It is just another day of my life. Inside a small restaurant in Phuentsholing, I am listening to a soothing Hindi song. I am glued to one of the open windows. The warm wind enters from the window and gives a light brush on my face.
The wind is gentle. Blissful. It is like an outcast feather of a flying hawk had mysteriously landed on my sweaty face. Lucky people only experience such episodes.
This lone window is fenced with a metal frame. I can only let out one hand at a time from the fence. I would love to have both hands through the metal frame and glide my fingers into the air. But my interest is with an opening of this old metal pole I see on a terrace of the two-storied building opposite to the building I am in.
It is no ordinary pole.
Its body is almost fully cemented. The part visible is not long. And it has a hole. Its hollowness is facing towards me. If it had eyes, I am sure they are staring at me.
With the daylight, a small surface has light inside the hole. The base is brown and rusting.
Beyond these rusting surface, it is just darkness. It is as if light cannot be explained. Deep inside this darkest pole hole, there is a world. I feel its energy. Its silence and stillness is unmatched. It makes strange sense to me. There is something!
What could it be? It has energy. It is in motion. It revolves. Life is happening here. A screeching sound echoes. Is it human? No? What then? How strange now I see. I see them all now. A shallow lake of grey water. Grey trees. Grey flowers. Slowly, everything is transforming. My eyes are picking pace. I can see more.
I don’t exactly remember the team and the players but the yellow dress shines vivid in the sepia flashbacks from my childhood days. It
was Brasil. The first time I watched FIFA World Cup was in 1994. Watching then and now has a heaven and earth’s difference. In 1994, I watched my first bites of the World Cup in VCR player much later when the match was over. No live matches!
But things had changed in 1998. Television had started in some corners of the country although it was still an illegal matter. Four years later, in 2002, television was open. I was then a school team player and I was a boarder student. Ronaldo was my favorite player. It is him I have marked Brasil my team to vouch in the World Cups this time and my entire life. Other players that always have remained my favorite are Brasil’s Romario, Roberto Carlos, Ronaldinho, and Rivaldo. In the 2002 World Cup, it was Ronaldo’s hairstyle that made him much more than just a power player. His girlfriend, who made headlines in the Sportstar magazines, was another limelight. Although many people may like to differ that Ronaldo didn’t run much and that he just waited the game to fall in his court— my reservation is on the magic he performed just the moment the ball touched his foot. Everything had just occurred as a friend and I had predicted the 2002 World Cup during some bored evening study hours. We predicted the entire matches from beginning to the end. We wrote in the paper and put the predicted fixture on the hostel wall. To our surprise, the prediction transpired into reality! We said it was Brasil against Oliver Kahn. Playing the home ground as the organiser, Germany had made it to the finals against the yellow bees, Brasil. I was confident my team would win. How to watch the match was the question that hit hard. It was a snag for a boarder student. So I bunked the hostel and went home. Thanks to the timing. It was in the evening. I don’t remember the first goal Ronaldo scored but the second is clear in my mind. After the first goal, Germany was rather desperate and was striving on a defensive form of football game. This was one of the many reasons why elderlies back then said the finals was Brasil against Oliver Kahn, Germany’s goalkeeper. Kahn had been the most reputed of an aggressive and promising goalie. He had changed the team’s status throughout the World Cup matches in 2002. However, he was left devastated by the flashy moves between the Brasilian striker’s foot. Ronaldo scored his second. The match was over. Brasil won, so I did. In the following World Cups in 2006 and 2010, it was rather disappointing that Brasil didn’t make a good mark. But this time around, in this World Cup, I have a strong feeling my team is going to win over my heart once again, and woo the world with its colorful magic. Fingers crossed that for Brasil’s sixth win!
Every details of the day my son was born remain fresh in my memories. Although the credit exclusively rests on my wife’s vigor in the labor room, I felt of having accomplished a Herculean task when the tiny boy wrestled out to the world with my eyes staring wide open.
It was his first scream, which encrypted a miraculous feeling in my heart entitling me with the identity of a Father. The moment bestowed on me happiness immeasurable and it was the one that could fight all the sophisticated burdens of life.
Merrily holding the new suckling and wearing big happy smiles, we assumed the prime task was over. New parents, I am sure, would have gone through similar thoughts my wife and I did.
We were both wrong! The day our son was born was the day the wheel of parenthood had just begun to rotate around our lives. The true Herculean task was now approaching.
