Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The New Year’s proposal

Yesterday evening I had a date. I believe I can call it a date; at least on my part. Believe me, for there isn’t any better way to name it. Maybe – just maybe – it’d be called as a blind date.
“So tomorrow’s the New Year’s Eve. Any plans?” she started conversation as soon as I returned after placing our order at the counter.

I responded, “Don’t have any plans; just being grateful for the wonderful year 2014. But I’m excited and look forward to embracing, living each day of the New Year.” 

It was a small restaurant with cozy and intimate ambience. As I pulled out my chair and sat in front her, a mojo of feelings ran through me. Nervousness too. Yes, we were meeting for the first time, but I’m still not sure it’s a date. To tell you that she was fair and slim; and has a shy manner, a gentle voice.  

Looking straight at me, she smiled expansively and reaffirmed, “So your name is Riku Dhan Subba?”

I nodded and then I pulled my jacket tighter because it’s was very cold.

“I thought it’s your nickname,” she ran her fingers over her phone and burst into a laugh.

“Everybody thinks like that,” I laughed with her.

Meanwhile, the order arrived on our table. Coffee and some snacks.

As we sipped coffee, I continued, “Because my name is very strange. Actually my late grandpa gave me this name. And nobody knows its real meaning, not even my parents.”  

“That’s strange. I wonder you are as strange as your name,” she inquired quickly, this time rubbing a bit more.

“I think I am,” I answered.

After a moment, I joked laughing again, “Of all, I feel that I am extraordinary. For my name is extraordinary. Joke aside, I still wonder from where my grandpa got this name and why he chose the name for me.”  

Inside, the sound system came into life and the COLDPLAY sang a live version of “A sky full of stars”. A warm, intimate mood took hold of me as the song enfolded the room, as two of us talked into the gentle evening.    

“So how have you spent 2014?” I asked my date - I called her date for the lack of better word.

She took a moment to think about it. She summed it “a difficult year” but instantaneously justified, “Life isn’t fair, you know, but it’s still good”. Then we talked a great deal about life’s struggling and miracle and together agreed “the more we praise and celebrate our life the happier we become”.

Quite typically, we jumped into talking our New Year’s resolutions.

“I have three: to study abroad, write a book and get married. I would be happy if I could fulfill even one of these,” I stated.

As soon as I stated my resolutions, oh goodness, I started sweating hard. For my resolutions are not at all easy. All entail a lot of perseverance and hard work; most importantly, the luck.   

She expressed a big surprise; however, consoled me, “It’s always good to have the resolutions even they may be too ambitious at times. I wish you all the lucks.”

I thanked her.
We cleared our bills and slowly walked out of the restaurant. It was unusually cold outside, the air blew deep chill and the mountaintops were blanketed in snows.

I turned back to her and declared, “I am considering proposing you one fine day. I like you.” 

In fact, I meant it, more than I could tell her.

She smiled radiantly at me and answered, blushing, “Oh I look forward to that fine day.”

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The autumn's last bloom

This year's December has been the busiest month. You know it well how we Bhutanese are. We drag everything towards the end and here I am struggling to complete works before the year's end. However, last weekend, I spared a handful of minutes and walked around my office and was awe-inspired by hydrangeas growing so beautifully for us. So pictures here.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

She and I, Lazy

That evening, if I say so, I had plenty of time on my hands. Even after leisurely shopping and eating foods and struggling with Indian vendors (bargaining and denying) in Jaigaon, I had this time. So I phoned a close friend of mine who lived there, having had decided to meet him.

“Zangdopelri. Yep. Wait there, dude, I will be in a while,” he hung the phone.
So I walked to the Zangdopelri, a Buddhist monastery in the middle of Phuentsholing town. The darkness gradually enfolded the town; however, the power promptly came to light. The monastery was a serene, heavenly place and was perfectly illuminated by the glittering lights. A green park with neatly trimmed trees and benches spread around encircling the monastery where people both old and young were relaxing.

Meanwhile, I joined a group of elderly people and circumambulated the monastery. As we walked around, we kept turning the prayer wheels and breathing in the sweet odour of incense and butter lamps. Many people, all walks of life, were saying their evening prayers, prostrating and circumambulating the monastery.  

“Kota, where you from?” an elderly man from the group asked me in Sharchopkha as we continued turning the prayer wheels.

I responded, “From Chuzagang Gelephu.”

“Oh we were thinking you Sharchokpa. Because you got the Sarchop looks,” the meme’s wife quickly reacted.      

For the next stretch of time, we kept circumambulating, we kept talking. About our villages, our family members, and our lives. This heavenly monastery and this wonderful conversation with elderly people fed on me a refined kind of energy and humbling experience.

I phoned my friend, to check where he reached. His phone was busy. Then I chose a bench in the park and sat there. A big dog came running to me, tail wagging. I stroke his head and fed him some Indian sweets that I bought from Jaigaon. He climbed on the bench and snuggled brushing against me.

Already I had snapped several pictures in my phone. I filtered a few and when I was about to post on Instagram, a woman called out at me from behind, “Hello, Aue!”

I turned around and was dazzled. A gorgeous woman, tall and slim, stood staring at me. She wore dark short and sleeveless blouse revealing her fair arms. Oh goodness, she is hot, I whispered, inwardly though.  

“Aue, can I take away my dog?” she asked me, pointing at my new found friend sitting next to me. 

“Oh ok you can. But you need to refund me what he ate – a packet of sweets,” I joked, as I handed the strap of the dog to her.   

She pulled the dog from me and shouted, “Lazy, let’s go home.”

Before she left, she turned back and smiled at me. Oh, she appeared way more beautiful. My eyes followed her until she disappeared way beyond the Zangdopelri. Beautiful, beautiful, I kept on saying as if like chanting mantra.  
When I was debating with myself whether to phone my friend again, my phone rang. Yes, it’s him, “I’ve reached here, dude. Come straight right in front of the GOI building.”

I ran towards the building. It’s a frenzied last hours in the border town; both merchants and customers were busily engaged in the final commercial activity of the day.

“Hey here, Riku!” my friend waved at me from his car. We hugged, and he took me to his place for dinner. His house was about 10 minutes drive away from the town.

My friend rang the bell. As soon as the door was opened, Lazy sprinted out, wagging his furry tail. A giddy nervousness started to fill my head because I knew what’s coming next. 

“Meet my wife,” my friend introduced his wife to me.

I got ambushed.

Pictures: googlesearch