That 15-year-old drunk girl!

“How old are you?” the first question that little girl asked me was my age, as soon as I stopped my bicycle. I was going home from campus.

I got confused.

“Why?”

“How old are you?” she repeated her question.

“Why?” I repeated my question.

“Do you speak Finnish?”

Oh, she did not understand how I pronounced the word ‘why’. “No, I do not. But why do you want to know my age?”

There were two girls. The other one, who was a bit taller, did not speak anything. The smaller one was asking my age. There was some tear rolling down one of her cheeks.

“But how old are you?”

“Seems like you are drunk, right? 🙂 I am 26. But why do you want to know?”

“Where are you from?” I later realized she was trying to please me first. 🙂

“I am from Nepal.”

“Nepal” she repeated. “Do you want to drink?” Not exactly the same question, but she asked something like that, that if I’d like to drink something.

“No, I do not drink alcohol,” I said.

“Could you please buy some for us. Because we want to drink.”

What! I never drink alcohol myself. Will I buy alcohol for others?

“But you already seem drunk,” I smiled.

“We want some more. Please…!” she was almost pleading. “We will give you the money and you buy for us, okay. Please.”

Oh, I get it. They will bear the cost themselves. I just need to buy it from the store and give it to them.

Yes, I got the point. I knew why she asked my age first.

“How old are you?” I asked.

“Fifteen.”

“So YOU cannot buy it right?”

“Yes, please buy it okay. I will give you the money”

“See you are already drunk. You should not drink more.”

She was not interested to listen to any advice, it was obvious. She was not extremely drunk but was at a level enough to stop a stranger and ask for help to buy them some alcohol.

“Please…,” she was still trying to stop me when I pedalled my bicycle ahead, saying “No, sorry.”

—- —- —- —-

See, how smart she was. First, she asked my age to make sure if I was at least 18. Then she asked if I would like to drink, probably thinking I would buy some for them too if I wanted to. At last, she told that she would bear the cost herself.

She was so beautiful, talking fluently and so friendly that I would have probably made her my beloved sister if she was sober and was asking for some other help. But she was an underage little girl, asking to help her buy alcohol!!

It was only after an hour or so a question came to my mind – “Can underage still get drunk even if they cannot buy alcohol here?” Because I do not drink alcohol, I did not take note of alcohol laws here (Finland). I googled and understood that they can drink but only under their parent’s supervision. But the amount they can drink, the level they can get drunk were not clearly mentioned.

Should I have informed the police? I do not know. Probably I should have done. But it is already late now. I do not know where they have gone by now.

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साला अङ्ज्रेगी !

“मे आइ टेक द चेयर?” – म अगाडिको कुर्सितिर हेर्दै उसले सोधी ।

म योएन्सु सार्वजनिक पुस्तकालयभित्रकाे कुर्सीमा एउटा अङ्रेजी उपन्यास पढेर बसिरहेको थिएँ।

पहिलो पटक गएको हुनाले, पुस्तकालयमा अङ्रेजी भाषाका पुस्तकहरु कुनै ठाउँमा छुट्टै राखिएका छन् कि भनेर  सहयाेग कक्षमा सोधेँ। किनकि त्यहाँ प्राय: फिनिस भाषाका कितावहरु मात्र देखिन्थे।

“छ नि।” – पुस्तकालयका ती कर्मचारीले मलाई अङ्रेजी कितावहरुको संग्रह भएको दराज छेउ पुर्याइदिए र इन्टरनेट सिस्टममा केही खराबी आएकाले अहिले किताव लैजान चाहिँ नमिल्ने बताए। मैले अाफू पहिलो पटक अाएकाे र अाफूसँग पुस्तकालय कार्ड नभएको, त्यत्तिकै के कस्तो रै’छ भनेर हेर्न मात्र अाएको हाे भनेर बताएँ।

एकपटक सर्सर्ती दराजहरु चहारेँ। कुनै दिन पढ्नुपर्ला भनेर सोचेको एउटा किताव ठ्याक्कै भेटाएँ। यसो समय हेरेँ – साँझ पर्न अझै केही घण्टा बाँकी नै छ। कोठा त साँझ परिसकेपछि हिँडेपनि पुगिन्छ। चाँडै गएर के नै गर्नु छ र!

