Thursday, December 24, 2015

Little Ball of Fur

I asked Lilly, who is here for her winter break, if she wants to come to the town and she said, "It's OK. I will stay home...with Lolo." How I wish I had that choice!

Every morning, Lolo asks me, "Office ma dhe la? (Office not going?)". 

"Dhe lay (I am)."

"Ma dhe lay (don't go)." And often she tells me I should stay home weaving (Lolo has been excited with the new kira I am weaving for her. She is going through something like, "Wow...I-can't-wait moment!")

Thankfully, she is not that nagging type. Every morning, she waves me 'bye' and reminds me to bring her some gifts from work. So, I go with toffee, chips, chocolates, jelly, cakes, momos, biscuits...anything I can think of. She isn't demanding either, she just needs something as "tang (gift)".

One Saturday, I went to drop my parents to my sister's place and the girls to their schools. KP was home with Lolo. While she was watching YouTube on Papa's mobile phone, he apparently went outside to put the clothes. As he says, Lolo kept her fingers running on the mobile and checking into each room looking for someone! Her relief came in her words upon seeing Papa enter the house, "Where is everyone? I was afraid for sometimes." You see, she is this cute.

I am closely monitoring her growth and the way she tackles situations. Yes yes, I am glad she has a bit of OCD - Obsessive Control Disease, if not more. I see in the way she arranges her toys, the way she makes sure color sorting, or the way she ensures proper placing of things. One evening, she stood near me while I cooked. She placed the bottle cap under the filter and opened the filter. Technically, the cap was not strategically placed. Before I could comprehend how she would manage, she picks the cap and puts it right where the drops of water fell. Marvellous! She does this so instinctively. 

When we go for social gatherings, she is really that out-of-the-group kind. By virtue of growing up in a household of adults, I see my daughter has aged faster than her peers. She is OK to be alone, aloof and independent. What she needs, she asks straight away, and she has a varied tastes that she enjoys everything on her plate. Give her some toys and she won't bother anyone. No, she doesn't cry or jump around or tear down things. She is gentle.

On one hand, I am happy with her maturity. But it worries me as well. I worry if she will make any good friends in schools, or if her independence is way too much at this age. After a long thought, I am decided to send her to a daycare.

For that, Lolo picks up her "Elsa" bag and declares, "I am going to KOOL." Sorry folks, she is yet to get that 's' or 'r' phonetic. So,

School = Kool.
Spoon = Poons.
Smurfs = S...murfs.
Crocodile = CoCo dile
Grapes = Gapes

and so on.

Oh goodness, I love these children who make our lives just so much beautiful. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

A Stranger's Wisdom

"Be nice to people on your way up, you may meet him on your way down!" I have always lived by this belief. I am [still] reading the The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin which convinces me more that happiness comes in acknowledging the small things in life (which I have always believed it to be!).

What I am going to narrate here is a short story, a real-time story which happened within 25 kms of car drive, dated December 2, 2015.

KP, Lolo and I were returning from Phuntsholing after dropping our parents who were enroute to Samdrup Jongkhar and further onward to Wamrong. We stopped the car at Rinchending (Karpandi) for entry. Just as KP got back into the car, a soldier - a lopon Pelpon asked for lift till Kamji. A  quick glance and we said OK.

Our Lopon Pelpon, as he shall be named hence was apparently going to Kamji to seek boarding admission for two of his children. He said he is at temporary posting at Phuntsholing from Tala, and that he would be seeking resignation soon.

In that less than 25 kms, here are few snippets of wisdom we learnt from him:

"Irrespective, we need to head back to our villages upon retirement - from where we came. By then, we are devoid of any strength or energy to work. Neither do we have enough savings to run our lives nor energy to till the fields. Hence, I have decided to return to the roots when I am still able, and may be work hard to retire in old age."

He had such perfect command over Dzongkha that his wisdom spoke in words like, "Rhe chhe sa lay chhe, dho bom sa lay bom, (the ridges would have broken, the stones would have grown)."

He plans to start cultivating cardamon. When KP remarked that he would be a wealthy man in three years, he replied with a tinge of smile, "Sir, that is my plan for now. But I can't assure what 'Kenchosum' has in store for me. We may be alive today and gone tomorrow. Life is uncertain. Yet, we need to keep hoping for the future."

Funniest was, when he said, "Few years ago, when we civil servants visited our villages, we were given grand welcome. We were invited for tea, and the villagers expected something in return. Today - you go to the village, no one notices us. I am afraid they CAN'T differentiate whether it's the wild animals or public servants who have come to the villages!" (Ha ha ha!)

Amoiiii :)

And he added on, "Then, our village folks didn't even have a good house to stay. Their huts had no support," and again in his eloquent Dzongkha, "Lung-ma na lay phun, pha lay theeen. Pha lay phun, naa lay theeen," meaning to amplify the state of discomfort (and I am deliberately not translating in fear of distorting its essence). But today - today, he says, "They have at least a two-storied concrete house." More to that, "They are collectively paving roads for their business."

I wanted to faint right there!!!

"I joined the army at a mere salary of Nu. 700. All right, I earn close to Nu. 10,000 today but look at the price of our commodities. Even a bar of soap costs thrice the amount today. My children's demands have also doubled. Nowadays, Nu. 5 is not the baseline - they ask for minimum of Nu. 10/ Nu. 20 - every morning!"

We approached Kamji. Our Lopon Pelpon hopped off with a soldierly salute. 

Minutes later, we realized that in that trance of mesmerisation we forgot to ask his name. Whoever he may be, he fuelled our conversation for the rest of our journey. And his passionate eloquence in our national language made us shameful.

Note: Dear Lopon Pelpon - we wish you all the good luck for your endeavour. This article is written in memory of the wisdom you instilled in us. Until we meet again! 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Where is the "NOSE"?

For an artist, the eyes add life to the portrait but to a face, the nose is really the feature that adds glamour to the beauty.

My Lolo is born with a bubbly nose, cute for now but a thing to be worried about as she grows up. She really has a cute little pout perched on her face.

When I ask her, "Where is your nose?" she puts her little finger on to that piece of flesh and says, "Aaa-tha (here it is)!"

Spot Lolo's cute nose!
I laugh out loud because what she really has is a piece of bunny flesh, rounded and hardly visible. As I said, it adds that cuteness on her face (for now).

During those nursing days, I made sure she wasn't pressed hard on my bosom going by the belief that it flattens the baby's nose. When possible, I would shovel it down gently hoping it will bring about a better shape. But as stubborn as Lolo herself, it stood there stuck to its original shape!

Once at the park, Lolo went face down on the ground. Instead of her nose hitting the ground, it was her forehead that bore a cut from the cemented ground. Well, her nose was well concealed between her plumply cheeks! My friends found it weird to believe.

Whatever may be the story, my Lolo certainly has one of the cutest bunny noses around.

Every morning I look at it and feel safe that should Lolo ever try stealing something and gets caught by the nose, as a story goes, she will make a great escape! Ha ha.