And there she goes looking for a trace of permanence in a temporary world.
I have started blogging to preserve myself; my thoughts, experiences, opinions and memories that have shaped the person I am today and the one I am to become, as a means to retain the elements that constitute my very own distinct persona against the hard times when I fail to recognize myself as I figure out who I thought I was, and who I actually have become are contradictory or who I wanted to be, and who I actually have become are poles apart, often because of my preoccupation in conforming to the norms and thereby sometime losing the strongest facets of my being.
In a world where we take so much more than what we give, this blog is my small payback to comfort those in grim and inspire those who are lost, or may be just entertain.
Remember when you were were a naughty little child, you wanted to grow up soon and experience the adult life because other kids would bully you and the evening curfew at home felt stifling. DANG!! Then, you grow up soon enough only to find the adult life no better. Instead, the most important people in your life are taken away from you, one after another. Yes, death is inevitable and universal. But, when your loved one dies, your whole world falls apart. The time freezes and nothing else matter as much as your memories with that person.
Last month, my dad passed away.
It was sudden.
A devastating phone call from home was the only validation of his death. It made no sense because the previous day, dad was doing fine. He saw me off as he stood there by the gate waving me his last goodbyes.
My dad was 78 years old, aged I know. He married late and had me even later. As a child of an aged parent, I was vigilant and concerned since my teenage years. Pala was active and healthy for his age. He rode his Yamaha bike till his 60s and went for long walks to his last living days. I am glad I took a sudden leave from college on November 11th to spend sometime at home. I have been homesick. And, it had been a year since I last visited home.
I had plans with him for the years to come. After my graduation next year, I wanted to write a book with him and visit places together.
How I wish if he could have lived a little longer, few more years!?
But, that is a mere dream now. And knowing this hurts. A lot.
Grief is a wormhole where the time stops and sucks you up into a different universe more often into the past where you could feel the unfelt, say the unsaid and do the half-done. Whoever said that grief comes in waves is so true. Infact, it also comes in a giant big circle. You think you have gone past the intense shock and pain of the event but you find yourself in the same place again. Despite the unending wet-pillow-nights and frequent social withdrawals, you still don’t feel that light-hearted. Because your lost is heavy and its burdening.
May be the grief will soak in the sunlight. Or may be not.
It is my nineteenth day on internship. The past weeks were busy and today is not a kind exception. After finishing my work, I stepped out of the office and realized that the sky had long been overcasted with the hazy darkness of dusk. At once, I sprinted on my fifteen minutes walk to the bus stop without slowing down, not even for a while to check my phone or the time.
With my best efforts, I hurried through the not so busy sidewalk which borders an engrossed highway flooded with buses, cars, autos, trucks and two wheelers. Let me give you a brief description of my appearance that time. I had my face carefully draped with a shawl like a Muslim lady for the least possible exposure and my casual jeans-with-tee attire was complemented with one more accessory. It was my brother’s umbrella. Instead of lying buried in my bag pack, I had it tightly clenched in my right hand. I might have looked like some secret ninja from a Japanese movie but, certainly with the wrong weapon. The reason of my strange appearance, I should tell you, lies in an incident that occurred a few nights ago that took me off with shock and confusion.
Like tonight, I was returning late from work although with one exception. That night, my heart was not heaved with the anxiousness and fear that I bear at the moment. Little did I knew, that fake couple with babies will approach you only to rob you off. I realized later so, that it was my sheer luck and not a mistake actually to have forgotten my wallet that very day. Moreover, a call from a senior correspondent at work saved me from the hazard, as she instructed me to promptly leave the place. With the vehicles still buzzing around, I swiftly ignored the pleadings of the seemingly helpless family, whom I later discovered were none but real professional thugs.
But tonight, I am a ninja, an armed one. Yes, armed with an umbrella! A sword would have been definitely better though! And I am determined to knock off anyone with the faintest hint of malice as my runaway route are strategically planned already. I would have even smacked those abominable guys who were unfortunate enough to raise a detestable macho expression or gesture.
Damn! They are lucky. I got whistled at, by none tonight!
[Part time Ninja is a repost from my previous blog from 2014. This is an account of my experience against; what I could only assume as small-time frausters during my internship in a prominent newspaper in english language from South India.]
What good is growing up if it means separating from the people you love the most?
The memories are as vivid as ever.
Just a few days ago, I was with Pala; talking, him advising me to take the sacred Mani Rilbu and Chakne while I was backpacking, walking Kora with him in Swoyambhu– arms in arms in the wee hours of the day, giving him the warm foot bath therapy, “nagging him” in Dad’s words with Amala to change into the comfy sweatpants while at home or to take off the mismatched overcoat and begging him to help finish my pudding or to have the egg-yolk from my plate. It seemed like yesterday when I rejoiced in annoying him with the silliest thoughts and questions that crossed my mind.
When I got mad over him for walking too much astray from the sidewalk because a car almost hit me and when he chose to take the Thamel route to home instead of the regular one after his appointment with the dentist, consequently I not getting to buy my stuffs on the way back. It feels just like yesterday when he hugged me during my last homecoming day, when he ridiculed my craze for the roadside chatpat as always, when he asked me to fix his phone for the hundredth time because he basically messed up all the settings by swiping his finger everywhere on the screen. It seemed like yesterday when I sat alongside as he discussed about topics such as the Trump’s policy on Tibet-China, the Lal Qila incident and the upcoming Kalachakra in the local chai shop with his buddies in the Korlam. It seems like yesterday when he got mad over me for bailing on him and Aku Pasang la on a visit to Aku Tenpa la’s because I was too preoccupied in trying out the Nepali Thali dish with Cho Sangay and checking out their new pup at home thereby turning it rather into a hurried visit although it was not entirely my fault. Dad’s phone was on flight mode (again because of his pointless fiddling upon the phone screen).
It feels like yesterday when we shared the snickers and the lasts of the chocolate bars privily as the following day he had to get his tooth extracted, when he every night insisted me to take one of his favorite torch lights before I left to walk Sintu down the streets despite the bright streetlights, when he excitedly showed me his new flowers which were blooming in the terrace and I asking him to grow a utility plant such as an aloe vera instead followed by our normal light-hearted debate over it. It was not far from yesterday when dad called me out as I stayed up late watching Quantico on the TV, when I overheard Dad self talking in the middle of the night on my way to the bathroom, when I gave him head massage and played for him the typical Lhasa songs and Bhashey that he so loved over the phone. It feels like yesterday when I held his hand up to my cheek casually not knowing that it would be the last time ever…
29-11-16: Dad passed away. A man of honor, a former Chushi Gangdruk warrior and the most beloved father took his last breath at half past midnight. Pala taught me by exemplary a life of honesty, humility and perseverance. His love and the little known sacrifices that he made for his country is something that has deeply influenced me. I am nothing but proud to be the daughter of such a man. – A grateful daughter
This post contains few words from my native language. I request my readers to refer the glossary list below.
Bhashey: songs from the Tibetan region, Bhapa mostly played with Piwang, the famous Tibetan fiddle instrument
Chakne: colored barley grains blessed by the Nechung, the state oracle of Tibet
Chai: the transliteration for the Indian word for sweet milk tea
Chatpat: a spicy, tangy street food largely found in Nepal and India
Cho: older brother/cousin
Chushi Gangdruk: the Tibetan resistance army who fought against China during the 1950’s invasion of Tibet
Kalachakra: anadvanced religious teachings in Tibetan buddhism on the wheel of life initiated by high lamas, including his holiness the Dalai Lama, to large audience