Saturday, August 23, 2014

One Day

One day, while segregating and rummaging old stuffs from the neglected box in the garage, I want to accidentally encounter with the long forgotten brown thick book. Dusting off with my wrinkled hand while coughing weakly, adjusting the rim of spectacles to see what it really is as my memory will be reluctant to cooperate with the passing time. With a shivering hand, I will open it and try to see the tiny letters written on it by wrinkling my nose and focusing my eyes to read it. Then with intensity and retrospection of the nostalgic feeling, I will read till I flip the last page of a diary with my cellulose forefinger.

I will laugh at grammatical and spelling errors I made while writing those hilarious feelings, feel foolish realizing the conversation between me and diary, I will feel every feelings I felt while writing every words by words, pages by pages. I will read and rejoice every bottled up fears, the prevailing anguish, a dragging idleness, an empowering agony and overwhelming ecstatic moment I wrote. I will be emotionally moved reading about the broken heart in broken English that will still manage to break my heart. I will feel color creeping when I read about the first crush I had. My eyes will swell with fat tears while going through the losses of beloved dear ones. Pages by pages, it will unfold my life through significant memories I was compelled to jot down.

Finally when I read the final page of my life at my final days, I will realize maintaining diary is one of the wisest decisions I took.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Little Conversation

“If I waited till I felt like writing, I’d never write at all.” Anne Tyler.

Tshering, hung ancha?” Karma’s voice announced her arrival before she enters my room.
Chowa cha thab thob thur de ne wai.” I replied without looking at her, continuing to write what I started.

Awoomala na nan ta. Laptop kam rang hung ancha mo mastong?” she openly revealed her displeasure for always staying glued with laptop. I closed my laptop and gave her my undivided attention with guilty smile asking her to understand.

Meanwhile, we imposed a judgment on world through our lengthy conversation; I brewed a lemon tea for both of us. With an ease, we drank it in between the talk. We created a harmony with her variant talk and my laughter.

She asked me with boredom in her eyes “Why do you always write?”
Though ‘always’ was little exaggerated “That’s because I love to write. You must be having something you love doing, for me its reading and writing. It’s my stress reliever and my playmate. It’s my passion. ” I grinned.

“Were your parents involved in domestic violence?” I spilled tea on table with u-turn of question.
“I am so sorry. I didn’t mean to ask a personal question. Forget that I asked you.” She passed me a tissue paper transparently wearing guilt on her face.

I didn’t know what was going inside her mind but I was clearly amazed with the conclusion she drew. She thought I was offended with her question when my thought was running wild with ‘what gave her idea that I was part of domestic violence?’

I decided to continue the game she started, “You shouldn’t ask if you don’t know the full story.” I acted as if I was hit on my Achilles’ heel. From an empowering redness of her cheek and avoidance of eye contact, I knew I acted well to deserve an award.

Mercy! She was melting with guilt and start blabbering apologies “I am so sorry. I didn’t know it is sensitive subject for you. Never mind…..“

I couldn’t continue with the play as I roared with laughter. I laughed for few good minutes enough to hold my tummy with both hands as it hurts from continuous laughing. I juggled the words between laughter and asked why did she ask that question?

The color returned to her face as she stared at my face for a while. “Awoo thub thai nan ta.” she was little irritated, I guess.

Yeg cho lae.” I playfully nudged her shoulder with mine demanding the reason and tightly clamping my lips with each other to stop embarrassing her.

I insisted her to tell the reason ‘You wrote couple of articles on domestic violence in your blog and noticed you are always sensitive when someone talks about domestic abuses. Then I thought may be your father abuses mother and you might be bottling up your emotion and suffering alone. I thought if you can find someone to talk with, you’ll be relieved.”

Her simple gestures touched me and I felt bad for scaring her with the prank. I explained honestly that I have never witnessed domestic violence in my house though there is an exchange of arguments sometimes; in fact I said that I am in love with the way my parents are in love with each other. No doubt their marriage was a love marriage. I got carried away with the past as I narrated how my father’s leg was almost paralyzed with the fatigue when I was in class 4. Our financial situation crumbled in his medication, relatives turned their back to us and everything got exhausted except their love which binds us together. That ‘love’ lights our path of distress. When everyone thought he wouldn’t survive a year, my mother refused to believe them and fought till she won over his illness. It’s more than a decade and my father is in a perfect health and walks without slightest limp.

However, I explained her that I have seen domestic violence in neighborhood and society. Next door woman would show with the swollen and blue eyes after quarreling with husband for whole night. When asked her to leave her husband, she would say “If I was alone, I would have left him long time back but I have children to think about.” That’s every wife’s excuses to bear yet another blow from husband. It’s sad to see that women accept it as usual things between husband and wife. I said that I am against it and real men don’t hit woman. I wish those men can stop talking with hands. I don’t know their inside story still violence is not the way to deal with.

