25 January, 2012


There are things that you eye on, things that you buy some of which you forget you ever bought and some you  use/wear it until it breaks/tears. And there are some things that are indispensable; that cannot be replaced by any other. That encapsulates your past and your present, weaves your identity, tells a tale of your existence. This pouch is all of that for me. 

This Thikma designed pouch was my grandmother's handwork. She wove it on a weaving machine, hand stitched it and dyed it with naturally. The name (Thikma) comes from the cross pattern which was created by using a thick string. The string was dipped in a bowl of color to dye and the dyed string was pressed onto the woolen fabric to create the two lines and lines can be translated as 'thik' in Tibetan. Hence, Thikma.  
The circle behind the cross also has an interesting story. The round portion is actually the natural color of the fabric. She had wrapped those circled areas with a piece of fabric and tied it with a thread and dyed the red portion with the help of madder. After it had dried, she untied the circled portion which was left un-dyed. 

The pattern had already grabbed my attention and when I was narrated the tale behind the making of this pouch I loved it all the more. I realised a new sense of respect towards it. It's not just an antique piece, not ordinary. It is a part of me. With it I feel closer to her. When I was listening to the story, I imagined my grandmother going through all the procedures to make this classic piece. With a lot of queries, I wondered how old she was when she made it. Was she young? Mid-thirties? Or in her older days? How was she looking then? Do I resemble her? Was she under the bright blue sky with the sun shining on her face and her careful hands? Did the thought of it being handed down to me one day ever cross her mind? How was the ambiance around her? All of this, I'd never know. 

This is one of the few belongings we have that I treasure the most. It would not be an exaggeration to say that it is priceless for me. 

23 January, 2012

hello good 'ol ktm

hello readers,
How've you been? I know it's been long since I last wrote a proper post and the last one was not an actual update.
I had gone on a short trip to India to attend the Kalachakra and was in a state of perpetual motion before I left. And so I haven't really had the time for anything leisurely. While the time to leave was almost nearing I had some assignments from work that were pending. I had to leave for India at 7 pm and I was still working on my laptop at 6. And thanks to the unbelievable hours of loadshedding, the power cuts off just as I was almost completing my work and I had to run after the power at a cybercafe nearby my hometown that was running under a generator. Sheer misery! I nearly had a nervous breakdown. By the time I finished my work and by 7, I was so so thankful that I'd be away from this country even if it was for two weeks only. So much with lamenting and brooding about the power cuts.

My trip to Bodhgaya went exceptionally well. Though there were a few hiccups before we actually settled down at a decent place. The thing was, we had a trustworthy person who had managed accommodation for us and all we had to take care of was the other necessities. Turns out that that trustworthy person was not to be trusted anymore. While we got to India, we had to find accommodations for ourselves. It was a series of hopping from one place to another until we finally found a good place to stay in. The first space didn't work out well and at around 9 or 10 pm we had to shift to another space. And just when we were packing our luggage to leave, it starts to rain. Wait let me be very descriptive: it was a downpour. Thankfully and surprisingly, the Bihari rickshaw wala was a very nice guy. During such a crucial time, he waited for us in that downpour as we brought our luggage one after the other and covered it with a sheet of plastic for protection against the rain. Right then I thought of him as our savior, someone sent by the Gods to help us helpless people. And the most shocking part was he did not take money from us!!! 
The next morning we realised the space was too small and we shifted to another space. Thank God, the third time was the last time and we finally stayed put. And don't get me started on our landlord and the funny people living in that building, if I do it's going to be an endless story. All of them were quite an entertainment and there are amusing stuff to tell you about them but I'll save it for some other time.

After all that commotion came to an end, I made way for one of the best days of my life. During those days I got a chance to fully celebrate my culture, my religion and my idol without any riot cops putting a stop to it. But there in India, there were policemen not to halt the initiation but to secure the crowd from any mishappenings. How I wished it was the same in Nepal. I don't even see that happening in my dreams. Sadness.

I'll never forget that 6th of July at Kupondol when I was stopped by the riot cops from attending one of the Tibetan community's radical celebrations: the Dalai Lama's birthday at Jawalakhel. All that steering around I had to do around the city to get there. Literally all the roads to Jawalakhel were blocked for us Tibetans and even the people on the road who saw me in my Chupa shouted, "they're not letting your people through. You will need to take a U-turn from here. Return home!" I could not measure my emotions then. By hook or crook I had to get there and eventually I got there anyhow. (I won't disclose how I got there though.) 
Anyways, so much with dirty politics.

By the way Happy New Year to all of you. During New Year eve, I was having dinner and somewhere nearby people were celebrating the night setting off a lot of fireworks in the air that spluttered in Bihari wind.

When I returned home from India at 3 am on a Saturday, I was very pleased to see my two dogs at the gate waiting for me. And I felt immensely touched when I saw them all teary eyed. That's Noyang. She wasn't born a healthy pup. She had boils all over her tiny body and I still remember how I had regularly applied ointments to beat the boils. Initially I'd thought it was impossible for her to survive but I still persisted. Slowly and gradually her boils went away and she grew into a very healthy dog. Every day when I leave for work she's there to bid me goodbye and whenever I return home she's always there, sitting at the landing or at the door waiting for me =) I miss her mother a lot who was also a very loyal dog who'd never allow any strangers to get inside our territory.

This one's from last year at my previous workplace. 

My silver earrings I bought a couple of months ago. I wore them in India throughout the trip. Now it has become a little holy from the pilgrimage. Do I have to mention I was only kidding? 

More posts coming soon, for tonight I think this much will suffice for this post. 

14 January, 2012

And the winners are...

This is going to be a quick one. I just want to announce the winners of the contest before the power goes zoop  and I'm stranded again in the middle of something and my laptop dies along with the power.

The contest really made me know my readers more. There were two divisions to the contest: one for the people from Kathmandu and another for those from New York. Clearly, my readers from NY were much more active and responsive than the readers from KTM who were a little shy in the beginning. One or two did manage to be a sport and shoot an arrow in the dark. That's the whole point of an optional question. If you don't know the answer, just make a wild guess. You never know you just might have the correct answer. And it's not always about winning, it's about taking part and being in the game. 

Okay so going by the rules I set up for the contest, the winner from NY is Tamding. YAY!!! Congratulations Tamding. 
Say hello to 'your' red bag
There were two people who gave the correct answer from KTM and also followed the rules: Dongaa and Rasana. To be fair and square this is what I did. I took two HAPPYDENT White Spearmint flavour gums. Marked one with a marker and left the other unmarked. The marked one for Dongaa and the unmarked for Rasana. (I could've made a chit but I'm down with cold and bad cough so I got whatever was right in front of me) I shuffled the two gums between my palms and picked one with my eyes closed. I had the marked one between my fingers. 
Congratulations Dongaa!!! 
Love them with all your heart!
I will come up with another contest in a few weeks. For now I'll say adieu. 
Catch you after my recovery. 
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