Pasta in Nasta

Sunita Giri 10:22 PM |

I may know the name of the dish now as Pasta, but then we used to call this noodles. Noodles was not on our regular menu of daytime snacks, but living in Bal Mandir while growing up meant that we do have occasional change of menu on our weekly snacks, just like that. I really don't know, not even today where it came from. Its is not easy for me to guess from which country this must have entered in the Bal Mandir. I know that it was not Maggi or Wai Wai. Besides, even if I have read that package by now I would have forgotten.  seeing the bad memory power and my past experience tells me that, there are things which I have done about 1000 times when I was in Bal Mandir, yet when I really have to try to remember I can't retrieve it from my memory bank. It may sound strange to you, but at the same time its true also.

However, something tells me that it must have been from either Japan or from Korea, may be I remember some hard to read language that is associated with Japanese or Korean language or the taste of the spices. But then again, this is just my wild guess as there are always good hearted people, who kept donating foods and goods whenever and wherever they can.

Because there is no such thing as industrial packaging when it comes to noodles and pasta, and its normally packed for individual consumption rather than for group consumption. So, when Bal Mandir got the donation of pasta along with came its ready made masala also, it created confusion in the makers who never had it in their life or made it before.

It was early ‘80 Nepal and before that we never had this snacks.  Here people always made things that was our traditional snacks. All they needed to do it, to make it in bulk. Unlike other snacks, which we used to consume on regular basis, this food needed maids or anyone to read instructions from the package which was not usual.

One thing for sure, it can be understood that, the one who used to make food could not read what was written in those packages but then the one who could read was not the one who was making it. Its was the responsibility of housemothers to know it and then instruct it to those all illiterate maids who used to prepare us daytime snacks also. Just to be sure housemother[s] have tried it separately as per the instruction mentioned on the package and then tasted it also. They liked the food if cooked for small portion but when it was made in bulk it lost all its taste.

In Bal Mandir people are used to of making foods for 200 people straight away at a time. So, when the many cartoons of noodles with individual packets needed to be prepared as a daytime snacks, then it sure was not easy for any of the woman who used to make our daytime snacks. May be it was easy to headcount and then add the package accordingly but then when it came to adding water with that of said in the package it created more confusion and the ready made product just surprised the maker as well as, we young eaters. There was also no idea of adding exact amount of salt, therefore some times it used to be over seasoning and sometimes it used to be less seasoning. One week we used to eat almost full cup, then in another week the other didi used to serve us almost half cup. That just teased our hunger pangs only. Its not easy which didi [room maids] managed to learn it fast and serve it better than the other.

One of the reason which teased our hunger pang is that it was totally new food and we liked it regardless of half cup or full cup, or less salt or more salt. We may have had this for more than a month on weekly basis but then first it was spoiled taste on trial and error basis and then once when we really started liking it really, the food finished one day before they really mastered how to make it correctly.

I am sure this was not a noodle because it was small in size and had a hole on it. Tasty spices used to go inside the small hole making this dish tasty and delicious but then may be they say this food pasta in Italy. But when I was in Bal Mandir we used to say it noodles and ate it, presuming it was noodles.
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The Kind hearted lady Myli Maharani

Sunita Giri 10:22 PM |

I met Bhawana who is next door neighbor of my brother number five. Because he is the youngest almost five brothers, so I made a point to mention this here. He lives in Madhavpur Chitwan. I always wanted to know what is the reason I [we] land up in Bal Mandir. the question that nagged me was, is this the death of our mother or the flood that dispersed our family of seven ?

In our society its regarded that the birth of daughters brings bad omen to a family however at the same time the family which don't have a single woman also dooms or dispersed. But ironically; my society gives more importance to the bad omen part not the doom part. In the family of seven and being the only daughter and the youngest one in the family after the death of mother, there was no one to work as a super glue to bind the family so the question persisted in my head.

For a long time, I thought no one knows the answer, but it so happened that the father of Bhawana knew our father; because they were neighbors, when the flood swept the area. Although, Bhawana also had lost her father long time back yet she did remembered the talk of our father so.  It was the flood that had dispersed the family than the death of the mother the only person to take care of six children. With that single flood almost all of us landed in Bal Mandir, only the father and the oldest son was left behind.

So, the question is; who rescues us from the misery of cruel flood ? When I wanted to find more one name stood tall in this matter and that name happened to be a royal member. All I know about her name is as Myli Maharani alos knows as princess Shah. She was the social worker in true sense, who used to visit  across Nepal and then find family in need of help children and then she used to take each of them to the Bal Mandir.

Junkiri who hails from Dang tells me that Myli Maharani was the person, behind the scene she and her younger sister found themselves in Bal Mandir. Her mother was abandoned by her father due to case reason only when he had five children from her. Do I need to say more that, her mother was pregnant with her fifth child when he left her to marry with another woman. you can read about her full story in my earlier post locked up or shadow of a ghost.

