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... dashain ...

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… it’s the first time i’m not with my family for Tika … buba, ama & my dai … they must be missing me … i’m missing them, too … ama’s call day before yesterday was touching … though i was cheerful all the way and we cracked jokes and laughed about this and that ( like food here, pretty girls at college, me being my own cook, my piles of to-be-washed cloths, work outs, her to-be-daughter-in-law etc.) i, her joker and incurably ‘sohjo’ ( sojho???) son, was having hard time coping with a sudden dawning of a strange loneliness her ever-friendlike voice was evoking within … her ‘joker’ son didn’t let her know or even suspect how badly he was wishing to place his head on her lap and be patted like usual esp. during wintry evenings by the fire … how she’d say my head’s become too heavy and i got lice all over and how, i in turn would say that i’d obey her every commands all my life if she ever found but one lice for real … the day went heavily after i trashed the cellphone beside my pillow and went for a walk and later, a cup of solitary coffee … mom was relieved that i’ll receive tika from a temple priest nearby … and that there are senior nepali dais and peers, too, to celebrate with the whole dasami day … well, ama, it’s not so … for here i am at a cybercafé after a usual lunch … all morning spent capturing photos of deccan cloud-formations in the areas nearby … no tika … and no celebrations as such … i just want to spend this day like any other day here … and anyways, even if i try to create dashain within it won’t be like it is when i’m with you … my dashain will hardly be a dashain without your smile, your voice in the morning calling us to get ready, without me helping you and buba with all the preparations, without my share of ‘commission’, without your expert treat of aloo ko achar, kheer, rotis and other delicacies for us and above all, the feel of your lotus feet on my forehead, your tika and your blessings along with father’s and brother’s … it is a happy dashain for all and no less a happy dashain for me :) .. its not that … just that it is my first dashain without you and i’m utterly at a loss how to celebrate it without you being around … but i’m happy nevertheless … its like ‘the day is as blessed and bright as always is … just that today there is no sunrise face of yours to see … no lotus feet of yours for your son to place his head on and kiss’ … maybe i’ll visit the temple in the evening instead - before going for my supper … happy dashain ama! :) … may your good health, childlike cheerfulness and happiness remain whole in this life and forever! … and happy dashain buba, da’, my beloved ‘pagli’ and everybody! :) … may every day of yours be as auspicious as today! … and in case i fail to wish for coming deepawali, a very happy deepawali,too, to you all in advance ! …

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