Sunday, April 10, 2011

Meera....'A normal girl among us'

It was the third day of Nepal bandha. I was feeling bored and looking for a good way to pass my day. I took a book called “Sold” written my ‘Patricia’ from my book shelf and a packet of ‘Lays’ chips from the kitchen and entered my room to continue with the story. But the kids playing next to our building really disturbed me. I found myself eating the lays only and the book was on the pillow opened with the book marker placed in between. My room was a total mess. My table was crammed with books, a mug, my pen drive, article papers from the workshop, camera, and red nail polish and so on. The Om (nepali) print with the psychedelic color that lay on the wall added a charm to my room. I headed to the TV room to watch some good programs. The repeated Indian reality show programs made me sleepy when my Amala (mother) with a loud shouted,
“These Nepal bandhas don’t even let us have fresh vegetables”. She was showing me the shopping bag. I nodded as she was saying all those things about vegetables and Nepal bandha. I was really not interested to listen to same monotonous issues. I was scratching my head for a way and thinking for a way to skip from the situation when I received a call from a friend of mine and she said
“Oie Lhamo lets go for cycling”.
We agreed and headed towards Tusal where one of our friends was waiting. We left from home with the doubt if we could get any cycles at that time for hire. We could see everyone on the road cycling from every age. People were walking on the road. Kids were playing badminton, football in the middle of the way; youngsters were buying peanuts, ice cream, fruits from the vendors. Rickshaw riders seemed really happy with the tourist, though they were drenched in sweat.
We walked through tusal. As we passed through the gate of Boudha Gemini Supermarket, we asked one of the passersby and got to know that cycles were available for hire in Kumarigal. The moment when we arrived at Kumarigal, there weren’t any cycles. Without any choice we had to wait for the cycles in the nearby local restaurant. . It was a simple an ordinary restaurant. A single room with the kitchen attached with two tables. We were little hungry and one of my friend asked if anyone of us wanted to have something. Since we had plenty of time to wait, we ordered Vegetable chowmein, Roti and Alu, omelet and tea and decided that we would share them all. It was an ordinary restaurant.
We were talking with each other about the condition of Nepal and the people, the society and the way the people think in the society. Just then a girl’s threw her voice in between our conversation but we didn’t give any importance to her and continued with our own chat but time and again she interrupted, trying to make her presence in our discussion. Her constant act made me give a keen look at her.
She had a look of a teenage girl. Her eyes were beautifully art done with the black eye liner of the seventies Bollywood actresses which can easily grab the attention of anyone. Her messy haircut (totally short from back and a long threat like at the check bones) gave her the look of a rock star. Her golden, red and blue colored bangles (which now a day’s teenagers would try to match with their style and clothes) sprinkled a pinch of lady look in her. She was wearing a simple red and black v-neck shirt with the light blue skinny jeans. A black converse shoe which had double laces of black and white added a style and well I could notice her studded leather belt. She has a beautiful clear skin, no blemishes and not even a single pimple on her face. I have heard that beauty is the skin deep and yes looking at her skin, it made me feel that “she really had the beauty”. She had pierced her left side nose with a silver ring which actually gave me the feel that she can be either Rai limbu or Gurung.
She was reading a Nepali newspaper and said “kya Bhopal jagada bhayecha mao-vadi ra police ko yaar” to one of the young guy who was next to her. The guy was sleeping with his arms folded on the table. But he didn’t avoid whenever the girl asked something. She was ordering this and that to the guys around her, who gave me the feel that she was one of the powerful character of a woman of the Indian movie.