My case was different. I was the victim of flood that swept the village. as mentioned above the person who took me and my four other siblings to Bal Mandir was Myli Maharani. Unlike Junkiri who knows that who took her to Bal Mandir, I was too young to know all this fact, but I wanted to know about it, once I grew up. I was only about three years old at that time and was the youngest one in the plight. You can read the full story of my condition in, I am not alone and with love from God.

Then I heard about Parthana a woman, who used to stay in the same apartment where a friend of mine used to stay. She too was one of those ‘needy one’ who had received help from Myli Maharani. I would like to mention here one thing, she never had stayed in any children home, but just a group of a small community of a village within the ring road area. There they were provided the food we used to eat in Bal Mandir.  

This particular incident do have power to tell me a different story than what we used to think of the royals at times, we thought they stole things from us and the reality who know would have been like this. Therefore, I think there should be always enough at one place, so that that somebody can think of providing it to someone who needs it more than we can consume it.

Unlike other royal member - ladies only who used to take active part in social work rather than men from royal family - Myli Maharani was not the lady we used to see her in this or that occasion during many functions that used to take place in  in Bal Mandir during my childhood days. May be she used to be there in every functions, but I was just too young and careless child to keep an eye on her. But the fact remains, Bal Mandir was the result of all royal members and not one particular member. Different individual played different role that suited them perfectly. One thing for sure, what I remember about this kind lady , she was the wife of middle brother of King Mahendra. In my vague memory, she was an obese lady, compared to our Nepali size. When I say Nepali size it undoubtedly means lean, thin  and hungry face. Interestingly, it seemed that despite she being huge size, she liked going out there in the remote places in search for the family in need whose children needed help.

I have heard that she was the most sensitive in the family as well as lighthearted at the same time. It seems to me that he the angel for children in need like one of those in fairy tale stories ? or she was just another representative of the royal family, who was needed to go out in the villages and then find the needy children to provide better them better education and future by keeping them in Bal Mandir.

I was still in Bal Mandir when I have heard the news of her death. May be she must have died around in 1986 and the reason of her death was heart attack. During that time I do remember one thing, some big boys in Bal Mandir had huddled in a group to read the news of her death. Some said that her obesity had direct connection with her health and death heart attack. She may have died long time back, but she will never die in her good work and in our heart. Her golden heart and work will keep her alive forever !
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Sunita Giri 10:02 PM |

Years before, when I have dropped at the door of my childhood friends, they just had a tea. To make the moment light Sanu offered a solution, by saying; “why not you drink hot water in a glass adding a couple of tea spoon of sugars,  Oh yes ! once you drink it, make sure you chew some tea [dry] also. Trust me, it will get converted in tea - in your stomach- But for that, you have to move your body up and down.  I do remember giving them the devilish look with so much resentment in my mind. But the problem with that devilish look and resentment is that they started laughing like hell. Strange ! the same thing irritated me to the max.

After couple of years later, around 2000, Mr. Bean did this on his TV show; when his ready made cup of coffee was mistakenly hit by his own hand spilling it over the floor before he even got a chance to drink it, I was almost rolling on the floor. After sometime I thought he was not doing anything new or I have not heard about it before but; when I heard it for the first time it was not as funny as his more funny execution of the scenario.

This is the same group of  close knit circle of my friend, who would suggest anyone to clean their itchy throat with rough-tough broom, instead of taking any soothing medicines. Thier logic was rougher the throat tougher the broom to clean it. Again its needless to mention I found those comments not so funny. But when I see same kind of comments on Hindi movies, that do have power to bring smiles on my face. Was that just a sarcastic smile ?  

When I had done small surgery to extract my curved root of molar which was troubling me for some time during my college days. After the surgery with was minor I visited their apartment where Pradeep Dai and used to live with his family and my classmate Sanu also used to live there. After listening me, they declared the doctor ‘foolish’ and ‘stupid’ for extracting my molars with open mouth. They thought, it would have been easier to open my cheeks first and then do the needed operation on. After that, the doctors should have c  sutured my cheeks.

Their idea simply horrified me but they found it out and out funny, and started laughing like crazy as usual.

There are times we just don't know how to respond and react to that kind of news and we are left with one option to stare them in disgust, which I do most of the time and avoid those company for those silly talks. The only problem is, they are already laughing hard with their stupid comments.

Worse when I see the same kind of situation in movies mostly Hindi movie then I find myself laughing. Although the silly thought or joke is no more new to me in so many ways, yet; its so funner second time all the time.  
The question is, how come sometimes we get irritated by someones silly and stupid comments and yet like others for doing the same dialogue with mix of their own style in delivering it. How come they have power to made us roll on the floor ?

