Articles by: kuenza
Won't want to shatter my life for anything.
Not even for that one pleasure, even if it were to take me to blinding height of heaven.
Some say sex is not synonymous to breaking lives but in many cases it is.
Most of the lives are broken because of jealousy. Some say, rather, it adds that added impetus to your lives. But imagine yourself in this situation: If for example you come to know that your wife slept with another man, merely out of wanting to have better sex, I'm sure you won't like it. You will want her out of the house the second you know it. No man will accept that she has done that owing to his deficiency.
And in the first place, why should anyone feel there is a person who can give you better life, better sex, or better pleasure? A man says, “there is no art to find the mind's construction on the face.” But I think that if he is so into you, you can feel the tingle; you can see it in his eyes too. To this, he says, “there is many a lens betwixt the eye and the soul.” If by imagining someone or something, if he is giving me the best pleasure, I don't think I'd mind. Oh but just as in any scientific findings, a margin of error can be accepted. There is no perfect zero or 1 anywhere. Now I remember studying something called fuzzy logic. In the logic gates, we say 1 or 0, but in reality, there are many numbers between them. And that tells me that, the difference that I might miss between his soul and what I see in his eyes could be dismissed as unimportant. So, if I can't read absolutely everything that is going on in his mind, it is ok. Imagining or assuming what he might be thinking as you look at you or make love to you will only make your life miserable.
And in my opinion, men usually get into extra marital affairs because they think that women they find sexy or beautiful might be better, or that, they might be able to give those women as much pleasure as they imagine. Don't be so sure about how much pleasure you can give a person. What we imagine is always better than the reality. If you are making love to her in your head right now, in reality, it will never be like what you imagine right now. If a woman is standing in front of you right now, if you went to her and went straight into undressing her, or touching her, I won't see much pleasure. I think it is more into the way you look at her, and in the way you touch her in your mind before you actually put your hand on her. We can't call that emotional gratification. According to me, it is when the emotion spills, overflows that you have the best, best, best physical gratification.
But, do not read books on sex, or how you must behave when you are on a date, you know what you want to give a woman you are with, so it is up to you. Everything depends on one's instinct. I think when you are in a situation like just you and the girl standing in a semi dark room, you know exactly what to do or how to approach it.
But if I were in a situation where I'm alone with a person I'm sexually attracted to, I would most of the time not show it because no matter what my body says, I will not want to gratify its want straight away. I will call myself a fool if I do that.
So, no, not for anything. It is this one thing that shatters many lives.
Author's Note: Random thoughts. Mostly sprung from my conversation with a friend and the book I read yesterday called 'Eleven Minutes' by Paulo Coelho.
I'm sleeping. All the others are too. Suddenly there are voices. The door opens. Clattering sound of utensils irritate me. I wake up. Others mumble in their sleep.
I didn't eat dinner earlier. Now that I am awake and the two guys who just came in are eating dinner, I get up to eat too. They seem little drunk. They talk in loud voices. They surely seem to have fulfilled a mission. They are excited too. But this excitement irritates me because they are talking about a woman they just met. I'm a woman and I have the right to stand for women in general if I thought some male chauvinist tries to taint the name of women.
I sneer at the stinking alcohol smell. They eat in quick gulp and move to their bed (sleeping bags). But they still whisper something. I can see they don't want me to catch their conversation. But I do; I understand what is going on. Tashi says, “She is beautiful; well cultured too. I'm sure my mother will like her, she surely will,” to which Dorji responds, “we will go there tomorrow at daybreak and ask her hand.”
I know this will be forgotten the next day. How I want to run to this woman and tell her not to fall prey to promises of life in Thimphu. I know she already have dreamed of a life where she doesn't have to soil her hand; she must have done that the minute they showed interest in her and said they were from Thimphu. But she doesn't know that Thimphu doesn't hold much glamour in reality.
No sooner had Tashi got into his sleeping bag, he gets a call. He doesn't speak Sharchop well, but he is conversing in Sharchop. He asks, “Acching oga ru mey namning?” He wants to know where they are meeting the next day. This irritates me further. The girl surely is trapped, I think. And this time, I wonder, how many times do men fall in love, and with how many different women? How many women have they already married? I curse under my breath; they surely do not love with their hearts.
This isn't the first place we are visiting. They met a woman in each place we visited before, which is already more than 10. Then I question, who are these women? What do they see in a stranger's face?
Voices lower. I hear the phone click. He falls asleep very fast. He snores. I don't know when I'm going to fall asleep. I lie in my sleeping bag, wide awake at past midnight. I wonder, “who is this woman?”
“Due date ren pa la mo ro ka?” I asked my friend Tenzy, who is a doctor in Rangjung. (I asked her if the girl in the ward, whose belly seemed full blown was giving birth any time). I was surprised by her answer. “No, she is an alcoholic.” “Liver cirrhosis nyong pa cha ne sho,” she said. (She told me that she has liver cirrhosis).
I felt dizzy at this truth. She is only 25 years old. She has a child. Her husband stood in the ward nearby her and talked endlessly on the phone. To me, it was obvious that he was flirting. You can make out from the tone of the voice, who someone is talking to. I felt sad that the husband did not seem worried in the least. Maybe he was inwardly.
