Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Honest Thoughts

I hear my mother pray in the other room. I am sitting inside my bedroom, wondering what to do. I’m not able to decide whether to have dinner first or pray. And as I listen to my mother pray, I fall back into many years back when I was a child:

I hear the bells of the cattle. I hear so many different insects. I hear beautiful songs from the BBS Radio. A radio is carefully placed on the window. Cattle have started coming home for the night in a line. My sister is slicing off the banana plant to feed the cattle. Another sister is taking the cattle to their shed. I am not assigned any specific task. I help my sister by carrying the light (bati = a small kerosene lamp made from tin).

Soon the cattle are fed. They are all taken to the shed. We eat dinner, all of us sitting in a circle. Even as we eat dinner, we listen to the news from the BBS Radio. It is the only source of information for the national news.

Soon after the dinner, we all go into the other room. We all sleep in one room, in a line. And there are times when we listen to the songs and write them down. My sisters have started learning how to read Dzonkha text. One of my sisters (the elder one) has very keen interest in songs. She hears a song once on the radio and she has all the lyrics by heart. I then write them down from her and I learn the songs for the village tshechu.

My friend Lhadon and I learn many songs and we sing till late night. The Tsawai Lam and other people who stay back late night to watch people sing and dance give us soelra (prize).

As I hear my mother say prayer now, I wish my father was here too. On 30th of the first month of Bhutanese calendar, I said prayer for his 4th death anniversary. I do not feel he has been gone for four years now. I still see him in my dreams and he still seems to guide me forward. As much as I want to see him with my mother go to kora, say prayer or talk to me about important matters, I have to accept the inevitable fate of having to say goodbye.

And as I write this, I also think of numerous people I know who have died, who have got sick or whose positions and status have completely turned upside down. Thinking of all this, I wonder what fate has in store for me. I wonder what deadly disease will strike me. What kind of life I will have a year from now or 10 years from now. Being a believer of karma, I wonder what huge devil will fall on me.

But as impermanent as everything is, I think I can only pray that all things be good, that all people be happy, that all people will have the strength to pray to free themselves from the suffering. And as I look back into so many years back, once upon a time in my village, I feel, we have lived a happy life, though surviving on subsistence farming. I wish I did not have to live in a town where people compete to make a living. If there is a tinge of happiness I feel in a day, living in town, it is only because I’ve my mother with me and she doesn’t have to toil in the field.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sinking in codes as I dream of the naughty ArrogantBuddha

I'm sitting in the class just now. It is tea break. I don't wanna take tea. I take more solids than liquids so I would better sit here and write what comes to my mind. I just read the article by ArrogantBuddha in I wonder why he is acting like a hungry old man who has remained virgin all his life. He seems to have been affected so much by the operation he had to undergo. No wonder, he started seeing all the nurses beautiful and he had to tell himself to behave.
A day before, he wrote about an encounter with a woman where taking control of himself was the biggest challenge he has faced so far.

I wonder what different works and what different thoughts people are undergoing right this moment. And how many people are really, really free? I am attending this 12 day training on PHP. I think this is the second time I really get to do what I should actually be doing: studying programming. Working finely with the syntax and codes of computer language. I sometime wish I could master it. But then, what would become of me if I do master it? And how different will my life become?

When I should be sitting inside a closed room, multiple computer screens glaring on my face, what I do is write several nonsensical articles. They do not serve big, but they make my day. I thus live, so closely living with present.

Monday, March 8, 2010

International Women’s day

Karma bought me a kira as a gift on the women’s day. He has respected me as a wife, a woman, and as a friend. He has seen me as an equal to him, rather than as a woman who is inferior who must serve him. For this, I must say that I am lucky. 

I remember celebrating the women’s day in 2008 in Kolkata. My mother was sick and we were there, but we did find time to quietly celebrate it. As we ate lunch at a restaurant, we wrote letters to each other on the napkin paper. I still have them in my purse. I cherish such moments. I think such moments, piled one upon the other make my life. And yes, I have been lucky. A happy person at that. 

My friends tell me that I am lucky. They mean, they think I have been blessed to get someone understanding as my lifetime’s companion. I feel that way too. We do not have anything extraordinary to be marked that way. I am not an extraordinarily attractive woman who can keep her husband happy all the time; neither am I a woman who can serve her husband like a servant. But, I think what is important is that, husband and wife must be able to look each other in the eye, pass opinion, criticize if there is need, realize that they are equal and understand each other’s shortcomings and needs and preferences.

As I sit here and write this, I pray that those women in the world who are suppressed or ill treated by men find opportunity to prove their worth, stand on pavilion of equality and show the world that, women is as much a human being as man.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Am I a good wife?

I ate an early heavy dinner today. Karma goes to play basket ball these days. I have no objection in playing sports, but playing cards is what I cannot accept. Not that I see it be utterly useless or anything but without any good reasons, I don’t find it good. I had been waiting for him to come home. I wanted to open the door as he returned, and I wanted to serve him dinner like a good wife would do. But rather a not-so-in-a-rush person, he is always late by the count of my time.

Earlier in the evening, I told him, ‘you will reach home only after three hours,’ and he replied that he comes home straight from the game and it isn’t 3 hours. But I was right. We humans always keep record of time in our head when we are supposed to wait for someone. And so when that someone doesn’t return in the expected time, you get impatient. I thought I will not call him but I did when I thought he should have been home. He said, ‘I’m on my way honey.’ I thought it wouldn’t take 10 minutes to reach home from the swimming pool area. When he didn’t reach home in that expected time, I dozed off on the sofa. 

My plan of wanting to be a good wife serving her husband dinner no longer stayed with me. I went to the bedroom and slumped on the bed. Even as I heard the door bell ring, even as he came to me and murmured the demand of wanting me to sweet-treat him like a baby, I slumbered off. 

I thought, ‘ah let it go.’ I mean this plan of wanting to wait for him and serve him dinner. I don’t see it as very important but my mother tells me to serve him. But honestly, I don’t see it to be important. How can it define a wife to be good or bad? 

And now, as he is in his dream world, sleeping behind me, breathing softly, I am here. He wanted me to get up and pray before it was midnight. When I said I could pray even if it crossed midnight, he said, it would be the next day then. I did wake up to pray before midnight. But especially at such hours of late night (it’s 2:00 a.m. now), as silence squeaks the corners of all our senses, I like doing the writing and that is how I’m here now, again, not fitting in the criteria of a good wife. If I were one, I probably would have to lie beside him, hugging him close. But let that go too for now.

This is Bhutan

I moved to Adelaide, South Australia 10 months ago. This decision was driven by my belief that family has to be together and pursuing your c...