The Festival of Reminiscence

“What does a rhombus look like?” the teacher asked. 

“A Kite!” the students replied unanimously. 

A rhombus in our heads was always represented by a kite. And a kite, was and will always be about Dashain, one of the most important festivals of Nepal and Hindu devotees around the world.

I have been trying to remember what is it about this festival that I absolutely adored as a kid.

Perhaps it was the month long holiday (which is now only being cut shorter and shorter as we step into adulthood!), or perhaps about the cramped shopping with my mother and aunts. May be it was about meeting my cousins after a long summer at school, flaunting our new dresses and making plans weeks before on what we would do the day we finally meet. May be it was the kite flying tradition at the last moment that we always lost, because some other neighbor always had sharper and stronger thread. Or perhaps it was the amusing game of cards that the adults played as we counted the number of years when we would be able to join along.

We learnt about cards in probability or probability in cards. Whatever it was, it was certainly worth the wait.

A big part of the festival was always about my cousins. Some of us have moved abroad, some of us in the city are studying and busy chasing our respective lives, others- the younger ones, the new generation is growing up and living the times we once lived. Some of us have joined the cards table, borrowing a couple of hundreds from our parents to marvel at the game while it lasts. The younger ones are demanding kite traditions and traditional clothes, moving their tiny heads away from their iPads and tablets.

Lately I have been talking about how Dashain is no longer the same. But may be I’ve forgotten that it was not supposed to stay the same. Or perhaps it has remained the same and I have changed, as I was supposed to.

As I returned back home a single kite flew past the crescent moon. The air does not feel like it used to, and the skies are not that colorful anymore. 

As I watch from the observer’s seat, the child like excitement may have faded away, but a new set of perspectives are on the rise. For each year, it means a different thing. For each set of transitionary period, it represents a new angle of life. The memories that were still remain. And they are not essentially just about the time that was, but also for the time that is and that will be.

As Corrie Ten Boom would say:

Memories are the key not to the past, but to the future.

It was simple. And it still is.

Behold the time has come and gone in a flash, what have you seen? What you have seen is all that counts.

Wishing everyone celebrating a prosperous, lively and meaningful Vijaya Dashami. May this festival bring you closer to what you’ve been looking for.

Best Wishes,

Alfa

Five Years Old

What did you think of dreams
when you were five years old?
The first time you could count all
your fingers on one hand,
because thats how old you were.

Did you think about Ali baba and the treasures of gold
or the Knight that marched down the road?
Did you see the mountains that surrounded you,
one thousand years old.

What did you think of dreams back then?
Perhaps it was a parrot’s cage or a lion’s den,
or that blue inked pen
now completely broken.

Tell me my friend,
what did you think of dreams
when you were five years old?
The first time you could count all
your fingers on one hand.
Legs too short, hands too tiny
and yet dreams so bold.

Did you not want to be the hero?
A cape across your back
jumping into life straight from your bookrack,
colorful pages scribbled across,
some things that did not belong to you
like that little pink frock.

Stupid was I
when I was five years old,
unknown to the idea that papers when once fold,
draw scars over them like stories untold.

What did I think of dreams
when I was five years old?
The last story before the silence of the night,
the new shoes because the old ones got too tight.

May be I am still five years old,
even when my age does not fit into my hand, finger or toes,
and I still think of Ali baba and the treasure of gold,
the mountains that surrounded me
one thousand years old.

When I was five years old,
dreams were what I saw at nights,
when the owls opened their eyes and the cats danced,
the dogs slept and the mouse ran.

When I was five years old,
dreams were what I saw at nights,
with eyes closed
and lips tied.

Dreams were what we saw at nights,
with eyes closed
and lips tied.