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Growing up, witnessing changes


I was seeing off my niece who is 7 years younger to me. She had completed her three-years teacher’s training and going home. A certain sadness gripped my heart. I felt like a mother who was seeing her daughter leave house to live on her own – the sadness I felt was similar to the one a mother would feel on the knowledge that her daughter would now have a home of her own and she would return home only as a guest sometimes.

I remembered the time I saw her grow up from a little girl to a lady.

Because our house was far away from the only school in our village, I stayed with her parents during schooling. As is usual, there were times when she would rebuke me – ask me to leave her house, to not stay with them. That would hurt me so much that I would cry. I was foolish; being 7 years older and not know that a child’s talk shouldn’t be taken to heart. I would then go away from their house and nestle myself in the small tree below the house.

I would carry the Dzongka text book with me. And then, tears rolling down my eyes, I would make the preface of that Dzongkha text book into a song. I remember how on cloudy days such as today I would watch our house lying like a lone star on the bright summer night down south. My heart longing for my parents, I would break down once again and silently wish my days at school would end soon.

And today yes, I was seeing off this little girl I saw grow up. She is now a matured, very responsible and gentle person. More than my niece, we are friends. We talk at equal terms on all that matters in our lives.

And then before I became a mother, I heard that she had given birth to a baby girl. That left me even more shattered on the sadness I felt on our parting. I feel a little unhappy thinking about all this, but of course, life itself is a journey and journey obviously means witnessing changes. I’m now a mother myself and I can only feel proud of her growing up and treading on the path of motherhood. Somehow, we are all bound by the model in the society. Almost without a choice or a second thought, we become who all our ancestors and our contemporary fellow humans become. Despite change being inevitable, I want to differ and I feel sad that we are all dictated by this model.

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