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 The agony of love-- a short story

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Posted on 01-12-08 11:02 AM     Reply [Subscribe]
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                As the days grew shorter and mother earth started to freeze over-- threatening to end the survival of the beings not ready to shelter themselves from the cold fury, Maya happily chirped in her home as hajurmuwa told her stories of the past. Winter is normally described as cold and gray, but Maya always saw it as white and beautiful. She especially loved the nights when snow glimmered like white diamonds on the roof tops and pavements. The whole night looked beautiful and glowed with beauty. She would go to sleep looking at the snow outside. The part she loved the most was making snow angels in her back yard. Hajurmuwa would shout at her and tell her to come back in, otherwise she would catch pneumonia, but she could not help but admire the beauty outside. Hajurmuwa had confided in her that the first time she had seen snow was when she was 40, which was probably why she could not understand the glee while playing with snow.

            Maya saw a hidden pleasure in everything, when the sun shone it held a promise of a warm day, when it rained she loved the smell of wet soil, when it snowed she thought she saw diamonds gleaming on the floor, and when it got dark and gloomy, it was the best time to stay home and enjoy the company of hajurmuwa, who would tell her stories from Nepal. Some were very absurd indeed and it made her giggle. Did hajurmuwa really think that there was a thing called 'bhakunde bhoot' that was shaped like a ball and ran instead of rolling? Some were very creepy like the one about hajurmuwa's own brother encountering a lady in Bagmati pool one night when he was returning home, and how the lady's feet had been backwards. He had run for dear life and the kichkandi had shouted after him 'Aaja bachis, feri dekha paris bhane marlaas!' Her grandmother said that the spirits of loved ones lingered behind and before population explosion in Nepal, they would actually make contact with their family members. Hajurmuwa claimed to have had conversations with her dead mother. She stated matter-of-factly that now that the population had grown ten folds in Nepal, the spirits were scared to come out!

            Maya wondered if hajurmuwa was telling the truth or if she just believed in couple of lies. Her stories felt like the Harry Potter series at times. Nearly Headless Nick-- the Gryffindor house ghost might as well have been from Nepal. She giggled to herself as she felt the absurdity of her own thoughts and went ahead to do something else. Her parents had always been busy making money and paying debts from the past. Had it not been for hajurmuwa living with them, she would probably be in a day care center handled by uncompetitive group of people who claimed to be child experts! Being raised by a grandmother who had never stepped out of Nepal until she was forty, Maya was different than the other Nepali children of her age. Whenever she went to Nepali get-togethers, she saw Nepali children in groups talking in English and throwing slang words at each other. Hajurmuwa had grudgingly said the other day that a ten year old had come and said hi to her instead of Namaste. When asked since how many years had the kid been to the United States, he replied 'tomorrow it will be two whole months granny!' She had frowned in disgust at the kid and left without saying a word.

            Maya laughed heartily whenever hajurmuwa grumbled and whined about the loss of Nepali culture in the kids of the new era. Maya had been taught to greet a guest at the door and ask them if they wanted some tea. Her grandmother would make her recite the Nepali alphabet and count from one to a hundred in Nepali every morning. According to her, a person should always know where their blood came from. And Maya never forgot! People would seldom say that they came over just to see Maya talk in fluent Nepali and cook tea for them. 'This is the only true Nepali home in the area,' they would retort and smile at Maya and give her a pat on the back. She always enjoyed the company of others as her home would normally be quiet and lonely with only hajurmuwa and her at home most of the times. She would love it when some old lady like hajurmuwa came over, and they would talk about the old times.

            Her parents were like strangers who came in and out of the house. She slowly grew up with hajurmuwa who was her confidante, her friend and her parent. She would look at hajurmuwa's wrinkled olive face and warmth unlike any other would run deep inside her. Her callused hands felt like soft cotton to Maya, especially when she would oil her hair just lotioned her hands. Years passed by and hajurmuwa never changed, she always treated Maya like a five year old, and Maya was happy to stay a five year old. They shared a bond that no one else could understand. The fifty year old gap between them did not mean a thing, it was like seeing two telepathic people at work, one would feel and the other would understand. One would smile and the other would be happy, one would frown and the other would be worried. Maya's parents were relieved to see how well they got along. Had that not been the case, they would be unable to make the best out of life and would be bearing the burden of the daughter that seemed more like a big bag of potatoes to them.

