Thursday, January 19, 2012

One fine Saturday evening..


It was a Saturday evening; I was on my foot down the swyambhu street.I was following my way to get to my destination. I saw an old Tibetan woman walking slowly looking down very carefully as if like she has lost something.
She looked really old. She might be over 70 and she looked really weak. Actually She looked like any ordinary Tibetan old
Grannies of her age who would collect mantras and circumambulation around Boudhanath and Swyambhu stupa.
She was wearing heavy Tibetan dress which was grey in color and had well-matched with a woolen sweater. She was wearing brown hat to protect herself from the heat of the sun. She had a round face, full of wrinkles, small eyes which winked often, she was wearing a thick power glass which seemed like, it had been remain unrepaired and one can easily notice the thread which had been nicely supporting one side of her Spectacle. She was wearing an interesting shoe which looked quite expensive as it had its name tag written “Adidas”.
Suddenly, my eyes caught on the back bag she was carrying. She was carrying two jumbo empty bottles of coke and sprite which grabbed my attention for a while which naturally aroused a kind of curiosity in me and I could not stop myself from asking the reason.
“Momola (Respect word pronounced to grannies in Tibetan) why are you carrying those empty bottles in your back bag”. 
She turned to me carefully and gave a beautiful smile. I was right there waiting for question to be answered. But without a single word, she left and continued to her walk. I was like Numb, and got lost as she didn’t even utter a word and left in silent. I felt like one of the statues around the Swoyambhu. With the confusion in my head I asked to myself  “God! Did I ask something wrong or it was too bad to question?”
I turned to her and found out that she had kept the distance of 10 to 15 steps and was still walking slowly. With the questions in my head I walked fast and followed her steps. Within no time I was soon by her side. I acted as if nothing really happened and stayed confident as if I didn’t get rejection. It was funny that, I was actually searching for a way to create a situation where we can share some words. We were sharing every steps together but without any word. If anyone would see us then, they would surely think that we are like a granny and a granddaughter walking together. This was really funny and I was still trying my best to start a word but was still scared if she would pass by me without a word. As I was walking with every pace with her, I would slightly look at her and try to smile again and again to make her feel good that I am trying to give her company but to my bad luck that was completely in her own world. She was still walking with her head down as if like she doesn’t care anything about what’s going around her. Silence remained for a while, I took a deep breath if disappointment and pouted face I was about to say her good bye. Without more ado, asked me
“Bhumo (girl pronounced in Tibetan) where are you from?” 
I was completely shocked and very happy that finally she spoke to me. My eyes wide open, with a polite expression on my face, I replied
“Momola, I am from Boudha” I smiled at her and finally this time she noticed me giving her smile. I was like “yes I did it”. 
She looked at me carefully and actually she was trying to read my expression. I stayed still with a smiling face. She again looked at me and asked
“So the empty bottles In my bag made u walk with me right?” 
I turned to her and said “Do you know you are beautiful and I am sure you must have been very beautiful when you were young.” 
With a loud laugh and slightly touching her eye glass, she said “you are very clever “. 
She instantly said "Everyday around this time I come here to do circumambulation, at the same time I bring two or three bottles to fill up water”. 
With the water in her back bag, she had to walk like around half an hour by her walk to get to her place. She was frequently reciting mantras with the thread of beads while talking. Her hands were dry and all wrinkled, her nails were long but clean. She would often touches her eyes, seemed like she had an eye infection. Her words were not clear while talking so I was like Lah Lah?( I beg your pardon, in a polite way). Through our short conversation I came to know that she was staying at the ‘old age home’, and she would get like hundred rupees every month for expenses from the old aged home. I was thinking, what a woman of her age would do with hundred rupees a month and what can it cover of her needs. Questions rolled over me and at the same time, the Green colored note with the rhino animals print of it haunted in front of me. 
With so many questions in my head, i was feeling confused, whether I should ask them or not. I thought this is the moment I have to capture and to get to know her. So I swiftly asked “ if she had a family or children?” 
She stood silence for while. I know the question wasn’t difficult but the question itself had emotional stories of her life.
We took a rest at one of the bench beside the road where there were beautiful flowers. She turned to the left side (I was at her right side) and took deep breath. She slightly put her bag on her lap and uttered in a soft voice “bhumo (girl pronounced in Tibetan) I had a very loving husband, who was a soldier and lost his life in a battle. I have a son who is hanging here and there wasting time and doesn't really care if m alive or dead. I have a daughter who is married and staying with her in laws family. While she was talking about her daughter, she prayed for her good future with her husband. 
I could see the tears in her eyes twinkling like the bright diamonds. And those diamonds were priceless. The tears could not stay for long in eyes, it drenched her dried face. I am sure within those teardrops she had immense of hidden pain and emotional feelings which she might be hiding from everyone. This moment was indeed depressing but this certain moment of tears made me sink into someone’s life which actually made me know life from a different sight.
There was a fruit stall nearby us, I bought her some fruits and handed them to her. Suddenly my cell phone rang it was my friend yelling at me through the phone for making her wait for long. I gave a smile to her in a hope to get a smile back. She smiled and it was indeed a million dollar smile for me. I asked for the permission to leave and said good bye to her. She gently put her hands on my head wished me a good future. I still remember her selfless words whenever I am sad.
That very moment, I learnt that no matter how much we are touched by the pain and suffering, we can still make our life beautiful with love and hope. We should never hurt our parents. Even if we are having the larger than life happiness, what is the value of that happiness if our parents are shedding tears somewhere in the corner? Even if we have only a single bread to eat, we can make that single bread a happy satisfying meal if we think of trying with love. 


I hope she remembers me sometimes, with a hope and with lots of love for the Momola, i will wish to see her beautiful wrinkle face with the same million dollar smile on her face.











Photographs are taken by Miss dolkaa a wanderer.
Smile to Life.

9 comments:

  1. Its true that we tend to miss out our parent while we are busy chasing whatever makes us happy. This was really a heart touching post.

    BTW is your Momola that one in picture no 6 from the top.... I can see the tread that holds her glasses just as you have described her.

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  2. loved the post and also the picture. very well described and well expressed. =)

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  3. This story is amazing and I really love the photos as well. I really hope when you see this person again she does remember you because it sounds like an amazing time, great writing.

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  4. beautiful. the story and the photos:)

    I tear when I hear stories of children who abandon their parents and grandparents. One day, karma will come after their butt and pinch them as their own children will do the same to them when they grow up.

    Great read. thanks for sharing!

    Follow me at http://legallytibetan.blogspot.com/

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  5. this just reminded me of the time when i went with my mom and two other Aunties from TWA (Tibetan Women Association) to this Popola's place who was living with this guy from the same village as he was. they weren't even related yet the man let him stay at his place for a while. the reason we went to meet th Popola was because he needed some place to stay for he was banished by his daughter who treated him real bad. now, i don't know what "reasons" she had but man, the way he was explaining everything and the sadness and tears in his eyes was just....sigh* i witnessed it first hand and it was heartbreaking. i couldn't hold back my tears! prayed that no one has to go through the same.

    beautiful post Lhamo. and the pictures are amazing as well, Dolkar :]

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  6. Really great pictures i like .. LG DENISE<3

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