Forgive, sounds good
Forget, I’m not sure I could
They say time heals everything
But I’m still waiting
“Teso vaye eklai keta sanga ghumda kasto hundo rahecha ta?” Mom asked. (So how does it feel to go around with a guy alone?”
I was in no mood to go back to the experience. “Kasto ni hundaina rahecha, ke hunu ni?” ( Nothing. Nothing much.)
Should have been an experience given your background esp schooling?” she continued.
“Ok here it the answer to your “Yakshya Prasna” I replied. I will relate you the instances and you draw the conclusion.
My feet on a shoe lying on the road…
Day 1: We got on the microbus. The two of us. The first time I was out of town on my own. The first time I was going on a journey with a guy. No not my boyfriend. My classmate. The lady in front of us was keen on what we were talking about. I felt self-conscious. He did too.We sat on the last seat, we two and a two ladies with a kid. They got off at Abukhairini. A middle-aged man joined us. He looked outside the window all the while. Sometimes he would turn to look at us and turn away instantly as though he weren’t supposed to do so. I know that act. I do that quite often, in buses, in restaurants, on the road when I see any couple together. But he continued talking and I continued listening.
We got off in Buddhachowk. The conductor showed us the way to “Forestry Campus.” It started raining. I bought an umbrella. Asked him to do the same. He didn’t. He called his aunt’s quarter. “ I have a friend too” I could hear him say. “Lyauna ta” she replied (he told me later). I was tensed. I bet she isn’t expecting a friend from the opposite sex. I told him. Practiced the best possible way to greet “ Namastey” a hundred times!! We reached and there was no “Namastey” at all!! Almost felt as though I were meeting my “Mother in Law” for the first time!! Ha ha ha (If it feels that way then I’m over with marriage too!God…what a scary experience)
View of the mountains from the campus premises
We were needed for the program the next day. So headed to Chipledhunga ( Café Almond). Came back to the quarters. It was already late. It was a one storied house. Four rooms on the ground floor and two above. I was shown my room. His was across the hallway. And she said “I’m going to sleep upstairs”. The declaration almost came as a shock to me. Upstairs??!! Why not here? I wanted to ask. I didn’t. And it felt so damn uncomforty. To me it felt as though it were her duty to sleep on the same floor at least!! I was surely going insane with this “Silent treatment”. Locked the door and slept unable to understand anything!
Day 2: R Dai took us to his hotel. He was working on his laptop on his bed. The two of us sat on another across him. It was raining cats and dogs. The lights went off. I instinctively grabbed my handkerchief and cell phone lying on the bed and walked out. He was out after a while and said “ Ke ho Contingency Management( apatkalin vyabasthapan) gareko ho ki kaso?”
“Ho ho Testai, testai ho.”
CONTINGENCY MANAGEMENT ( Apatkalin Vyabasthapan). The most frequently used term in the entire trip!!
Fewa lake in the Rain
The NPC guy couldn’t make it because of the rain. We headed to the YI Contact office and then for some coffee. Café Mac Alley, Chipledunga. Well, I found Chipledhunga to be quite like New Baneshwor here, with so many places to eat, hustle and bustle. Similar but not the same. And at around the same time a friend of mine was in NBnshwr, I gave a short sms update and the reply I got was : “Tapain ta tyahan pura purush haru bata gheriyera basnu vako cha, ma ta yahan eklai” ha ha ha its hard to be surrounded by “purushes” for long, I tell you! Still being with two is easier than being with only one!
It felt great to be with a person who can be taken as some kind of profounder of Youth movement in Nepal. I was full of questions and for the very first time in my life I wasn’t holding back either.
“Why so few women in this field?” I inquired.