            The first snow fell down on November 12th when she was 16, and Maya rejoiced as soon as she woke up in the morning and saw the white diamonds all over the place. She ran to hajurmuwa to tell her about the snow. She went straight to the kitchen as she would normally be there, dutifully preparing some breakfast for Maya. Surprisingly, hajurmuwa was not there so she went around the house looking for her. When she could not locate hajurmuwa anywhere, she went to the bedroom. Hajurmuwa was lying beneath the sheets, peacefully in a deep slumber. Maya smiled as she looked at the serene picture in front of her. She sat beside her on the bed and stroked hajurmuwa's gray hair. The encounter brought her hand shooting back towards her in a deep shock. Maya looked at her grandmother's frame and hesitatingly forced her hand back to hajurmuwa's forhead. She was not imagining, hajurmuwa really felt as cold as the snow outside and now that she paid attention, as white as it too.

            She just sat there for five minutes staring at hajurmuwa, waiting for the pain and agony, waiting for something to gnaw at her heart, waiting for her heart to rip into pieces. She waited and waited and waited but she could not feel a thing. She could not even feel herself faint right next to her beloved grandmother's corpse¦

            She was sitting in a room full of family and friends who had come over to give their condolence for her loss. She nodded at people and stared into space and vacuum. She heard the words of people, but did not understand them. All she could think about was her grandmother's lovely callused hands and wrinkled smile. She urged the pain to engulf her heart, urged to feel something for her lifelong companion but the numbness stayed in her heart forever. The last thing she remembered of that day was looking outside the window at the ghostly white pale of the snow, and thinking how it looked like the clothes of a wailing widow.

            Days passed into months and months into years. The summer sun brought unbearable heat and dryness, the rain brought down the tears of the lords, snow reminded her of an ever wailing widow and a dark and gloomy day crashed her feelings further down. Life went on as it always does but Maya never again made snow angels, or heard mystical stories of Nepal. She gradually went to college and graduated. She had learned to smile again but her laughter never reached her eyes. Her parents called her about once a month and went on being the strangers that they were. She went on married a nice man who was in touch with his Nepali origin as she was. She made friends, did every normal thing that a married woman would do, except ever talk about her grandmother. Life came at her fast, bringing with it unknown changes and many surprises.

            At the age of twenty-eight, Maya gave birth to a wonderful baby girl with the smoothest olive skin and the smile of an angel. For the first time ever Maya's husband heard the name 'Sita' out of her mouth. That was to request him to name the baby girl after her grandmother. 'You never talk about her' he had curiously retorted. Maya looked at her husband, her eyes filled with laughter... 'one day I shall' she replied and hugged her baby to her breasts.

             Sita was five years old - a child with a positive radiant attitude towards everything in life. She loved every weather and liked everything about the world. There was nothing that could bring her down. One winter day as Maya walked out to the backyard to give Sita her jacket, she noticed Sita making a snow angel. The little girl stirred an emotion inside her that she had long forgotten. She felt the warmth inside her like she had once felt years ago. Sita came running to her as soon as she saw her mother.

            'Mommy, how come you never tell me about Nepal?' Sita pouted at her mother and crossed her arms in front of her chest.

            Maya smiled, 'did you know Nepal is a mystical place with ghosts that look like balls and lady ghosts named kichkandi that go after the men?'

            Sita's eyes were round with amazement as she heard her mom talk about Nepal. 'Oh mommie please tell me,' she begged her mother.

            Maya needed no more persuading. The stories she had heard during her childhood flowed out of her. She smiled as she recalled every little detail and every little story. She envisioned her olive skinned hajurmuwa sitting in front of the fire and telling her stories that made her think that Nepal surely must be enchanted. She felt the callused hands hold hers and the kind eyes smile down at her. She felt the first drop of tear roll down her face, and then another and before she knew she was weeping her heart out for the grandmother who had left her seventeen years ago. She could still remember every line of her face and every emotion that showed in her eyes.

            Pain and agony for her grandmother finally began to tighten her heart as she wept for the greatest loss she had suffered in life. And then she remembered hajurmuwa's words 'the spirits of the loved ones lingered behind to make sure that the ones closest to their heart were doing alright.' She looked up and thought that hajurmuwa surely must be around, looking after her as she always had and the pain dissolved into the unique warmth that only her grandmother and daughter could give her.  She knew for sure that her grandmother still looked after her. She looked down at Sita and found the same kind pair of eyes her grandmother had possessed. She knew that she had never been alone. She wiped her tears and told Sita 'I sometimes wonder how bhakunde bhoot runs when he has no feet.'

Sita sank into a deep thought and burst into giggles. 'Mommie, do you think Alice actually went to Nepal instead of wonderland?'

'I have always wondered the same thing sweetie,' she replied and rumpled her daughter's hair.

