Part III

It was 1990, back after two weeks of my week vacation, I was back to the school again. Just as usual it had not been easy for me leaving home this time again. Through the night I hadn't been to sleep. Yes, surely all through the night I was excited about the new classes but yet I was not with any interest in school, and when it happened to be hostel, I feel it is even the worse, just as uusal I was terrified.

This year I wasn’t early to school. That day when I had arrived, the school had already begun. That after noon, after their lunch most of them were in the ground many of them playing. It was sunny day so sunny under the sun should have made them tired.

Then I got to the hostel, put my things, dressed in the school uniform and came back to class. Now I was in the fourth grade. Now we had few changes in the surrounding. Our classroom was on ground floor towards the north. It had four big windows I greatly liked it. But the hostel it was still on the same upper floor.

Most of the cases and if the chances did favour, it was that I would always pick the seat closer to the window and it was usually the first row. The main reason for this was I could sometime wonder through the big windows sometime I felt bored with the classes. It would also benefit with the good air during the irregular power break down in the summer. After sometime the schoolbell rang and everyone started streaming towards the school building. I took a place in the middle as most of the best places were already taken … So, I had to pick it up from the remaining ones.

I waited for the person next to me… As the drawer was already occupies with few copies and other little school accessories. A new guy, taller with broad face and with little linnings over his lip came and sat next to me. He was a big boy, Kapil Basel. There was something else that had also greatly made me happy, Krishna, the class captain he had left the school. This was a sort great relief to me so should have been for others too. As Umesh had also left the school, Rajendra and Arun became the captains.

Once it had just been the recent days we have had the new captain. One evening after the supper, I had asked permission to be out for the latrine, when I came back the power went off. So, I didn’t think the necessity of asking the captain to enrter the room. After when the lights came… it was sometime later Rajendra called me and asked me to bent down on the floor. It was like the posture of the animals… touching the floor with the limbs where as raising the body in the air. After about half an hour before he set me free. For not asking to come inside the room, he had punished me. But I didn’t comment. For him, he was just exercising the power that the teachers had given him. And in no way I would even talk about it.

And in hostel… teachers became more concerned to the students. Kaji sir and Sharma sir … they became the two figures to take overall control in the hostel. They soon started implementing strange rules on us… They made us complusory to greet them anywhere we saw them. We had to lowever our head, give a bow and greet with “Good morning”, “Good afternoon” or something. They also made the compulsion to speaking english. We would be punished if they found us speaking with each other in Nepali.

Sharma sir became our class teacher. He was short in height; broad faced man with thin linings of hairs over his lips. He wore glasses over his eyes so he looked more serious. He didn’t talk much and he had a low voice. But sometimes when he was tempered he would never see eyes. He had stronger Indian ascent, as he told he had studied in India few years. He was good when he told jokes and stories but he was irrational when he lost his temper. This was thing that I always feared about him, as, I never did like it.

However, in many cases he was good … but sometimes, he acted indifferently, this unusal behavoiur that was completely awesome. Some time he would go made with the boys (I mean us) he would be so brutal… to put on his position he would smash any of us for even any little mistakes. And sometimes all of us had to borne the charge when the thing didn’t come out clear. There were no chances to surrender nor were we ever forgiven. This was something I always hated the most about the teachers. During exams he even tried to prove himself smart. The silent classroom would know his presence from the sound of his top boots… and everyone would be alert about it. The very difference about him with the other teachers was… he was only one that thied to maintain a sort of personality with the dresses. He had the addessive use of the perfume and it was so stong… we sould feel it even from a distance… those days, it was rare, the teachers used it…But for him he did it everyday.

But even after all this he was good ... I should say. He would sometime, in the evening classes he would tell us stories- the ghost stories (something we were always after); sometimes he would also take us to rivers and sometimes show us movies.

Once it was a sort of scandal when he asked few of us… better ones to go to our room in hotel for the self studies, so that he would help the others with the taught lessons. But instead ... he had talked something else to them. Later boys talked to us… he was giving details about his own issue… “Sex is God”. Sometime it was even crazy… he would make several jokes that were often not easy to understand which were mostly related to sex.

In addition he also became our hostel teacher.

The presence of the teachers in the hostel… did bring other changes. To make our things more secure we were each assigned with the hostel number to put on our cloths. Two hundred and nine, it was my number (It lasted all the way till the end of my high school.) It became a huge load for the school tailor when he had to stitch the number in each of the student’s stuff.

Having teachers as the hostel teacher, it was good that we also had opportunities with the indoor games. They brought us “carem” a game played with two different coloured plastic coins- black and white (nine cions each)… and also included a piece of red coin “Chess”, “Game of business” the boys brought in hostel, the game dealing business with fake money notes played with a dice. Once it became so popular… we didn’t have enough of boards and pieces … and was only the game played everywhere in the hostel. Since all we had wasn’t enough for all of us… we started tearing our copies and started making it by ourself... And for the dice we made a cube form the eraser or the wax.

It was strange with how things went in hostel… when some one started a game it would once come into such a popularity that everybody would start playing it before the teachers strictly band it. But soon some one would come with something new again and it would again make its space before the teachers again stopped it.

