Wasn’t listening to this song. But it was being repeatedly played in my head. Especially these “chalu” lines. And God knows why! But I like the “Bal matlab” attitude here: “We just don’t care…..
“Let’s go to the park
I wanna kiss u underneath the stars
Maybe we’ll go too far
We just don’t care
We just don’t care
We just don’t care………
We were on the way to Bridim. It is three hours walk from Syafrubesi. You can take your time and make it four/five, your wish, your pace. There were five or six people before me. Way ahead. I called out to her in the middle of the journey but received no answer. “Keti pakkai Tethrathum kai raiche” I concluded. Ha ha ha And as the walk progressed I was convinced of my own “hard-core-hilly-origins” too! Genetic, I concluded! The rest were at and equal distance behind me. I walked somewhere in between the two groups, in an unusual route feeling somewhat lost but good. Tiring journey though, gulped down bottles and bottles of water and was sweating like a pig obviously ( a short walk in KTM turns my face into a dark red tomato, so you can picturize my color status then!). The black t-shirt was not helping at all. On the way I picked up two rhododendrons!! Yes, I was finally able to accomplish my own “Afno laligurans afain tipaun” Aviyan. 🙂
Maile affain tipeko ho ke! 🙂 dui ota! yeah he he he
Welcome to bridim
The Bridim homestay committee welcomed us with la (forgot the name of scarf…help me!)..je hos the white silky material felt soooo warm on my neck, as if it were the warmest muffler. Thatt good. And when everyone was in the traditional tea was brought in with the keru or sth ( correct me if I am wrong). I am not adventurous when it comes to food, I liked neither of the two. The Rakshi came in, would have tried it but was just in mood for it either. No worries of it being wasted too, there were plenty wanting some more of it. Ha ha ha I would have really loved to record the “Saathi nakhane vaye pauna “ here but the “Saathi” is natcol specialty so the secret can’t be so easily traded…saaaaaathiiiiiiiiiii
And we danced, danced and danced from “Chyanba hoi chyanba” to “Bheda ko unjasto” wearing their traditional caps. Sure was fun but all fun vanished and I got a bit irritated when I realized that we had been a bit late to secure a house for the two of us so would have to be sharing beds again. The four of us were to spend the night in one house. The hosts served us tea. The daughter was shy, she stayed in the hostel in Dhunche the lady of the house informed. Hostel, the very mention of it has me going on and on about it. So I said “ Yestai ho, hostel ma basne harulai ghar aunda pahile ta nikkai laaj lagcha. Pacchi ta kehi lagdaina. Ma pani pahile testai thiyen.” She added “hernos, ahile ta uslai kehi laaj lagdaina.” to the host. I thought for a while and corrected myself “tara ali ali laaj chahin lagcha.” They laughed. Then the good as well as the bad news. We had to go to a different house.
On reaching bridim, thakai mardai laughing at the glories of the letter “P” 🙂 Pic by Jaz
They talked in a language we didn’t understand. But there was tension in the air. We could make out that much. We were shown our rooms but NO DOOR! Only a curtain for a door. My bed was right in front of the entrance of the room. I was on the bed talking to her while she was changing in the corner. And then someone peeped from the door curtain. Looked at me and smiled. He didn’t leave but kept flashing a smile. I threw an alarming glance at her and prayed ferverently that he did not poke his head inside and see her in the terrible state of affairs! She stood transfixed like a statue and I was no different other than a fake smile pasted on my face!! My wired teeth were not frightening him at all! He just didn’t budge! The act continued and finally, finally he left. It seemed like he’d been there forever! I heaved a huuuuuuuuuuge sigh of relief! Hahaha What an adventurous start to the homestay! We laughed.
And it was dinner time.The food contained rice, mulako achar in a ceramic bowl and pulse in another. As we started to eat, she nudged me and asked in a low voice “ Oye, tarkari chahin khoi ta”. The situation was so riducoluos that I my food almost passed on to the air pipe leaving the food one. “Yehi ho, dal sanga khan na” I whispered focusing on my plate. “Dal ma bodi cha ni” our host informed. It was tasty. But I find anything and everything tasty. Ha ha ha from chewing gum kinda rice to hot juice! I was a huge hostel food fan yaar n still miss the furrrrrra parya bhat and bandako tarkari 🙂 She was just playing with her food.
The man who had peeped during our changing session was there too. She asked and who is he. Brother, the man of the house told us. He was differently abled: couldn’t speak nor listen. His hair was long, a dirty jacket on his back, a baseball cap and he kept looking at the two of us. He was doing the same when we were having our food too. And anytime I would raise my head from the plate I could see him looking at our direction. Perhaps we looked weird; maybe he was glad to see some new faces in the house after a long time. I don’t know but we sure didn’t feel comfortable to be looked at that way. She whispered to me “ Ta sanga love paryo jasto cha, talai ta heraya herai harcha ta!” I was about to say the same to her. Whatever the case once we were done with they started to eat and we stayed back to observe! He took out a spoon from his pockets, stretched forward his plate and the sister in law gave him food. “Afnai chamcha rahecha” she whispered. She is good at it, conversing.
So she asked again “ Ani wahan ko bihe vayo ta?” ( Is he married?).
“Lato sanga kasle biha garne?” (Who will marry a dumb guy?) The elder brother laughed. I was amazed to hear her ask the question myself. I mean what does it matter to us. Still I thought that was an important question!!
“Ani wahan yehi basnu huncha ho?” (Does he stay here too?) She continued.
“Hoina, gothalo garcha ani tetaitira bascha.” (No, he is a shepherd and lives in the shed.) Khana matra aune ho. (He comes here to eat only).”
The shepherd was busy eating.
We said nothing to one another but we both knew what relief the information brought! And once we were back to our room we discussed the guy once again. Must be because of “who” is in fact getting married the discussion headed straight to, differently abled people have desires too!! The situation of differently abled people is extremely depressing. Especially those living in such remote, inaccessible places. That personal spoon of his was enough to say it all. And even our relief on hearing he wasn’t staying in the house was perhaps a sign of our own personal bias to the differently abled people Maybe not…. I mean hope not… Whatever the case the conclusion was we didn’t want to be the victims of anyone’s desires.
Still it’s hard…have I mentioned this before? I think not. I had once gone to help a journo interview Jhamak Kumari and had absolutely no idea of how she was. And seeing the reality came as a shock to me. Did not know how to react! I felt so stupid when her friend told me that she would write down the answers of the questions holding the pen in between her toes. She scribbled of how the interview could be conducted on the diary and I was like “how can I make you go through the trouble.” The interview never took place. We stepped out disturbed and angry at the person who took the time for us but never told us anything. Hmm our part of the world needs to do so much for this “social inclusion” hype these days…I find the andolans total “bakwash”, we should rather change the way we raise our kids..we need a culture of respect…sanai dekhi teach them to respect differences and who says raising kids is easy!!
Children in Syafrubesi
Am I losing focus here? I mean do you think my writing ever makes any sense at all! Ha ha ha ha To end it all know how we changed after the great “Peep in”! Well, went under the quilt and concluded that was the only option. Proved Opaque for any one to see beyond it! lol
Pic credits: None by me!