As soon as Tenzy walked in, her husband and another woman closed up the distance and told her that the patient that I took to be pregnant had not eaten anything, anything at all since last night. Now, I was admitted there because diarrhea collapsed me on the bed and I couldn't eat anything. So I knew what she felt like to have eaten nothing. I'm sure she had no energy to even talk or argue if her attendants said something.
Now, I slept on the bed in the ward. I watched the IV fluid run down into my veins. I closed my eyes and thought about this girl who slept only half a meter away from me. I felt enormous sympathy towards her. Why? I kept asking myself. I did not have an answer. The more I asked why she was lying there, her relatives waiting for her to die, I felt angrier with her parents. How could her parents raise her like that? I asked this to Tenzy and she told me that her father was a tshampa. He must be a tshampa but what excuse did he think he could give for raising a child like that? If he thought he couldn't raise a child well, he shouldn't have fathered one.
She told me that they were from a very distant village and her husband said it was difficult for him to get people to carry her back to the hospital if her condition worsened. Despite doctor's counseling and advice, they gave up hope. They only waited for her to die. It was like, her living was a huge burden on the family. You can understand how it is at this time of peak summer in the village. There is not a minute for any farmer to waste. They can't afford to, but here, it was about someone's life. I despised the fact that some must give more importance to work and earning a living, while someone was dying.
It was like, they were now weighing the importance of her life and the living standard of those who were going to live after she dies. It seemed unfair to me. I thought, no matter if they must keep their field fallow this year, no matter if they must all go hungry next year, no matter if they must all beg for every day's meal next year, I thought all her relatives must sit near her, give her strength and show her that they care. These things help a dying person. Sometime such things could miraculously bring back a person to life. And I felt big pang of unhappiness creeping too strongly inside me.
I couldn't really compare myself with her. I had my friend who cared me like a sister. I talked to my husband everyday who continually said, he loved me. I had my mother who wanted me home quick. I had my brothers and sisters who thought I should take a break from work. And I had my uncles and aunts and cousins who thought I should quickly come to their place so that I could be well attended and have whatever I wanted to eat. I wasn't feeling hilarious that I had everything she didn't. I thought she should have all these things too. I wanted so much to cry. I wanted to fight with her parents. I wanted to fight with life's architect itself. I thought everyone deserved a fare share of life and happiness.
In a way, we were both dying. Having run to toilet 15 times the previous day, I felt no better. I knew I could die any time. I could never wake up from that hospital bed. But still my situation did not seem as grave as hers. And at least as much hope as I had in waking up from my sleep that night, I wished she had that much hope. I wish, she did not think she was dying. More than anything, I wished her relatives did not wish her death would come sooner.
The bright afternoon sun shone on her dreams. She blinked her eyes in surprise. How is it possible? It was only yesterday that she wondered about him. And how can he be here today?
She dreamed of him every night. She thought of him every day. She talked to him even in her sleep. His name became a prayer on her lips. And it is particularly his lips that stuck in her mind and gave her a feeling of wanting to touch it. That deep curve of smile. That sharp turn of lips. And since she first saw his pictures, she held his image in her head as if she believed that thinking of him every day would bring him in front of her for real. And from that day on, thinking of him became her job. If it did nothing good, it made her heart swell in love.
They waged stakes. The war was already waging inside her heart. But when one day he turned up in front of her for real and asked her to marry her, she did. Lying beside each other in bed under normal circumstances which was a bet in the hypothetical world of dreams became an everyday reality.
Author's note: When two souls find each other's furthest corners of hearts, they find the courage to take a leap and make mortal the morality. So thus, to find the place for their hearts, they forget what society will think of them.
(I found this article lying in my document. I don't know under what circumstance I wrote it. It is as if, a human mind is always in turmoil, always fighting over morality and reality.)
We reached Lumang on 14th May. And in my journal, I find this: “It is a nice place but somehow I feel lonely and yet, I can't get the mood to write.” I usually write when extreme emotions such as loneliness cramps my heart. But in Lumang it was different.
There was no electricity for the two days we were in Lumang. We called up the BPC Complaint Centre located in Wamrong. He said the light will come. That is exactly the answer you get in Bhutan. If something is wrong, they will say, it will be right. But when is not known.
After I took noodles in Ramjar, I had already developed a strong dislike for it. Since then, I have been unable to think of eating any kind of noodles. So I must starve or beg for food in the villages. This set me into misery for a long, long while. I couldn't understand why an essential service like electricity could be cut off for days. Maybe they thought it wasn't so essential in the villages, where they can always cook using firewood. Even so, I think our farmers must get facilities townspeople do.
In many places there is no mobile network. Maybe I'm too used to using facilities like cell phones, and internet. No matter how I tried to justify, this time, so unlike me, I kept thinking, there is no wonder young people from villages migrate to urban areas. Why won't they want to? It is only natural that they want their lives to be easier. It is only natural that they want to make cash income; it is only natural that they want to avail better facilities. Even when I read Penstar's article where he wondered aloud if he could see even one village where there is a hospital like JDWNRH, he would think people won't migrate. I couldn't help but agree with him once again. Where in our village are good facilities? I don't want to whine after so much has been down by our government. I know, comparatively, our country is doing much better. I think we are treading the right path. Even when the whole world seems to think that somewhere development policy isn't going right, I have faith that ours will be different. But, what I'm saying is that, even if I may sound pessimistic, I must say that, we won't be able to stop rural-urban migration. Just as dying is natural, this to me now seems so natural. There is no way we can make our villages have the same facilities towns do.
