Saturday, March 26, 2011

peeping in Slum dogs life!


                                                          Akash, his little sister with mother :)

       Akash's kholi       


My upsetting face was sparkled when I saw an image of a boy in shabby clothes and untidy serious face tightening a rope around pile of garbage which was bigger than him. He was giving the best knots so that it won’t get slip. He was about four feet tall. He was in slippers that seem like being use for long time. His navy color trouser made me doubt if he goes to the ‘Phulbari School’.
Hey! Timro naan k ho?
Rohit ; he replied in a low voice lifting the pile of garbage on his head. It was really big, which made me puzzled he won’t be able to carry them on his head.  But I was wrong and I am glad he proved me wrong. I felt that he is the man of his age. A real man!
We were walking together from Tinchuli and talking at the same time. I asked him many questions. I was lucky that a boy with serious face gave me all the answers.
Rohit is 12. He is living in a place behind the boudha stupa with his family. His eyes were wide opened when I asked him if I can come to his place to see him. He agreed. He left from phulbari saying that he has to sell the garbage that was on his head. He even mentioned that he will get 10 rupees per kg. I wonder if he got 50 rupees that day.
I along with my sister went to the place where Rohit was living. We passed by the ‘Boudha Siddhartha Hall’. I had some idea of that place from a long time. But this time I was going there for real with a reason and for the first time. We saw the place fully occupied with very small temporary houses covered with a black and blue plastic roof. I could dare to enter that place; scared of being yelled without knowing the reason which happens over and over again among people with misunderstanding. I didn’t know what to do. I saw number of kids playing cricket at the near open field. I went near and I came to know that they were living right there with their families. I asked them if one could go and call Rohit for me. I felt bad when they told me; he left a day before along with his family. But another Rohit among the kids I was talking. I came to know Akash, Bikki and Raju. They were very nice talking to me. I have always adored kids and talking to these kids is no wonder an amazing feeling within me. I asked them if they will be here around 4:30 in the afternoon or if I can see them again. They agreed with beautiful expressions on their face. We left and it was dawn by the time we left.
I came home early from office. We had some sweater, stationeries, and colors hand bags from office to distribute. We reached to the place again. Everyone there calls it “Jhopat basti”. Few nepali kids saw us from a house that was next to the place we were heading “Jhopat basti”.
Oh my goodness; I saw the toilet of the “basti” which was nothing like a toilet but a a place rolled with torn old clothes and hollow tin supported with some tiny wood. One can easily notice what a person might be doing inside. The smell was Awww…I had to cover my nose as quickly as I could. i saw dogs, ducks, hens, chickens, goats ,cow living very friendly. One can easily see the take off planes from there.
The place was a complete mess. May be I didn’t see it yesterday because it was already dark by the time we got there. There was a boy holding a tiny girl around his arm. I asked him if he could call Akash. He disappeared without a word but within a minute I saw Akash coming to me. Thanks to the boy.
Akash took us in his house. They call it “kholi”. As I got near to the place, the kholi’s more looked like bars of bamboos covered with black and blue plastics. I felt bad to see their house condition but wait wait….they had color Television of 24 inches with latest DVD’s and music system almost in every kholi. A music system, god damn! I don’t have it of my own. I could hear the fighting sounds in the Hindi movies. Oh god!  Akash made me feel fine in his kholi. I was feeling free on the bed. The kids surrounded me. We gave away sweaters, hats, colors, bags, pens, pencils etc one by one but trust me it wasn’t an easy thing to do. They were shouting ‘aye didi, bachhay ko deydo! Time and again, this was nothing but noises disturbing the kid sleeping  next to us.
I asked Akash’s mother about how they manage everything here. Do every kids here go to school for education? Are they sponsored for their education or going to a government school? How do they carry on through the bad weather? How do they get drinking water? Blah blah blah…..
They do have sponsors to educate the children. The most of the kids were attending school. They have a drinking water through the underground pumps. There are more than three hundred people living in more than hundred kholi’s of that ‘basti’ . They had only four temporary toilets which more looked like a tiny hut built by play group kids. Most of the morning its difficulty for people who waits in the queue for the toilet and one makes everyone waits…then again noises aroused. Some clever people make their way to use the public toilet opposite of the Boudha Gate. Now that’s something good to get away.
They had to pay two hundreds of the land rent per month, three hundreds rupees for the electricity and one hundred for the toilet, which makes  six hundreds of expenses per month from every family. I don’t see the use of the toilet when most of you go to the public one right, everyone laughed. Akash’s mother has been living in this kholi for more than twenty years by now. She said she got married here and gave birth to her three children here in the same kholi. I was like….What??????
Akash was near me. I was feeling very much easy sitting next to him. He was calm and was sharing views of the elders of the kholi’s. I gave Akash some extra things than other kids because I liked him which is so simple to understand. I was thinking to leave because it was getting dark.
Even when I left meeting other kids, the feeling of meeting Rohit was still alive. This assured me of meeting him no matter what. Back home, we meet many other children playing in group, distributed the leftover stationeries and came back with a smile comprehending other sweet smiles on the innocent faces. But we missed to witness a Real Smile. Rohit’s Smile!