केहि घण्टा त्यहि उपन्यास पढेर बस्ने निर्णय गरेँ।

दराजबाट किताव झिकेँ, यसो वरिपरी हेरेँ, प्रायजसो टेबलहरु खाली नै थिए। नजिकैको टेबलतिर गएँ, एउटा कुर्सि तानेँ, झोला भुइँमा राखेँ, अनि किताव पढ्न थालेँ।

पढ्न भनेर बस्न त बसेँ, तर ध्यान कितावतिर खासै गएन। पहिलोपटक गएको ठाउँ, यसो छेउबाट कोही हिँडेपनि आँखा त्यतै जाने, कसैले केही बोले भने ‘मलाइ त भनेका होइनन् नि!’ जस्तो लाग्ने आदि आदि भयो। अर्थात् कितावतिर पर्याप्त ध्यान गएन।

मन नलागी नलागी पनि के पढ्नु। दश मिनेटजति पछि किताव बन्द गरेँ, टेबलमा राखेँ अनि खल्तिबाट मोबाइल निकाल्ने विचार गरेँ।

ठ्याक्कै त्यहि बेला ऊ मुस्कुराउँदै म तिर आई। ‘चिन्नु न जान्नुकि यो खैरेनि मलाई नै हेरेर मुस्कुराइरहेकि हो त!” म अलमलमा परेँ । यसो पछडि फर्केर हेरेँ, कोही थिएनन्। मुस्कुराउँदैमा के जान्छ र, म पनि मुस्कुराइदिएँ।

“के यसले पनि यहि किताव खोजिरहेकी थिइ? मैले नपढिकन बन्द गरेर राखेको भएर त्यो किताव माग्न आएकि त होइन?” मनमनै सोचेँ। “त्यस्तै हो रै’छ भने पनि, त्यति सजिलै त के दिनु र ! ‘पढ्दै थिएँ’ भनेर एकछिन निउँ त खोज्नै पर्छ। बाेल्ने बाहना पनि त हुन्छ। तर  दिन चाहिँ दिनुपर्ला !”

“मे आइ टेक द चेयर?” – म अगाडिको कुर्सितिर हेर्दै उसले सोधी ।

हत्तेरिका, ऊ त यहिँ बस्न पो आएकि रै’छे।

यसो हेरेँ अलि परको अर्को टेबल पनि खाली नै थियो। ऊ किन यहिँ बस्न आइ त! बसेर पढ्न होला भनूँ भने, उसको हातमा किताव पनि थिएन। ‘के ऊ यहिँ बसेर मैले राखेको किताव पढ्न चाहन्छे! अथवा कितावको बारेमा केही कुरा गर्न चाहन्छे? अथवा अरुनै केही कुरा गर्न चाहन्छे?’

“यस, स्योर” – अलि अकमकाउँदै भनेँ, अनि ज्यानलार्इ यताउती चलाएर अलि सजिलाे हुनेगरि बसेँ। ऊ अाफैँ अाएर “बसूँ?” भनेर साेधेकी हाे, कुराकाे सुरूवात पनि त अाफैँ गर्ली नि।

ठीकै छ! म पनि गफ गरिदिने मुडमा पुगेँ।

“थ्याङ्क यु”- मुस्कानलाई अझ गाढा बनाउँदै उसले भनि, सरक्क कुर्सि तानी र बोकेर हिँडि!!

साला अङ्ज्रेगी, लास्टै धाेका दिन्छ भन्या कहिलेकाहिँ त !!

