Manner Police

Sunita Giri 10:06 PM |



It was around 1:30 and we were having light meal. During day time meal, normally its bit haphazard seating plans to eat unlike the morning and evening meal for which we have to follow the strict rule about our seat. Therefore, we were scattered around the kitchen area and its veranda from both side of it to eat our light meal, for which we call Khaja. I am guessing, it must have been during winter seasons, to get the warmth of the winter sun, we must have gathered in the veranda on both sides of it to enjoy our light meal.

As we were engrossed on having khaja, Samjhana Didi, who was also having her Khaja with us, saw one girl siting on the pirka* while having her own meal, with her thigh wide open showing her undergarments. She snapped very rudely, “pull your frock, and hide your dirty kattu, I don't want to see it while I am having my meal”. She must have thought she was done for the time but then when she turned her side she went like double eeww, as one of the boys was about to eat his meal under the full runny nose. She had that thin patience and that seem to be testing the same. She snapped back again with more disgusted look on her face, “wipe your nose, are you going to eat it also ?” Then, she spoke to herself, “Oh my God ! its going to make me throw up”.

It could have been late seventies or may be early eighties; I was not grown properly to remember her in my clear mind. Still, I do remember some things about her : Samjhana Didi, was a very small stature girl. She could have been shorter than the normal height of Nepali women, even of that times standard and she could have been less then 40 Kg at the age of about her peak of teen age.

She had very sharp feature and equally sharp voice to match her feature, which sounded very mean and unpleasant; specially, when she saw those sights, just when she was about to take her first bite of meal.

“Wipe your nose !”, “clean your nose !”, “pull your skirt and hide that dirty Kattu** of yours !” were some the lines she must have been used most of her time in Bal Mandir; than any other words. Besides, if some body ate with a sound of slurp, that also tested her thin patience and she used to snap out loud, without missing her chance to say, “stop eating like that, don’t you know how to eat [properly] ?”

Housemother Kedar Sherestha, was another one who was the best manner police and had ice thin patience for manner-less people. But, it takes years to realize that those were the bitter pills to learn manners.

Samjhana and Meenu Didi used to hang out with this housemother and I do not remember any other girls who were that close with her than these two girls. She did mentor them during their S.L.C. exams. Samjhana Didi and Minu Didi was the first girls to appear on S.L.C. exam from the Bal Mandir back in eighties. They not only appeared, but also made it on the first attempt, which opened the wide door for whole bunch of us, in the following years. It was the eighties time and girls were still not regarded, to send school and then college and on top of that we were growing up in Bal Mandir.

Today, when I see people vehemently clearing their throat and nasal and then throwing it on the streets so loudly, without hesitating, I remember Samjhana Didi. But the big question is, why grown ups do that kind of sickening behavior ? I guess Samjhana Didi could not be in every homes, to tell them repeatedly, “stop doing this !”

Those are times, I remember Samjhana Didi and wish she is there in every home to tell them sternly, not do do this ! This also reminds of an old saying, some times you got to be rude to be good.

Note :
*small wooden slate like object, which is made to seat about 4 small children to have sepcially meal.
** undergarment

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