Oh yes, I no longer wonder people migrate. They will, unless there is something so magical a plan to keep them hooked there. Wherever I go, they complain that their crops are damaged by wild animals and when they cannot harvest half of what they should, there is no choice but to want to give up. Won't you want to do the same? Here, hard work isn't about sitting on the chair and thinking of a plan of which place you should be visiting next; it is about sweat. Sheer toil.
Really, if there is one thing I must speak for the farmers, they need more help than anyone of us in the civil service, corporate or private sectors do. We need to listen to them. They need to be heard. I couldn't help think of the several, several 'roundabouts' constructed in just one Thimphu town, which every new day was dismantled for reasons I did not know. Our farmers' annual income isn't even equal to what is spent in just one of that 'roundabouts.'
Why must Thimphu, Paro and Phuntsholing get all the attention? Aren't we talking about equitable socio-economic development?
I have been so lonely this past one and half months. I have shed more tears than I did my entire life. I thought, in these barren, nothing grows kind of villages, I would never be able to even lay my eyes on someone I thought was attractive. Don't get me wrong. When I talked to a male friend online and asked me if I found someone smart, I was honest with him when I told him that I wished, I did, because that would mean just building on some imagination and warding off my boredom.
You must not get me wrong here either. When I say, I'm bored, it is not that I'm bored with my work. Work is a different story, but there is always a time when you have to sit back, hit your thoughts hard right on the walls of your heart and face your emotions. I am reading the book, 'Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul' and it says that emotions have so much to do with what reactions our body undergoes. So I just cannot hell with my emotions. I must make sure, they are acknowledged and accounted for.
So the loneliness I felt must not be just ignored. And today, when I saw a man, I'm sorry to say, but without myself knowing it for sure blurted out that I was too lonely staying so long this side of the country. But I wasn't seeking sympathy. For sure, I wasn't. But oh, it was nice to look a man in the eye and maybe even for a while feel like a woman. Nothing like a kiss, or even touch would happen of course. Married women are not allowed. But I tell you, even if it meant just talking to a man, it was nice. I think I'm tired being amidst the young boys, who I thought did not really think at the same wavelength with me.
And for a foreigner, he was too polite, too cultured and too modest. “Oh, do I see a truly gentleman today”? is what I thought.
Having watched too many movies these days, of course, I couldn't help smile when I played a character in many movies in my head. Wow, today was great.
Here, this woman with stark aristocratic features is my respondent today. I ask her, “What do you think you need to be happy and content?” And she easily utters that she doesn't know. Come on, it can't be, I think. But possibly, it is true. But she tells me that her health is frail – she has a knee problem and walks with the help of a walking stick; and she has severe stomach problem.
She herds cattle because at 72, she cannot do any other work. She has asked her neighbor to look after her cattle today. She is in a hurry. I can sense it. I try to make our meeting interesting. I don't really intend to do it, but the turn it takes is very, very interesting. I am sure, I will remember her face till I die (and I mean it). She also seems like she is forgetful and isn't a person who can give us answers for the 249 questions a GNH Survey questionnaire has. I am losing hope fast. But I want to give one last try.
When I have finished 1/4th of the questions, she tells me, “Let us make it finished. I need to go.” I can see the urgency in her but I know my work is important too. She complains that she is getting her stomach problem back. I am told that when she gets into the fit of this problem, she struggles in pain on the floor (Kalang kalang an cha is what her neighbor tells me). I look for some medicine in my bag. I call my doctor friend who prescribes that I give her a tablet of ranitidine and paracetemol.
I relax as I see her pain relieve. We ask question such as, “Do you sometime feel that you were not part of your family?” and “Have you been thinking of yourself as a worthless person?” Such questions bring them so close to us. When I explain to my respondent today, if she has been losing confidence and feeling worthless, she asks me, “Oh, how did you know?” And then we relax, we laugh and we talk like we have known each other from the last century. A moment of silence hangs in there as our hearts make the connection (I think of the movie Avatar).
Now we are so close. When I ask her, “Do you trust Bhutanese people in general?” she says, she could trust if it were me. That touches me so deep. Really, I think, it is not every day that you make such connection with a stranger. She laughs easily and slaps on my lap as she says something funny. She thinks it is odd that women wear trousers today.
She really must trust me today. She wants to know if I'm married. She tells me that she has a son who isn't married yet. She thinks he must get married to a good woman. Despite her repeated invitation to stay at her house tonight, I cannot. Responsibility is so difficult sometime.
As we part, I advice her that she must go to the hospital if she falls sick, not waiting for free time till death takes her. I also tell her that nothing is more important than regular chanting of mani. She readily agrees with me. And then, as we say the final goodbye, I think, it is not a coincidence that her name is Moenlam – which means, prayers of aspirations. I think we are destined to meet. I tell her that we will meet again and I find myself believing it.
