Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Celebrating Life: Episode VI

"I am slightly tipsy, I will be around Swimming pool, come pick me up."
Me: Okay, I will be there. 

"This is not how you face life, it seems you didn't learn anything from me. You just can't smoke and drink your life away. One relationship, and you are like this?"

"Don't be an asshole in life like him, today nobody turned out for funeral". 

"Your days to learn guitar has gone". 

"Don't be that guy who pays for each of his friends. Don't be Azha Passa. But at the same time, don't be that douche bag who mooches money from his friends. That's being worse than being Azha Passa."

"Okay, so you want to marry her? I will do anything that I can, to make it happen."

"Did you talk about puberty with them? You must have been shy, you should have asked why your pubic hair is growing and why your penis as well is?"

These lines weren't told to me by one of my friends, not somebody from my age, not somebody I can go around at night and stay till morning drinking and having fun, these lines are my father's. I have always been a shy kid, and maybe he knew how to groom me, or maybe not. 

Apa and I, at the banks of Toorsa River. 
Mr. Bahadur Tamang, is my father. He is a civil servant, and at some 52 years of age, after serving 11 years in Department of Youth, Culture and Sports, formally known as DYCS, he said, he belonged to teach and asked for transfer to Samtse, whereby he is currently teaching. This is his last year, and next year, he will resign. 

I know him through my mother, Ha ha. Nah, he raised me. There was a time, when Ama had to look after the house she was constructing, a small cottage that didn't cost us much. She would stay in Samtse and we were in Thimphu. Being eldest, I was always close to Ama, as I helped her with her house chores. You see, being eldest is weird, be it a boy or a girl, there's no gender bias when you are born in middle class family. You need to learn how to cook and be responsible at very young age. 

Mr. Bahadur, being my father, raised me in a very funny way. His ideas about religions were bleak though he was a voracious reader. Maybe he read more than he should have, that he doesn't believe in any of the religions. I have never heard or seen him go to Lhakhangs, and interestingly, he was one time a monk in Wangduephodrang Dzong. Many people like to be around him, because of his humour and because he is happy go lucky guy. His principles are weird, and I know, it is because of his principles that he was only able to buy a Maruti 800, which he didn't care much about when it came for his son, me, or his friends-my friends, going around Thimphu town, having memories. His principle is not to take bribe, and never avail for loans. Not that ambitious in his life I would say. He led an artist's life I guess, because he would always be busy when we were kids with his students, whereby they would jam up and come up with their songs and recordings. Whole of my childhood, I have been listening to country music and old hindi songs from his days. I know not many of my generation people have watched The Grease or Saturday Night Fever, Apa was always fan of John Travolta. He would tell me that he was called Travolta during his college days, for his hairstyle which resembled from the movie The Grease. Logic is simple here, his hair is thick. 


Apa singing. Year 2005
There are funny incidents with him, which not many of the folks have experienced with their fathers. I am not saying that he is cool, at times, I wonder what sort of father I have? He is more of a friend than a stern father. I guess am blessed that it is that ways. There was a time, when Pema and I were watching American Pie and we were laughing a lot. Apa would join us. I was a ninth grader then. And there's this scene whereby one of the protagonist is taught how to make out with a girl, first by kissing her collar bone. To this, I was little embarrassed and Apa would say: Boys, learn this, it's a life lesson. It did ease out, to watch American Pie 2 with your father, which followed with Scary Movie 2 or 3. Now that's where it got really embarrassing. Because remember there's this scene whereby two bats fly from a girl's underwear? And the trimming of bush? Three of us were laughing that night. Next morning, he would tell Ama: You have got no idea what your boys are upto late at night, they watch all unnecessary movies, whereby bats fly..... and it is at that moment I ran out of house early in the morning for school. It was simply embarrassing. 

