Writer: Deekshanta Sitaula
“Knock….Knock…” the banging door dragged me out of my dream world. But I didn’t give a damn to it. Yesterday was terrific – whole day journey to home in an overcrowded bus over rock-and-roll road of the hill. God! I was really exhausted and wasn’t ready to leave my dear bed for that minor knocking on the door.
“Good morning, hero”, I opened my hard-to-open eyes. In between the flash of light from the window, she was there with a bunch of marigold in her hand. Bindu, my neighbor-cum-childhood friend, was in front of me in my bedroom. I was feeling pretty uncomfortable with only cloth below my waist but she was still the same child whose husband I used to be during our game-play in early days. Quickly, I dragged T-shirt from the table while she was offering an adorable welcome to me with the bunch of marigold and that captivating smile of her.
She was being beautiful with her age, I could notice that. Her eyes were more addictive and cheeks were even rosier than my last vacation. “Next time, I will prefer a red rose with your knee on the ground” I tried to flirt, she ignored with a smile. “I am very happy to be with you on this auspicious occasion. Today is very special day for you.” I stormed my brain but she continued, “A very special day for dogs- KUKUR TIHAR.” “What nonsense!” I threw that bunch of my cruelest felicitation towards her head. Her laughter filled the house.
“I can beat your king even with my queen”
, she collected all the money and showed a proud mask of victory on her face. My sister, Manisha gave an angry look for not being able to win any game in cards that day. Playing card with plate full of freshly cooked SELROTI aside, I was feeling ecstatic.
“That’s why I love Tihar. I wish everyday was Tihar.” I was just wondering when Kali, with her porcupine like hair and flooding nose approached fiercely towards us. The prominent pathway of tears on her face made her even more adorable. “What happened Kali?” asked Bindu, gently managing her hair. “Dad beat my mum again. He threw all my dolls. That with beautiful red gown too.” She went on crying. Her small hut in front of Bindu’s house always used to be in tear. Her mom used to earn money with blood and sweat but dad used to spend recklessly in liquor. 7 year old little Kali used to come to Bindu whenever his father was drunken mad.
“Bindu, let’s celebrate this Tihar in such a way that we will remind it every single day of this year.” I put my cards under my folded legs. She did not respond as was busy arranging her cards. I added, “Let’s add a grand event of lights and crackers so that everyone will remember the light throughout year. Isn’t it great Kali?” I winked at her as she had forgotten everything and was enjoying with us. “My mom told that playing with fire crackers burns us. She also said that beautiful lights are only for the rich.” Her expression silenced me. After a while, Bindu regained her usual dashing smile, “Yeas…I have a great idea; having a grand celebration, really grand!” I was about to ask her plan but she didn’t give a chance, “I will do everything else but you should help with a task. We are going to have a great fire for which large number of candles is needed. So, we should collect some candles from each house. And the responsibility of collecting candle goes to you.” She appointed me for candle collection without further explanation. And the card meeting concluded with my assignment of collecting at least 10 candles per house in the name of Goddess Laxmi.
I finished my job in one and half days. A large jute-bag was filled with candles of various sizes when I finished visiting about sixty houses in my colony. I handed it to Bindu and was excitingly waiting for the celebration. Finally, it was the evening of Laxmi Pooja and she called me in front of Kali’s old cottage. I was amazed to see a very tall Hindu monster Ravan with the head made of paper box and body of torn out cloths. “It happens only in India.” I exclaimed. “Now it happens here too”, She smiled fixing foot of Ravan on ground. When light from moon dimly beautified the atmosphere, it was burned igniting fire on its foot. It burned slowly towards head with glorious sound of firecrackers woven throughout the body. Everyone started singing. Some danced. Kali’s small house appeared flamboyant. She too was dancing to her full.
Tihar finished with Bhaitika. But that celebration with fire and crackers was worth remembering. I went to hostel with great memory of Bindu and her celebration. Only the thing that I could do there was waiting for next vacation to visit hometown in order to enjoy with Bindu. College time went so on and finally it was closed for about a week after internal assessment. I bagged my luggage and hurried towards home fantasizing even more wonderful celebrations with Bindu. I had only just reached my home in the evening when my feet were directed towards her home which was few buildings farther.
“You have been fatter. Do you know?” She smiled looking towards Kali’s home from the veranda where we were enjoying the evening. Without taking any time, I replied, “You have been more beautiful. Do you know?” She was giving her ignoring smile when the electricity suddenly went off. “Go to hell, Load-Shedding”, I whispered in the dark. Kali’s window was lighted with a candle and a dim image of her with books in hand could be seen. “Hero, do you remember this year’s Tihar?”, her sound echoed in dim light of stars in verandah. “Why not? It is the best memory I can ever have. That great fire over Ravan made this Tihar really memorable. I always remember that evening of light.”
“The Ravan we burned was only made of old clothes and waste paper boxes. All the candles you collected were for another purpose. Do you know?”, “Was it?” I queered. “I have kept all those candles safely in my store. Every week I give a weekly bundle of candles to someone who is in need of them.” She spoke after a pause. “Every night, when electricity goes off, those candles are lighted inside a small window. A small soul enjoys the light of those candles as if she is having a great celebration. That makes me feel festive every day.” Her hand was pointed towards Kali’s window in dim light,
“Look there! That is the light which reminds me Tihar every day.”
In the meantime, I was dying to hug the pretty lady.
Question and Answer with Deekshanta
1. Tell us more about you.
I am a medical student currently doing MBBS in Chitwan Medical College, Chitwan. My hometown is Nuwakot. About me, I want to introduce myself as a learner of science and art. I love writing and have a great interest in music. Besides, being a medical student I am interested in nature of human brain and it’s secrets.
2. What was your thought when you apply to Wordism competition?
I was so happy to go through this Competition while surfing the web. I thought it as a should-not-be-missed opportunity and prepared a story and submitted.
3. What are your dreams and aspiration?
I am interested in Human Mind as a field of my study. Also, I love art and creative tasks. So, I want to spend my life taking a wonderful journey in the field of my interests.
4. Anything you want to say who is reading this!
I want to say that “Art is a way of adding colour and fragrance to the life. So, let’s add some flavor of art in the recipe of our life. It becomes really delicious.”
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