Category Archives: Family

Our Story: Memories from the past – Part 7

This is a continuation of my previous post. Please read the previous posts here, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 and Part 6.

After I finished chatting with AS I boarded the plane to my destination, Kathmandu.  My fight to Nepal was around 3.5 hours. During the 8 hours conversation with AS at one point I was thinking, I wish life was simple and I could get a man like AS. At that point I didn’t see any possibility of AS being my partner as I was 100% sure there was no way AS would ever go for a gal like me. I knew him in school and talking in chats and Skype, I got to know him better.

I knew he was a family orientated simple guy who was an introvert while I was an extrovert who laughs loud and talks all the time. A blind person would have easily seen the differences between us.

But that conversation had cleared my mind. I was mentally prepared to get married with someone nice and fulfil all my dreams. I decided that it was time for me to get married and settle down so that I could plan of my future. The marriage thing definitely was blocking my life from moving ahead as I didn’t know what to expect in the future so didn’t plan anything at all.

The flight to Kathmandu was smooth and I was finally in Nepal. When I landed in Nepal, it was very exciting. It was nice to meet my parents after over a year.

My mum had cooked my favourite dishes and I was delighted to eat all the yummy food. I was really looking forward to going on holiday with my parents.

It was Sunday afternoon and we were going to catch a flight for our Nepal and India tour the next afternoon as from Tuesday there was a Nepal Bandh (Nepal closed down due to political reason). It was really annoying that I didn’t get to rest well but if we didn’t fly out on Sunday we might not be able to go on holiday as we didn’t know how long the Nepal Bandh was going to last.

That afternoon I called AS and told him that I was going out of the valley for holiday and may not be in touch for a while. I gave my new mobile number and asked him to message me when his flight to Kathmandu was finalised.

That evening I was going through my old stuffs in my room when I stumble on a box from school and it had lots of old pictures and my memo book.

The old photos were so awesome, so many stories, so many memories and so much fun to look at. It felt like that it was just yesterday that I was enjoying going hiking, going to restaurants or just mocking around with my friends from school. It is true what they say that school days are the best time of your life.

Our old photos (2) Our old photos (1)

One of the things I did on the last week of school was made a memory book and asked all my friends to drop a few words for me. I knew it would be a great memory for future.

Going through that memo book was bringing back lots of memory. Most of my friends wrote few words or half a page but when I reached the page that AS wrote, I was surprised that he managed to write 3 pages. Seriously, I didn’t notice that much before but going through that I was feeling good. He always knew what to say. It felt really good to read it again.

 memo book

I had dinner and spend some time with my parents. Unpack stuffs from Australia and packed a smaller suitcase to take with me for our next holiday.

Next morning, as I was getting ready to go to the airport, AS call me on my phone.

AS: hello

Me: hello

AS: glad I caught you before you left for the airport

Me: Ya, just getting ready to go now. Waiting for mum to finish.

AS: Just want to wish you a great holiday. I know you’re gonna enjoy it

Me: I hope it will be fun as planned. Both my parents are excited to go and I am just happy that I will be with them 24 x 7 for the next 2 weeks.

AS: I think I can call you while you are still in Nepal but when you cross the border into India, I may not be able to.

Me: Let me see if I can buy a sim in India. Let you know if that is a possibility. Either way give me the good news when I return.

AS: Hope so .OK, take care and have a safe journey .What time is your flight?

Me: At 2pm

AS: OK have fun

Me: Thanks. Take care.

He hung up the phone. My parents were ready to leave so we went to the airport to board our flight to Bhadrapur airport. There we would be met by tour guide who would take us around Darjeeling and Sikkim in India and to Illam and Pashupathi Nagar in Mirik in Nepal.

It was a nightmare at the domestic airport in Nepal. It didn’t even look like an airport. It was chaos everywhere and we didn’t even know when to board the plane.  We just waited in the waiting area and hoped that we will hear the announcement for our flight.

I heard someone shout our flight number so told my parents to get ready to board. At that time, AS sent me a text,” Remember to enjoy your holiday. Have fun for me as well.”

