Saturday, July 30, 2005

Snippets of Solicitude

My Melancholy Musings

She called my name in a subdued voice. I emerged out from my room. There she was: sitting awkwardly at my doorstep, in my sandal, blood pouring from her nose; she was wringing in pain. I saw her futilely trying to stop bleeding by covering her nose. I was appalled and felt a twinge of horror. I told my brother to fetch a taxi. She wouldn't leave my sandal. I was a bit edgy but controlled myself and as the taxi arrived, flanked her into it.

At 72, our neighboring grandma, who was in a jolly good mood a while ago, helping me collect water from the tap, even taking my bucket and filling it with drinking water, was struggling with life.

She was in the verge of collapsing. The bleeding didn't stop even as we ushered her into the Emergency ward of Kathmandu Model Hospital. We registered her and as the nurses took the charge of the patient we heaved a jaded sigh of relief.

A Good Rapport

My sister, who stayed with me for a month and left for home recently, had a very good rapport with all the fellow tenants, particularly grandma, as we called her. It occurred to me an odd companion between lady of mid-twenty and an elderly of early 70s. I confess: I am not much fascinated by kids. Rather, I am keen to converse with oldies. Kids embody future while elderlies are the embodiments of past. Past is always pleasant and mellow in soft focus as I had mentioned somewhere else. I am interested to inquire about their bygone days, what conclusion they made at the end of their episode.

Grandma was just talking to my sister over the phone. It was Saturday when phones are abuzz by homely calls. Once my sister told me that granny was praising my reserved and self-centric attitude. I was slightly embarrassed by these adjectives.

She hailed from far eastern district of Taplejung and was unaware of the hustle and bustle and doing-nothing-but-keeping-oneself-busy sort of city life. As her kith and kins deserted her in her village, she embarked upon an odd travel (and travail) of Kathmandu. Living with her grandson of 25, combing the empty and melancholy milieu during tranquil afternoons, she seemed to have been quietly awaiting death to knock at her door. She would come to my room in order to ask for time, for she couldn't read.

Money Matters

The other day, I paid my landlady the hefty sum of two thousand and seven hundred rupees including electricity and water bills (though the water supply is rare and scarce). I reminded her that she had some due from my previous payment. She said that it wasn't mentioned in her tiny register she kept to update on tenants like me. After the payment, when I surveyed my wallet, I discovered to my dismay that I had barely 50 rupees left.

I recalled that I had to buy fuel for my bike, eat lunch every day at around 3 pm and often travel to unusual destinations. This made me disappointed. But then, the landlady in a jiffy popped up in my room and returned the money apologetically. I was a bit happy that I don't have to worry for few days. Here, the point is money too can bring a small amount of happiness.

Musings on Mimosa

Nothing much happened this Saturday. I previous Saturday, however, was eventful. Meanwhile, I received a hearty and hilarious hello after a long and painstaking hiatus, thanks to the great Graham Bell for this wonderful invention. I devoured Sirisko Phul (I heard it's translated in English under the title Blue Mimosa) within 3 hours (66 pages). I am ashamed to tell you that I hadn't read Parijat's magnum opus in my salad days. Well, it's a landmark document of Nihilism to which am not much interested. I am interested in life. Sankar Lamichhane's much talked about preface was superbly groundbreaking.

If someone claims to be the fragile Sakambari, be it as it may. I am no Suyogbir.The novel is more a philosophical treatise. While I jot down this poignant piece in midnight, a gazal sang by Pakistani singer and actress Salma Aga, is coming from the stereo:

Dil Ke Arma Anshuon Me Bahegaye
Ham Wafa Karke Bhi Tanha Rahegaye

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