as well to stop brooding and fretting and simply live my life. To enjoy whatever the time brings for us.

My roommates have already bought some fire crackers and toy guns to play with. Kime says we would be playing football every evening and at night we would sing on guitar till the dawn swallows the night and sleep all day and repeat the same all along again. He says “once out of college you would long to do this and smile foolishly whenever it crosses your memory.” Now I am convinced that should things go as planned it will be epic, closer even if it doesn’t be.


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

The Fat Cucumber

That year the school administration decided that the forest above school be cleared, burned and be converted into fertile land for cultivation. I exactly don’t remember if the land turned fertile but students surely worked. Every Saturday a group of students were sent to their respective gardens allocated by the head of the agriculture department (which to my honest memory was called SAP) to work. Of course the school invested a lot of money and bought tools to be used in the garden.

Slowly, since the time doesn’t hurl itself, the once a thick forest where even deer dwelled now the signs of human civilization showed up. Students started growing pumpkin, radish, maize, cucumber and lot other vegetables as well.  The principal declared that it (the agricultural work) would enhance the students’ knowledge on agriculture and would also supply fresh vegetables to the school mess.

I am not sure if the gardens supplied vegetables to mess or not but it did supply some crops and vegetables to the hungry boys staying in hostel. Soon the school administration noted that students particularly border boys were stealing cucumber and maize from the garden, roast them and eat and hence it was not allowed for students’ to enter the garden on other days except Saturdays. Since then only few students had the guts to enter the garden and when caught, one was made to work in the garden.

Sometime in the initial days of the second term of the school, the school was to celebrate its golden jubilee. The preparations were going on a full swing. When the next day was scheduled for the celebration, we were called in the football ground for rehearsals. But the captains were asked to get poles for the flag of their houses and also to prepare a banner each and to help them, all the captains of different departments were also sent. Since I was also a captain I was about to set into the jungle to get poles when a friend of mine nicknamed Pandu, suggested that the teachers were busy in the preparation and we should go and get ourselves a good cucumber from the garden.
 “just last Saturday I have hidden a growing cucumber in the bush, by this time it might have become fat..” he said. “No one will see us” he added

He was right. It was time to treat ourselves with a fat cucumber. Since the garden was situated almost 500 m from the ground and there were administrative building between the garden and the ground, it would be impossible for the teachers to see us. Hence we got into the garden and as Pandu plucked the cucumber I explored the garden for more cucumber, just then the emcee at the ground who was our chemistry teacher shouted on mic “the two boys who are in the garden, come here!!” damn! Somehow he had seen us. Just as he said this we fled the garden leaving behind our fat cucumber and went into the class and hide there.

Minutes later the principal came in the classroom with a thick stick in this hand. My heart sank in fear. I started sweating. My reputation of being a sincere and responsible captain that I had gained with my good deeds in his presence would go down the drain. Worst I would get melding of stick upon stick on my butt. I would be known to the rest of the teachers and the school as a cucumber-thief. I was doomed. I had marred my repute. I looked at Pandu, he seemed lost in the realm of remorse.

But then, “Have you seen the two boys who were in the garden?” he asked.

“No sir” we replied in union and confusion.

“Tell me if you, later, know about them. And what are you doing here? Go and get poles!” 

We nodded and he left. We laughed at each other.

Thanks to our sincerity that we had shown all along the year, we were not suspected. However, in the evening when dark crept in we went back to the garden and had the cucumber. Of course now we earned it, didn’t we?  

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

The Alarm Rain

It was often that I would wake up in the morning with pattering of rain drops on my window pane in Bhutan. Since I came to Dehradun, I had almost forgotten that sound of rain in early morning until today when I was once again woken up by the falling rain. The feeling of clumsiness and never wanting to leave the warm bed engulfed me for the first time in Dehra. It was hard time to get myself off the bed and run into the washroom. But I enjoyed this feeling of laziness accompanied by nostalgia.  

to be continued......