Teej, tilhari and Mahila tahalka. So its come and gone the “Biggest women” festival. Can’t help putting my own Teej here, actually I barely remember any Teej of yesteryears but this one, was a bit different so I guess it will be sticking to my memory cells for quite sometime.
Let me begin from the day before teej. It was a long day. More than two hours of Good Governance class, three hours on the internet and the guilt of having drained my cup of milk down the basin before leaving home. Obviously hunger breeds anger. Eclairs, Bar One and Real to keep me going. Talk about practicing to be a development worker in Future! A hungry veg in the deserts of Sub-Saharan Africa, my style of training to be out there someday! Dream on girl…
Finally abadoned the chair and got on the Nepal Yatayat. Luckily I got a seat and could comfortably utilize my peripheral vision to observe other passengers. A couple got on the bus, the girl must be in her early 20s or at the most 25 .She was ordained with jewellery and that “jhallare” red kurta sarwal, looking trendy with a small handbag nevertheless. The kinda of bag which makes me go, ” God! what can you put in there” with my rucksack look a alike which I can’t do without. The man, surely her husband was angry at her because she wasn’t shifting to the comfortable seat from the uncomfortable space behind the driver’s seat. She finally did as I wondered how girls get married so early. Right now, I can barely think of anything other than studies, and there are women my age out there with a “junga muthe” husband with an army of relatives behind him! them man.But as of now I can’t helpi but get shocked when I meet another of those young brides. Maybe I need to wait for 20 years or more to comprehend the reality when I am 40 and finally in love “Ahista, ahista”! LOL
Two ladies got on the bus in Nagpokhari or somewhere I just forgot the exact stop. The bus was crowded so they were both standing in front of me. One of then 25-27 yrs perhaps took out some bangles from her teeny weeny bag and made a face. “Buda le kya maya garera kindiyeko chura futecha!” Looking at her face I could just picturize the way she looked as a little girl, she looked so cute! hahaha And the words “Buda” and “Maya” had me thinking “Kya Sabda Chayan! Your buda must be very sweet to do that” I smiled at myself, nice sights and sounds to distract my mind from a damn hungry tummy.
Then was the time for my first reporting experience. We ( I along with two guys) walked hurriedly down the streets of Sanepa to the never reaching destination “International Club”. The guys flew to the destination while I staggered behind. Finally the conversation with “Almost famous” and the gang of girls yet to reach the same status. Long endless legs, flawless skin, revealing tank tops, short skirts and shy guys! Oh, what a scene! Earlier I’d thought I would go nuts and experience the upper level of “He” ( a private code, try deciphering it) amongst the beauties while I was red as a tomato looking drop dead gorgeous with my evergreen pimply face! but later felt totally at ease, cool actually realizing that they were after a bunch of phuchhi teenagers! Hahahahaha.
It was fun but I was way too late for my “Dar” invitation in the Bakery Cafe!! 4:30 that was the time I ‘d been called but reached the place at 5:45. Thank God! It was a big group that had been invited so a couple of girls were yet to make it! Finally I broke my situational fast with the usual cup of cold coffee and some slices of pizza. It was a wonderful evening. She informed me what they planned to do the next day i.e Teej, hold a strategic meeting to organize the women’s movement for the restructuring of the state! Times are changing for sure, I listened to what the Nepalis in Canada had to say. Interesting talks, and she moved on to asking me “how hostel changed kids”. My sister joined in to explain the pros and cons and we gave our usual conclusion, kids are better at home. If you don’t have time, don’t have kids. No hostel required, it hard to adjust later on…. Other girls came in. From Women’s movement to hospital experiences, she was bubbling with excitement to tell me what she did.
It began with so you like my style? Yah, I gave an honest answer. Then it began: from dirty patients to nurses turning into pranksters, to handsome lab technicians and doctors. But the most interesting among them all was her “Ghantauke Babies” experience. “So we have the external teachers to judge us and I have to bathe this baby with a real huge head! And you know we have to make sure that water doesn’t seep in through their ears but the head is too big to fit in my palm. I asked for the another baby and same case!” I especially hate the patients calling me “Dactar Sahebni” and “Sisterni Didi”! Can you believe it ?” She asked, it had me roaring with laughter.
