Saturday, April 9, 2016

End of an Era & A New Beginning

That’s how it always is.

Let me elaborate: My Parents recently relocated to Bangalore from Kathmandu after my Father’s retirement from Golchha Organisation. He got a well-deserved farewell party on his last day at office.

Farewell - 1

Farewell - 2

So it’s an end of an era for Golchha Organisation (fondly remembered there as “जुगलजी यहा भएको बेला”) and a new beginning for my parents in the ‘new’ city of Bangalore. The new beginning would be obvious but the end of an era at an organisation just because my father left it sounds extremely hyperbolic, you might interject. But you see wouldn’t Dr. Watson say the same thing if Mycroft Holmes ‘left the government’.Winking smile Anyway, enough with the hyperboles… in simpler terms, his departure coincides with a restructuring at the organisation, as younger generation of executives and newer staff members step up to guide this nation-wide organisation into this 21st century.

On this note of transitioning from old to new, let me take stock of the past very much like how we focus on Old Year’s accomplishments versus New Year’s resolutions. Historically, I landed in Kathmandu when I was 2½ years old but realistically I’ve a faint memory of searing pain in my index finger due to a sewing machine’s needle piercing it. (Or maybe it’s just another forced memory because I’ve heard this story from my Mother umpteenth number of times!) Truthfully, I think my ‘first’ fond memories are of me crying when my mother & Didi (my elder sister) tried to leave me in Nursery class at EPS (ééé… pre-school). Actually, I fondly remember watching my Didi and her friends skipping on a rope (or playing other ‘girly’ games outside our house (Doctor’s house) in Ganabahal) and me trying to barge in to get myself included but very often getting hit by the rope or by Didi or both. This is getting awkward, but seriously I have fond memories of my parents, Didi and me playing badminton early in the mornings on the street outside our home. Yes, this is what I’d like you to take away from this paragraph. Smile

After I became a school-going kid, I remember yearly curfews (in Nepal or at least in Kathmandu) on my birthdays and winterly visits to my Indian hometown (SDGH). I remember elaborate ‘parties’ at our house with uncles, aunts, cousins & all in attendance; picnics at various temples & parks in and around KTM… trips to these were covered in large vehicles (jeeps) with mattresses instead of seats (us kids apparently didn’t mind getting our bodies rattled on those bumpy roads). I remember going to ‘Shani Mandir (Saturn Temple)’ on Saturday evenings, then ‘Ratna Park’ and then stopping for a while in the well-tended garden (with ever-redolent Raat-Raani) at Golchha House (my father’s office, if you remember from above) for playing on the swings with Didi. (The garden has long gone making way for a parking lot now.)

I remember Holi as we (me, Didi and uncles) threw water balloons on people on streets (in hindsight, not a good thing to do to other people); Samvatsari as we fasted (me rarely because hey, a kid got to eat after 4PM, ok!) and went to a (yearly) buffet party (sometime afterwards, mostly on the next weekend) at Jain Niketan to meet and greet relatives & friends (I have a vivid memory of chucking an empty glass inside the cooks’ tent… in hindsight, not a good thing to do at such an event); Dashain as I ‘enjoyed’ truckloads of homework during the 15-30 days long holidays and tried to learn to fly kites (but still can’t… in hindsight, not a good thing to boast about); Diwali as we enjoyed tons of sweets, cleaning & decorating our house, puja at uncle’s office & at home, and firecrackers at night (in hindsight, not a good thing to do to our environment).

I remember my schooldays… but that should be a post on its own and I leave it for some other time. Suffice it to say, I changed 3 schools at KTM (excluding that barely 1-month stint at EPS): GHS (S.KG – IV) → ABS (V – VII) → MIS (VIII - XII) with ever-increasing distances from our home so much so that for MIS, I used the school bus. And those distances could only increase as you might guess and it was so. I went to IIT Kharagpur for my undergrads and then to Stony Brook University for Ph.D. We (my parents) also changed our houses thrice during that period from Ganabahal (very near to Golchha office & GHS) → Bhotebahal (still doesn’t count as far to the office or ABS; walking distance as one would call it elsewhere) → Tahachal (quite far but my father would still call it walking distance from his office).

This last house change to Tahachal happened in my 4th year at KGP so I haven’t spent much time in this house but this was the place where I would go to during my ‘annual’ trips to KTM. In these trips, I started feeling KTM has changed, had changed a lot. More traffic, more pollution, hotter summers, high stress on infrastructure, political unrest leading to frequent strikes / curfews / jams, affecting all aspects of general public’s life. Anyway, this was also the house where I ‘first’ met my Superpartner.

I have never really gotten attached to any place (my Superpartner doesn’t call me ‘emotionless’ just for fun) but KTM definitely holds a fond place in my memories. I would have liked to visit it more often in the past few years but now with my parents not being there, the chances of that happening has become that much more slim. But many of my close relatives are still there and I would, in the not-so-distant future, definitely go to meet them. On that note, I leave you with one more farewell photo.

Farewell - 3

That’s all about ‘Ends’ and now we focus on

‘Beginnings’