Getting equipped with the necessities for the big day, which I considered as a great attainment, was the easiest jobs of all. Cheering up the would-be-mother during her labour struggle was an anxious and a sweating stint but it was still okay.
The most fruitful involvement is the progression as a father. It is where I stand at today. It is the journey that begins with a new member in the family of a couple. Already a month and half old father, I am glad I made it this far. I cannot quit midway fearing the eventual responsibilities. There are noble lessons to learn, this time, from mistakes that cannot be repeated.
From finalising a perfect name for the child to doing away with the diapers to washing the clothes– the entire focus shifted. I am sure men gifted at multi- tasking could be considered lucky.
In my case, I try my best to provide utmost love and care to my wife and son. Evidently, I haven’t mastered in many fatherly skills. More than mastering the skills, I am yet to accept changes.
However, I have nurtured some basic errands that hold paramount importance in the process. It starts from waking up early everyday. Other activities come quite naturally with some patience handy.
When my son cries, the first thing I do is to check if he was on for a nature’s call. Most of the time he would have taken a leak.
Meanwhile, this is the only experience in my life, which made me notice mother’s infinite love for the child from so close. Fearing I would transmit unwanted viruses or flus, my wife has forbidden me from sitting too close to the child when I am sick. I cannot fall sick.
Likewise, there are numerous “dos and don’ts” I have to optimistically fulfill to be sure the baby was safe and the mother happy.
When at times I express to my partner the tiresome routine, an “unbelieving smile” only reciprocates it. However, it is an awe-inspiring feeling whenever I see my son smile. He has a wicked smile. Nobody but he only could do that. But the journey has just begun! We have miles to cover before our son grew to become a wonderful man.
And that is what all this Journey is about– about being sensible enough to be responsible enough!
“Positive?” I asked her, to which she validated a confirmation with a nod and the look I will never forget. And bang!!! The journey to fatherhood had begun. It was on August 6, 2013 when I and Bunny learned we had stepped into the magical field of parenthood. Panicking like never before, Bunny had even cried. The only thing I could do that moment was to not react and panic like her. Naturally, the best I could do was not react. I didn’t know what to do and how to console Bunny. I just gave her a comforting hug and that was all. It is six months since the bell of fatherhood rung my ears, which means Junior Rai is already half a year. Yet at times, I don’t even make sensible person a six-year-old child would make. And that is what all this Journey is about– about not being ready and yet wishing and eventually developing to become sensible enough to be responsible enough. It is about planning, about pursuing, and obeying to whatever the wife said. It is more about adapting to change for a lifetime as a different person, more better and more admirable. My journey to fatherhood is as growing as any man would have attained. Now, for many reasons, which only time will reveal, I feel wonderful. Excitement and Eagerness hovers around any thoughts I generate. Although, I may not be prepared like many soon-to-be father might have been in variety of necessary aspects, but I am impatient to smile that SMILE every men smiled when they became fathers.
To be honest, the good feeling doesn’t come overnight. It sure takes time but when it comes, it stays forever. Whenever I make Bunny laugh out, our Boy sure marks his presence with a small move. O boy! I am going to become a father this April! It makes sense at last.
2013 will be the year I will never forget. I learned. I only learned. I now bid adieu to this year, which has been an extravagance of learning. I look forward to what more I get to see and learn in 2014. All excited!!! Also, happy new year to all dear friends. May happiness embrace you never to leave!!!
A friend and I had gone in a bar on the night of May 19 (last Sunday). We walked out in a half-hour time. It was chilly outside since it had rained afternoon. Olakha area (near election commission office) remained silent at 8 pm. The shop-keepers had closed their doors signalling sales didn’t matter always. The road looked dark in the absence of street lamps (lampposts). That’s when I saw something small and white. Startled, my friend and I ran towards it. It was a tiny animal heading every directions confused and scared. I thought for a while it should be a kitten. When we moved closer– we noticed it was a small puppy.
My face had dulled earlier in the restaurant looking at my friend drink and maintaining my beloved temptation to resist. This little creature filled my heart with excitement. There were two of us chasing this white puppy now. There was a small girl who wanted it too and was after it. Her mother was following her and while she was chasing the puppy. The puppy went under the wheels of a car. I was at the front and the little girl at the back of it raising eyebrows and looking under the car’s wheels for the puppy. It was more of a competition– we were competing to be the one to grab the puppy first.
