Growing Up #3: Age is just a number?

Age is just a number, they say.

Maybe they are right, it’s an arbitrary measure of how long you have lived chronologically.  But only if life could be lived in the simple timelines that come ahead. Some days I am 10 years behind, like a kid that I always am. Some days I function like an adult, apt for the time. Some other days I am a toddler, whose insatiable demands leave me heart broken. Some other days I am a philosopher trying her tiny hands at solving problems that may appear 10 years from now.

It does seem age is just a number. Like a river that splits into tributaries that visits different landscapes as it journeys through time, twisted and turned. A part of me lies in the pristine mountains, some other submerged in the waters of the South. Perhaps it would be best to let the streams unwind on their own and be washed into the sea.

No number could ever justify the depth that we have seen amalgamated into one.


Growing Up – a series on well, growing up. Every Saturday because Saturdays are perfect for overthinking.

Growing Up #2: Less of Bubble Baths

I’ve always thought of bubble baths as a metaphor for sauntering around, to have the short time in betweens for day dreaming. The bubbles dispersing into the air, the smell of shampoo, but more importantly, the time at hand. These bubble bath moments include anything from saving the world as the next Wonder Woman to being strangely excited about buying a nonexistent pair of shoes.

The older I get, I find myself scrambling for these bubble baths, overwhelmed by the amount over the plate that is to be done. At times bubble baths mean cutting down on some other priority.

Less of bubble baths mostly means waking up from dreams into reality, the bittersweet realization that day dreaming cannot solve half my problems.

Or maybe, they could?


Second week of writing a snippet on Growing Up. Saturdays are perfect for overthinking, lamenting and having some more hot chocolate or litchi juice. 

The Adventures of Minu and Bo: The Drawing

MInu and Bo by Subina
Drawing by Subina Shrestha

Bo could smell something burning as he woke up. He tried sniffing more to know if he was correct.

‘Aha!’ he said. Minu must have forgotten to turn off the stove, he thought.

Minu and Bo, two brown squirrels lived under a big Purple Tree in a big garden opposite of an even bigger palace.

Bo walked out to see what was really the matter after he checked the stove which was not lit. Minu was outside, standing in front of a big fire. Bo ran, grabbed her hand and bought her closer to the door at the tree trunk.

‘What were you doing?’ he asked, panting.

Minu looked dejected, she did not answer. Bo dragged a bucket full of water and poured it over the fire.

After the fire subsided, he was stunned to find what was burning. A few portraits were already half burnt, a few more had turned into ashes.

‘You burnt your drawings!’ he exclaimed looking at Minu. She couldn’t tell if he was angry or shocked.

He hurriedly started searching something in the remains. There was a drawing of the big purple tree, another had a beautiful nut that Bo remembered was from when they had travelled to the mountains. He used his sharp claws to dig deeper.

‘Phew!’ he said wiping droplets of sweat from his forehead as he pulled out a drawing slightly burned at the edges. He hid the drawing as he walked inside.

Minu thought about the the Annual Squirrel Fair they had returned from a few days earlier. It was a big fair with squirrels selling clothes to nuts to the things they had made. Minu had her drawings placed in the art corner. But she was not able to sell a single drawing. Sure there were other good ones, but hers’ weren’t bad either. Furious at herself, she decided to burn down her drawings.

Bo did not talk to Minu for the coming few days. He was angry that she had tried to burn down everything. She wasn’t in a good mood either but tried to remain distracted by cooking, cleaning or doing anything that kept her mind off of the discussion.

One morning when she was cleaning, Minu uncovered a drawing from Bo’s room. It was the same drawing he had retrieved from the ashes. Her eyes swelled with tears.

The drawing was from the year when they had collected one of the highest number of nuts. There was Minu and Bo standing besides a big pile of nuts. Bo looked extremely happy, and so did Minu. It was Bo’s favorite drawing and Minu’s too.

How could she have decided to burn it down? She could not understand. Bo had entered the room and was standing beside the door.

‘Sorry Bo,’ Minu said, tearing streaming down her cheeks. ‘I had been too stupid, just because no one bought my drawings in the fair I had decided it wasn’t good enough.’

‘But you are wrong,’ Bo said quickly handing her a box of tissues. ‘I like your drawings a lot.’

‘I do too,’ she said looking at the drawing in her hands. Bo smiled. It was ok if she wasn’t able to sell her drawings anymore. She felt glad looking at the portrait, thinking about the time they were so happy captured in her art. It wasn’t perfect, but it was special.

The Adventures of Minu and Bo: The Rainbow Umbrella

Minu and Bo are two brown squirrels who live in a big tree with purple leaves. The purple tree as it was called, was at the center of a big garden, opposite of an even bigger palace. Visitors often came to see the palace and the two squirrels marveled at them.

“Big camera!” Bo screamed pointing at the girl from the tree. There were a few more people behind who were clicking photographs of the palace. Bo ran as fast as he could, Minu followed.

The girl could see Bo’s nose up close, his messy fur and sharp claws. Bo had jumped in front of her camera and started waving his hand while Minu was pulling him away. Bo wouldn’t budge. The girl clicked a few pictures, Bo kept on waving as Minu looked at everyone nervously.

“Lets go Bo,” she kept on saying.

Minu eventually dragged Bo towards the purple tree. Bo kept waving till they disappeared inside the tree trunk.

That was the usual Bo, always happy to meet the humans. Minu was a little skeptic, but the humans often left them a few nuts, which made them very happy.

“Ohooooo….,” Bo said shivering as they reached inside the trunk.

Minu peeked out of the hole. The sky had suddenly turned dark and the visitors were slowing moving away. She could see a colored umbrella lying on the grass nearby. Bo peeked out.

“Someone must have left it, Bo,” Minu said looking at the umbrella. Bo nodded.

They could feel the drops of rain falling over their heads. Minu moved closer towards the umbrella. She pulled it, but it was too big. She signaled Bo for help. They slowly dragged the umbrella towards the tree. The sky turned darker as the clouds moved closer. They stopped just outside the tree.

“What are we going to do of it?” Bo asked. He paused for a while, and exclaimed with sudden excitement, “Its rainbow colored!”

Bo liked watching the rainbows. Minu always told him about the rainbows that would shine after the dark days filled with rain.

“Help me open it,” Minu said pointing towards the umbrella.

The two little squirrels tried their best. Bo had given up many times, but Minu wouldn’t call it quits. Finally, it opened. They kept the umbrella beside the trunk and arranged for it to stand on its own. Minu went inside and bought two nuts. She gave one to Bo.

“Lets sit under the umbrella and watch the rainfall,” she said. Bo finally understood.

They chewed on their nuts as the rain fell on the ground. The smell of wet earth filled the air. The rain stopped after a while and they decided to close the umbrella and dragged it inside the trunk. A rainbow shone across the sky. Bo was delighted, so was Minu.

“Lets thank the owner if they ever return,” Minu said. Bo agreed.

Minu drew two squirrels over a card and attached it with the umbrella. Bo wrapped some nuts to give its owner. They kept the umbrella back over the place they had found it.

The owner hasn’t returned yet, but they keep the rainbow umbrella over the same place everyday. Bo changes the old nuts and adds fresh ones. He usually eats the old ones before they get bad. Minu keeps drawing over new cards, as they continue to watch the rainfall under the rainbow umbrella waiting for its owner.

(Also published in Kindness Times on August 10, 2017.)