My Friends

Sunita Giri 11:12 PM |

“Why my puwa is so tasty, today ?” I wondered loudly.
“My puwa taste okay, and its not that sweet as you say”, Bobby responded, after tasting puwa from her cup.

That surprised me, because mine has extra sweetness in my puwa, a daytime snacks, which we used to have in Bal Mandir. I think it was, Saturday that day, when I was enjoying this Bobby, my best friend, was by my side eating her puwa and Shova was in front along with others. Because, if it would not have been Saturday or other school holidays, Bobby & Shova would not have been sitting by my side, while we eat my daytime snacks. They used to go to different schools than I,  and if I had to believe Bobby, hers was not as sweet as mine.

I just did not pay much attention to Shova, who was watching me closely on my face and my reactions to the food. How can I not get it, it's she, who had done something with my puwa, even though she was standing in front of me, her face was brightly lit and she was smiling from ear to ear seeing me enjoying my snacks and at the same relishing seeing me surmised like that.  

Not knowing all this, I was trying to find out, why my puwa was so tasty that day. As I dig deeper inside my mug, with my spoon, I could not see anything unusual to make it sweeter. I was looking for the strands of sugars in fact. The brown sugar, which Shova had put at the bottom of my mug, and then made sure that same gets covered properly by puwa on top. Because the color of the brown sugar and puwa was almost same, so, I just could not guess it why it was so sweet that day.

It was Shova’s tactics to pull me towards her. You know, when we are young, its easy that some people really know how to please us and food is one of the easiest bribe to please children.  All of us were in the same class but Babita and Shova, both were class toppers in their schools and I was not even the distant distant neighbors to the good marks. I guess good marks were just so not happy with me, and honestly, I never have any complaints with them, because I just choose to disagree with them.

My only relations with good marks was, I have close friends, who were good student and loved to feel good about it. In general, its like attracts like and good students are friends with those who are good in studies, but you have to ask them why they were my friends instead of me not  being bright student. 

I was average student, all my student life.

This two friends always wanted me to be just their friend but did not gave me any choice to choose both. They did not verbalized it, but, acted in a way that gave me kind of ultimatum to choose just one; or I am not your friend. My only problem was, I loved them both, wanted them both by my side and needed them both. As a child I did not pay much attention to gap the differentiation between them and even today I can't even remember what was the reason they did not like each other.

I can't remember exactly today, but it may be that, both used to poison about each other and my young brain was not experienced enough to take sides or decide; who was right or who was wrong. So; this created a small problem during my teen years and me swinging with each other. Because, sometimes, I used to end up with Shova and miss the company of Bobby and sometimes with Bobby and then I missed the company of Shova. 

Do I have to spill the bean here that during those times, I was not talking to one of them due to misunderstanding created in between us by the one who was with me. It was the time one of them tried hard to get me back as her close and best friend.

Its some what kind of flattering to know some people will do anything to take me back in their company, but in fact, those try hard moment also tested my own ability to maintain good rapport with both of them. No doubt, I liked their company, both of them were joy to be around, loved me dearly and  were nice and close to me. If Shova used to shower me with bribes like varieties of foods, then, Bobby used to bring me books from her school friends. We use to read books and then discuss about the novel later, besides she was my confidant too, unlike Shova.

It takes time to understand how compatibility and trust matters, more in life; than anything else. Life will be hard to live without the person who can understand you, exactly the way you are, and what you say meant to them exactly the way you mean it. There is nothing relieving, to find a person who reads the same book and can talk about it for hours and finding a person with whom you can share your secrets.

Needless to mention then, at the end, its was Bobby with whom I used to hang up more but Shova remained my good and close friend as long as I was in Bal Mandir, but we three could not be friends at the same time, as a group. However, I never paid much attention or dig deeper, why they could not tolerate each other, because they both were my friends and I like both of them equally.
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Seven Stones

Sunita Giri 11:29 PM |

The best part of April and May is that, it has comparatively long days. Good for children to play after school. You may be aware that June is the month, which has the longest day than all other months; but due to rainy season its long days is somewhat useless for children to play outside. You may say that October is also perfect time for outside play time but alas, it's time for boys to fly kite and they find all other play pale in comparison to flying kites;  besides its a month of Dashain, the biggest festival here in Nepal so this month has different charm than it being just a month being perfect for playing outside.

When I was young school girl, I was not much of sportive person. This applied for both indoor and outdoor games and as I grew more, I became fatter and fatter every week and games were not something  I found joy in it, unlike others. And that almost barred me to play games and join others in the game they enjoyed a lot. School time is the time, we had plenty of times to play, play and play after study. Seven stones was one game, I do remember playing and talking part more often than other games, that was played in Bal Mandir and may be only game I used to take part and enjoyed too.  