So, it would be like season for a game… the main ones were carem, chess, game of business, marbles and few others very basic and typical games. But when there became a season for one … every body played it …where as the other games remained in the shade. But football and volleyball were the evergreen games.

Ahead of it… teachers also started with the counting system. Every evening after our dinner when the teacher came into our room… then we had to get off from our beds and make a line on the lenght of space between the two long rows of beds… Then from an end one would start with one… then the next one would say two… then three… four… till the end. It was the attendance to confirm every night that everyone was there in the hostel.

Since then we started feeling strong presence of teachers everywhere, every Saturday after the lunch … they would sent someone with a new to gather all in the hostel… Then carrying towel and other accessories we had to line up in a long line … before the teacher would take us to a tap where he would watch us take the shower. Often in the cold winter, many wouldn’t prefer it, if it was a cloudy, foggy and cold Saturday. But when the hostel teacher was there, there would be no escape for any body. Shivering in the cold we had to take off our clothes and go to the tap. With a stick in his hand … he would stay in a place and look at us… After we were done we had to ask permission with him to go… Then he would look at us very throughly before he permitted us to go.

Teachers also initiated the checking day, once every Sunday. Every Sunday during the assembly after the national anthem, prayers and school song the class teacher would check every of us… We had to show them our nails, teeth, inner vest inside the shirt and they finally would look if we had shoes.

In few days we got the books… Once we were given the books… but with a surprise after then they were taken back. Later we were again given with different books. This year the additional subject we had to study was Sanskrit and Grammer. Sanskrit could be considered as one of the most tought subjects among all. Others were Gulmohar, Nepali, Maths, Science, Moral Science and General Knowledge. We didn’t have music and drawing classes anymore.

It total, with many new ones like Giri, Rabin and Kapil and few onld one that left … we were thirtynine in total. Soon houses were also formed … Galieleo, Marcony, Edison, Darwin and Newton were the four houses. I was in the Marcony house.

For me houses didn’t matter to me because we were juniors so usually we never got chances in any house wise competitions, always the places were taken by the seniors. Sometime it was luck; one or two of the very best in our class would get the oppurtinity. As for me I never hoped nor did tried … but sometime when we had the turn to paste the article on the notice board then couple of times I did it … wrote poems or stories.

With a different classes, few others things were also brought in the school. Thirteen new lavatories were built next to hostel. It was strange every two classes had two and one was for the teacher and staff. So in all there were thirteen. They were small each about about only three fourth of a meter square. It was strange with tthe doors. They were only about more than a meter leaving half of a meter above it open. The greatest achievement was that we had taps in each of them.

Well, talking about friends it was like, whenever we felt our ideas going together, then we would become good friends unless we got what we longed for. So, it we would easily become good friends and walk together, so… a group could be of one or two or three or even four. And it was never the concrete because things were likely to change any moments and any time with favours and necessities. When I talk about all the nine years of my time in hostel… it was Bishnu and Prakash Shrestha that came across the most. Though Prakash was more peroidic, he came once in sometime but still knew a lot about me. However, Bishnu proved more for the rigidity, so on the later days, almost at the end of the high school he became the only one that ever saw and felt me from close. There had been any mysteries about me that should have to be known but yet to share so many things only friend proves to be the best. So, we need it.

Those moments, along with Prakash shrestha and Prakash Palikhe, we formed a group. Those days we were so emotional and ignorant about the realities. Prakash Palekhe was good at drawings. He used to make beautiful pictures of god and goddess. So, we decided to build a temple. Finally we found a very nice and suitable place near the pond. Due to spring… the grey stem had turned on few small green leaves the beautiful flower bush was slowly growing up. When the flowers would come out the place would look perfect so, we had we choosen the place… cleaned it and made a very small house like… a temple. We placed the pictures inside it that Palekhe had drawn on his notebook. Then often when we were free from the classes we could come and pray. We had so much stronger belief to the god, we believed he would hear our voice… we believed we always saw us … and also that if we go meditating for long we would turn on the things the way we suppose the things to happen.

It hadn’t been more than a week we had built it … one late afternoon, after the classes as we were there making further arrangements, unfortunately the school’s bus driver, Nawaraj can pass the way. When he saw us … he came closer to see what we were doing. He thought we were too stupid. He laughted at us for sometime before he came forward to us and kicked our little temple.

Even with his little blow the temple scattered into pieces. We turned to look at him… we were so desperate with him but we didn’t respond at all. After then he went… we too decided to give up… we never turned back again. Some weeks later, it was me and prakash shrestha. Though often after in the late noon we went for football games but it wasn’t always we would go.

About a month later coming back from home after few days holiday, I was surprised, they had brought a new national colour television and the VCR for movie shows. Since then it became frequent … during our holiday we would always run for some Hindi movie shows. … After then, it some how changed the way of the life in hostel.

When it had newly arrived in the school, the teachers would often show us movies. Initially when we didn’t have the like specific place to see like opera. So, usually it was the big dining hall that we used as the theater, for school programs and also for the movie shows.