One fair guy with yellow green colored shaggy hair appeared suddenly and said something in a very low voice to her. She then got up and went inside the restaurant with the guy searching for something in her jeans pocket. After a couple of minutes they came out and she said something which was out of my knowledge. The guy left and she came back to the place where she was sitting before. I looked at her hands which were swollen. The way she spoke and the way she pronounced the words were uncertain and it seemed as if something was wrong with this girl. She looked sleepy and it would take a while to make her understand what we are actually talking about. I was very much interested to know this girl who seemed really gutsy about every word she uttered. Her every sentence gave me this vibe that she was indeed a local youngster spending their time hanging in groups. She was frequently using the words Saale, hawrey, as though she enjoyed it.
Her every movement captivated me and I asked her, “timi k garchau”? She looked at me and said “mero budha le malai hercha.”
She seemed proud while answering this, she looked happy with whoever he was. She seemed too young to get in a relation like marriage but when I asked her about her age, she was 25. Then without a delay I made my comment to appreciate about her beauty. She was with all smiles. With a surprised expression on my face, unbelieving the fact that she was 25 I said immediately “timi lai thaha cha ,timi dheray ramri chau ra timi pacchis varsha ko jasto dekhdaina” (do you know how beautiful you are and you don’t look like 25) with unwilling smile on her face she looked at everyone and said “k garne ramri bhayera ,na yo ramri aanuhar chaatnu milcha na khanu milcha.
Her certain answer made me know that this girl has seen a lot of things about this society and her life. Though her answer sounded bit too straight forward but there lied a bitter truth which is accepted by most of the people.
The fair guy popped again and whispers something in her ear, with an annoying appearance on her face she said
“la la pachas rupaiya baadi deu bhana”.
I was totally unheard of what was actually going on, what were they murmuring about, what relation she had with those young guys.
The fair guy left again and the next time he came, he handed her with some money. She put it in her jeans pocket without even counting.
I was anxious to know what the money was for. She looked happy. She looked at the guy next to her and said ‘Oie jata…churot kinera lyau ta…
“Paisa chaina”…..the guy.
“Salee…la hawrey…firta paisa ta rakh…” Her.
The guy came back chewing a gum, he handed the packet to her. She took out a cigarette and guy picked up the lighter from the table and offered to light it. She started to enjoy every puff. Every time she inhaled the smoke, she would close her eyes..and I don’t know why….
I asked her name and she replied “Meera”.
She added ‘Tusal ko Meera bhanera sodhnu…va lady punch Sabai le chincha”
“ho ra..sabailey chincha timilay…tyeso bhaye timro dherai saathi cha hola ….hoina Meera?”
“Saathi ?“giving an irritating smile…’kasko saathi ko saathi”?meera ko kohi saathi chainna”. Said Meera.
She didn’t give any further answer. She remained quiet. She ordered chowmein, momo , and sukuti for packing. She even told the restaurant didi to make it quick with Achar separately. When asked where she was going she said “mama ko ghar ma janu parcha buda lai khana dinnu”
“Mama ko ghar…… Buda lai khana……… kina” I asked
“Mama ok ghar bhanaiko…police chauki ke”…
She told us in short that she and her husband got caught by police while dealing with the drug on the way to Maitinagar. But she was later released when her so called husband reported that drugs were not related to her and she was innocent about it.
I found myself talking to a drug dealer. It was fascinating for me to come to know about these people. Their every gesture seemed different and I found myself interested to know more. I liked the way she was talking, though her words sounded like bit too harsh or straight forward but I like the way she spoke. There wasn’t any pretention or consciousness in her and I really liked it.
I asked her if she was involved in any drug. Without any hesitation she replied “brown”.
I was like “brown?”. She said “maile drug chodney try gareko ho tara ma relapse bhaye”
There was frustrating expression on her face when she revealed this fact. This single word “relapse” made her shattered and I can see that in her face.
Restaurant didi hurriedly came with the packing and said “Meera baheni timro packing”
“ Katti bhayo didi”
“Ek sai pachatar”(Rs 175)
Meera stood up. Left the money on the table.
She gave smile to everyone of us. Before leaving she told one of the guy to hire cycles for us. She turned back again and holding the packet, she said…kaam paryo bhane lady punch lai samjinnu…

Smile to Life

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