I met two electrical engineers only an hour back. They said, “We constructed thousand of bridges and several hydro power houses, so if we are to sacrifice human beings for such projects, we would have had to sacrifice a thousand people and everyone would have known about it.” Their point is that, it is just insane to believe in this rumor. 'Insane' is the word my engineer friend in Tashigang said.
I said, I sometime seem to believe that maybe a human sacrifice is needed to appease the deity in that particular place where a powerhouse is constructed. Of course, we believe that in every big mountain, tree, or rock a 'nepo' (deity), resides. But I know that the rumor of khegpa is not true. My reason is: There are lamas who could negotiate with the deity without having to offer fresh human flesh and blood. And I feel, much as we have such belief, it is just not right to go the deity's way without trying any other alternative of appeasing or negotiating with him.
No matter what we try to tell our people in the villages, they believe that the khegpa story is true. They sleep equipped with poisoned bow and arrow. They keep the sharp patangs near their pillow. People in one village I visited recently said that they all sleep the minute the night falls and they switch off all the lights because they heard that the khegpas count the number of heads.
We encountered three incidences where people in the villages took us for khegpas. They do not welcome outsiders at this time. They are ready to even throw stones on us, or call the police. When we ask people, 'Do you feel safe from human harm to walk at night in your neighborhood?' they say that at this time, they do not feel safe at all. They refer to it is, 'tshang ma lek pa' – meaning, the bad rumour/talk.
I also heard, just like dodo said that there has been a circular saying that whoever is found to be spreading this rumor will be punished. I feel it is right to punish people who mentally assault our innocent villagers. I have seen with my own eyes the fear in these people and listened with my own ears, their fear. They are really mentally tortured with the fear. I even feel that maybe some authority should take initiative and make a nationwide announcement through the BBS Radio that this rumor is not true.
As one of my friends say, I think this rumor is first started by a thief or such person whose idea was to make people sleep together in one house which will give him/her advantage of stealing what he/she wants from the other house.
It is ridiculous that we must fear such rumor, but I must admit that, when I have to walk in the dark in the village, or when I have to visit toilet past midnight, the fear such as, 'what if it is true?' runs through my mind. I probably am a coward, though educated, or I probably am a traditionalist, though educated, but I still think, if people who are educated have the occasional doubts on this, then, there really is a need to clarify this rumor to our innocent village people.
It is almost 9 in the morning. But I'm still in bed. I have long woken up but I just lazily lay in bed. Today is Sunday and Sunday gives such luxury. I have many things pending but I want to ward them off from my mind just now. I'm floating in a dream.
I dreamed of a lama giving me the book, 'Tibetan Book of Living and Dying' as a present to me. The first thing I remembered as I woke up is this dream. I instantly remembered that dreaming of a lama that we do not recognize is a bad dream. I don't know what dream this signifies. I can only pray the day will go well.
Still lazily dreaming in bed, I'm listening to a song. A very touching soft voice of a Tibetan woman singer sings of the equality of men and women. “Phomo nyi dra nyam, drowa miyi thob thang,” the song says. It talks about how men and women cannot stand independently apart from each other. In fact me and my other half are singing this song along. Tears fall from my eyes without control. I'm not overjoyed. Neither sad. But I feel a sense of sadness thinking over the inequality that exist, however hard the right is fought. Then I find myself feeling so lucky because I have my husband holding me, singing this song along with me. And I feel, I'm celebrating this right.
Yes, if there is no 'I', there is no 'you.' If there is no 'mother,' there is no 'father.' 'Sem zhi zhing duel par. Ngar min du ma sung.' 'Jam nyingje chen la. Pa min du ma sung.' Women are the softer species of human being. They are comparatively kind, soft, generous and compassionate. So, the song urges people to not mistake this character as not being competitive, or heroic.
I have found that domestic violence occurs usually in homes where men are the sole earner of bread. When women are completely dependent on their husbands for money, they take the upper hand and thus disregard the right of their wives. As this sad music sinks in my heart, I pray for many mothers, and wives who have not found the foothold on the same level as their husband. I hear of men beating their son and daughter's mother. When they first met, they met with love floating around in their head and now, that is all gone. But I think, it is just untrue. Love could not have disappeared like that. So I pray that these men who have now begun to think that their wives are no longer the right person for them will take time to think properly. I write this with prayers that all women who are now suppressed will find their voice.
I have the greatest news ever. I'm blowing bubbles and fretting because I can't believe it. I just can't. I am at my table, still rushed, my heart beating fast. I think for an instant, I lost my heart.
I think in the history of nopkin.com I met this guy who chooses to hide behind the screen. Doesn't he sound so charming and wonderful and smart and witty even as he comments on the articles? I'm talking about FreshOneEye. No, he doesn't just have one good eye. What surprised me is that, he carries a camera, like a professional photographer, and as if he thought it wouldn't take me by surprise, he picked his camera and even before he got out of his car, he clicked his camera and took my picture.
Then, he offered me a banana flavor hatai chewing gum. I took one of it. Oh, the man is a gentleman I said to myself. He dropped me. When I get out, he says, 'take the chewing gum.' He also told me that I must know why he offers chewing gum. I didn't quite know but whatever reason he has, I'm glad he offered me chewing gum instead of doma. I saw that a khamto of doma lay beside him in the car.
