Sunday, November 6, 2011

A wish when I looked up!

    It was green all around. I could hear the whistling sounds of leaves as wind blew by. How should I describe that moment? Was it sadness or happiness? A peculiar feeling, that I wanted to feel again and again. Thanks to the spring for beautifying the nature.
    I don't remember exactly. Might be I  was in class VI and I bet, I wasn't aged more than that. I was in the green maize field. What could I say? It was just beautiful and melancholic. I saw the maize plants dancing happily and I was lost in it's beauty. The maize plants were around two feet tall. All looked miraculously healthy, standing upright. I was weeding unwanted plants for them. I wanted them to be more healthier with good sunlight,  space and nutrition. 
   My mom was alongside me doing the same work. She would tell me short stories. She would talk interesting talks and she would inspire me in any field. I always liked working alongside her. I do  miss now, the time spent so wondrously. I want the time back. I ask  myself, yet futile as of now. 
   As the time passed by, we were still working and I must say, it was a nice day with minimal sunshine and cool air around. I heard a sound and as I looked up, it was an aeroplane. I wondered, what kind of people would be flying high up in the sky. What would be the feeling? It was like a mystery to me.  I made a wish that time and within seconds aeroplane disappeared. I was excited and shouted, ''mom, I made a wish''. She looked enthused and replied instantly, 'tell me what is that wish kota'. Then, I told her, ''One day, I will fly from the sky above just like them, just trust me mom''. She looked so happy at that moment and she encouraged me that I can do it with ease. 
    Three years ago, when I returned home from Bangladesh during the holiday. My mom told me, ''kota, do you remember your wish as a child'. I was speechless and tears blurred my eyes. I saw my mom smiling and she congratulated me. It was the happiest moment for both of us and I told her how I felt travelling via air.

money or life?

       It is annoying when someone pulls from back and shows sympathetic faces and unfolding palms in the streets. For me, it is embarrassing when someone touches the legs for want of alms. Moreover,  it is disheartening to see some people rolling over the rough, hot roads with their limbs amputed or deformed. Many people walking by in their own world. Do they really care? I don't think so. This is complicated world. I asked myself and it doesn't really matter. It is a feeling hard to describe.
      I am reminded of my past days. I am not sure, but perhaps around 2001 when I was quite young. I had three friends with me and I was the youngest of them. We had  two days journey from our village.To my memories, the days seemed happy with the hopes of earning money yet dominated by the estrange feeling away from home. It was irksome yet adventurous to reach a place  completely new  for us. I had a little headache as my responsibilities were far less being young.
   It was a hard fought journey through the scorching sun, with loads on our back.  I remember, how  exhausted I was and how happy to reach the destination. It was evening by then. I saw tired faces of other labourers. My transient happiness subsided.
   The sun smiled happily, the sky, a beautiful blue. It was a wonderful morning to wake up. Other people went to work. Four of us were new and the supervisor gave us instructions. The work was carrying stones as much as possible. The daily fare was based on the stones. The more the stones, and the more money. They were building a school.
  It seemed interesting. Yet, it really was hell to carry baskets of stones on the back early in the morning till evening. It was a competition by then. Everyone wanted to earn more. There was a problem. Life was at risk.    I remember, when I had to wake up in the cold morning, when I had to cough almost all the time and when I became weak. I was almost caught by tuberculosis.  It was just a week gone by. My whole body was in pain and my determination weakened.
   I also remember the beautiful nights, where we had lots of local alcohol with friends. It made us good , relieved our sufferings temporarily. And I knew why farmers drink. It didn't last long. We returned  home after a week long struggle. It was hard earned money for me. It was exciting and an unforgettable experience in my life. So I ask myself, money or life? It seems obscure. Without money, no life and without life, money is nothing. Hence, we need both of them and the quest of happiness goes on.....