For this, all the table were placed aside and blankets were put on the floor that made a big space enough for all of us. Even for his, before the show we had to be in lines according to our grades and standards. The juniors would take the closer seats where as the seniors were the last ones. Television became the strongest addiction in the hostel. Even for the teachers, they were extremely interested in the movie shows. During those prior days they would show us movie so often, not only in the dining hall sometimes also in the entrance of hostel. To watch the movie we sat on the ground, the starry open sky above us. However some it was alo on the open space on the second floor of the hostel… which was so crowded, hundreds of us squeezed to our selves in the area of only about some twenty to twenty five meter squares… in extremely small place.

A new television in school influenced me greatly. With my friends I decided to make a television out of the thrashes. Behind the hostel close to the fence there was a big fireplace to burn garbage of the hostel. There was a different one behind the school, for the rubish of the classroom… but it was smaller. We collected the cardboard out of the notecopy covers and the plastic lids of pastes and others things to make the screws for the adjustments… and a screen of glasses. In the beginning I was so kinly interest with it… even my friend Prakash Shrestha gave a hand to me … but later it had an aweful result … I had to give up because I had no further way to go through.
Then again, I decided for something else. I decided to build a cell, a battery to light the whole hostel when the power went out. It was gupendra the first person whom I had talked about it and prakash did again gave him hand to build a cell.

Yeah, with I words I soon started working for it… I again made a cardboard box, a cube with a side about ten centimetes. The cube had only the opening on the top. Then we started collecting small cells…we broke them…poured the powder into the cube and thrust the med rod through the lid…starting from a side… we got some… and we were hopeful we would complete it… But we had only got so few that there I saw no hope that we would ever fill the cube… with only few carbon rods left over on the lid…my dream to make a cell collapsed with no hopes remaining for further going.

The month of February, third week, there had been the king’s visit to our valley. On the education day, he was meant to appear on the Pokhara Stadium for his speech to address the people of the place.

On the following day, the school confirmed to take us to the place. After our lunch, we were asked to get dressed in our school uniform, and in the blazer coat. They in school bus were were brought to the valley. And we walked out in Kaji sir was the one to lead us. As we had come closer to the valley, hundreds of people in the street marching to the place made no space available for any traffic to pass through the way. So, we were told to out of the bus and in line were asked to walk the way. Each class monitors were asked to watch their class. The day, it was hot … the sun was high up in the sky and there was no sigh of any clouds in the sky. It was about two miles we walked before we entered in to the Pokhara stadium.

As we walked ialong our way in two long lines we wondered with the people that were streaming to the stadium. Out of those hundreds only few would be seen that was taking the route that was against our way… In about half an hour, we reached the staduim… I was even astronised seeing the huge crowd that had gathered before wer had even arrived. The main parafit… had been decorated so well for the king and the queen… it was at the top of it. We were exactly at the oppiste of it … in the middle was the fotball ground.

When I talk about the staduim… it wasn’t very big… only two sides, the two lengths of the stadium had the parafits… one, the smaller one was with the roof that was for the special category of people and next … larger but with no roof. However, non-of it, did cover even the full length of the ground. The remaing two sides were open.

As I looked around, the place was filled thousands of people. In the arena, different people with different cultures walked into from the edge of the ground that passed the king and walked out from the nextedge. These groups presented dances of different cultures to the king and the queen. Sometimes, it also included the students of different schools with their own flags marched into protesting the long life and prosperity of the king and the queen. Well, it was a long show. We too, from our school marched into arena and called for the long life and prosperity of the king and the queen.

It continued for hours… thousands of people there… waiting the king for his speech. It was the hot day, so not to let the people get desperate with thirst … there had been several water tankers that served water for the people. This was a very positive service to the people coming for the king’s speech.

Ahead of it… there were so many people who were distributing several artical about king and his legends that showed great deeds about him. Finally at about three, finally there was the speech from the king. We were too far to hear and understand what he meant and in reality we were too young to understand the politics. It was good we saw him … through from such a great distance … but his speech it wasn’t anything that would give us any meaning.

After the speech… we were already so hungry. We were very desperate going back to school… for the tea. That late evening we watched the show in national broad cast from the telivision. We were delighted… though they we weren’t filmed… nor shown. Though… people had been so desperate for the king’s speech… but since then, the politics changed its face since his visit to our valley. It wasn’t only in a place … it was throught out the whole kingdom. Peole became so much concerned to it … it became the only thing that the people would talk about. Riots and protest against the king’s monarchy came out of veil... People started marching out in the streets and started making strikes… hundreds of people died. In about a year after it king decared the end of his monarchy and the established the democracy in the country.

It was the third week of March; recently I had been back from home staying for the weekend. For the first time in my life I decided to give sweets to my friends on my birthday. Birthday, in a general view to the Nepalese, it is not often celebrated. They feel its importance only for the official papers. So, are never cared so much.

As for me… mother had told me the date of my birth. But I had never sure for when it was. In accordance to her, on the late evening class I gave sweets to every of my classmates. Even a little but it was a first celebration ever. After about five years later, I discovered … it wasn’t the right date. It had been a day earlier on the twenty first of March.

Days, then week and then month… First term was closer. Two weeks ahead of the exams the regular early morning PT was stopped. When it was stopped, few things slightly changed. When there was no need of going for PT the bothers would get up so early in the morning and go to the classroom for the studies.