प्लास्टिक पुनः प्रयोगका कुरा

भर्खर किनेर ल्याएको एक किलो चिनीलाई आमाले ‘चिनी राख्ने गरेको भाँडो’मा खन्याइन् र प्लास्टिक टक्टक्याइन् । मनमनै सोचिन् – “दाल पोको पारेर राख्न काम लाग्छ ।”

केही दिनपछि, खेततिर जान लागेकी आमाले यसो आकाशतिर हेरिन् – “पानी पो पर्ला जस्तो छ, फोन भिज्ने हो कि?” पोल्टाबाट नोकिया ११०० फोन निकालिन् र त्यहि चिनी किन्दा आएको प्लास्टिकमा पोको पारिन् अनि फेरी पोल्टामा हालिन् ।

अर्को दिन, घाँस काट्न जाने बेलामा अलिकति मकै-भटमास ठीक पारिन्, त्यहि चिनी ल्याएको प्लास्टिकमा पोको पारिन् … ।

“जाँतोमा अलिकति दाल पिंधेर ल्याउँछु ।” अर्को दिन दुई माना जति मास त्यहि प्लास्टिकमा पोको पारिन् र पल्लोघरको जाँतोतिर लागिन् ।

“कान्छा, यो खाजा बालाई पुर्याइदे त” – एक दिन तीन चार ओटा पुरी र एक कचौरा तरकारी त्यहि प्लास्टिकमा हालिन् र बालाई खेतमा खाजा पुर्याउन मलाई अह्राइन् ।

थोत्रो हुँदै गएको प्लास्टिक, अनि मेरो अलि उरन्ठेउलो स्वभाव; खेतबाट फर्कँदा रित्तो कचौरा हालेको प्लास्टिक हल्लाउँदै हिंड्दै थिए, कता बुटोतिर अल्झेर प्लास्टिक च्यातियो ।

“आमा प्लास्टिक नै च्यातियो ।”

“गधा ! आफूलाई यहाँ कत्ति सजिलो भा’थ्यो । जतन भन्ने त कैल्यै जान्या छैन ।” एकपटक आमा मुर्मुरिइन् अनि प्लास्टिक लाई खोपा तिर खाँदिन् ।

एकदिन आमाको चप्पलको लोता चुँडियो । खोपाबाट त्यहि च्यातिएको प्लास्टिक निकालिन्, त्यसलाई बटारेर डोरी जस्तो बनाईन् अनि चुँडिएको लोता गाँसिन् ।

वातावरण दिवस मनाउन भनेर गाउँका थरिथरि अपिसका मान्छेहरु जम्मा भए । वातावरण दिवस मनाउनकै लागि यहि क्षेत्रबाट चुनाव जितेका मन्त्रि पनि आए । प्लास्टिकको जस्तै (ठ्याक्कै के को हो चाहिँ खुट्याउन नसके पनि त्यो कपडाको होइन भन्ने आमालाई पक्का थियो) ठूलो तुल (ब्यानर) बोकेर मूलबाटोमा मन्त्रीसंगै एकहुल मान्छेहरु हिंडिरहेका थिए, जहाँ लेखिएको थियो –

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‘प्लाष्टिक प्रदुषण निर्मूल पारौँ, पुनःप्रयोग गर्न नसके बहिष्कार गरौँ’

विश्व वातावरण दिवस २०१८ (जुन ५, सन् २०१८)

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आदि आदि …

“प्लास्टिकलाई सकेसम्म पुनः प्रयोग गर्नुपर्छ है आमा । अझ सके त प्रयोग नगरेकै राम्रो” बाटो छेउमा उभिईरहेकी आमालाई त्यहि ब्यानर देखाउँदै तिनीहरुले भने ।

घर आउँदै गर्दा, आमाले चप्पलको लोता जोडेको डोरी नै चुँडिएछ । चुँडिएको प्लास्टिकको डोरी आमाको हातमै थियो । पर्खालको ढुङ्गामा बसेर आमाले अह्राइन् – “कान्छा, हँसिया फुक्लेको फुक्लेइ गर्ने भा’छ । यो पलास्टिक बालेर त्यो हँसियाको बिडमा हालेर राम्रो सँग ठोक्देन लु त ।”

मैले हँसियालाई बिंडमा ठोक्दै गर्दा आमा भन्दै थिइन् – “कस्तो मज्जाको, ठूलो तुल बनाका र’छन् । बर्खा आउन लाग्या छ, काम सक्केपछी हाम्लाई दिए नि त भैंसीको माच माथि हाल्न हुन्थ्यो 🙂 …।”

“तर के दिन्थे होला र !” आमाले आफैं संशय ब्यक्त गरिन् – “अर्को वर्षलाई पनि चाहिँने होला नि !”