Even as I sit here typing this, I'm blowing bubbles. Even when the taste has long gone, I feel like it is nourishing. It gives me the energy. I see his face clearly. He really is nothing like I imagined. For it was a short meeting, there isn't much to elaborate on. But for that briefest moment that I was with him, I really held my heart in my hand and asked it to behave. I didn't want him to know that I was feeling a little nervous.
I have no message for him, except that I'm still blowing the chewing gum bubbles and I have the 4 chewing gum sticks left over still in my bag.
We have known each other for nine years and we have seen each other for three years now. We have been friends all this time. We have argued on every small matter; we have so vehemently tried to annihilate each other's ego, because each one of us thought the other was different. And as much as he tried to brainwash me, I stood firm in my belief.
Call me an ego-centric person, but I have always believed that the values I hold and the principles I believe in are all right. I never thought that what someone believes is right would be right for me. So, the task is so much difficult for this Mr Dorji I would like to call to brainwash me. As much as we disagree, we need to meet. As much as we want to hit each other's sense out to be replaced by what each one of us think is right for the other, we need to talk. As much as we seem to think that we aren't made for each other, that much closer we are pushed every day.
One day he says, 'I have been waiting for you all these years.' I'm dumbfounded. He waiting for me? Whatever for? But he says, 'it is my story. I'm sure you will not believe it.' But the guy as far as I know, though a very good friend isn't the husband stuff: too much ego. Too self confident. To self centred. He hell sure knows what I think of him. I sure didn't tell him that I love him, did I? And no matter what I thought of him, he says again, 'I have been waiting for you all these years.' I want to shout, 'so what?' But of course I don't say that. I am thrown into thoughts of, 'does he mean it?' And as I rush quickly back into those years of friendship that we shared, I find that I wasn't totally honest with myself. Yes, the man, though too self righteous has got a heart there. And I would be lying if I said, I didn't quite feel his heart. I think, just then, I realized that in fact, we were trying to argue with each other only because we wanted one of us to speak first our heart. And that, I must say, was in fact even irritating at times.
I have been meeting him quite often these days. Thimphu gives you the opportunity to see the person you want to at your wish. I meet him for lunch. And I meet him for dinner. But no, not yet; we do not prolong our meeting beyond 10 p.m. I have to be home, strictly for my sleep time. I must be there or I will be breaking my principle.
Tonight we again had that head-bursting, brain-shooting debate on GNH. He says, he doesn't at all believe in it. I try to put sense into his head. But he is too adamant that what he thinks is right. So, for the more than 3 hours of debate we had, I wanted to blow his head off. I really wanted to. But as much, I think, I wanted to just hold his hand and tell him those words I have not uttered since I lost my first love.
As he dropped me home after dinner he said, 'I'm gonna be free on Monday.' Before I got out of the car, I asked him, 'Do you have anything to tell me?' and he replied, 'I'm gonna be free on Monday.' I did hear him, didn't I? Did he think I was deaf? I said, 'Yongba! All men are same,' and walked out. I thought, he would say, 'I love you.' The ego has taken over him again. And because he didn't say it, I think I will not call him on Monday. I don't care if he is free or not. If speaking those words is difficult for him, I don't mind growing old a spinster.
Just like Shyam put up a proposal here last time, I would like to do so now. I would like to call upon all the like minded people who care about their country to come together this Saturday. The City Corporation of Thimphu has been organizing a series of cleaning campaign in preparation of our country to host the 16th SAARC Summit. I think, it is in our hand to choose how to portray our country to the other countries. It is not every day that we get an opportunity to contribute for a good cause.
When I received a call from an old college mate about joining the cleaning campaign this Saturday, I told her that I wouldn't be able to because I thought I would have to go to office. But now, I know that I don't have to. So I'm leaping in joy and taking this chance to put my hands at work. I am counting on so many of you. From the number of users I see here in this site, I am not wrong to think that I will have a huge group to walk up together and help make our already beautiful country clean and more beautiful.
Leave a comment here. When I have heard from all of you interested members, I will give you a meeting point.
I think it is also timely. NVSS has not been able to do any social work for a long time and I think it is only apt that we pick this opportunity before it slips out of our hands.
I am so tired. I think I'm gonna collapse on my chair. I'm not here because I'm a real hard worker but because I have to wait for my other half who will pick me up only at his convenience. I am on facebook. Someone comes and asks me where I am. I'm sorry but when someone gets into talking without not really having much to say, it gets on my nerves. It really, really gets on my nerves. I'm sorry, I'm not claiming that I am good in English language. I'm sure I make grammatical mistakes, but when someone talks with that 'la' and 'wai' and all that, it kills me. It surely does.
I feel tiredness taking toll me. When you have looked at the computer screen the whole day, it can really eat your energy. I think I will have to get an eye check up and see if I have to get thicker glasses. When I talk about having to wear thicker glasses, I hate even imagining myself in them. I am sure I will look like an idiot. How I wish I didn't have to wear glasses. I wish I never read books. I wish I never read books in the speeding train. I wish I never read books under the dim kerosene lamp. I wish I never chatted online so much. I'm sorry I did all those but I can't alter any single thing. And I hate that fact.