                        http://www.http// for more photographs.
                             Dolkar lhamo mashutzo

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The 10th March...Uprising Day in Boudha

The 10 march comes every year for sure. As I am writing about this particular date, there is obvious reasons to be a necessarily of some realistic reasons. It’s been like a week that the 10th march day has been passed by. But there are certain reasons, bothering me to speak out.  But honestly saying, I can’t stand in front of a crowd and give a leader’s speech.  So I thought why should not I write down my words here and post it in my blog. I can be wrong here, my thoughts can be immature, my words may sound impolite, and I may stand to look Naive. But who cares because I want to speak out some words which I will do no matter what. Because this is my blog and I can write anything right here in my world when I am living in a country of freedom….(grin of disguise)
The date 10th march stand as the one of the unforgettable date for every Tibetan living in far across the oceans; doesn’t matter if its east west. This day reminds all the Tibetan about that they have a country called Tibet. Since after the uninvited invasion of the Chinese into the land called roof of the world, During This day Tibetans gather in group to make pitchy voice to make everyone know that we are longing for freedom of nation which is Tibet. There will be scenes of the magnificent national flag in everyone’s hand. But why only on this particular day? Do we have to wait for the 10th march to hold the flag which is after a year? We only want out country on the 10th of March.  Or the rest of the days are like vacation from the lust of country. I have never asked anyone this question till now, but I guess everyone has to ask it even if you are alone in a dark room. But do it, as I have done it and I came up with the thought to write about the 10th of March.
It was around like 9:15 when I got inside the samtenling monastery of boudha. I was pleased to see the number of the people gathered to remember this day. When I got in, I could see youngsters wearing shirt with the slogan like ‘Free Tibet’, ‘Stop killing in Tibet’. I saw the same slogan in the forehead of most of the people. It was indeed a craze for nation to witness. The art of Tibet Flag on the faces was awesome.
I was there among the crowd singing the national anthem with many people. I was lucky to get a small hand flag. Felt near to my country. The uprising anthem was started with its strong vows. I saw a woman shedding tears at the corner. Her tears made me acknowledge me that she had seen hell lot of hard times. Going over that woman and her tears; I was murmuring om mani pedme hun within my heart. I know that makes no sense at all. But really, that’s what I came across. I may sound timid by my words.
Everything was going well. From the active view of the ‘Free Tibet’ banner with the numbers of hot air balloons flying in the high sky as if like the God and Goddess were right there  getting that message of FreeTibe to the youngsters participation.
Out of blue; we want free Tibet, UNO; we want justice started to get louder and louder. Cops surrounded the exit gate like there is no way to out with all their own protection of uniform for themselves. People started to shout and shout till their throat dried. I saw no one of the Tibetan so called leaders or the people who always gets ready to be seated as the chief guest with a flower badge at their right left chest trying to escape from the happening where as I could see an elderly man of his age around 50, standing with his flag right in front of the cops erect, with his Tibetan top as written ‘stop killing in Tibet’. A woman right in front of my eyes dragged by her hair to a distance, but she remained still not to release her flag from her hand. But the cops were dragging her hairs like she has no life. Hats off for her willpower I should say.
Medias and journalists and the photographers were busy with their work to get the best picture to get them in the newspaper with their name written.
I could see the crowd being darted by the cops and were charged sticks. The image of a girl wearing a purple shirt captured my eyes. She was at the pavement of the boudha rubbing her left side of Arm; I could see the pain in her eyes. She was replying back with continuous words which I didn’t hear. She was hurt.
I heard that a husband was beaten and taken him to the custody of Tusal when the wife got fainted right there.
The whole occurrence was simply the same as the years in the past of the 10th march. No wonder it will be the same in the coming year. The Medias will make it headlines for a day ‘Tibetan protest clashes with the Nepali police’ ’20 injured and 13 in custody’. No wonder the VOA news and the radio free Asia will post this news as a fresh catch then what…??
Do we want to be charged by the lathis and the awful comments that we Tibetan in Boudha witness this year in the coming years? Will the banners and the slogans for a day will be enough to remember our country?
I feel like there should be ideas to smart result rather than an anger of depth. All we have to remember is that;
A country is not a gift that you can get by raising your voice.
A nation is not reward that you can get over in a simple way.
A country is not football game that you can see a winner after you score the goal.
I guess the youngsters should come along with a smart ideas rather than making people get injured in a severe way. Can I suspect smart ideas on the way?
When I was in school as a kid, I remember our elders made comment by patting on our shoulders; now you are the future seeds of Tibet. I used to wonder Are we? How can a seed plant a Nation?
Now looking at the kids in the 10th march I feel like passing the same line though I am not that old to pat on their shoulder and begin with my words; now you are the future seeds of Tibet.
Are we going to witness the same slogans and the same protest ten years down the line? I am still thinking though I am not the one who has all the answers. With this article I hope to see the love for the nation so that one can speak out your mind through my Blog. Your views will be welcome for a change in our Tibetan society for a better.