As few of senior brothers had their younger brother studings with us… they would come and wake them. So, those frineds would then wake us and we would hurry to our classroom to study.
Everymorning usually we would get water… but later when the villagers asked the school for some portion of the service for letting the waterpipes dug through their fields. There was no suppy in the water pipe during the night… because water was collected through out the night to let it for the people though the day.

And those situations we used to go to the Dining hall. Our kitchen was open … There was no door. To the more accuracy … there were wall olny on the three sides nothing on the fourth. In total there were three large metal tanks. One was inside the kitchen… which was the last target … but before it … we looked at the two tanks where the water was collected for cleaning the dishes. To take water from the tank… we used to use the metal glasses that we often found around the place, we used for drinking water during the meal and also for the tea.

Sometime if we failed to get it around then we would get into the dinning hall through the windows (which no body latched them those days). Then we would go to thew place where there were filters. There we would always find some. Many cases we also often used fiter water to clean our faces and to refresh after the last night sleep. It was the strategy that we often used… when we were late to the others … and the water in the other tanks was emptied.

Unlike to any of the other school else in the whole country perhaps… we were only the ones who always had their books in the classroom, which were awlays open. So, as the exams grew nearer… it used to become a race in our selves… when one of us woke us … then next certain would do … when it’s know… So, in the crowd every one raced to get up early as soon as possible. Though we went to bed at about ten… but we started getting up so early … it was five …then four then often it was sometime it was even two or three in the morning we came to class for the studies.

One after another the soon the class would be filled and the boys… they read like humming of bees. It used to continue till the last exam and it didn’t matter, if it was the terminal exam or the final. The labour everyone did seem to be the same.

Yes it was then our exams started. Unlike to the earlier years the scheduled differed. We had only an exam a day …and it would be in the morning that started from nine and lasted till three hours. Then after exams we had the lunch… But after the lunch we had to come to our classes for the studies…(Saturday as well) and there would be the subject teacher of the next exam, coming in the class to help us. Well, he kept us busy till our teatime.

When the exam was over… now we had to wait for some one to come to take us. But before this as we had enough of time … the teachers asked us to dry our beds in the sun. The next day after our exam we dried our bed on the rooftop of our hostel it was all covered with the help of small wall at the edge and with few little woodden poles… we would make little homes … and make a little place to sleep. There we gathered and told our stories, talked about the movies. (The matter that was always of the greatest issues during all my schooling) and at the end of the day we took them back to our bed.

This summer… it didn’t seem any one to take me … almost everyone in the class was gone, Narjan and me, were the two that had still been in the hostel. Later, after few days, teachers decided to take us back home. There we were eleven, whom they decided to take.

I was very happy with the teachers for helping me to in getting back home. I wasn’t still sure if my family had even known about it. We took a local mini bus. It was small and full with people. It took twice the time to cover the same distace in comparison to the highway buses. So, it was that I always prefered the big highway buses rather than the little local minibus.

The bus we were heading with … didn’t go even through all the way. After about more a little more than half way something went wrong with it … and we waited for if it could work again but it didn’t so he got into next for the remaining part of the journey. When we came to the valley, before we departed Kaji sir asked us if we had money as they had paid all our bus fare. For me I said yes.

I took the bus getting back home. That day everyone had been for the speech from some communist leaders. It had only been some time before they had arrived before I had got to that place. I was very happy seeing them again but upset in otherhand for not remembering to bring me back.home.

Though I had come for the vacation but since mother moved her shop to the neighbourhood, to help father, he had decided to take me with him. Since then during my holidays except for the Saturday everyday I used to went with him to his photocopy shop everyday, all my vacation. Every morning he would open the shop and cleaned it out where as I would bring a bucket full of water for us and make the morning coffee and also in the late afternoon. Initially, I just worked helping him, from cleaning and cooking thenstitching the photocopied papers of the customersor sometimes joining them. He even use to make me go to the different offices to bring the amount. They always handed me a cheque even for few hundreds which, I used to bring to him. Then he would again ask me to get it to the bank which, was exactly on the oposite side of our shop. Even as a little boy of nine or ten… When I went to the counter, stayed up in the line and when my turn came I signed the cheque before I received the momey. Often some people stared at me when I did it … because it was not often … a boy of nine or ten of age would come with a cheque, and sign it to take back the money… (It would happen with the kids of that time)

Though I wasn’t so keen with it …nor was so interested but when I got into it I was enjoying myself doing it. Sometimes I could clean all the room …keep the things in other that often used to became big mess... I often carried buckets of water and cleaned his bike… sometime I even opened the small lids … to repair the the wires of his side lights and horn of his old bike…which hadn’t worked for long. Sometimes I too would srew up the nuts on the brakes that somehow did make it stonger. He was very happy when he learnt for all that I did for him. It didn't’take long when I learnt using it very well and thenhe starting leaving me alone in the shop occasionally.

