Chungi and memories
The water bottle that stood still on her bed side desk had no traces of a full liter worth of water that she had filled it up with the night before. Karuna was parched to a point where it had brought her back to senses from her sleep. She quickly checked time on her cell phone only to see it was already five in the morning. She hesitantly got out of her warm bed to fetch some water from the kitchen downstairs. She made sure the bottle was completely full once again. Lying back on her bed with a satisfied throat, she started reflecting on what the dream must have meant. It was a vivacious dream for sure. What made it even interesting was the fact that there were so many people from the past that inhabited the dream..not just the known ones but even the not- so- friendly butcher from her neighborhood and the sharp-nosed shopkeeper at Thamel.
Among all the characters from her dream, the one who conspicuously stood out was Stuti. Just thinking about Stuti brought a smile on Karuna’s face. “Langautiya yaar”, as they say in Nepali, was the perfect definition of the bond they both shared. From stealing “kaalimati” from Bhimsen Dai’s backyard and creating whimsical manifestations of houses and animals to solving math problems together, they were friends of all seasons. Chungi was once the “it” sports of the town and they were the “it” girls when it came to the sports. They would beat all the self-proclaimed “chungi champion guys” of the neighborhood in a heartbeat. Mahesh, a fucche sexist who would make comments like “keti harule ni chungi ra guccha khelna suchaucha.gayera mummy lai khana pakauna help gara” could never look at them in the eyes after they won against him in the most intense chungi match of the neighborhood with roughly twenty chungi enthusiasts from and around the neighborhoods serving as alibis. Karuna burst into laughter thinking about that day.
Right around 6 am, she decided that she could not go back to sleep anymore. Turning on her laptop, she started her day just exactly how all the kids do it these days. Yep, you got it right. She signed in on facebook. She had asked Stuti to become a part of the facebook family years ago but Stuti didn’t give in to the temptation of “being connected through a social network”. She was an old fashioned girl who liked to talk on the phone and even write letters over facebook pokes and wall posts. But here’s the catch, Karuna was living the American dream all on her own while Stuti was still living under the constant guidance of her loved ones back in Nepal. They could sense the changes in their lives and in their perspectives every time they talked on the phone. There wasn’t much to talk about besides school and other mundane happenings. But these are topics that seem to stay stagnant forcing one down the dreaded path of constant reiteration. Somewhere along those “thikai cha, school ra kaam le busy cha” in Karuna’s replies and “ Nepal ma ta basnai nasakine bhaisakyo. Jaile loadshedding, jaile banda” in Stuti’s complaints; they both had sensed the distance that living continents apart had created in their bond. The last time they talked on the phone was Sept 15th, which was Stuti’s birthday. But it was so brief as Karuna had quickly called her to wish her from work.
“Ughh, it started snowing. I hate the snow. And the cold. And the fact that I have so much to do”, read the first status on Karuna’s facebook news feed. “These goreys know only one thing and that is to complain about everything”, thought Karuna to herself. Knowing about some random girl from her chemistry class hating on the cold and the snow as of the moment but not even knowing what her langautiya yaar was upto in all these months made her shiver all of a sudden. She turned around to check if the window was open. It wasn’t.
When some guys in Jawalakhel chowk had once made derogatory remarks at Karuna, Stuti had walked up to them and shut them up. Karuna couldn’t remember what exactly she had said to them but whatever it was, it must have been mighty good as the guys never bothered to even notice her when she walked past them after that day. “ I am the elder brother you never had girl. And I will always be there for you , no matter what”, Stuti had uttered these very words to her that day. It had been so long since they both shared each other’s company, the comfort, immeasurable laughter,painful tears and even some fights. It almost felt like it was another lifetime. With a heavy heart and a heavier sigh, Karuna pulled up the curtains . “Ughh, it started snowing. I hate the snow. And the cold. And the fact that I have so much to do”, she heard these words in her head one more time. But it was not the blonde girl from her chemistry class saying it this time around.
Last edited: 15-Dec-10 05:19 PM
Last edited: 15-Dec-10 05:46 PM