I did it!!! I caught the puppy first and held it on my arms. Listening to the sweet and loving and caring words that came out from the girls mouth, I could make it she wanted the puppy as much as I did (or even more). At one moment I thought I should just give it to the girl but the meaner side told not to. I didn’t even let her touch my new-found asset. The puppy was the same I had seen post-noon when I was climbing up home near Olakha Primary School. A naughty-looking kid in a group of boys on Manchester jersey said it was his. And I left it there.
Maybe I was the destined to be the one who should bring this puppy up, I thought, as I carried it in my arms and moved away from the little girl who may had really wanted the same. Maybe, the Manchester boy had lied on me. Anyway, I brought the little animal home. Right from the moment it had been inside the house– this puppy has been fun. I always wanted to keep a funny looking and an arrogant male dog. Apparently, it looks like I will have to wait for few more years because this puppy I found is a cute-looking bitch. The next day. I thought of many names. The initial was Juliet, then Puppy, Pinku, Pinky, Sintu, and Mintu. But nothing seemed to work for a name on her. And then I got enlightened with one more. That was Yoko. I kept its name Yoko. Since then, Yoko comes running whenever I shout “Yoko” in the house.
Yoko is white in color. It has golden fur at its back. It should be a month old or two at age. I am not sure whether or not Yoko is a stray puppy. But Yoko looks fine. She brightens my mood when I go home doing nothing at office but facebooking. All Yoko does now is bite the shoes and flip-flops in the room. It demands on canned fish and fried-eggs. And I have to chew the rice for her. She jumps happily when I open the door. It barks too!!!
After keeping Yoko at home, I came to know that it is not so easy at handling dogs as it may look when you see someone having one. Yoko shits and urinates anywhere it likes. And poor me, I am not trained at training dogs. So I have to clean the mess. But I am glad to have kept one small lost animal at home. Whenever I am off in the mood and ready to kick anyone’s balls– Yoko makes me laugh like a hyena.
I know its been quite difficult on us both. That suffocation, fear and anxiety we created still might be around some corner of our life. But that’s not anymore needed. What is important is the courage we have by virtue of being human to look the better in us, so we live by understanding, belief, trust, and faith. Yesterday was not the best, tomorrow is not seen yet. Today, let me tell you, is so perfect. And may I tell you that it is perfect because I have you to be imperfect with for the rest of our life. Now, we have five more hours to step into a new year (2013). People might be busy planning to kick 2012. But I am not in a state to kick the old for the new. I am not either going to ask if 2012 was little long. I have nothing to drag from 2012 to 2013. It gave me lessons and courage– therefore, I happily want to bid. As I bid farewell, I would like to, with this letter, tell you that you are Wonderful. This is to reminisce what better we had together to understand steps we are yet to take in the future. There is nothing as such that the two of us will be held captive of our past. And that’s why, this day, right now turns to be ultimate time.
I have few experiences, of us together to remember and tell that comforts me to understand why we good together.
06) Let us go back one month ago to November 2012. The picture below will have you remember bad and good. It’s okay. Let’s forget the bad and go for the good. Three days later in November 14, we went to a temple in the heart of Paro town.
Later, we were seated in Sonam Trophel restaurant eating momos. After we left the restaurant, we had chawanbar doma as it was an awfully cold evening. The skies were bright like never before. The brightness told that the Moon and Stars were all looking at us happily. Then, it is the Fosters in the fields with number of happy black and white dogs in their playful who were our only friends. If I had billions– I would shed half of it to live such a moment with you. Don’t think too much about the other-half. I would have given that to you so even you can shed it to live such an experience with me. I know you were the happiest that evening. Also, let us not forget the night when I went to drop you in Motithang. Two fire-crackers, chawanbar-doma again, and a Fosters is how our Diwali went to becoming very beautiful.
05) To be blunt, I am bad at remembering dates. It was May 2012 in Delhi. Remember, we had an ugly fight the day before I had my graduation in WMA.
The dream of having you at the graduation shattered silently. But you messaged me saying you would attend it. You have no idea how happy I was when I saw you at the metro station (forgot the name) on graduation day. I cannot express in words how much it meant to me nor do I have any words to tell you how beautiful you were looking. The word “beautiful” itself is too less to describe how amazing you looked that day (I think May 26, 2012). Therefore, thank you for making it happen. I am attaching one of the graduation pictures. I am sure you will remember the ice-cream we had and the “breathing space in using a professional camera” that I was so engrossed to teach you and Karma (Chimpu’s friend).
