Bhai Tika Ma Bhetna Aaunla

The following was written in the evening of my sister Nisha’s wedding.

I remember reading in a John Harricharan book, “Though our beginnings may end and our endings begin again, we’ll forever be journeying in the fields of forever.” Certainly not an end, but waiving you goodbye and wishing you good luck for a great life ahead, I tend to think about the chapters of life and how time flew by from the moment of Shishir Ra Basantako Katha to a time when I was carrying you around the car to let you start a new frontier of life. Really, I’d certainly expected for us all to grow old; for me to be able to understand the chemical reactions Baba used to teach Didi, but I’d never imagined that a day would come by when I’d have to start sharing you with someone else. But, amid all that, floating around the stories, the memories, the teasing, the cries, the laughter, the joy, a strange feeling is overtaking me. A part of me has already started missing you while the other tries hard to convince me, “Come on yaar! She’s just a ten minutes ride away. She’s always yours and you always her. So, what’s the big deal?”

Yeah, what’s the big deal? You were studying in Pulchowk, coming home only in Dashain vacation-the only time I could be with you-and there was nothing I could do about that back then. Neither there is today. But, back then. I wasn’t sad. Then, you went to Achham and all other places that could get as remote as possible and still there wasn’t a thing I could do. Even then I wasn’t feeling all this. And, now, when we’re in the same city, just a few miles apart, I’m missing you and I’m feeling sad. Maybe this is the realization that you won’t be coming home for Dashain like you used to and I won’t be asking you “When are you going back?” the day you arrived home. Maybe this is the feeling that now, you’re more of someone else than mine. Maybe this is the notion that now you’ve a family of your own and that one; I don’t share it with you. I don’t know but I’m missing you.

I remember the days when before going to bed, you had to tell me a story every night. And, now, all those stories float around and the air is filled with your words, your stories. I used to fake sleeping to get your gentle taps and then, it’d be hard to lie idle, eyes closed, motionless, without saying a word for more than an hour but even by then, you used to be caressing me. The nights I used to call your name and you’d respond, no matter what time it was, and the following morning, I’d ask, “Don’t you get asleep in night?” Lying on the gundri, in the sun, having oranges and then, me spraying the peels in your eyes. Yeah, I remember them all and I feel sad to realize that those are the moments that will never come back; those are the times we’ve already lived up and no matter how much I try, I can never go back to the time when I’d ask Mummy to let you bathe me because you allowed me to play in the water for long. And, that’s what makes me sad; all those realizations, all those memories is what gives me this strange feeling.

I wonder why you cared of me so much when I listen to Mummy telling me about the time in GBS when you had gone to someone’s wedding and when someone had given you a kasshar(note the ‘a’, signifying singular there) you brought it home for bhai. Yeah, mummy tells me that the kasshar was already wet by then and wasn’t quite edible, but the fact that you brought it for me when I was merely a year old makes me miss you even more. And, now, when I remember you telling me of the incident when a tree had fell a few metres away from you, a shiver runs across my body. Returning home from school with you, Geeta didi and you teaching me how to walk fast-with extra long steps- makes me wonder who’s going to teach me how to walk fast again when I need to. Yeah, I remember all those. I remember, “Nishale nang nakaatdera nang nakaatya!” I remember, “yo dissection box bholi parshi talai kaam lagcha.” And, yes, I remember, “Kaancha, kaanchu, punte and punu.” I remember hiding your bag during exams when you were already getting late. Throwing mud on you  shoes just because those were shinier than mine is still somewhere around me. When you were angry in Tihar, I came to you and sat on your lap because I wanted you to cheer up-the photograph reminds me all. And, your fights and cries in the corridor with Didi and Aasha and doesn’t matter how much you deny-you having sandheko bhatta– all those are still fresh in my mind. Perhaps I can write an entire books entitled “Memories” but the thing is that now, all those are coming back and it feels so weird and certainly, a little sad.

The time when you, me and Didi had gone to Phewa Taal, Chinese Gumba, Gaaun, it feels amazing now and I’m more than glad now that I finally left the computer alone for a few moments(Or, was there load-shedding then?) Shouting “Nisha” to let you know that I was home and then never calling you by your good-name(The Namesake Effect), no matter how much Mummy scolded me for that, thats what I remember now. Going to Jai Nepal for Maussam and then getting tonnes of criticism and complaints from Barsha and Aasha, now I realize that it’s just such things-the special moments spent together, the teasing, the fights and the scoldings that we remember after long. Draining your cell-phone’s battery and then getting your scolding-that was fun and now, I crave for yet another opportunity to do all that again. Touching your bed again and again when you were asleep and the nags then-I wonder if I’d keep touching your bed every second to hear your scolding yet another time. And, the Don 2 show with a visit to Garden of Dreams we never went to, I remember your persuasion to get my beard shaved.I guess, now, I’d shave it every time you said to without any nagging.

With all those memories around, I just wonder if something that they call a time-machine will ever be built. If yes, certainly I’d die to go back to the time when everything was so good; when I wasn’t worrying about all the meaningless stuffs and rather fighting and playing with you every morning to wake up. Yeah, you’re going to say stuffs like, “I’m so near. I’ll come to see you, and Aasha-Barsha regularly. We can live those moments once again.” But, irrespective of all that, I really miss those moments and something as sweet can never be re-created. And, this is what makes me sad. Not the feeling that now you live under another roof but the feeling that I won’t be able to shout “Nisha” when I reach home, the feeling that I won’t get to exhaust your cell-phone battery, the feeling that you won’t be on the bed next to mine and I can’t call your name anytime I wish and you won’t be there to reply, “Hazur, Kaancha!”; the feeling that I won’t get to persuade you to play just a single game of Kaalibudi; the feeling that I won’t be asking you “When are you leaving?” the next time you’re home and the feeling that you won’t be saying “Kasto cha bye you gadha! Aauna pachaina kahile zanches bhanera sodcha!”

Yeah, things will never ever be the same. But, like Helen Keller said “Face the sunshine and you never see the shadow!”, let’s think about life ahead. You’re always gonna be near me and I’ll always come to take you and Didi home on Teej; I’ll always take all of you fours’ photo on Tihar and I’ll always play at least a single game of Kaalibudi with you. There’s nothing we can do about the things that need to be done in life and there’s no point turning back to life and crying recalling the sweet memories. And, there’ nothing more I can do apart from wishing you all the best for your life. And, hey, I still remember the thing, “Pakh Na! Ma talai America bata kehi pani pathaidinna kere!” Though there are seas of memories behind me, storms of wishes to live life like before with all of us together, apart from wishing you good luck, now there is nothing left to be said. Nothing!

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