photographs by dolkar lhamo mashutzo

Saturday, March 12, 2011

conversation with a mother and wife...(9/1/2010) 10:36 pm.

I was back to my work from orthopedic hospital after spending few hours with the handicapped children. I was showing the pictures to my fellows when I saw Mrs. Maskey sitting on a chair lost in her own world of thinking I bet.  She is a mother of two children and a very good house wife of todays. She was looking well-groomed with the brown jacket and the boot to complement the looks. Her curly hair was freed. Her big eyes were like wide Silent Ocean.
I actually don’t remember how all this started, all I could remember was the moment when I saw her loitering like there wasn’t anything  to stop her which brought me this anxiety, what she might be thinking?. What was going in her mind that made her think in such immense way? Questions and questions started to swim in my minuscule mind. I went near to her, approached her with my words as we normally do speak out over a topic time and again and discuss.
I asked her; we sometimes bewildered about the fact that life is sometimes funny, isn’t it? It isn’t the way it has to be. How people see it from the outer appearance is way too far different from the fact which is hiding.
Her eyes wider opened, she gave me an astonished appearance and uttered her words; Lhamo! Time brings changes and you have to walk according to changes. People are very much interested to interfere about someone else life and that’s pathetic. She stopped her words there with a long breath as if she has been waiting for a fresh air to blow her disturbed mind.
We were lost in our conversation which started with an ease. We were talking about everything that was bothering within our mind. I felt like we were both looking for this moment of sharing where we were talking about everything like family, career, passion, aim, society etc. Our conversation started from our daily life’s activities to our passion to dreams.
She can make you understand her views with the simplicity of her words of expressions. The plus point is her expressions of face which goes well with everything she wants to make other understand. This will lead to an endless conversation. There was a kind of anxiety to talk to her and listen to her because the more I was talking to her the more ideas and opinions I was storing within me and to some instant I was agreeing with her views.
I took that chance to ask her if she was happy and have there been any changes in her life from a single independent girl to a married woman?
 She looked at me but I was damn sure she wasn’t puzzled what to answer right the moment; gave me this smile that left a question within a question in me and with a free feeling of mind I was asking the questions to the right person. She smiled again and looked here and there. She turned to me tightening her brown jacket from the waist and replied; Life brings vast changes after the marriage. Someone who has been your dear to life like parents, siblings, and yes the career will become secondary when we tied our knot with our husband. You would try to make your husband happy in every possible way. You will start to wear dresses that your husband think suits you rather than your taste. You will get yourself involved in the activities which your husband cherishes rather than you desires. You will try everything single way to impress your husband. My ears were completely opened to her. And I loved watching her expressions. When I was listening to her, I was thinking aside, the presence of a husband can be that strong in a woman’s life?
I was mesmerized when she shared me some of her life’s experience after the marriage. She shared some of personal practices which she still remembers and upsets her. She told me that their first son used to spend so much of time with her father that, whenever anyone asked him about the name of his parents, he would come up with her name and his grandfather’s name which shattered her which actually recalled her that her husband wasn’t giving the possibility of time to family. I wonder how complex it had been to her to face this common truth.
She added making it as a part of joke; see Lhamo it’s actually hard to be a wife of a person who is so devoted and craze for work. I asked; is it?
She giggled.
I accept the fact that man has to be the person who leads the family and gives an identity to family. It must have been very important for Mr. Maskey to earn success for his own reasons. But so far listening to Mrs. Maskey I believe, chasing those unbreakable dreams of success for her husband, he lost some of the very important moments of his life. The moment when a father notices his first child utters the first word ‘baba’, the first walk and the very first naughty act which makes very father go laugh whole day remembering the act which are like priceless to every Father.
When I am writing this, I can feel the emptiness as being a human. I wonder how Mrs. Maskey had been handling with all these things. May be this is why people says; Women are brave.
I think within that strong mother’s heart, there are many of her own dreams, her wishes, her passions, her likes which she has been hiding till the date.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Squealing Pain v/s beautiful smile ?????