The five of us walked till Tinkune. It was a wonderful “Girls night out”. We departed and her last words were, ” So when do we meet again to tell you my stories”. “Soon enough, when we are all free!” I replied waving a good bye. What a Day!
Went home and dozed off instantly. Its 11 and he smses ” Priye ( he,he) bholi college huncha? ” ruining my sleep. The calendar doesn’t mention any holiday so head for college early in the morning despite the terrible tummy ache due to the “Hungry Development Wala” practice the day before!
I see them at Bhatbhateni so get off the bus. She catches my eye, red rules from head to toe. A word to describe her would be , Bombastic! But that’s only a glimpse of the crowd of beauties yet to be seen in college. Orange, yellow, pink, purple, blue it surely is Teej in the air!!
“So, why aren’t you clad in Kurta?” one asks.
Su’s busy wishing “Happy Teej!” to other girls.
I and Kedz make a place for ourselves on his bike. He looks at my faded T-shirt with “Life’s full of adventure”scribbled on the back and says “Timilai chahin have a rocking day man! You rock as always!” We roar with laughter.
“Know why Ach is staying there at a distance?” he jokes. “He is in a state of confusion, he can’t determine if its Nat col or P.K”. “Is that so?” we yell out to him. But he is busy enjoying the feast for his eyes. Then we’re informed that its a holiday. “Ke bho ta , hami ta haru ko naya kurta herna ako, dekhi haliyo. Class nabhayeni no problem!” Su is undoubtedly the funniest guy I have ever met! College would really be very bland without him, lucky us!
So we kill time looking at the Jap pictures. There’s one with the Nep gals in Sari. I look at that and honestly have been in a state of panic ever since. Its really cool to be a gal and have a lot of choices in doing so many things like dressing for instance but in times like these when you’re expected to get in touch with that feminine side of yours is really freaking! I feel so out of place, so lost, I just want to vanish into thin air! Oh Jaz darlin, you really set one hell of a trend…Hahaha( this is a nervous laughter hai, not ready to go man!)
Later we are at the coffee shop, I am sitting among the guys. B, K, Ach. “I’m Lord Shiva”K mocks. “Yah, who knows I might just be the Shiva for one of the girls fasting today, ” B muses. “They say its like Dashain for the women, what about you? Aren’t you a female?( Timi mahila hoina?) ” B looks at me and asks. For an instance I am totally taken aback by his question. I come to my senses and give a spontaneos reply “Undoubtedly! Ho”. Man, this is serious don’t you think, people doubting my biology!! Hahahaha, What can I do then? Stripe off? hahahaha Not in a million years! poor me the bachha!
Thankfully Kali ,the fashionista ,clad in a colorful kurta joins the gang and we talk of songs that come to our mind when its drizzling like it is that morning. She sings,
” Sawan barse tarse dil,
kyon na nikle ghar se dil,
sawan main bhi dil pyasa hai ,
yeh pyar nahi to kya hai.”
I join her. Its Fun! Then someone tells me Sumi wants me in college. So I go and another surprise. She’s got red bangles for me!
“No! I don’t know how to wear them, and am sure it won’t fit me.” I reason.
“No problem I’ve got bigger ones ” she says searching for them in the bag. She and he together make the bangles slide through my wrist.
“Only one” I say. But he goes ” No , two” taking off my wrist watch and putting it in my right hand while I look at him helplessly.
“She’s given it so lovingly, so what’s the deal in wearing it for a day! Come on accept the challenge” I tell myself.
But the two bangles, red and glittering, is just a little more than I can handle with the clinking sound they make.So I take off one and all the way home, on the bus and on the road I try to convince myself that faded dark blue t-shirt and a red glittery bangles go well. Its some kind of punk style. I’m like “Its punk, its rock, its cool, its a challenge.”
I’m almost home when I meet mom and aunt. And as mom goes “What’s that in your hand?” my aunt laughs a little too loud making me feel as though I landed right from the frying pan into the fire. ” Can’t you see its a bangle, my friend gave me!!” I tell her irritated hurrying to my room taking it off right then! Beig loved feels heavenly but no red bangle trial sessions for me.
Come on, I tried.But “Teej” am still not ready for it!!