How soon darkness has overtaken the day. How soon tiredness sinks in us. How soon people say goodbye. How soon we meet someone new. And today, listening to a colleague make presentation on Gender Equality, wow, how it made me wonder again of all the things I have been wondering about men and women being so completely different. I would like to quote him here: A man and woman wanted a divorce. The reason: They were married for 15 years. Woman wanted the divorce because he has never said, 'I love you' to her after he first uttered it at their wedding.
Man refutes: But why must I say it? I will tell her if I change my mind.
Now doesn't that make you wonder why man and woman have to even get married if they are that completely different? It makes me wonder why uttering those three little words is so difficult for men. But forget that for now. I was just meaning to say that, I feel sorry about all this, all this, and all that.
I'm sorry but I really can't take any more of taking-me-nowhere idiotic conversation. So I don't reply to this faceless person.
“The more I learn to care for you, the more we drift apart”, the song says. Having written an article about missing my late friend, I'm still in a very gloomy mood. I feel my eyes drooping down. I feel an ache in my heart and I don't know what is causing it. Norah Jones' voice has always befriended me in such times and even today, I'm turning to her.
Sitting with piles of work, not really knowing what things I must do first, I get down to writing about something that has been haunting me for a few days now. Yes, I wanted to write about people aging fast, and just as fast, the children growing up catching the ripe age of voluptuous women.
And just as the song says, I feel, from the way so many people in nopkin.com write about love, we in fact drift further apart as we come to see love more closely and it slips out of our hand just as we begin to think we know what it is. And lately, I have been talking a lot about men and women being so different. Especially in terms of caring for people, in expressing affection, in showing love, men and women are so completely different that for men, expressing love once married is kiddish. If I'm to take my husband's hand in public and do even such thing as lean on him, people will think I'm not cultured.
A man will tell you that he need not say that he loves you because you know it already. And how can we not want to hear him say it? My woman friends will agree with me here: we want to hear love expressed. We even want to read love written. Call it crazy but human hearts always crave for sweet things like expression of love. Call it nonsensical but we like being complimented once in a while. It is not that we take every nice thing spoken about us as true, but it refreshes our mind. It even boosts our self esteem.
Once you are married for a few years, your husband not finding you attractive might come true. You wither as the years roll by. Soon the young girls catch the age of being flirtatiously ripe. And yes, your husband's eyes will land there. And you know what? You can only wish, your biological instincts were not designed that way.
Much as I wanna disagree, I know so much to say that men and women just don't think alike. If sleeping with many women is simply a fun for men, it is completely out of the way disregard of society's norms for women. Dare that and you will find yourself waking up to see your morality completely slain. Not that I wanna dare it but I really do not understand why society has to differentiate men and women that way. Even without requiring people to gossip, I'm sure women would know their own limits to define a fine curve around their lives.
I look at his face. I look at his face. And I look at his face again. He is holding me so cuddly close and both of us are smiling. Those were the days. He would call himself Vellore Boy and as we part, he would write sweet things like, 'I will miss you honey.'
After so many years, as I scan through my books in the server room, I run my hand on the notebook in which is written a story called, 'Extending Eternity.'
I quickly read his letters. Holding my heart in the throat, without blinking my eyes, I open the same page and look at his face again, very closely. This time, I trace his face with my fingers. I quietly talk to him, call his name and ask, 'Chophel, where are you?'
Then I feel this urgent need to see him, to talk to him, to hear his laughter, to hold his hands. I can still so vividly remember his voice. It is like I'm haunted by a dream I wish was real. Talking about dreams, in fact, I have not dreamed of him for a long time now. This makes me wonder if he has forgotten me. What I feel is that, no matter how long he is gone, he will remember me as I remember him; that even if he were to be born again in Bhutan or anywhere on Earth, if we are to meet, he will know that it is me–that stupid, psychotic friend. Just like I talked to him on the phone that evening in Vellore to wish him on his birthday, I wanna whisper, 'I love you.' This is how close a friendship we shared.
Today, I miss him so much. I feel an overwhelming emotion that is gonna engulf me. 'Chophel, I wanna see you now. Just as you could console a heart of a young girl then, I'm sure you would know exactly what I'm feeling now as a grown up woman.'
He wrote, 'Dear little angel, will you protect me from all harm?' I want to tell him that I will. And as I call his name again, I want him to come and take me to Gandhi road, where as I sip Mosambi juice with him, I can laugh the cheerful laughter that I haven't heard for a while. As I see us walk towards the corner near the CMC hospital where a man sells Mosambi juice, I close my eyes and extend my hand out and I think I feel him take my hand.
Author's note: I lost a wonderful friend to brain tumor. Despite so many years that passed, I still call his name and wish he were beside me. Today as I call his name again and cry missing him, I celebrate 8 years of my friendship with him.
I'm sure many of you here remember nopkin.com organizing a voluntary group to help construct a house for the dogs at Sarbithang last year. On the same front, I would like to inform everyone that the Jangsa Animal Saving Trust is looking for volunteers who can help in works related to saving/helping animals.
Please find below a membership form for the Jangsa Animal Trust Fund. Once you fill up that form and submit to this office, you will be a member of this organization and so agree that you are willing to voluntarily help in activities related to saving and helping animals as and when required. Also, if you aren't registering, if you come to know of such activities being held, you can form a group and join the office in the work.
I look forward to seeing many kind hearted people of nopkin.com coming forward to contribute in this noble work.
