I was born to a father who drank his tears with whiskey every single night when his father died. When the sun spread its color across the western sky, I would find him drowned in the glasses of liquor I could never keep track of. If there was no bottle left in the house, he would leave, searching for a sip here and a sip there. I never asked why he smelled of alcohol when I put him to bed.
I was born to a mother who drowned her pain with work when her mother passed away. Even before the sun woke up, I would find her inside the kitchen cooking meals, tirelessly without a break. If there wasn’t any food to be cooked, she would be knitting, weaving, cleaning, sweeping, washing. I never asked her why she never rested her bones even when they felt sore with age, as they decayed slowly.
I am the daughter of both of them. Although I told myself, I would never touch a drop of liquor and I would never cook and clean and wash and knit, I found myself drowned in the world of fiction when my parents died. Right between the sunrise and the sunset, I would compare myself to the princess of fairytales and to the superheroes of comic books, because I portrayed myself as the hero of my story. And you never asked me why I got obsessed with fictions.
You thought I found solace in these stories just like I thought my parents found solace in drinks and chores. That I was healing with the tales just like they were healing with the spirits and with the works. That’s why you never asked me if I was okay just like I never asked my parents if they were…
He didn’t leave a hole when he left. It’s because he’d left a big hole even when he was there. Because even when he was there, he was not really there. Sometimes, he was lost without traces. All she could do was wait, for him to come back home. Sometimes, he packed his bags and ran away to some mountains. All she could do was learn about his adventures through the letters he’d send. Sometimes, he took jobs that took him all over the country. All she could do was plan to visit those places in vacations only to realize he was home before that.
The hole grew bigger with each day passing. It became bigger with her realizing that he has been walking in and out of her life, like she was some public parks in the city. It became bigger as she learnt more about how he was absent in her past. It became bigger as he failed to be there for her every time she needed him.
The hole had been filled though. Half of it was filled by her mother. A portion was filled by his brother, another by her grandfathers. Another one by her best friend and another portion by her boss. Then there were the portions filled by boys she sometimes call lovers, always getting replaces for she always believed that men always leave, nobody really stayed.
So now that he is gone, she doesn’t feel a hole in her heart. That hole was filled up and sealed with cement, long time back. Maybe it’s time to dig it up again.
It’s not death I fear,
I would welcome it with an open arms,
Like an old friend I haven’t seen for forever,
Like you would welcome love.
What I am afraid is dying through suffocation
When you are in a room full of smoke,
And you realize that you only have these fumes
That burns your chest with every inhale, to breathe.
When you are choking on ether,
And you can’t really feel it because
There is nothing to choke on.
When you are in a close space
And the hot air you breathe out
is the air you need to breathe in.
When you are drowning in the sea
And you realize there is nothing you can do about it.
घरमा बसिराख्दाको कुरा हो,
उहाँलाई पर्खिराख्दाको कुरा हो,
घरको फोन एक्कासि बजेपछि,
फोनमा अपरिचित स्वर सुन्दा,
“यो उहाँको घर हो?” भनि उताबाट प्रश्न अाउँदा,
मनमा चिसो पस्छ।
“हो” भनेँ मैले,
“को?” भन्यो फोनले,
“छोरी। तर बुवा त काठमाण्डोैँमा हुनुहुन्न”
“नानी तिम्रो बुवालाई अस्पतालमा राखिएको छ,
उहाँ बेहोस हुनुहुन्छ, तुरुन्तै आऊ”
भनेको सुन्दा मन झल्ल्याँस हुन्छ।
बाटो भरि मनमा अनेक कुरा खेल्न थाल्दछ,
“कहाँ गएका होलान् बाउ,
के भए होला उनलाई,
घाऊ भाछ कि,”
कति सोच आउन थाल्दछ।
छाँगाबाट खसे झैँ हुन्छ,
“धरहरामा पुरिनु भाको थियो,
भनेर पुलिसले भन्दा,
खुट्टाले भुईँ छोड्दो हुन,
चितवन गएका बाउको,
घर फर्किने तीन दिन अघि
प्रहरीले यसरी लास थम्याउँदा,
दिमागले काम गर्न छोड्दो हुन।
“उनको झोला यो” भनेर हरियो ब्याग हातमा थम्याउँदा,
ब्याग भित्र नोटकापीमा “अाज छोरीको जन्मदिनमा उसलाई चकित पार्छु,
निउ रोडमा गएर उपहार किन्छु”
भन्ने वाक्य पढ्दा मात्र मन भक्कानिदो हुन।
sudden demise (noun)
– unexpected death.
– when your 83 year old grandfather who is way healthier than you
dies suddenly somewhere you don’t know.
He was perfectly fine when you left him in the morning.