     It was a rainy morning and not a good start for the day.  All my friends were busy preparing to leave home. I saw some happy and some worried.  We were just done with our grade VIII  mid term examinations and everybody would love to go for summer vacations. But, it was a tough situation. All the roads were blocked with landslides due to heavy rain for many days.. There weren't any vehicle movement. The students from my village, decided to leave. It takes a day by walk to reach home. Meanwhile, we started our journey and luckily it rained less that day.
    As we walked by, we had to cross so many landslides areas going the long way. It was taking more than what we thought to be. I in particular became exhausted and hungry. What would I eat? Gradually, we came across small shops but then unfortunately, I was penniless that time. I had no option, just to continue walking desperately.
   When I saw friends walking hard, it inspired me. I was determined to fight hunger. It was horrible, filled with  anxiety. Landslides may come any time from anywhere. Within seconds, we could be buried or washed away.
It was hard to walk, and hunger pangs forgotten when we had to walk through the mud and when we were sunk beneath our abdomen. By God's grace, we were lucky enough to be alive. For, I thought it was really a horrid moment of my life.
   Fortunately, we reached  a place closer to home. I knew the shopkeeper and had to ask for biscuits and that too for credit. I knew it would be shameful for me yet it was nothing. I needed it and I endured the embarrassment.  Then, I reached home happily and I didn't share my parents about it for I loved them and for I knew, my sufferings were way less than their's.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I never can be a good seller...

    People say, money is not everything, but for me , I would say money is just more than 'not everything'. Money is power, fame, health , luxury, happiness and so on. Like a thirsty man drinking salty sea water, we tend to yearn for more and more. Dissatisfied, with what we have called the principal amount, we look for profits.
    Back to some beautiful, sunny days in the year 2000, I had adventurous journey from my village to another district, with the same intention of making profits. Back then, I was immature, desirous and envious. I saw, some other person doing the same business before and benefited. I asked a friend of mine whether he would join me. Promptly, he accepted my proposal.
   Our business was just small and mean. Our commodity was jaggery, which we commonly call as 'TSA TSE BURAM' in our local language.We bought it from another village down the foothills, about 3 hours walk from our village. The next day, we headed to the place where we could sell them, that is Pemagatshel. It was a pleasant day. Dressed in Gho,   with basket full items on our back, we started our journey. It was a pleasant day and the day to be remembered.
   As I walked by, I found myself drenched in sweat. We reached the main road where occasional vehicles would travel. It did travel on that day, but who would care picking us? It was just walk and walk. I wished if people bought it on the way so that it would ease our load. It rarely did happen.  With hopes of getting money, we forgot the pains all over legs and the tiredness.
   The sun didn't stay long. It was evening by then. We were closer to one village, just 2 kilometers away from it. It was a tensed moment. Where would we go and sleep? We couldn't proceed further because we had no one whom we knew and we wouldn't even ask for a night stay in other's house. We were totally young, yet we knew how to feel shy. There were deep forests around. We decided to stay in the forests and resorted under a big tree about 15 meters below the road. We had match boxes, and lit a fire. It became completely dark by then. We had to collect fire-woods around and fortunately we found ample in the vicinity. I pretended to be gallant and he seemed to be doing so, even though, fear was eating away inside of me. I remember, it was a sleepless and dreadful  night, yet thanks to the fire for the comfort and stability rendered to us. I must say, fire loved me either, which burnt a little portion of my dress. I wised if the night wasn't too long.
    The next day started so early from the forests, we were on foot again. We reached another place where few people bought our good. Personally, it was so shameful with baskets on the back and asking people if they wanted to buy. I would ask my friend to do that, he was little better than I was. It took us a day to reach the main town and no one seemed interested in buying those sweets. Alas!, so embarrassing it was! Though, I must address the dignity of labour myself.
     Gradually, it became night by then. Where to sleep again? Tension rose in my head. As we walked by, we saw a tent where labourers used to stay and we planned to halt another night there. We were not alone. There  were some other farmers who wanted to  sleep there. I forgot from where they were. But I must say, it was just another terrible night. In the midst of the night, one man started chattering  teeth with vigorous movement of the body and started salivating.   My head was all under my gho, I feared to see. I sweated all over.   I heard other people talking that he would get well as he does like that occasionally.  Oh God! it sucked the whole night. But, basically, I now understand that he was suffering from epilepsy.
    Every daylight was a bliss at least. Even though, tiredness and embarrassment marred the beauty of the day, yet it was great compared to two fearful nights. We traveled from village to village on the third day. Some people bought them and it was a great feeling when the load became less and less. We journeyed via unknown villages and from the short cut way, we reached back to our home. Since then, I never wanted to travel again for such purposes.