She heard her mother talk to herself loudly from the other room. She also heard utensils clank. She is preparing dinner now. I thought I will. But she never got up from her chair. A while later, delicious smell of curry caught her nostrils. She thought, God, she has started preparing dinner now. I must really leave. But she was still on her chair after an hour.
Another work waited her call. She thought, that can wait till I have gotten over this talk.
Yanki has started losing herself. A responsible girl, respected by her village people, she was known to be not only bright, but hard working, not only hard working but responsible. And now, she found herself changing. Why must I not change? Everyone falls in love. Everyone who fell in love has gotten a little different, forgotten a few responsibilities and wrote poems or stories.
And so, those thoughts winning over other thoughts of having to be responsible, she hooked on the internet, talking to this faceless person she had come to idolize. Much as she wanted to blame him for changing her, she embraced the beautiful feelings that ran through her everyday. Every night she went to bed, wishing she would see at least a silhouette of his body in her dream and every morning she woke up wishing, he would call her.
Dinner was cooked. It even turned cold. She turned a deaf ear to her mother calling her for dinner. Instead, even when the guy said he had to leave, she pleaded for him to stay a few minutes more. A few more minutes she thought would be all that mattered to her life now. As much as she wanted to tell him what was bursting inside her heart, she waited for him to utter it first.
Thus went on so many nights. So many nights she did not eat dinner with her mother. So many nights she missed her prayers. So many nights she dreamed of a faceless person. So many nights she woke up to find that the person she wanted so much denied her love.
And then one day, when the day really dawned near, where she was all prepared to burst open her heart, she read an email that explained everything. The email read: Dear Yanki, Much as I want to love you, I am a prisoner of my own fate. Much as I want to see you, I'm a prisoner of my own home. Much as I long to hold you, I'm a scared person. I'm sure you will understand my inability to commit. As much as I want our relationship to go on, I must foster all my might and bring it to a quick end. I think carrying it forward will only do you damage. A young beautiful girl like you will surely have a wonderful life ahead. I'm sure you will fall in love again, this time, with a better person, who can give you the much deserved love, purely for you alone.
They were to meet that day.
A thunder like thought exploding from inside, she hid herself behind the computer screen and that was all that was seen of the person she was so much in love.
And in the thousands of thoughts that she ran through that moment, she wanted to run away and never look at life she so loved once. She thought, in believing in the beauty that flashed like a lightning, she forgot to anticipate the thunder that follows. And so she chose to get back into weaving a world that was completely her own. She built a world around herself and if a guy ever even tried getting near her heart, she shooed him away.
Epilogue: Having fallen in love with a married man, and hurt bitterly, she gave up ever looking at love again. She now lives at the top of a serene mountain and at 90, she has no regret except that she once so often visits this memory of long ago and she wishes she had at least seen him once.
I'm sleepy. But I am again with this disease of not wanting to sleep, hooked on internet late at night. I log in on nopkin.com and I see that everyone is sleeping. There is no one online. I have this habit of refreshing the page a hundred times just to see if someone has left a new comment. If there is one thing that interests me so much, it is the people's comments on articles. We do go through different thoughts. We all understand articles and author's thoughts as he/she wrote the article differently.
When I refresh the nopkin.com home page once more, I find that there is a new comment on Silhouette's new article where he has so vividly tried to show is male thoughts. I find that our much acclaimed goddess of nopkin.com, Ms Aurora is online. We get into quick conversation. Soon after the fine beginning of asking how each of us is doing, we get into talking about this hunk of nopkin, Mr Silhouette. Even as we admit that the guy has gone bold, we agree that we like such guts in man.
We talk about nopkin.com to family to our views on life. And we find that we share many things in common, especially in how we look at life and other people. Maybe because all women are from Venus. But we differ in one thing. She says, she had been hurt before. I don't know why she was hurt so much as she wrote in her articles. As elusive as a goddess or a god can be, she doesn't want to say explicitly anything that might reveal who she is. She seems to enjoy hiding behind a pseudonym. (I'm sure this nopkin.com's darl will understand me that I don't mean no bad by saying this.) Honestly, it is in my nature to shout loud my hurt. I must tell everyone near me when something hits me. I cry silently but I think everyone who works with me, or studied with me has seen my tears. But I think tears really do wash away all the hurt. After a gallon of tears have fallen off, I feel much relieved.
I wonder why she tried so hard to impress people as she wrote in her articles and so I speak aloud my thought. “Why did you want to impress people so much? I have always been kinda careless. So no such thing as wanting to be perfect,” I say. She says, “I was told that I was good, perfect and I didn't want to fail anyone.” Then I see what difficult situation we are put into as people rate us. I think, it is so much better to be ourselves and not create any image. If by being ourselves feed us well, keep us happy, I feel it is so much better than not having to maintain a status.
We agree that we always mistake that happiness should come from dazzling, shiny, big things when it actually comes from small things in life. And as we tapper down our conversation to bid goodnight, we agree that beauty lies in all the small imperfections in life.
And so, agreeing that as much as we are taught to be selfless, we must know how to care ourselves, we bid goodnight. There in the hour of late night I have the conversation of life itself with the goddess who breathes in many of us the hope in life. (I say this knowing how she puts hope into many people who write articles in nopkin.com seeking help and suggestions). A peaceful dreamless night I sleep and wake up to a fine morning.