आमालाई के हेक्का त्यहाँ लेखिएका तिथीमितीका कुरा !!

Originally published on Facebook.

 

http://www.gazzabkoonline.com/news/2018/06/10/20096.html

A week of destinationless travel

It all began from Kharkatta village, Madi valley, Chitwan. Maja decided to take some rest as well as start some writings for her report. Maja, an MSc student from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark was doing her field work for MSc thesis, in the Madi valley of Chitwan. I had the responsibility of assisting her. At first the plan was like, to finish the whole field work within a month, or stay for some more days if we didn’t become able to complete our target. But she wished to take a break after two weeks of work. She planned to go to Sauraha and stay there for a week. I had nothing to do (except for a few transcriptions), nowhere to go!

“Should I go to Kathmandu or Pokhara?” I don’t know. I can go anywhere. But I have to go to Bharatpur bus park at first and get a bus, for her, to Sauraha.

February 17

We left Kharkatta at 7:30 and reached the Bharatpur bus park at 11:30. The auto drivers started decreasing their price themselves; we just needed to stand silently for a while. After haggling with one of them for some time, she decided to take an auto rather than bothering to look for buses that would go only to another bus park but not to the hotel she had booked.

But where should I go?

I had made mind to go Pokhara because it had been quite long I hadn’t met my college friends. But the Mugling-Narayanghat road section was closed till 16:00 for maintenance. That meant I had to consume around 4 more hours.

What suddenly came to my mind is – Why not go to Sauraha! The auto was right in front! And I had never been to Sauraha! How lucky me! And I travelled towards Sauraha.

After wandering around Sauraha for about 2 hours, I went to the Pokhara bus park. When I reached there at 15:45, there was only one microbus to Pokhara crammed with people. And the khalasi was saying that was the last bus to Pokhara. Lol, the road opens at 16:00 and the khalasi was saying, at 15:45 that, that was the last bus. More amazingly, there were people who believed. How easily these people believe khalasis! No matter to me even if that was the last one. Because there was nothing that I needed to reach Pokhara the same day. I could stay around there and go Pokhara next day early. So I just waited for another bus.

But it took too long. No sooner had I decided to look for a hotel than the bus came. It came at 17:00. I boarded the bus!

It was obvious that I would reach late. I reached Pokhara at 22:00. Where would I go other than my Institute of Forestry! That is the only reason, that there is this campus, I go to Pokhara. That was that.

February 20

After two days at Pokhara, Professor Santosh Rayamajhi called and asked if I was free for 2-3 days. He only needed a friend to travel to Tansen, Palpa for some of his work. That too in his car.

Why would I deny! I had never been to Tansen. And I was aimless throughout the week!

But he told later that he needed to go up to Tamghas, Gulmi. And the journey to Tamghas began on Feb 21.

February 21

February 22

The whole day, we travelled to remote villages of Gulmi; Isma, Dhurkot, Madane etc.

February 23

The journey back to Pokhara began. We stopped and wandered around Ridi bazaar, Palpa for a while. And in the evening, at Pokhara again.

February 24

Now it was time to go to Madi for work. I had to reach Bharatpur on Sunday, Feb 25. Being unsure if I would stay at Mugling in the evening and start for Bharatpur early next day, I started my journey from Pokhara at around 13:00. Fortunately, I reached Narayanghat the same evening.

And the week-long destinationless travel ended!

February 25