Monday, 28 July 2014

Lost in Nostalgia

One day, a question suddenly popped into my mind: "What can be the happiest moment in my life?" Well, I have spent more than thirty years of my life. During this period I have certainly gone through many ups and downs, enjoyed countless joyous moments and passed through some sorrowful too. Among all those moments I needed to explore the happiest one. An excellent opportunity to review one's own life.

I closed my eyes and tried to remember every important and lovely second that I have lived so far. Soon a beautiful imagery of my childhood appeared vividly in front of my eyes. I reached my home with my parents and four siblings. Being the youngest in the family, I was the most pampered one. I used to follow my mother wherever she went - to public gatherings, mamaghar (maternal home), her friend's house and marketplace. Wow! I was a  free bird at that time. I used to eat, play, wander, study and live in a world of colourful dreams. Really, I was in a position of "Hakuna Matata" or no responsibilities, no worries.

I still remember that in winter we would gather around a hearth after dinner. Then our father used to tell us tales of wonders including the one how he left his house at the age of sixteen and went to Benaras  looking for an opportunity of education. We would curiously listen to his struggle stories, hard times and eventually a success he achieved there. Our mother used to report about her fellows at her school, and about some intelligent and some naughty students. We kids used to talk about our friends, teachers and schools.

I used to sing and dance with my second elder sister, Ranjana and of course sometimes I would fight with her over petty things like some sort of dress, toys or food, but we two could not spend a minute without each other's company. Sometimes we, along with our common friends, used to organize marriage ceremonies of our dolls, where Ranjana and I sometimes pretended to be on the bride's side and sometimes on the groom's. There would be parties on these occasions. To tease us our eldest brother would hang one of our dolls on the ceiling and say, "Hey girls! Look! Your doll committed suicide." This would make us upset and we would cry, so we used to call our mother for help. Once, all five kids were playing hide and seek in pitch dark. After finding me my elder brother pushed me hard in his excitement. My little body flew towards a wooden window and smacked against it... very hard!  As I started wailing at the top of my voice, someone switched the light on. As soon as my elder brother saw my temple bleeding, he jumped out yelling, "Muwa...Muwa...! Little sister's broken!" What? It feels hilarious now. Life was super fun with a cozy family of seven.

I do not exactly know when and how each of us grew up and started to chase our own dreams. One by one we left the house and our parents. Gradually, we got married and were surrounded by our own families and responsibilities. After dispersal, the time never came which could bring all seven of us together; each time one or another was missing.

Now if some of us see each other occasionally, the topics of conversation have totally changed. We are bugged by millions of our own family problems and do not have time to ponder on the wonders of the past. The brothers have their wives and children and the sisters have husbands and children to worry about. I am also occupied with the same.

When I am alone, I wish all us siblings could get together with our parents once again and live the same happy life that we had lived long ago. These days when I watch my only son longing to stick around his parents all the time, I can easily realize his passion for the family. History repeats. Now this is his turn to enjoy "Hakuna Matata" moments. Who knows when he will grow up and starts running after his dreams, eventually leaving us behind.

(Published in an English Daily The Kathmandu Post on Friday, September 10, 2004) 

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