As time dragged long, my stomach growled with hunger demanding a break from our little conversation. We looked at each other, laughed and got up to dine in the mess.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Bizarre Incident

‘Ting-ting-ting’ a mundane bell kept ringing for a few good minutes to wake up the stubborn students like me who were fond of sleeping. Some woke up as they were top rated hard working students, some did out of duty and I woke up because I didn’t want matron chasing after me with a stick again. ‘Eleven is heaven’ I had taken that seriously as I concentrated more on sleeping than studying.

It was a May morning, after washing and wrapping my hair with a towel, I came back to hostel and dressed to get ready for a mandatory morning studies.

I was combing my long hair when Kinzang, a class 9 student said “Sister, what happened to your hair?”

“What?” I combed my dripping hair.

“There is no hair on your head.” She looked horrified.

It was a futile prank they were trying on me as I was combing my long hair, I ignored her, preparing for morning studies.

All girls looked at me in a bizarre way undoing my nerves, I touched my head and there was nothing wrong.

“No.  It is at the back side of your head.” I heard them saying. My hand followed their direction and encountered an empty patch of scalp. I felt it again and again in a disbelieve.

Positioning one mirror at back and another at front, I tried to look the back view of my head on the front mirror. After numerous tilting and repositioning, I finally saw the bald head of around 5-6cm diameter without a strand of hair. I was shocked, nothing more. I hurriedly gathered my books and went for morning studies.

Rumors spread fast, one by one, students came to see my bald head and started sharing all sorts of weird and scary stories; some considered it as a bad omen, while some said an evil spirit might have cast a spell on me, some said I might be suffering from cancer which can cause a loss of hair, while most of them said mythical old bald woman steals hair from an unfortunate and unlucky one, who was supposed to be me. Girls in the study room looked at me; some with fear in their eyes, some trying to 
locate the bald portion on my head, some with sympathetic look and some avoided me like I had dreadful disease. I felt miserable and pathetic. Though my best friend, Thinley, asked me to ignore, I couldn’t.

Next day, there were two hairless patches on my head. Mystery of the situation was that it happened during night and there wasn’t even a single strand of hair on my bed; forget about the hundreds of hairs I lost overnight.

I was scared of the days as I felt every pairs of questioning eyes on me and I was scared of night as my hairs mysteriously vanished during night.

I was 16 then. I was broken completely and cried a lot after repeated incident for whole morning study hour. Cousins and friends covered the bald with the remaining hair and clipped it firmly. There was no energy and courage left in me. Thinley entwined my hand, lead me to the class and talked all the way as if nothing happened.
In the class, one of classmate asked me to confirm the rumor which was something like this. While I was in a dormitory, studying nearby window and someone dragged me from behind and next morning the hair was gone. I didn’t respond as I didn’t know how to.  

During interval, I was called by matron and she inspected my hair. I was asked to change the room and sleep. She consoled me that the hair loss wasn’t a big deal and she rubbished all sorts of paranormal activities, she said if I believed in all those things, she asked me to sleep in her house. She said her house was well equipped to deal with as there was a big altar with the statues. I slept in her house with a class 12 student who was her niece. Again, there were hair losses not as big as first one but still hair disappeared.

It didn’t work, so matron asked me to change my room and stay awake at night.  She suggested that I can stay with cousins in their hostel and they will take turn to stay awake with me. She called and briefed them to help me.

That afternoon, I cut my hair short. It was long and once loved hair but then it freaked hell out of me and I was scared of the same hair. I was scared to the extent that I was afraid of going to washroom even in a day. I was disturbed and eyes betrayed me with streaming tears. The place and time was eating me alive and I was helplessly lost in despair.

That night as instructed, cousins and friends took turn to stay with me, sharing not so funny jokes, cheering me, discussing movies, books, and boys and never letting me sleep. Frequently shaking me with force but gently when they saw me drifting to sleep and making me wash my face over and over.

At dawn, they let me sleep but one of them stayed awake watching me. I slept soundly.

It was a Sunday morning and girls were doing the mass cleaning outside when I woke up. Then I saw different avatar of Thinley, sitting at the edge of the bed.  She had cut her long and cherished beautiful hair in exact style and length as mine. All I could do was open my mouth and gasped the air in a shock.

When I was able to, I asked “What did you do to your hair?”

Without a hint of regret, she smiled and said “Friends”.

I was speechless with the swelling emotions of gratitude and happiness. When I thought I couldn’t even stand, she held my hand and helped me to walk through the darkest hour of my life. Though younger than me, she showed me a true meaning of friendship.

It didn’t matter whether I had hair on head or not, what people talked behind me or those staring eyes because I had and still have a most amazing friend.