Though he wasn’t so good to the people around who owned their shop. But it did never matter much because most of the cases we were much concerned with our work and our own business. The very good thing of those days was that playing chess with him I became a very good player. It was not longer than a month, we use to have a match a day … when I retuned back I became one of the strongest in the class even defeating my own classmate who had not long before won the title as the class champion. Later, though no formal match were offered, I was regarded as one of the most strongest player in the school… when it even happenned the school teachers like DN pradhan and Janak, the principal himself would ask me for a match. Teachers never did become problem… but principal, he was too smart. It was only very few times… I managed to get him down. Sometime, he even made some dirty moved to win me …(After the match he once had shown me)

For, father I think he liked it when I worked with him. He was free when I would be for him. But sometime things became so tough and I became so desperate I had to leave at least for some hour.

When I had some arguments with him or sometime if he shouted at me or sometimes if he had happened to hit me, then I would just do a thing, I would just walk away. Sometimes … I would leave him and go cloer to the dam… there was a place where there were too many old worn out heavy machines. There were no fences and no bar and there seemed no opne looking after it … even if there had been any I think they would ignore the kids playing on it. Since I was young I had always loved seeing them. As I used to pass the way in the schoolbus to my last school I used to look at them but had never thought that one day I would be in the driver’s seat and I would be playing with it.

Even alone, ii was so happy palying with it. I would twist and turn the steering and looked at the wheels to see if they moved. The steering did moved… but the wheels were dead. They should have been jammed and next… I wasn’t that strong for those heavy vehicles in rest. However, sometime … I did find kids to accomply me … and it was an additional fun.

Sometimes… when I was upset I would some go to the airport about a mile from the place. I always loved seeings the planes, I was more interested in them the time when they landed or they were to fly. Yes, I could easily spent few hours just watching them flying away and being landed.

Once it had happened, I was in the shop … and went to a neighbour to play the cheess. After the game … there weren’t enough pieces… Then I told dad the guy hid the pieces. Inspite of help that I had deserved from him he instead shouted at me … almost hitting me. I was so desperate I immediately walked away.

It was already the late aftoon… I just walked the way with no destiny. I should have walked about two miles from the place … before I decided to return. When I came back I saw he had closed the shop and had gone home. For sometime I was shocked with horror. I didn’t know what to do and it was already starting to get dark. I was so upset, I started crying. After sometime I realised I had to do something by my own.

My house was about four miles from the place and I hadn’t got a single penny with me. Apart from it … I greatly feared the darkness. So, only way for me was to run to home. Yes, I srtated with a run… in very short time I was tired and exhausted. So, I took of the t-shirt and with nothing on top I ran through the street. It was dark and I was only a kid so nobody kept notice over me. With so tired and with thirst for water… I ran… sometime when I felt it much… I slowered the speed and walkwed instead but soon continued running.

When I was about to reach home… I saw mother and sister had come out to look for me. Seeing them I rushed to my mother and cried in her arms. She felt so sorry about me; she blamed father for what happened. Her few words of consolations was great relief for me. We together walked back home.

The next it happened was one early morning when I had happened to burn the milk.
Yeah, that sunny morning when he shouted at me … I could hold it … I immediately walked from the place. That day I was so embarrased with him, I decided to leave everything… even the family and go anywhere else I could. I walked pretty far south from it… went to a shop. I stayed and looked at the man in the shop. I wated if he would ask me anything then I would proceed if he would give me any job. I almost waited for hour, but there was no reaction. The man even didn’t look at me. So, I decided to walk back from the place…

As I was returning, I came across a street businness man with with a four- wheeled burrow carrying a lot of sweets and biscuites to sell it to different shops. For sometime, I talked to him and then walked along with him… But as stopped infront of a shop and went to it… I sneaked out a huge bag of sweets and ran away. I ran so fast and so far away didn’t turn back at all. When I hid myself, then I broke the packet and filled all my pockets with sweeets. More than half of it was still in the packet… for some time I couldn’t decided with what I was to do with the remaining sweets. I knew I wouldn’t be able to carry it all my way… as I had already been feeling so heavy and difficult even with all that I was having inside all my pockets. Then I sorted out a way. I went to a near by glossary shop. There was an old man sitting inside it. I asked him if he would buy the sweets that I had. He looked at me in a strange way… From the way he looked I figured he perhaps knew the way I got it … Then he asked me … where and how did I get it? Not to let him doubt on me… first I comforted my self and then told himI had bought it. Then he told he didn’t want.

I knew he hadn’t believed me but still he couldn’t say anything against me. Then I walked back… to see for the man from whom I had stolen if he had still been there. On the way I left the bag heavy to carry … so instead of an idea of making money by selling it to some shop I threw the bag inside of the gate of the little mud house. I thought perhaps, some one would eat them.
Walking few paces I felt difficulties walking with the heavy pockets full of sweets. So, as I moved ahead and came to the corner, I looked around… there seemed no people so close to me … and even with some …no one seemed to be watching to me. So, I took the sweets from my pockets of the pant and threw them in the big bush… and quitely walked away. As I came back …I saw there was no longer the man so, again I retuned and made the way to the damside…

I was almost sure I wasn’t going back to the shop … not at any cost and not even to the home to see my mother and the family … I wasn’t doing this at all. The only thing that I was in my mind was… I ws first going to find a place to stay where they would give me a job… didn’t matter for what it was… But I had the rigidity I wasn’t returning to home. When I came to the damside… I saw there were few people busy in fishing and some few young boys and men swimming. There was no one… of my age. So, I watched them for some time before I agained walked away from there.

