Tihar Journal: Bhaitika and Yawning

The Day of Bhaitika: “Dinesh wake up,” someone screamed at my door, knocking. “It’s already 10. The sait for tika is at 10:30.” Oh, why can’t the sait be sometime at 2 PM, I thought, and, after thinking about the possibility for about 10 minutes, woke up. I had promised yesterday to myself that I would wash my hair today. Not that I am willing to do that very often but the dandruffs demand otherwise. There is this effective shampoo with me that when I wash my hair with it, dandruffs are gone for at least a week. It’s really useful for me. When you start a war, you want to finish it right through the end, right? That’s what I did. I went on for full fledged bathing which made me feel lighter. I am clean, ready for bhaitika.

It’s always a challenge for my sister to draw a straight line of white color on my forehead to form the base where other color-dots could be put over there to form the saptarangi tika. The same with breaking the okhar after tika. She can’t do that on the first go and feels bad for not being able to do so. But this year she did the later job well (broke the okhar) and, for the first job, there is always this other sister of mine who does both jobs flawlessly. Since my brother was away to receive tika from other (third) sister in a southern town of Nepal, I put tika on both of the sisters. In my childhood, I used to make a straight hole on a cutout of a banana leaf so that a straight white line could be drawn on the forehead. But these days I don’t need that. I can draw such a straight line on my own and my other sister is able to do the same on my forehead. I also thought that what if the tika is not straight, does that really matter? After all, it’s tika the culture, not a competition to draw straight lines. To be honest, my sisters don’t want their tika to be bango or too flat, they want that straight and sleek. So far, I have managed to bring smiles in their faces after I put tika on their foreheads (because the tika is straight and sleek!).

I had no special feeling for the day other than the fact that I was largely doing that for the continuity of tradition that my family and sisters want to follow. I don’t have the same enthusiasm about festivals that I used to have during my childhood. May be I have grown up too much or I don’t know what. My views towards religion is going through a lot of change but that doesn’t mean I am a hypocrite like Maoist leaders who carry the name Ram /Pushpa in their names and say that they are against continuing the tradition or against the Sanskrit language. I respect people celebrating festivals and I love to keenly observe that from very near or perhaps participate there in my own way.

Enough with contemplation, the evening nap after watching a movie called The Pink whatever in Star Movies are superb. Even after bathing, I was yawning at the beginning of the tika ceremony this afternoon which was really embarrassing.

10 November: I did one of my favorite things today after a long time. Slept for 13 straight hours, beginning from 12 midnight to 1 midday. That was so good. I felt good. It’s now 6 PM and I am still yawning. It’s been a really lazy day. I unwillingly washed my face, brushed teeth, and ate dal bhat at around 2:30. Before that I managed to post an entry about the movie that I watched yesterday. It’s cold today so I added a pair of sweater and a thermal trouser. There are no good movies in TV. Okay, seems like there is one on Star Movies. [After about 20 minutes of watching the film:] No, it’s not. But that UFO discussion on Larry King Live (and that was the repeat telecast of the CNN show) was interesting this afternoon. I rarely see that show live because to do that I have to wake up at 7:45 AM.

I just did a BIG yawning. Then I stretched my body. What’s that on Travel and Living? Blow Out. That’s the name of the show. Why am I watching that when I am neither traveling nor living! I am just yawning. Different groups of kids are coming and playing Desui in front of the gate. That was that. I couldn’t write more because there was nothing to write about and I was idle inside the room watching TV. Oh yea, I loved Jon Steward’s Daily Show on CNN. That was hilarious.