(Had to leave Itahari, but permanently? I doubt….)
The plane was ready to take off and I was holding her hand, not because, I was afraid of the plane taking off but because I was afraid that she would leave me at the last moment. She didn’t betray, however. I knew that it was necessary for her to attend her work but still she was with me. During the whole plane ride, the disappointment of leaving Itahari was the only thing hovering my head. I was hoping some miracles to happen in the plane so that we could return back to Itahari, like I wanted the weather to go bad, or some emergency to come up so that we shouldn’t have to go Kathmandu. But nothing like that happened anyway. I tried to distract myself by grabbing handful of chocolates from the air hostess and having them one by one. The plane landed and my heart pounded, pounded to meet my own parents.
Phew! Even after so many prayers for not reaching Kathmandu, I happened to breathe in the air of the Kathmandu city: the city of dreams (which was a city of disappointment for me though). Aunt took me to the taxi when there was no sign of my parents. But just after I stepped inside the taxi, two heads showed up through the window.
“Junu”, they said with the widest grin in their face. “Junu”: the name given by my uncle. Well, earlier, my name was Muna. The priest had named me “Muna” during my naming ceremony. It was a quite nice name compared to other names the people got during their naming ceremony. That was the time when the tea brand “Muna Chiya” had stolen the market of tea through advertisements and other marketing techniques. My grandma says that everybody used to tease me as my name matched a tea brand and because I came home upset at it, my uncle decided to change my name. After that, I was no longer Muna.
Yes, there were my parents, who were very happy to see me. But there was also me whose whole body was getting numb to see them. Ah! Thank god I was going with my aunt in the taxi and not with my parents. So I came home. My luggage was unloaded from the taxi and taken to our home and I guess same happened to me.
Few days passed. I didn’t have to face much problem in adjusting in Kathmandu as I had my aunt with me all the time. It was already middle of the night. I woke up from my sleep. When I didn’t find my aunt beside me I followed the direction from where little buzzes were hitting my ears. My parents and my aunt were having a conversation, serious one maybe. I stood there with the intention of eavesdropping their talk. They were talking about aunt going back to Itahari. I was devastated.
I had come to Kathmandu with a condition that my aunt would also come to live with me. I had come here thinking we all were going to live together. But now I found that it was a false prediction. All my expectations were drowning. My beloved aunt was going to leave me forever with two aliens whom I had to address as my parents. But just to be sure, I directly went to her and asked if she was really going back. She couldn’t say no. Sensing the expression of a betrayed person in me, she immediately handled the situation. She said she had to leave Kathmandu the next day as some urgent work came upon her suddenly and also said that my grandparents would come soon, maybe after a week, to fetch me to Itahari once again. I was little upset as I had to live here without my aunt for a week but also very happy at the same time as it was only a matter of 7 days and I wouldn’t have to live here anymore.
Maybe, my parents understood me and they finally realized that I would be happier with my aunt and uncle rather than with them, or maybe my aunt also couldn’t let go of me and her work at the same time, or maybe my uncle missed me, or maybe my parents understood that they wouldn’t be able to take care of me nicely. Whatever the reasons were, I loved my parents at that moment.
I remember when my aunt was packing her clothes to take it to Itahari. I gave her few of my clothes when I saw an extra room in her suitcase, thinking that if she took these clothes with her, my bag would be lighter afterwards. Well, she made some excuse and didn’t take it with her. But secretly, I kept a beautiful green frock which had multiple layers, silk, net, cotton and had a flower in its chest inside her suitcase so that I won’t forget that dress to take Itahari afterwards. Actually, it was my favorite dress. She had bought that dress for me in my birthday. So finally I bid her a goodbye assured to see her again in a week and she left Kathmandu with a kiss in my cheek.
My parents were not that bad actually. They didn’t really cause me any harm. They gave me meals twice a day and also somewhat delicious lunch at the midday. They cared for me, obviously. My dad hadn’t forgotten the way he used to make me fly for few seconds. In fact, he used to throw me high above, so high that I could actually touch the ceiling of our house and then catch me when I returned back from the sky. And yes, I never stepped back in enjoying this flight to the fullest. I used to stretch my hands as much as I could and try my best to touch the ceiling. This was something that made me feel very powerful and special. I guess, this is one of the most beautiful memories imprinted in my brain about my father. On the other hand, my mom used to bathe me, comb my hair, cut my nails. It’s not that I didn’t find her kinda sweet. Yeah, oil massage was something that I hated whenever she used to do it. The oily sensation in my head slowly transferring to my face used to irritate me. Still, saying that it would make my hair grow thicker and nicer, she didn’t stop experimenting with my hair. Another thing I disliked about my mom was that every night, she used to force me for taking a glass of milk. I hated milk and I hate it till the date. During those days, I also found out about my dad’s extra concern for having all the things in their right places. Well, still, thinking that I didn’t have to tolerate this for very long, I let them do whatever they liked and did whatever they said. After all, I was just a guest for a few days.
One fine afternoon, my mother talked about admitting me in a school nearby. I was startled. I was scared if they changed their mind. The seven days which I had been waiting desperately to finish, was almost going to be over and my mom was talking about my admission in the nearby school. Confused, scared, and angry at the same time, I went to my mom and told her confidently that I was here with them just for few days. I told them that once my grandfather comes to Kathmandu, I would no longer be with them. My mom immediately reacted to my innocent statements. She denied that I was not going to be with them anymore and tried to say that I was to sit there with them from now onwards. This almost made me sick. The thought of living with these people alone was killing me from inside. But my dad was quite clever. When I started feeling weak and bewildered, my father affirmed that I will go Itahari as soon as my grandfather comes Kathmandu for sure. I was little relieved when he said this but couldn’t trust on him totally. He said that they will have to go to their work from the next day so just to help me pass my time, they were thinking about sending me to school for few days. I had to believe them. I was admitted to the school.
(So I was made to sit in one of the seats inside a classroom which had “Grade One” board hanging at its door. New student I was. Being a new student in a senior’s class was in itself quite scary. Though, I waited, trying hard to seem as cool and calm as I could…)
to be continued...