Aa-choo!….Aa…choo I couldn’t help myself from sneezing constantly as I type this.Surely yesterday’s college farewell picnic for final year students and the dusty dancing wind had perfectly managed to irritate me with torturous sneeze. Apart from that, many funny memories flooded stealing a grin from me.
’‘Aa-choo!!’ I couldn’t stop the irritating itch I felt in the nose.
“God blessed you!” Cousin said out of habit.
“Akshay Khanna!” Sister teased me. Me and my sister weren’t very fond of this particular Bollywood actor and who ever sneezed was his crazy fan for a while (till we forgot about the sneezing chapter). It was another torture one had to bear apart from sneezing.
I don’t remember exactly when it happened, but I guess I was too young and stupid who even didn’t know the meaning of my own name.
I sneezed in the class and a classmate said “Tshering she.” She actually wished me a long life (Meaning of tshering is long life). Coincidentally, my name is Tshering and I took the direct meaning of it as (you’Tshering’ die ‘she’) which sounded like a curse to me. It was a enough point to demand an explanation why did, she wants my death before breaking down into a feebly sob. All she said was that she heard people saying “Tshering she” whenever somebody sneezes.
I cried whole period questioning myself why people would wish my death. I reached home with the all red and swollen eyes. Mother immediately rushed when she saw me in the state; probably thought I was bullied, being smallest and youngest of the class. My concerned and protective mother asked the reason and I narrated bit by bit incident in between the sobs. Before I was done with all, she laughed real hard figuring the whole story. That day I learned the meaning of my name.
Last winter during the survey work with NHDCL in Samtse, I was done with my data collection and as I was not feeling well that day, my generous team asked me to rest for a while. I seated on a single bamboo bracing of an old garage while waiting for them to complete the task.
“Aa-choo” really loud sneeze escaped followed by another sneeze “Aaachoooooo” By the time I complete it I was on the ground. Feeling little embarrassed over the fact that I have fallen down breaking the bracing while I sneezed, I got up and wiped the dry grasses from the back of my pants. I momentarily scanned the surrounding and thanked god as there was nobody around.
My colleague came out of tenant’s house and asked me “Tshering, are you alright? You fell down on the ground, maena?”
“I am fine.”
I saw our Ata Driver (a lively person) roaring with the laughter when he saw me later accompanied by two colleagues and Kinzang sir.
Kinzang sir said that they were inspecting the houses when he heard a loud thud and later a girl informed him. He imitated the very tone “Uncle! Uncle! Your one sister has fallen down from the garage.” And when he looked outside, he saw me wiping the dusts. They laughed again and this time I joined them despite the pain.
Ata Driver commented that my sneeze is as loud as my laughter. He admitted being scared of my sneeze and strength as would say I have energy to break a garage with a sneeze.
Aa-choo!! Good-aa-choo!!-night J