It definitely brought a smile to my face and was thanking god for sending a good friend back into my life.

I replied “Thanks and I will have a great time 🙂

We boarded the plane and took off for a nice holiday away from everyday life. It was my first time to Darjeeling and Sikkim and I was really looking forward to all the nice things the places have to offer.

I will write more about the journey to Darjeeling and Sikkim next so do come back for more. Till then take care.

XOXO

M from nepaliaustralian

Go to Part 8

You may also like:

*Our Story: Singapore airport – Part 6 *Our Story: Back to Sydney – Part 3 *Our Story: Good friends again – Part 4

My nephew’s Pasni Party

After the Pasni Puja in the morning everyone was tired including the little one but there was no time to rest as we had a reception organised for 300+ people that evening to celebrate the Pasni ceremony. Pasni ceremonies have become very lavish these days, with large parties of not just close relatives, but also colleagues and friends being invited for the event. As my nephew was the first grand kid for my parents and for my SIL’s parents, they wanted to make sure everyone necessary was invited.

After lunch my MIL, FIL and AS left for home to get some rest and also to get ready for the evening. So as soon as I finished eating, I rushed to my parents’ house to prepare for the evening. There was not much to do as these days you just need to order catering in the party venue and they look after everything for you.

PARTY PASNI (11) PARTY PASNI (9)

So I just made sure that mum was ok with what to wear for the evening and she didn’t need any help. My SIL had 2 of her cousins helping her to get ready. We had already decided that my nephew was going to change into a red velvet pasni dress with blue and gold embroidery that I had bought for him.

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So it was my turn to be ready and be there before guest arrived. I first went and did my hair and make-up. I was so excited to wear the special sari I had designed and ordered. It took me more than 2 hours to finally be party ready. When I was done AS picked me up to go to the party venue.

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When we arrived at the venue, most of our close relatives were there already and a photo session was going on with my nephew.

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He was looking really cute and adorable in the red velvet special pasni dress.We made sure we got heaps of family photos as well as photo of the little man.

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Proud Grandparents

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Slowly guests started to come one by one. There were lots of relatives from my mum and dad’s sides so I spent lots of time mingling and making sure that everyone was looked after properly.

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Also AS’s side of the family including his aunts, uncles and cousins were invited. Once they arrived at the party I was even busier as I had to talk to everyone and make sure they were eating and drinking properly.

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By this time, the dance floor was slowly getting busy with my uncles, aunts and cousins dancing. I wanted to join them as well but it was a bit hard for me initially as I didn’t know what my in-laws would think. For me party has always been more about dancing and fun more than food but being a new DIL and having all AS’s close relatives at the party, I didn’t want to  go and jump on the dance floor.

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But then one of AS’s aunt showed her desire to join the dance floor and asked me if we shouldn’t enjoy ourselves too. That was the only excuse I needed so I asked all AS’s relative to join us on the dance floor. And yes, that included my MIL as well. I am so glad my MIL took it well and did show her few moves . It was really fun and nice of everyone to just go with the flow attitude. Also AS and his cousins joined and we had a great time. I had to go away from dance floor from time to time to meet relatives who had recently arrived but I was really enjoying everything. I also had few of my good friend joining us for the celebration.

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The evening went quickly and slowly guest started to leave in ones and twos. By the end of the evening only close relatives were left so we all had our meal as well. We made sure everything was OK and then left for home.

PARTY PASNI (5)

Proud Grand ma

It was really great to be a part of the celebration and it was nice to meet everyone during the celebration.  One of the nicest memories I had from Nepal this trip.

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Happy Fufu

And my nephew was an angel whole day. He didn’t cry and was smiling at everyone. He was held by more than 200+ hands that evening but he was just smiling and playing with everyone that everyone was so impressed to see such a playful happy baby.