Agreed not everyone can be as funny as Rowan Atkinson aka Mr Bean or sometime we are too unappreciative our friends quality to keep the moment lighter for us ! Besides most of the time comedy  make no sense yet it has power to tickle our funny bones. Just like that.

seek no logic, no rationality and sanity.

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Prank Pullers

Sunita Giri 10:28 PM |

Narayeni’s panty was stuffed with full of papers, which was very carefully tore and cut into thousands of small pieces. It happened when she was sleeping, when she woke up for her trip for the loo, at night she was surprised and unnerved at the same time. It took Narayani really long time to empty her panty. While Narayeni was so perplexed by such type of prank, other girls her started laughing like hell. they used to say the teen girls You know what is the real problem being a child, somebody is always around the corner to laugh at it. And it so happened that at that time Rita her close friend for many years in their time in Bal Mandir. Narayeni in her naivete, thought that it was indeed Rita and her other friends who stuffed all those papers in her panty. Rita, instead of trying to prove her innocence on this matter, laughed and laughed and laughed. As they used to say, to us by our didis in those days, that girls laugh even we see the curled tail of a dog !

When I look back, and try to understand the situation; her laughter did have power to tell   us that she knew something what Narayeni did not knew then. But then, Narayeni did not knew about it. The real truth must have been disclosed to Narayeni  - or even to Rita - later on but I am clueless about it. Even if I knew it then, now its lost in the memory lane.

In another incident, one day, just when Chhaya raised her hand to slap Mira, in the dark hour exactly at that very moment the light came and she was caught red handed by her the would be victim of that prank. If my vague memory stays with me, Mira at this point was blaming her for the other day also, when she was slapped in the darkness. It was the incident at the time when it happened when there used to be load shedding during my childhood days, just like we have it now a days. Oh yes the dark horus used to be shorter than todays. And in that dark hour some girls felt it quite easy to slap  other girls; just for fun !

Mira was a mildly mentally retarded girl and Chhaya was normal girl, yet she felt comfortable to pull prank on her and not other normal girls. May be she wanted to avoid the consequences later on, but I have no clue about her tactic; not then not now. She is the only one and right person to know the real truth about it.

Its really hard to understand the thought of some people, who pull prank on others, especially; to those who are not at par with us in some level [mental and physical] and its really not comfortable feelings to watch them laugh at the cost of others misery.

However, growing up in Bal Mandir and watching different age of people at different stage of life, who pulled different kind of pranks on other children was childishly stupid yet at times it was funny too. Well, let me be honest here, may be not all the time it tickled our funny bones; but the one who pulled it always laughed. And undoubtedly it used to be the laughter of a triumph !

Parvati was another jolly prank pullers and sometimes people need something to pull prank on, like umbrella in this case, which we did not have then. We used to use rain coats and gumboot to go to school during rainy seasons. The other children used to come to school with their umbrella. One day, Parvati borrowed an umbrella without the consent of the owner and then used the hook of umbrella to pull the neck of another girl. The girls whose name I can't remember today, got so angry with that act that she snatched the umbrella from her hand and tried to break it. Although, she could not break it but, was successful to bend the umbrella. It caused panic to Parvati, as she did not have money to give the owner to repair nor she had taken permission to use it -for prank pulling purpose.

Parvati really had to work hard to straighten the umbrella’s flimsy rod and then lots and lots of excuses to settle the deal with the girl. All I can I can about that girls is she was in our class. When I was watching Parvati and her way of having fun I have to admit it now, I was judgemental about that.

But the one that really refuse to leave my mind even today is Tapasya doing some trick on Nirmala to pull practical joke that needed Nirmala to land her hand in the grass floor, where the dog poop was hidden. Tapasya was not even feeling sorry for such disgusting prank but once Nirmala saw her hand covered with wet dog poop, it actually made her cry. Because, I was witness of this dirty and disgusting prank pulled by Tapasya and watching Tapasya and Nirmala closely. It was so hard for me to read the mind of Tapasya [even at that age as I could have been nearing fourteen then] and other girls who joined Tapasya laughing but sadly the same thing made Nirmala cry !

To some extent the prank which was mentioned above in first two was mild and harmless but last two do not have power to tickle my funny bones.

It seems I was just the witness of many such pranks pulled by many girls around me, but; not the kind of person who enjoyed pulling prank on anyone.Strangely, people did not felt easy to pull prank on me. I did not find any fun in that kind of prank. Pulling prank is not just my stuff. Oh ! if you are wondering what tickles my funny bones, all I can say is, I love good clean jokes kinds of that appears on Reader's Digest to make me happy and remain happy. Love life and love laughing, but prank pulling is just not my stuff.
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