“This year too, son, I am very happy. You have come to meet us,” my father told me as he pulled his chair and sat next to me.
We were sitting in the porch of our house in my village, Chuzagang, Gelephu. It is attached right in front of the house and has been my favorite place to be especially in the evening like this. But before, during my childhood, I used sit here with textbooks and read; sometimes, do painting.
As my father and I talked, the daylight gradually started to grow weaker and weaker. And as usual, the most spectacular thing happened - the sun turned golden, so were the sky and plain. This is the best thing that my village offers and as always, I watched it, awestruck.
In a while, my mother came with tea for us. As she placed the tea cups in our table, she too pulled a chair and sat with us. So the evening breeze started blowing gently exuding the fragrance of flowers that my mother planted around the porch, we continued talking about farmland and rice cultivation.
My mother agreed with father, “We are expecting better harvest this year. Despite untimely monsoon rain, the paddy so far bearing grains well.”
Our conversation has been momentarily distracted by my two nephews who ran in and around the porch chasing fireflies following its trailing light. To tell you that so much of my nephews reminds me of childhood because this is exactly what I used to do when young.
So to add more, the evening came alive with so many activities; it is the most happening time of the day. The farmers returning homes from their work. Loud music blaring from radios. The last meal of the day cooking. Cattle and chicken retreating to their shelters.
Amidst all this, I was simply enjoying this beautiful moment of sitting together and being part of my parents’ life and talking long about their works and life. The more I listened to them did I hear their aspirations, brave hearts and sacrifices. It brought my parents so close to my heart, and the joy that I get from this particular closeness is truly blessing.
However, deep inside me, that moment, something very strange started to prick me hard and I nearly cried. It’s guilt – the guilt that I didn’t put enough effort to visit my parents in the past and spend time with them. My excuse was that I was busy with my works in Thimphu; in fact, I was always charging forward and constantly looking for a life that I wanted.
So fast, like in minutes, the evening turned into complete darkness.
“Ah, the winter is finally here. It’s getting dark very fast and the days becoming shorter, colder,” my mother reckoned the season, holding her hands.
My father looked at her and nodded. Then he turned his gaze at me. I smiled at him; then he smiled too. Instantly, my mother’s face glowed in all smile in reassurance.
The darkness engulfed the entire village, and the number of fireflies increased significantly. They streamed around, their fire glowing mesmerizingly. My nephews were still chasing the fireflies and collecting in bottles. I joined them, my heart glowing with sheer joy and contentment like the fireflies after a long sleep.
I know, with utter certainty, the fireflies will go back to sleep the next sunrise. Oh, may I trust the fireflies? I mustn’t. This glow, this light and this warmth in my heart will remain for my parents, for ever.
Dear readers, have a wonderful diwali!
Courtesy: 2nd picture from google