I read Silhouette's article and had the biggest laugh of the day. And just then, I had to go and meet this guy who was locked up in a room alone. I thought, maybe this is the challenge. But how did Silhouette know? With little knowledge of what might happen, I took off, for, today, this man who was calling me was my boss.
We have always been good friends; but we have always argued about every small thing. He always has to comment on every small word I speak and it is the same with me. Just when I was about to leave his room after staying with him for an hour, I asked, “What is your blood group?” His blood group is B+. People with that blood group are stubborn I said. I also admitted that my blood group is AB+ and people with this blood group are supposed to be little crazy. A little out of order. And he said, 'People of your kind are autistic.' Autistic? Have I heard him right? I made him look it up on the web so that he understood what he meant.
He complimented me by saying that, he meant people of my type are sharp. Now, was that consolation at all? I probably might not be bright, but I never thought about me being autistic. I thought I was just normal human being. Just as soon as I reached my table, I looked up its meaning and here is what it says: autism: (psychiatry) an abnormal absorption with the self; marked by communication disorders and short attention span and inability to treat others as people.
Inability to treat others as people? That is what most shocked me. I will not talk about what I thought about myself all this time, but I thought I never saw any indication from any people I have met in my life till now that I had the inability to treat them as people. But I will forget this for now. I don't have the interest to take him seriously. We both laughed at this but it hasn't left my head yet. I know it would have left his head. I'm made to ponder on whether I seriously am little out of order.
My friend UP too said, my blood group is AB+ but she thought my craziness is controlled. Now, two people completely unknown to each other saying, I was crazy. I wonder what pinch of truth lies in that. But then, I honestly thought, I was happy being this bubbly, out of order, outspoken person. That was too much an ordeal for an hour with a man locked up in a room alone. When a man alone calls you up, I think you have to be ready to take the most unexpected comment to be natural.
She doesn't want to tell you her story the first time she meets you. But as she comes to trust you, she will lay bare her heart and cry like a baby. This is a story like no others. Or maybe, it is a story many keep in their hearts and take them to their grave.
But I tell you, even as I'm beginning to write it here, I feel like a huge task. I feel like the sky is downcast, overshadowed by black, thick clouds. I feel like the world itself has stopped on its axis and the human species has for once stood still to listen closely to their hearts. I am genuinely so touched by this story but I wonder what big black fate will want to pronounce on men and women such declaration as marriage if that is not what will make them happy.
I'm not trying to exaggerate but really, I heard her story only an hour back and I'm much struck by the decision she took, despite that hammering shout she heard from inside her heart. Her heart still shouts that same words, begging her to listen, to stop and assess. But a decision sometimes taken not to mean much stick on to you like a sticker and it doesn't go away until you really want to scratch it off and start anew.
Yanki is married. She married only a year back. She has been dating this guy for three years. Even as she dated, she was not quite sure if he was the right person. What she kept screaming to herself is that, he is a good man and if she cannot be happy with him, she cannot be happy with anyone else. There cannot be another man better than him is what she believed.
In a person's life many things happen. Everything changes. You cannot put trust on your very own self. We walk away from home for an hour and from the different people you meet, there ought to be someone who will strike the chord of your heart. This is exactly what happened to Yanki during six months absence from home.
In the much unexpected place, she met this man, a young heart of 23, inexperienced in love, but with a matured outlook on life. Never did he kiss a woman. Never did he hold a woman's soft hand. Never once did he make love to a woman. And never even did he dream what it would be like to lie next to a woman, be so madly in love, wake up in the middle of the night and stroke her hair. But this changed when the woman of 30 flounced on that university campus, her hair thrown carelessly in the spring wind. Never once had he set eyes on a woman the way he did as he first spotted her walk, as if she was surer of her steps than people could be of anything in life. And that changed his destiny.
Yanki, despite her full knowledge of her status couldn't resist the temptation too big. Especially when you set look on a guy who sets you on fire with just one look, you can never truly trust that a woman holds the rein. Woman, as much a man, is a human being. Imperfect, much likely to be swayed by temptation such as this. And for six months, she tucked herself snuggly in the heart of this young man whose destiny she held. Both of them loved each other, selflessly, knowing full well that if there is one thing they wanted to change, it was their future and it was held in bigger hands of fate than their prayer could change.
Just as soon as she got back, she got married. She did try to convince her boyfriend that she was in love with another man. But when sometime a man is in love, he doesn't want to listen to what will make her happy. He wants to possess her so much, even if it is against her wish and what will ensue in the life thereafter.
She is now married. She loves him too but in much different sense than she loves this younger man. She never saw love making as a part of love that infused in blood the tickling big pleasure. But with the man she loved, she could get it all. It is a completely different, torture-some experience with her husband. This makes me wonder why fate has to play such role as separating the hands of two people who would be happy together. Even when I'm about to go to bed, this thought still lingers on. Why do two people have to set apart their path when their hearts are strewn? Why must a man turn a blind eye when he knows that the woman he marries against her wishes would imagine the other guy in his place, even when he heaves pleasure in his veins? And what good husband can trust that his wife will not want to sneak into the bed of that man she wanted to marry?