I was in office remembering the old childhood days and the moments I had with my friends. I was slightly smiling when I remembered the silly moments I spent with my silly friends. Few faces really made me feel superior that moment when I had nothing hectic to do at work. I remember one of my friends particularly. I have really missed her after all these ages.
She is a beautiful woman now. Her brown sparkling skin can attract anyone. Her small peanut like eyes has dreams that she never shared. She stands tall enough to make people feel uneasy standing next to her. Yes’ she is indeed a beautiful woman now.
I had her number; I was thinking to meet her as there is the connection of so called feeling between us though we hardly meet in front of the people. I dialed her number crossing my fingers and biting the pen at the same time.
Hello; someone answered.
Can I speak to Yangla please; name changed.
Woman in the phone told me to stay on the line….but I heard the footsteps and the words they were having in there through the phone.
Hello; (it was her)
Hey it’s me lhamo! How are you? I was thinking to meet you personally since it’s been like years we have not met. What you say?
She accepted and she was very soft through the phone. I can feel the words she was trying to say. But I convinced her to meet me. She agreed. And we decided to meet at Boudha right after half an hour.
I left from work to the place we decided to meet. I was walking to boudha, when I received a call from a number I didn’t recognize and it was her. She told me that she was right in front of the Double Dorjee restaurant of phulbari. I took the bigger steps to avoid the irritation of making her wait. When I got there, I saw someone looking at me and that was her. Oh my goodness, she was looking flawless with the same skin. She looked even more beautiful to me. She was there standing next to the wholesale shop, with the white top which covered her looking very decent with the jeans that made her figure go crazy as always. And the black heel in fact looked flying on her. She had shorter hair like the actress Kajol had in the movie called ‘Dushman’ if I am not wrong. All and all she was looking remarkable.
She looked at me and said; lhamo rang pey change chakduk (you have changed a lot)
Trying to be modest I said with a smile without fakeness; really have I?
She didn’t say much nor did I, but only god knew the truth that I really tremendously pleased to have a look at her and get to see her in such a good condition.
We made our way to the garden kitchen restaurant which is just like fifteen steps from the Double Dorjee restaurant. We entered in and we were welcomed by the normal brown menu on the table. She asked for a coffee where as I ordered for an ice lemon tea.
We were both silent for a while and didn’t know where to start the conversation. We were facing each other on the table which was big enough for six people I guess. She looked at me with a smile and asked; how is work lhamo?
Work is fine. But sometimes it gets hectic no matter how much I try my best to make it go at ease.
She again added; its good lhamo that you are working and you have a work that keeps your mind busy. Busy mind is better lhamo.
I was trying to understand the meaning to the words she impressively saying in a slow motion in something else and flicking the ring of her middle finger frequently.
Our tea and lemon ice tea were served. Adding the sugar in the coffee she looked at me again and smiled. I smiled back. I was thinking of a way to make her feel comfortable enough so that she can share more of her words with me.
She added two table spoon of sugar and was stirring gently. I asked her if she was in touch with other school friends. Her answer was same like mine. Yea sometimes I get the glimpse of some of friends who vanishes like a wind.
I dipped the straw  the in glass, hit the ice with it and taking sip of the lemon tea, I asked her if she remember one of the moment back to our teenage, when we are in ‘city café’ where  you once said;
Lhamo, since you write your journal every day, do you mind writing about me in your diary so that you can keep this memory to remember what I went through and you can witnessed this time. So I am thinking to write about it now. I don’t know what you will think about this. I am sorry if I sound like naïve but I think I should capture your experiences of life though my words. Please if you do not mind.
