It was already 10 o’clock in the evening. Lights were off. My dad was not at home. I was already covered by the blankets in the bed when I realized that I was thirsty. Though it was late March by now, the cold air still haunted our house. I was too lazy to get up from the cozy, warm bed and head towards the kitchen in a thin top amidst the unkind weather. But my thirst outweighed my laziness, so I had to get up from there and proceed towards the kitchen. I could hear the silent sniffs of my brother and my mother when I reached near their room. My mom is usually irritated when somebody turns on the light while she’s sleeping. Dad had to stand in a defendant’s box whenever he used to do this. So without making a sound I tried to guess the location of the thermos and the glass. After having some sips of hot water, I sneaked out of the kitchen. The cool air slithering inside my top was already able to chase my somnolence away. So I took my phone to the bed and started surfing Facebook. Same old posts filled up my news feed. I was already bored and was about to lock my phone and try to sleep until the messenger bubble popped up.
I opened it. It was the message in the group box. I opened the chat box just to see a sticker sent by my friend. Then I also sent one of the lame sticker hoping someone to notice me and talk to me. Well I was lucky. It was Aavash who talked about my recent post. We started to talk and then gradually, other members of the group also came to join us. The topic of the conversation turned into a childhood discussion. Everybody shared their childhood expression and yes, I too shared mine. (Some of them, I exaggerated though.) The conversation was going more and more interesting, and intense. We shared golden moments, happiest, scariest, most mischievous and so on. And all of a sudden there was a power cut in the house. The increasing endophrins hormone which had been ruling my body and mind was now suddenly invaded by norepinephrine hormone.
I didn’t want to sleep. I wanted to talk something more about childhood. I wanted to hear something more about all the mischiefs and stupid lame events of the childhood. I wanted to feel the innocence for some more stretch. However, I was not lucky this time. Still all my childhood memories started haunting me. Good, bad, interesting, boring, scary, pleasant, everything I could remember. I was plunged in my own world of reminiscence.
I was a normal child weighing 2.3 kilos when I was born. My father was taken aback when he saw me for the first time. He was shocked to see a human creature who was as heavy as a beginner’s dumbbell and as small as a shrew. He even had a doubt if there was any complication in the fetus development. Maybe, it was because he had never seen a newborn baby. Obviously I don’t remember any of these. Born to Mr. Kishowr Dhakal and Mrs. Uma Dhakal, I was the newest member to the Dhakal family: a middle class family residing in a rent in Baneshwor. I had my grandparents and 3 uncles including my parents in my family that time.
Growing me up was not as easy as it was expected. My parents were just beginning to create the path of their career at that time. So financially, our family was not that stable. On top of that as I was the first child of my generation, the chaos in taking care of me was not a new thing. My weak immune and my stubbornness added the load. But still, I was brought up with a lot of love and care by the whole family. Now when I look back to my life, I can only recall some moments of my life after I was four years old. Till then I know myself as a behaved and obedient child. People say that when I was a kid, I was more matured than I am now. Except for showing tantrums while eating and plugging in my fingers inside the electric port, I haven’t heard of any disruptions I caused till the date during my childhood.
When I was 4, I went to Itahari with my grandparents to stay with them and my uncle and aunt. Actually my parents were both working in a school that time, and there was nobody to take care of me there. So one fine morning, I was made to hold my grandfather’s finger and reach Itahari.
“Wow, she is going to be my new aunt. How beautiful she is!” This is what I thought when I saw my youngest aunt during her marriage. And obviously, she was very beautiful. Seeing my friends’ beautiful moms, attractive teachers, other gracious ladies in some family functions, I also secretly wanted someone beautiful in my family. And there she was. Decked out in a red Banarasi saree with a red veil hanging from her high bun, she gave a naive and shy expression which made me love her right that moment. This was her wedding day which I’m describing now. And I was going to live with that beautiful lady for a year or so. I was excited and happy, so happy that my disappointment in leaving my parents which was haunting me before slowly faded away.
My excitement wasn’t worthless. She was indeed a very kind and loving person. She was funny, she was a great teacher, and a wonderful friend as well. Bringing me new stunning clothes, taking me to somewhere out for lunch, bringing me chocolates, playing with me, watching movies with me were some of her few ways of pampering me. I really loved being with her, so much that I wanted to live with her forever. Of course my uncle was also very cool. Living in Itahari was indeed one of my favorite memories of my life. Each and every day used to be like a new adventure, let alone the birthdays, festivals and other occasions. I was the girl with good grades, amazing dresses, cute smile, jolly personality, obedient behavior, cool aunt, and number of loving persons. Be it school, be it neighborhood, be it a family function, be it home, everywhere I was a star, or at least I never felt the other way. I loved my life.
Soon the time came when I had to leave this part of the world. My aunt had to move to another city due to her work. My grandparents had to go India for some medical treatments. My uncle used to be busy with his work. Left was me. I had to move from Itahari. Even the thought of leaving this fairy tale was scaring me. I really didn’t want to let go of my aunt and this kind of life. Everyone tried to convince me to come back to Kathmandu and start living with my parents. I was just disheartened by all this.
My second uncle with his family was also there in Itahari for few days. He then offered me to go with his family to Dhankuta, where he used to live. That also didn’t sound bad that time. I had good memories with him and aunt. Strange! I wanted to sit with my youngest uncle and aunt, I was ready to live with my second uncle as an alternative, but I never wanted to go home. I didn’t want to live with my parents. That was probably because I had fascinating nice memories only with them instead of my parents. Maybe because they were busy in their works that I didn’t spend enough time with them to create memories. So, I was almost convinced to go along with the second uncle until somebody gestured me to say no to him. That was kinda weird though because I thought that just like the people I had in my life, everybody else was also fond of me, but the table turned here. I thought that person didn’t want me to go with uncle so finally I said no to my uncle. This was possibly the first time I knew that not everybody likes me. I was left with no choices except to go Kathmandu with my parents which was almost a nightmare to me. When I didn’t want to leave Kathmandu I had to come Itahari and now that I don’t want to leave this place, I am forced to go back to where I came from. My youngest aunt finally persuaded me saying she would come along with me to Kathmandu. She, with all her efforts, convinced me to go Kathmandu saying she won’t leave me alone with my parents. So there I was, with the hard heart, at the airport in front of the huge airplane ready to come back to Kathmandu.
To be continued...