Now I took the way to the shop… but I wasn’t going there. There was a small short passage behind the shop from where I could walk to the next part of the lakeside without letting father to see me. Yes I did it … about walking about half an hour along the roadside I again took small passage to the bank of the lake. It was to the north from where I had headed off. Yes there were few kids swimming close to the shore. There was the stone and around which the three kids were playing. I watched them for sometime and sometime later talked to them if I too could join them. I offered them a favour. I told I would give sweets to them if they would let me join them. It was very good, they were happy about it so, after I gave them the sweets they let me in and we played together. The game was to touch a person had to touch any of the others and when a new person is touched, now the new person had to touch any of the other. It was a good game but sometime later, they decided to leave… so I too decided not to stay alone in the lake so I came out.

After the long walk and swimming I started feeling thirsty and tired. I had taken enough of sweets so I wasn’t hungry yet… After they were gone … I too decided to continue my way. Along the shore I headed to the north. I walked alone … with so many thoughts within myself. Sometime climing over stones and sometime wadding in to the water… I kept my way until I came to a big hotel, Fishtail Lodge. It should have been about one in the midday.

It was the rated hotel… told to be owned by the royal family itself… It was beautifully built on the opposite side of the lake under the base of the hill.with green forest all around. There was no bridge or anything to go to the place. Instead they had the wooden platform built over the water built with help ofalmost the dozen of air tight drums that heled it to float on the water…. A stong rope was tied up on the both ends so with the help of platform and the rope people would cross the distance of fifty or sixty meters. There was the man in the platform to help cross it. He would pull the rope for the people coming and leaving the place. The day was hot … so I again decided to go out swimming.By the time I wasn’t so good with the swimming but still I had already know swimming.

So, again I walked down the hill and two the shore took off my cloths and swam. I was alone this time. After sometime I felt tired so I came out. Then again I walked up the hill. I was feeling now feeling hungry and I was feeling thirsty more badly. There I saw no sign of getting water. I also looked at the pockets of my shirt for the remaining sweets. They were few remaining which I finished them all. Having so much of the sweet that day… I wasn’t feeing good taste in my mouth.

There were numerous trees on the top of that hill so it wasn’t difficult getting a place for the shade. I was thirsty hungry and very tired so, I went to the tree at the far corner to the north and slept under the shade. The big trees there had the small platform raised. They were made for the people to sit rest and look around.

For, me as I reached there, I layed over the glass … and didn’t know I was soon asleep. The cool breeze over my face woke me up… it was already getting dark. It was not because of the sunset… Instead it was because of the black monsoon clouds and for the rain. When I looked behind I saw there was a small jeep a driver in it perhaps waiting for some officer to come. Then I went close to him… As he was sitting there waiting and doing nothing at all, when he saw me closer to him it didn’t take long before he started to ask me the questions. He did ask so many of the question and I did presents him so many of the stories, many reals and few not. He did seem interested with it but did seem he could do any thing to help me… it was about an hour or so we talked to each other before his officers came and he drove. For me I had built some hope with him but it didn’t result the way I wanted.

Soon I realised the burning of my stomach… I hadn’t eaten anything since the last night except for the sweets. I was now feeling dizzy and tired … and almost with no strength. Soon, it began raining. For sometime I tried to keep myself under the tree but it proved helpless. The rain was so heavy I was soon wet and the cold wind that carried the rain… as it came pass my skin, it intensity gre up that made me to shiver.

After then I felt nothing could help me… there I saw no hopes so, then I admitted to accept the defeat. Slowly with my trembling steps … I moved my paces back to the shop. In the rain… choking myself… as I was closer reaching the place. I was surprised father came rushing to me to grab me. Instead I tried to break away from him but I was so helpless, I couldn’t fight it. Then he took me to the room; he wasn’t harse any more. He too seemed to be worried when I was away through out the day. He dried me. Then he made eggs for me and also brought a drink. Yes it was then a great relief.

The next event happened one day when the father had left me alone in the shop. It was a rainy day and I was there alone in the shop. Two boys came to me and asked me for the change for their hundred-rupee note. I looked at the drawer and told them I hadn’t. Then they asked me … if I would help them to make the change by buying the chewing gums at the near store. I told them to do it by themselves but again they pleaded me for the favour. They told, instead, they would look over the shop for me. So, when they became so polite and asked me … I couldn’t reject.

I went and bought them the stuff… they thanked me and in return they too gave me one. I was happy for it … I thanked them. After sometime I decided to look at the drawer. There was no money at all. They had taken them all. They had cheated me and had stolen them all. Then my blood ran cold…I was loosing my nerves becausei was sure father would shout at me or even hit me when I would tell him about this. When he returned I had to tell it to him there was no other way because he would definitely ask for the money when he looked at the drawer. Then I had to give the answer. So, I thought it would be better to let him know earlier when he came.

Late afternoon he arrived and I told him all the stories about two boys that they had deceived me and had stolen all the money. He was so angry for my carelessness… he shouted at me for some time and then asked me to go to look for the boys. It had already been long time since the boys had left … I had only know the way they had taken from the crossroad. In the rain I walked on the way… asked about the two boys almost in every shop and store. Nobody told they knew. I walked the way up through a long distance but I could get any information about them.
Then I came back again. Father, he was still angry… but told me to leave the matter. And told me not to make the same mistake again. Yes, I realised about it and ever since then I was always concious about it.