“Well, earlier we had more women in the board than men. Later they got married, got better jobs. There are so many opportunities for women and when they get better offers we can’t tell them to stay back as well. And the marriage, family thing is always there. Its sometimes harder for them too. I really have a tough time convincing the parents of girls when they have to go abroad for programs. The example I give most frequently is this: “Your daughter is like a seed. You can make her a Bonsai or help her grow into a tree.” Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. You could have had problems too saying you are going to Pokhara with a guy. Traveling alone and moreover staying at his aunt’s place. It’s harder for women.”
Phew. I was so glad to be hearing someone say that finally instead of giving me questioning glances and then that overbearing silence. So, there I was raising a million questions in people’s minds. None in my parents though. I got the call Friday evening, went home told of the program, packed my bags and left home the next morning. My chance to grow, I explained. No questions asked. And the experience was something like my parents letting me go and play with fire and learn that it burnt rather than telling me “It burns” first. Ha ha ha Does it sound like I have a way with words? Whatever you perceive.
It was late again. And I was scared, plain scared.
“Anjan sahar, anjan sadak and akeli ladki. Aren’t you scared?” He asked.
We were inside the forestry campus territories.
“I am. Wasn’t yesterday but today I am.” I replied. “I go home quite late in Kathmandu too. But I guess I feel more secure while alone than when I am with a guy. Can you walk on the other side of this street” I continued.
“Just. I want it that way. That’s why. “
“Chuchho. ( Mean) I know but that’s me. I can’t pretend.”
Finally reached the quarters and never, never in my life I was sooooooo relieved!! And till date I can’t understand why I was scared. I have come home as late as 11:45 in the evening. Walked alone, scared then too, I don’t deny but scared more because of the presence of a black cat than the absence of any human being by my side. Perhaps, everyone turns into a stranger in a strange town…I don’t know…And the worst thing anyone can go through is the feeling of being vulnerable…wish no one ever feels that way…damn that was scary.
The microbuses are a faster option to travel. The microbus stand is near Prithvi chowk. We went to the counter. The price was more than what we had paid while coming to Pokhara. He was bargaining. I just wanted to be back, whatever the price.
“Name?” The girl on the counter asked.
“You can write whatever you want.” He said in an attempt to bargain. I understood but at the same time looking at the reaction on the face of the woman realized that it created room for doubts. As though we didn’t want our names there, like runaway folks!! Later he told me the exact thought crossed his mind too!! God, psycho! And then a guy said: you can have these seats 12, 13, 14.
“Can’t we have the backseats?” I asked.
“Kina nahuni ni vaihalcha ni!” (Why not? You can). The guy answered with a bit more enthusiasm than required.
Damn, last seats. My mind was again interpreting the Last seat prem jodi implications. Actually we had come in the last seats, it had been easy so wanted the same.
………….phew……..so I am so soooooooooo happy to be back. So relieved that I can have a hot cup of coffee at New Baneshwor again and not in Chipledhunga! I don’t want to go through that “ No,no hoina hami boyfriend-girlfriend hoina self-conscious phase!!” Not that it the trip was entirely a bad experience. It wasn’t. The program was highly intellectually stimulating, learnt a lot, (will write if it figures somewhere above the bottom in my priority list! 🙂 ) it was a great start but a terrible end. I come back learning more of life, people and once again realize ….. The world is not at all the way I take it to be. And I just pray that it is not too late before I know what it is like…
( This must have been boring but hope you liked the pics 🙂 nblogging is therapy…yaar, my manipal hospital when I am ill! 😉
I made my bed and I sleep like a baby
With no regrets and I don’t mind sayin’
It’s a sad sad story when a mother will teach her
Daughter that she ought to hate a perfect stranger
And how in the world can the words that I said
Send somebody so over the edge
That they’d write me a letter
Sayin’ that I better shut up and sing
Or my life will be over
I’m not ready to make nice
I’m not ready to back down
I’m still mad as hell and
I don’t have time to go round and round and round
It’s too late to make it right
I probably wouldn’t if I could
‘Cause I’m mad as hell
Can’t bring myself to do what it is you think I should