Maybe this game is one of the cheapest game to play, all you need is many people to play, which Bal Mandir never lacked, and all you need is some stones and a soft ball to play the game. What I like about this game is its so full of noise, commands and instructions to do things this way or that way and finding instantly what one thought was not the right way to place the stone on top of each others and others found the better way to finish the arranging it faster than it was thought previously.

Something tells me that, me taking parts in this game is because it must be the time before I got fatter which means, before I turn teenager. Hum, this is perhaps the only game that have more good memories I have playing with others. but, what I do not remember is, does this game needed seven players in each team ? But both team had some numbers to spread in the big background of the Bal Mandir as it provided enough space for us to play.

The players, probably consisting seven team members in each team, was divided in two team. One was to arrange the stones and others had to do all efforts to make that team to stop arranging the seven stones and complete one game. The best way to find enough time to arrange stones, which of course, is to place one on top of each other, a player of the same team had to catch the ball and then throw it, out of sight, while one is arranging, others are helping the person to keep arranging it, by distracting the other team’s players.

One of the easiest way to distract the opposite team’s players was throwing ball as far as it can go, or at places, which made it hard to find the ball faster.  Players could pass the ball amongst their team and throw the ball at the opposite team’s players, when they came to arrange seven stones, keeping each one on top of other, until all seven stones stood tall in perfect order, before the other team’s player can throw a ball on it and dismantle the each player's effort. If the ball touched the player, while arranging the stones, then he or she can not take part in the remaining game. Fewer number of players, made it hard to arrange the balls to take on shape and fast.

The good news is everyone had their own strength in this game, some could run fast to distract the player of other team and some could throw ball fast to out the player from other team and some enjoyed to dismantle the arranged stones every time it took shape and some enjoyed completing it against all odds. When you play game you hear all sorts of noise coming from all the direction at the same time, like Sunita throw the ball, Munna pass the ball here and hey Rabi go to arrange the stones and Raghav ! No, No, that is not how the stone is arranged, you have to know it properly to arrange, so that you can finish it faster or something like that.

Sometime, we had  stones that was easy to arrange and we could arrange it fast, but some of the guys in the team, who loved challenge found stones that was so hard to keep on top of each other and it used to take long time to arrange it, so that it could stand long enough to finish the game.

Some boys liked this game, so that they could hurl the ball with brute force and hurt girls in the team hard.  Its really hard to believe that they had fun doing that kind of act than in game itself. Perhaps, its we delicate girls assumptions about such things, that they want to hurt us, but may be its their normal force as they are stronger physically than we girls biologically.

However, its the game that reminds me of my childhood days, and all the cheerful and noisy sound around me, as if; it just happened yesterday; as if I just woke up from long sleep. Its only seems that the sleep had slipped into decades, overnight.

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PVM - Hot chocolate Drink

Sunita Giri 11:08 PM |

Its quite natural that, Bal Mandir, being the biggest children's home, here in Nepal, used to get so many donations from across the nations and some time in form of food items too. Once somebody donated P.V.M.  loads of it. Its full form was protein, vitamins and minerals It's kind of hot chocolate drinks, something like horlicks or boost. Unlike today's time, what I do remember distinctly is, then in the mid 80s, when they use fine sugar in any powder drinks, they used big grains of sugar, that can be seen with our naked eyes. It was the same thing in some big brands biscuits also. Let me tell you this, it gave me a very good feel about the food then.

When people donated anything to to Bal Mandir, it always came in abundance, I mean truckloads of it. Its like the donor knew small portion is not going to help anyone good, when there were about 200 children in Bal Mandir to feed all the time.

The powdered hot chocolate drinks was packed differently than today's packing. It was paper roll  packaging just like pringles packaging, with tin on top and its bottom; but only its was for about a kg or one and half kg packaging hot chocolate drinks. Everybody liked it. in fact they liked it so much that the children used to steal it from where it was stored and  and then have it dry, just like that. But in daytime milk it was given to all, but what  I just can't remember now is, we it having in our morning milks too.  It was so good that I do remember it being stolen from the staffs also and I used to give it to my teacher who taught us sticking, from whatever I could have my hands on. The lady wanted more from me even if the stealing was not an easy task but she presumed, we were really good at it, to be precise I was good at it. Does this tick your imagination, that she was encouraging me to steal more, so that her need to have it  and feed more to her three children will be satisfied. I denied it, as I am not known to doing things that only please others and not me. Besides, there has to be limitations when we get things, which is stolen.

I don't know at what time, the managers or the housemother learned, that the generous givings was closing to an expire date soon and one day they just burned loads and loads of it long before we had enough of it, to be tired of its good taste. A housemother, did the whole burning and burying task. In this case I do remember so vividly that, it was Sabitri Basnyat. Once she  got tired of burning it which seemed like for hours, then, she asked the junior staff and some big boys to dig big hole, and then buried the whole with unopened packaging.