One time, three of us were there, Pema, I and Apa. Pema would sing: Would you run, if I show you my gun? Apa rather than getting mad, would say: Pema, what sort of gun are you talking about? Is it brownish and red in colour? To this three of us laughed. The quirky jokes are around when ladies of our family are absent. One time, I got caught for driving without licence, and we had New Year's Eve party to attend. He would scold me for being caught and later that night, gave me pocket money to go have fun. He would always insist us to go to discotheques, to have fun and understand how to have fun. Not to take life seriously and to know that life will be tough, but we need to live it to its fullest. 

Most of my friends like to be around my father, and when he visits me, he comes with bottles of whiskey, which me and my friends consume. Now no more would he have to do that, because I have been sober for a while, yes, good news, I have quit drinking. :) Most of my friends are comfortable with him, and during our college days or high school days, the most wasted would go to our place. My parents were always understanding in that way. 

Apa always gave us what we wanted, to other parents it might have been something unnecessary or something that would be waste of money. But Apa isn't materialistic and he doesn't value money much. So, if he could afford things that we wanted, he won't bargain at all, if it made us happy. Apa is a workaholic man, and I have gotten used to the fact that during Sundays as well,  and he has always helped people with paper works and he is good with what he does. I remember our childhood days, when colony's kids would come to our house to learn guitar, seek help for essays from him, learn mathematics or physics, his students coming home to eat, his friends coming over to talk to him, people coming to him for advice to host shows, people coming home to make agreements between disputed issues, etc. I just sympathize for Ama, because she had to cook for bunch of strangers and make tea for them. 

Pardon his language,
He still thinks that Facebook is limited to few users.
He deleted the comment after I explained him about facebook.
Apa had his pranks. I remember one time seeing an Ambassador car and asked him what were those behind the car, which now I know of as brake lights and not penis. 

When my friends come home, he makes them drink a shot or two with him, and advises us about enjoying our youth and life. That at times we should treat ourselves and forget all the rest. 

When my arm broke, I didn't tell him for a month. I knew he would rush the moment he would know to visit me. And his driving skill, I still don't trust. But when he came to know, he did exactly what I thought. He rushed the moment he heard the news and was hurt and pissed with me. I was dead sure that I would get scoldings but it was fun to see his scared face. Because when he reached Dochula around twilight, he thought those pilots of convoys were Ambulances and didn't stop. His documents were ceased and when he reached here from Samtse, scolding me was the last thing in his mind. I would laugh at him. 

When his friends call him, they are all abusive over racial things and their puns are very funny. He would share his stories about how he led his life in college, that how his girlfriends cleaned his apartment and how crazy his friends were. When I see his pictures of college, that skinny man had so much fun than I did in my entire life. 

When I come across his friends or his students, they always smile to me and tell me how interesting he is. How he joked around with students and how jolly and energetic he is. Most of his students always have some funny stories with him. Like how once he came to the class and asked who in his class chewed tobacco? And asked for a pinch because he had finished his. This he did to my friends as well, too bad, only one of my friends chewed tobacco and he didn't admit that he had tobacco.

But that's the thing about having a father who is more of a friend to you, you learn that he is not a superman over the ages and appreciate more, despite the fact that life was harsh to him he made the fullest, that it is okay to not have all the things we want, that we should be helpful to others, that we should be good at what we do, that cleanliness is next to godliness, that life has surprises for us and we shouldn't shrug our shoulders to our responsibilities as a father, brother and son, that above all those things, friendship is something we should always vouch for. He usually is happy to see my friends around, and tells us that we should always cherish friendship - he told that to Banka. He still tries to act young when he is old, and he denies the fact that he is old. He is old though, but if you are around him and the things he does, you won't say he is that old. 

Ps: I realized that it is when I am too stressed, I write articles. I have so many work, and just in order to calm myself, I visited here, and wrote this post. I know, not many would be willing to share their experiences with their parents and not many would have experienced what I have. At times, posting in my blog gives me that feeling, that I am sort of one of the Kardashians, you know, sharing too many personal stuff. Henceforth, I don't share much these days. The things I have written above, are the normal ones which I talk with my friends. The funnier ones I have only shared with handful of my friends. 
Good Night. Getting back to work. 

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