Last edited: 12-Jan-08 11:38 AM

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Posted on 01-22-08 12:53 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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girl, you have it , yah! you have it. i just love the flow of your story. honestly, i didn't pay much attention to your plot but i was just flowing with the words. silken touch, indeed. kudos!

Posted on 01-22-08 1:55 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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Great Story Rythm ! Impeccable narration !!

Loote is right, the agony of love is even greater when its just been a couple of months.

Loote bro, my heart goes out to you, my condolences !!

Posted on 01-24-08 10:56 AM     Reply [Subscribe]
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Great one. I almost cried along with Maya. Thanks
Posted on 01-24-08 12:18 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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Nice story!

It reminds me of my Grandmom who had passed away   9 years ago when I just came to US.I was very colse to her and she was the nicest person.

Anyway,great story Rythm.

Posted on 01-24-08 1:03 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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I somehow missed this one. I love to read literature pieces, especially stories, here in sajha. The flow of this story reminded me those terai rivers I saw in winter. No floods, no overpowering of banks, and no fear. I also enjoyed watching how the story smoothly transitions into a new era--- A somber story can be a lively one too ...

Good writing, Rythm. Hope to read more.

Last edited: 24-Jan-08 01:03 PM

Posted on 01-25-08 4:52 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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I guess I have not been too attentive for the past few days, I completely missed everyone's comments on my story. Thanks to you all for taking the time to read this piece. :)
Posted on 01-27-08 12:54 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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I rarely read those stories as they are beyond my capacity of gaining something from the best stories (should be but I cannot evaluate) from  writers like Rhythm, John Galt, Sajha Gazer, Loots, cap saap, sum off, sitara, amber …. But our ‘Nepalki_chori’ bhauju asked me to read this story during our ‘luncheon guf’ relating family backgrounds.

I might have heard many fairy tales but I never forget those terrible stories from my hajurama (especially told during nights). As I spent most of my childhood with my hajurama rather than my parents who were always busy to their ‘usual jobs’. I learnt much more and shared my feelings but what to our generation. Being the conservative, we may want the same environment as we spent in but that’s indecisive.

Very nice story rhythm, I am really delighted from the writing. I am missing my hajurama who is fighting between life and death in her late eighties and looking for her grandsons around her.


Posted on 01-28-08 11:55 AM     Reply [Subscribe]
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What a great piece of writing. Loved every word of it--even the ones that were adjacent to this thread. I found myself choking near the end. Simply magnibulous!

Last edited: 28-Jan-08 11:22 PM

Posted on 01-28-08 12:59 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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Kasto ramro ra mithos katha!!! Loved  it!!!

Posted on 01-28-08 1:36 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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I was surprised to see someone comment on my writing this late after I had actually posted it here, but I must say that these were the most insightful replies that I have recieved so far.

Parbatya, I am flattered that someone would ask you to read one of my writings. I am only an amateur writer and the fact that you appreciated this story means a lot to me. I understand when you say that you feel for your grandmother. I think about my gradparents a lot too, and I was thinking of my grandmother and her stories when I wrote this. Thank you.

Sum_off, I had never thought that you would reply to my writing but the length of your post had me surprised when I first saw it. To be completely truthful to you, I sit down and write something at one go, hence I am not analyzing if my writings are literary as they should be. About the first sentence that you commented on, it might as well sound like you said it did. I have no idea.. I take writing as a hobby, hence I have no idea of the literary rules that a responsible writer should be aware of.

I would like to explain to you why I sounded like a CNN commentator though when I wrote about the uncompetative nannies. I wanted to express how she would have suffered in the hands of numerous day care services that exist, rather than being able to stay at home. Compared to her loving grandmother, the nannies would seem incompetative. Maybe I should have added one more paragraph about them, but I was not trying to show my intense distaste for nannies. hence, I thought it was not appropriate for the plot. My inability to make you understand the "uncompetative" word would be my inability to express myself as a writer... and I would keep that in mind when/if I write something else in the future.