I saw her eyes wide opened, she took a minute to think and giggled. That was little bit sarcastic.
I acted as if nothing was wrong about my approach. She looked at me and said; let me hear you when you finished it. I was like oh my god, I was happy but I failed to show my happiness. I was thinking that very moment what I will write, how will I start the story? God that was crazy.
She was trying to smile throughout the conversation but there was something wrong which I was not aware. Bewildered in my seat I asked her taking the chance to know more; how is life? She laughed, and with a fake smile she replied to me, “Life has never been nice to me. And I don’t expect anything now”.
Playing with the ring she said; what do you expect from a life of a single mother lhamo?
Life is really hard. It’s harder when people you love from heart do not understands and support. She told me that she was in relation with a guy who was really good looking. She said that she really loved him to death so she decided to tell the guy about her son and first husband. She said it was all going fine, but then whenever they had tiny quarrels over any matter , they guy would come up to her revealing her healed wound. He always made her felt like a cheap wrench which she was not in any case.
She was full of tears in the instant she uttered his name when I asked. I saw her love for the filthy guy who was not worthy for the love that she squealed with each drop of priceless tears. I was speechless. I didn’t get right way to raise her lonely spirits by heart. I couldn’t find the right word to say. Damn I hated that.  I was so naïve.
I asked her again; what if he again comes back to your life?
She smiled and with a gentle touch at her eyes making people unaware that she was dropping tears, she said; he won’t come back. I love him dearly, lhamo this is a truth. And I am a single mother which is inerasable truth. so I think, these two truth of my life will not get along. The more I think about these truths, I get more distressed. So I am just living a life now. I hope you understand me lhamo.
I was very much touched by her words and her life. She is beautiful which is not a doubt for any eyes whoever gets a glimpse of her. But I was wondering if the truth of her life makes this beauty go in vain.
I was very much worried though I didn’t show her. With my positive words, I made her happy by saying; dear, the person you love who doesn’t cherish your love means he is not the right person to be cherished.
There is someone else for you and I am sure about this dear. Just take a time off from all those ill feelings and get a life for yourself. You are beautiful and strong, all you need is that you have to realize that you are brave and that’s all. See tomorrow morning is going to be a new morning with new opinion. If you want people to change their thinking, first change your life. Then there will be a Change in your confidence which will persuade your life to happiness.
 Our tea and lemon tea were left cold.  We finished our words and it was dawn by the time. She told me that she had to go somewhere and I had to go to visit my dentist too. We left from there and departed with a wave to meet again to talk with so much of true feelings. she smiled back again before leaving which made me realized that her smile had never changed all that has changed is her life in a negative way which she was not responsible alone. She loved a man with her heart. Was that her mistake?
My Amala once told me when I was very young; Lhamo, being a girl means, taking the steps of life with well disciplined way. If a man turned into good from awkward world. He will always be greeted for his goodness that he has now. But whenever a girl makes a mistake, no matter how much she is better than any awkward men, she will always be annoyed for her single tiny mistake.
As I am writing this short story of a young beautiful woman who is going through the hardest time, I have a questions within me, I want to include here in my conclusion; Did she put up a mistake by falling in love? Did she make mistake in choosing the man? Will she ever be loved again like the last woman? Or will she ever find a man who can love her with her present?