That was a good news for many of the boys and girls, because seeing that good tasting food burning under the big fire was some thing we did not feel good about and not good news from any angle. Some of the boys, later dug up the hole and then unearthed the still good conditioned package and then rejoiced eating it again. How come they can think of burying food which tasted so good  ? I bet, we were not aware about the expired date on the packaging or it was something we did not needed to know !

Sometimes, when we gather then, we do look back and remember those time we had in Bal Mandir and then talk in length, that if bad food was really that bad for children, then we would have died for maybe thousands times in our lives; instead it only made us more strong than we could ever imagine. Our digestive system is a lot better than the people, who are over protected from the dirt and germs when they were growing up. But more than that, what I find so surprising is, that those foods or the condition that surrounded us, made us mentally strong too, not just physically.

I never ever thought in my life, that eating expired date food[s] or rice and lentils that was so insect infested and stone filled, smelled bad; will make me physically and mentally strong when I grow up. And yes, with all the memory intact in my mind except; I have a bad memory power, but others do not have my bad memory power.

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You must be Kidding

Sunita Giri 11:17 PM |

 When I was in my preteen years, my classmates and roommates both in Bal Mandir liked pulling my leg with stupid questions for which they said its a jokes. I am still not quite sure why, its is because they thought I am easy to fool or they wanted to pull down the snub side of me ?  But, did I or they were aware of the fact that I was snub then ? maybe just my mind running unnecessarily and digging why in the simple joke, that could have gone just like any other day.

One day, when they asked me a question, I went blank because the question was like this, why ten is afraid of seven ? They expected me to answer it, indeed, faster and then join them in laughter, knowing, how much I like jokes; but I just did not get it. The answer to this stupid sounding question was because seven eight nine. You have to absorb the idea and   pronounce the eight as eat; then you will understand its meaning, or I should say stupid meaning. It really surprised them that, I failed to get the whole funny concept behind it.

Children do learn so many tricks in the school, and they come home with it almost every day and what to say when, there is already more than hundred children who come home with new tricks to share it with their roommates ?  So one day, one of them practicing at the time, when we were busy studying during tuition class. When I was in seventh grade or younger, there used to be a tuition teacher to guide us for our homework in the morning 7:00 am about 8:45 am, before we went to school and in the evening 7:00 pm about 8:30 pm which meant before bed. But suddenly, it stopped when I was in about seven or maybe eighth grade. Since then, the housemother started keeping eyes when we self study in a room, as for guide in our homework, we have to work and consult with each other or the seniors than us.

Me not being much studious girls used to sit with other girls like me, at far right corner of the study room, let's say the talkers corner than that studies corner, at the back of the class. So some time play is also part of our tuition time. Of course the tuition teacher should not know about it but how much attention he can give to the class of about children ?

I was talking about the brand new trick, which came from school. Everyone was playing it ever since it entered the gate of Bal Mandir. That day, as I was watching some girls play it in tuition class, at last my turn came Junkiri, when called me in to play the game, saying I can tell you exactly, how you put the flip flop outside the door. I took the challenge and went out to put the flip flop, hoping she had not seen so won't be able to tell it. When I come back in the room to face the challenge, she took some time to tell me its condition.  I paid close attention to her, because I knew exactly how capable she was to know the truth like that. Knowing her ability to know things without going outside, then she told me exactly the way I had placed it outside.  
I played it repeatedly to understand the game, but yet could not find out how come she can answer exactly how I have placed flip flop outside ? Then, when I could no longer get it all on my own; I asked her straightforward way how come you can tell it ? what is the secret behind it ? When you are a preteen or in your teen years, they reveal the tricks without much fuss.

This trick needed, at least two in the team of a challenger, to carry out the task. Because one or two of them will go out with me. Of course, me without being able to doubt, that the girls are in fact, the informants of the challenger. Its their work to watch closely, what I do with the flip flop, whether, its facing upside or downside or sideways. Two of the girls who went out with me, to see, used to give her the clue of its position, with the help of the sign language or the way she sat on the floor, folding her leg, if its up, the feet palm will be upside in her sitting or if the flip flop was downside then she will sit normal manner, which was the code language, already briefed within the team, before the game began. and then sharing of some glances and some frantic gestures [ from my back], then she used to tell me, as if she had seen it in her mind.
They say smarter you are, easier to fool you, and I have very uneasy feeling about it being so right. Who ever come up with that seven eight nine and ten being scared of seven. But I still can not give my nod for it. I still try to understand, what is there in that to make it funny or a joke ? who decides what joke is ?

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