04) Well, the only two movies we got time to watch in theaters in Delhi were Ghost and Titanic– 3D version. The first we watched was the Ghost. As it was the first time together, so it holds its own specialty. Do you remember how you jumped off a moving rickshaw that day? Sorry to remind you about it. It makes me laugh though. However, if we now move to the Titanic (our second movie together), its release was timed to the anniversary of 100 years after the Titanic sunk in April 15 in 1912. The first time I watched the full Titanic was in 2011, alone. And that day I had dreamed of watching it with you. So in April 15, 2012, I watched Titanic in 3D in a theater with you (the same girl I would always call Rose, though I don’t look like Jack) and in the day when the ship’s sinking touched the centennial. You and I remembered only after three days that we have had watched Titanic-3D version on April 15, 2012. And remember, we had been to the Shiv Temple before watching this movie!!!
03) Lets stress on eating. It was a simple dinner out together at Community Center (CC) in Delhi.
I would like to thank you for leaving it to me to order plenty. It was March 22, 2012 and our first Anniversary in relation. We had become one after hundreds of ups and downs. I always feared if we would make it. I still fear if we would make it to the second Anniversary. But the fear will hold no more from now, because we made it happen every time even if we feared, so will we again.
So I leave the fear to still around only in its place. I wouldn’t anytime lose my happiness with you because of the fear I have nor will I let your fear engulf you happiness. And I thank you for being mine, always, be it good or bad. Thank you for giving me enough time to fight back what is not needed. I wouldn’t have been what I am today without your help. Thank you for exposing my weaknesses and fear, thank you for not leaving me lonely.
02) There is another small part of the journey we made together. I hope you remember a summer in 2011,
when I had come from Gelephu to meet you. The ruins of Drugyel Dzong had a pleasant silence and a magical beauty. There was one but us with Pizza you bought in Paro. How can I forget that!!!!
Though small part of thetime was not good, but there are choices we can make. ThePiggy-back-ride, the race on the road, the hands tied to one another while running were weird but beautiful to the extent it would never come again. Today, as I look to cherish this moment, I feel young and cheerful. I must say, life has just begun for you and I to again continue what best suit us– to be irritatingly wonderful.
01) We were both young those days in college. Everything that connected was pure. It was in March 2006 when we went to Tirupatti Temple. That was the start of our journey if my instinct is right. Walking by thousand steps to the Temple through the serene wind that passed by kissing is one of the most beautiful things ever happened to me! It’s because I had you by me walking the same path, feeling the same heartbeat, and wondering in innocence that will last even after our death.
I remember, after reaching Tirupatti, how we were locked in a cage to wait for our turn to see Lord Balaji. I remember the journey in the bus. And I remember how you would sleep in both (the cage and the bus). There was something between us that we didn’t know by then. It was respect and trust we had so much for each other. And that is how and why we still hang on for one another. Well, after visiting the Temple, back to college, I bought some flowers and proposed you while we had reached Satyabama College. And tell you, that was the most difficult thing I ever did. You wouldn’t know how much courage and strength we need when a proposal is serious. I still cannot believe I did actually propose you in a tuk-tuk (auto-rickshaw). I even told you I will convince your parents which, now, I think would be a biggest challenge left on me to do. And we reached your hostel. You hurried and with those flowers I bought you at Adyar in chennai.
Dear Bunny, there are so many if I write. I can go writing day and night cherishing what best we had. I am sorry for those moments that were not so good. And I deeply regret the way things had occurred. The bad times we had, I believe, are the reasons that stand testimony of our good times. I cannot be a super-hero or a perfect man. All I care is to remain still and strong to love you. I wouldn’t be able to give you all the happiness, but I know I will try. These are words that lovers in the past might have had told to the ones they truly loved. These are words, young lovers will tell after we die. And I feel free to tell you that loving you is not so easy. Let me also tell you it’s worth trying. At times, we yell at each other, we ignore each other, we forget each other, but I think that’s fair enough. It only gave us time to construct what was destroyed, our soul. Sometimes, we tend to forget to see and observe ourselves, and it is important at these times we study our own limits, strength and weaknesses. You are both strength and weakness and I know I am the same to you. Now, 2013 is close. This letter, these pictures and descriptions will become a past tomorrow and we might just forget about it. But today, this is the best thing I am doing on myself.
This letter is not really to impress you hinting I can write but doing something for my own happiness. If this brings a trace of blush and smile in you, I will be happiest man alive. I don’t know how extraordinary my love for you is. All I know is that I feel extraordinary to have you, and be yours. Loving you is the best thing I ever did, I am doing, and I will do. Please be Dumb enough to accept me your better-half.