Though I was more with the father in his shop for the vacations but every Saturdays was totally off. So, on that day, I would go out swimming in the lake… with some of the friends in the neighbourhood. Sometime we would also go fishing. We didn’t have special rods… it was only with a sort of specific bamboo stick that we were as the rod then; we tied a line…. A bit longer that it and knot a hook at the next end of a line. Well, we would make some small ones when we sat up for sometime. Usually it was at the end of summer and the beginning of monsoon when we went fishing. Sometimes… when there would be heavy rain, in the night; terraces and fields would be all covered with waters. These moment people would come in the fields to catch the fish that went due to the heavy rain of the night. It was always excitement and great adventure. I always loved it. Though I didn’t continue it for later years …

In my neighbourhood, there was a bunch of boys that had recently formed a group. They were about nine or ten. Perhaps very impressed from some action Hindi movies they had made the group. They called themselves a “Five Star Gang”. Once … my brother told they sometime harrassed him. So, quite few times earlier before they had formed the group I had warned to some of them.

With some of the few other guys … I too made a small team… we weren’t so many only four or five. Once… after their group was formed … I had again warned to some of them. One day they came and in small discussion there was a fight. Few things were very distinctive in us. When the team wasn’t together, individually, I would fight to them and hit them… no one ever dared to even bare it … so, they would run to gather their team. When they came… then I was to run and could never get out of my house because they were too many … that I couldn’t handle.

I was not ever the person that loved fights and all this. I had to do it for my brother who always lived in the place. Apart from this I did never want they trouble him. I wasn’t interested nor was so smart with fights… but to let them built up their confidence over me … I used to tell I had special marshall art lessons in school and next was I would accept any individual challenges for fights from the group. I had to do this because I never wanted to let myself down. So, it was the reason they never could fight me when they weren’t together in the team… and I used to take the chances but when they came in group, I quited and ran away.

Once it happened at the shore of lake I was with a friends. The group came and we fixed up the fight. A boy from the team told he wanted to make a fight. I agreeded. Their team was all around me… where as my friend was a distant far in the boat … soon the fight started, as it begun the whole team came over me… They hit me, they kicked me …they even used belts and I remained helpless…

I was greatly deceived that day but there wasn’t any serious injury on me. Perhaps this could be the reason, later days… I could never be good friend to them again. It lasted for about three years before things slightly changed and we never had fights again nor could we become good friends ever.

Well, with all this a month of vacation was over. I had to be back to school again. In more than two years of time … I had learnt the rules... had know all the games and also knew the part that I had to play. Coming back from home … there was a big surprise for us in the hostel. We had a small speaker in the hostel. Teachers had brought the wire from their room and had placed a bare magnet speaker (with no cover) on the celling of every hostel of the seniors (we were considered the loest level of the seniors). It was a very small speaker but was a big surprise for all us.

To bring radio or any sort it was banned. We were not allowed to having it. So, there was on good way we could hear music. Only we often could was … watch the songs in Hindi movie… but usually they were forwarded, and never watched. It must be strange, when I talk about this thing. But still it was true. But when we were almost to finish the high school things slightly changed. Very few of them had small radios. It was often good to tune onto the national stations or some time even some Hindi stations, in the late evening. They gave quite good numbers. And it was great fun listening to them.

After lunch … we had to come to the hostel for the rest … it had been sort of the rule the teachers had made. Every one of us would be in our bed … We were not allowed to talk and make loud noise. We had to remain in our bed … the most we did was whisper to the nest person. The teachers would then play the songs for us … In a way it was good … we loved hearing it… usually they would play the same children songs everyday. But still even playing the same thing almost everyday we were entertained … I would say.

But it did n’t last longer, one day after the lunch as we were listen to it … a friend Trishna Kaji, rose up from his bed… and pretending (the speaker was closer to his bed) to show us he turned it over to see the back. It was loosely hung on the wall, so it wasn’t difficult for him to turn but when he again tried to reset it… there came no sound. Since then it was never repaired … nor it was replaced by the next… but later later after the vacation of the second term the speaker was removed and the wires were taken away… and then there was no more music any more during the lunch break.

Mean while, after the vacation Sagar, became my good friend? We were always together and we shared everything we had. Sometime … I feel very strange about the realtionship. When we were together, no matter who it was, we would always walk together, perhaps even take the seat together in the class, be always together in the dining and so far possible take the adjecent bed in thye hostel. Then we would share our stories and other things that we had like food and fruits. It was a sort of the tradition or the way… only the good friends share… but things weren’t shared with the classmates.

With time when the relation broke… may be with some problems or with other reasons then both would look for a different one… a new one again. In very short time… and a different stories, is started, old is forgotten and nothing is shared with the old ones. It’s something that nobody cared it and also never thought about it but when I think about it I always felt very strange with the relations.

In hostel, we often had problems with bed bug… To spray medicine for the bugs they would sometime ask us to sleep for few nights on the cement floor outside the room on the open lawn just outside the room… it was open all around as there were no any windows. Yeah we enjoyed sleeping on the floor. But most of the cases it was done when we were in the vacations.