Lastly, being the wonderful writer that you are, I am honored by your suggestions and interest in my scramblings. I am nowhere near a literary writer though, hence my ignorance might be the reason of my shortcomings. BTW, I absolutely loved The Kite Runner and The Namesake. Wonderful works!:)

Dalli Resham, thanks for reading and appreciating. :)

Last edited: 28-Jan-08 01:38 PM

Posted on 01-28-08 1:52 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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LOLOLOL HAHAHAHAHA...oh this is interesting ..
sum off dai,
howdy? long time?

i like your posts--be it stories or commentaries. barring one or two or few, they are always enlightening -- sometimes on the subject matter you discuss and at times on yourself.

i loved the way you critiqued this story. if i were a writer, i would love to have a reader like yourself ...and you say you're a 'lousy' reader. had you been one, you couldn't have been able to point out the subtle holes in the sentence structure or in the spelling in the story, no? or may be because they're not as subtle for you as for most of us readers who go by the simplicity and the overall presentation and the melody and 'rhythm' in the flow of the narratives, what you see and point out easily, we tend to overlook the same-- at least i do. so at the risk of being offensive, i would say you are a 'cunning' reader, but  that doesn't take anything away from your writing caliber and  i will still love to have you as a reader as it's always good to know what's missing in the stuffs you write.

one more thing, i think some of the seasonal writers here are so because they are under hectic schedule of work and school hence story writing, albeit their passion, is not possible due to time constraints. but that's not an excuse for holes in your writing if you're an aspiring writer but then again c'mon! we write in just in SAJHA for heaven's sake.

lastly, i admit that i too tend to be cunning at times, hence i pick up the line which posters write and which i don't agree with in part or in whole:

you wrote:

"Other than that, I adore you as a person—for being nice, humble and gracious. I have told you many times to write more. Because I seriously think you can."

what is 'other than that' doing there? HAHA..it sounds like "wow i adore you as a person, but since you don't write correct english in your stories, don't be disillusioned! i abhor you or might not like you as much as you think i do" ? HAHAHAHA

(just my 2 cents which by no means is to discourage or disrupt the wonderful conversations and teachings that's in store here in this thread )

Posted on 01-28-08 10:27 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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Post recalled. Check your mail, Sum Off.

Last edited: 28-Jan-08 10:27 PM

Posted on 01-28-08 11:20 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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awww.......... that was really sweet!! good job,, short and  meaningful!!
Posted on 01-30-08 8:58 AM     Reply [Subscribe]
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It's been eight years now. I thought how would I live without her and one gloomy dusk, she left us.This story made me cry. She didn't believe in ghost but had a faith on some unknown power. She had name for them; Ram, Krishna, Shiva and many more. It is not the story she told us but the story she herself was; a epitome of integrity and love, I wish to pass on to my kids.  You took me to the time when I was with my HajurAama and was very happy to be with her.

Thank you Rythm

Posted on 01-30-08 12:23 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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Rythm, 2 thumbs WAY UP!!!

BTW, can anyone plz tell me the story of "bhakunde bhoot"? As I was growing up, I never heard of that story.


Posted on 01-30-08 12:33 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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Uncle L, :D

Jashmine, thanks a lot!

Thanks SunnyDev. You reply got me sort of emotional too. I am sorry for your loss. But the good part is though humans are only mortals.. the memories they leave behind is immortal. :)

Raascal: Hello! Hmm.. about bhakunde bhoot. I will tell you what I heard from my grandmom. Bhakunde bhoots are shaped like balls.. so if you see them, you will think that someone left a ball on the road by mistake. Two of her brothers was coming back from somewhere quite late at night.They saw it and tried to kick it re. But instead of rolling away, it started running. And they did the only sensible thing they could do.... they ran away too. LOL. thats all I know about it. I dont know if it was a fictious tale told to mesmerize a ten year old, but thats all I know about it. :D

Posted on 07-30-15 2:27 PM     [Snapshot: 5021]     Reply [Subscribe]
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......a lovely story...

Bumped :)
Posted on 07-30-15 2:55 PM     [Snapshot: 5058]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Beautiful story.

I always see a shade of old in the new...

Thanks for the bump Thaha..
Posted on 07-30-15 3:36 PM     [Snapshot: 5086]     Reply [Subscribe]
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i was about to pass on this story. However, for some reason, may be for the some word, i guess 'hajurmua' , i read it.
Yes i like the story. It is beautifully written. good writing flow of a writer.
If you guys know about 'fuccheketo' of sajha, his stories are very nice. i started reading stories in sajha 'cause of stories of fuccheketo :)

I wish I could have provided more warm love to my late grandmother.
I used to smoke bidi with her just for fun.
Although, I have always loved my late grandmother, my behavior towards her was always like an arrogant teenager. I always regret for that.
I wish I could traverse time back to the past, I would have definitely corrected this ignorance of mine.
'Rhytm' Thank you.
Posted on 07-30-15 6:33 PM     [Snapshot: 5160]     Reply [Subscribe]
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sojhoketi aka user01,

yo sala keyboard warrior matrai ho...chakka sala din bhari computer ko agadi basyo ani keyboard chalayo....tapori chutiya khate mzchiqne rundi ko ban

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