Sometime we they would also give us medicine for the worms... It was not so often but still they did it for all… didn’t matter we had the worms or not… but we had to take the medicines. In the floor and sometime we had trouble with the drinking water.

It became the last year we got ever got the flour and milk from the US and the butter from the Finland. I always loved the “Haluwa” the fried flour in the butter and then cooked in water. The milk it was sort of okay. I liked it better when we often made curd from it. For this we used to get a jam bottle (glass not metal) from the kitchen. During our tea we would carry the milk to our hostel. We would get enough of it … Get it to the hostel …we would pour it into the bottle and lock it inside our box… In a day or two it would be ready and we would have it … only the good friends. Usually, the others never knew these things. Though I didn’t like the powdered milk but after making it curd... it tasted beautiful.

On the third week of August, there was the sports day. For this time the neapli guru took few of us … to sing the song “Gaucha Geet Nepali” (A Nepali sings song). It was a song from our textbook, Nepali. We were about ten participating… he would often take us out from the class for the reahershal. It was first time ever I was taking part in any formal function.

In addition to it, I was also asked to write a peom for the children’s day. I did it … on the final day that early morning I showed him. He approved it and it was also the first time I was going to say the poem infront of so many people.I was partly influenced in the literature, because of guru… he was so fluent with it … and he knew so much about the poets their life history and their great poems, when he talked about it if left the deep mark on me. It was the reason that forced me for the poetry though didn’t last for longer but still it was the initiative to my greatest interest in the literature.

On the main day…as usual sports day on the occasion of the children’s day. Main events were held and prizes were given to the winners for different games and sports. I wasn’t in any and so was there nothing for me. After the show we were given sweets … and then there was also the drink given to us… (For the time). Everyone was racing to one of the kitchen window on the back of the kitchen. With my friend I too went there. When I reached there, there had already been a long line before we even had come… Eveybody had a glass in their hands. There was a kitchen staff in the window that was pouring the water to the students. When their glass was filled the person would walk away and next would take the turn.

It was nothing more … We called it “squash” it’s a colourful favour liquid that is mixed in the huge amount of water …and sugar is added that would make the drink taste sweet and smell like the fruits … it could be found in different favours …usually in orange and lemon.

For only this … there was a long line … it wasn’t even straight. It was curled and bent … everyone was so tight to each others sometime they seemed to be moving forth and back was because not to let the stonger guy enter the middle of the line… Every one was so desperate to take their turn for the drink and they were so wild, everyone was in great anguish about it…

I too took the last place in the line …and waited till my turn came... it was long after I got it. I was happy I got the turn to drink.

After these days… then was second term …then a vactaion. After then again the final… The year got over.

After the finals … this year there wasn’t any celebration for the kings birthday. Every morning after the breakfast we would walk on the backyard of the hostel… carry our ciopies and fire them… to make us feel warm on these cold foggy mornings. Sometime the hostel teachers would also come for the fire, which was strange. It was good they didn’t tell us anything.

Other mornings we would all wondering around. Some in hostels…some in playground and some somewhere else … everyone would go for something they feel to … But many would be scattering in the ground playing games… football, volleyball or gameball…

Talking about gameball, it was a very common game after football. We played it with a tennis ball... but as it wasn’t so easy getting the ball in school usually we made it from the wornout sock that we would easily got it in the hostel. We would make by tearing out the papers from the notes…squeezing them and putting them into the shock unless it gave the round shape and size almost the size alike to that of the ball.

To play the game … two teams were made…. But before it a pit was made where the tower was built with the help of stones… bigger ones on the bottom and the the smallest ones on the top. Sometime it would be tall about half a meter and would consist about twenty five to thrirty stones or even more… there was no specific rule. The game would start with one member of a team balling from the distance (In approval of both teams) where as the opponents would go back in the pit next to the tower for grabbing the ball… The main target of the balling team would be to break the tower and the remake it again… where as the opponents target was not to let them rebuilt it. So, if the balling team succeded to break the tower, then they were no more allowed to touch the ball with their hands. But they could take and hit the ball with their fist to the farthest distant they could …so that any of the others of the balling team members could rearrange the stone to rebuilt the tower. During this interval… no players can have the contact to the ball with their back or their thighs and legs… incase if it happened the member would be sent of … for that set. So, ooppents would try best to send the player off by hitting the ball to the opponents back or at their legs… and if the opponent could succeed to sent off three of the members of the balling team, the game would be halted. Then the balling would be preceeded with the remaining members where as if the balling succeeededd to rebuilt the tower beforehand they would be allowed a point and the balling was precceeded by the remaining players. Each member would be assigned for ten balls maximum. It was the game we always loved playing … though on the later days… it slowly went down… and usually didn’t go for it.

The school decided to take us to “Vyed Cave…” a cave believed to be of a Hindu epic writer. It was about fourty miles east from our school. Our friends decided to go and they all did go. It was only me that didn’t take the part. I was happy with my self not taking the part. I didn’t have any reasons though; it was only that I didn’t feel like going.

The result of the final exam was also published. I passed the finals. I was again the seventh among all of my friends.