He is growing up so fast and every time I see him, there are some nice changes with him. These days he has learnt how to move his fingers in the “come here” sign so it is so cute to watch him do that. Sometimes he is so amazed that he can do that, he keeps on looking at his own hands. Also he is falling in love with himself. Every time he is in front of the mirror, all he does is smile,

Celebrating AS birthday in Nepal

I always wanted to celebrate AS’s birthday in a special way but last few years we were never in Sydney to have a lavish birthday party for him. AS’s birthday falls at the end of December and we always have a holiday around that time and so we are away from Sydney. I always feel guilty that I celebrate my birthday with a bunch of friends invited while his last two birthdays were celebrated by just the two of us if we don’t count the random strangers in the restaurant.

But this year he had a very special birthday and I am really happy about it. First of all we were in Nepal during his birthday which made it extra special.

On 28 December, me and AS went to a restaurant called Transit and celebrated his birthday. It was a special dinner for both of us and we indulge in snacks and pizzas. They had a live band playing some nice classic English songs so we had a great time.

transit birthday (2)

As the owner of the restaurant was someone I knew, I arranged a surprised cake for him and he was really happy. It was just a piece of his favourite double chocolate cake.  Also he got complimentary drinks on the house. And that was just a start of his birthday celebrations.

Celebrating AS's Birthday

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As I have mentioned many times before, Nepali calendar is different than English calendar. In Nepal, birthdays are not celebrated by date but by teethi (according to position of moon and planets). So he had his teethi birthday again after a week of his birthday as per the English calendar. That day, we celebrated his birthday in the traditional manner.

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His mum prepared puja and sagun for the birthday. In the morning, he sat down and his mum performed the janmadin (birthday) puja. First gods including Lord Ganesh were worshipped. Then, tika was put on AS’s forehead as blessing. It was followed by sagun (egg, bara, chicken, fish) and gifts from his family. It had been more than a decade since AS got to celebrate his birthday according to Nepali tradition so it was a happy moment for all of us.

AS birthday (2)AS birthday (3)

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That evening, we had ordered a cake. So with his brothers and parents we cut the cake. It was his favourite rich chocolate and we all loved it too 🙂

Then, we went to a restaurant, 8 degrees with his family to enjoy the rest of the evening. The place was not too busy so we enjoyed our time there. The food was flavoursome. It was a great day for AS as he was spoiled with gifts and wishes the whole day.

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Then the next day, we went out again to celebrate his birthday and this time with my family. We took my parents, my brother, SIL and little nephew for lunch to celebrate in a Newari restaurant called Falcha. The food was hot and spicy there but all of us were happy to enjoy each other’s company. My nephew enjoyed his outing as well. We had a good time and my parents and my brother also had a gift for him.

treat for my family (1)-tile treat for my family (2)

Overall I am super happy since AS got to have a great birthday in Nepal. I also spoiled him with many gifts and I feel good that he enjoyed his time here in Nepal with our families.

I wish him all the best for rest of his life. Love you dear.

Update from Nepal Part 3

Skinny and photogenic

90% of the people I meet in Nepal told me that I am too skinny and I need to put on some weight. I am not underweight so I am happy with it and as you all know I try very hard with exercise and healthy food to maintain my figure but most people in Nepal have their own ideas about my weight.

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In the beginning I used to get annoyed about it but now I am so used to it that I ignored all these comments with a smile :). Also if you look around Kathmandu, most gals are either similar weight like mine or even skinnier than me so I have no idea why they think I need to put on weight. I have a feeling being married is one of the factor.

Anyway I am learning to just ignore and concentrate in good eating habit no matter what people say. Also AS is on my side telling me I am OK and we just need to concentrate on being healthy. I am very happy to have such a wonderful hubby who understands me so well. But I think he has an ulterior motive as well. He doesn’t want me gaining weight and buying more clothes as I won’t fit into my current ones then 🙂

Most of the people especially from AS’s side has seen me only during the wedding. That time I was a bride so I was fully made up in the traditional attire. After the wedding, lot of his relatives added me on their Facebook. So that is the only way they have seen me in causal dresses.

Anyway, I have heard from lot of his relatives that I am photogenic. I am not sure I should take that as a compliment or not. I am just wondering because, normally I think photogenic means I look good on photo but at the back of mind I was wondering, does that mean I don’t look good in person.

Anyway I got that comment from many people so just sharing what’s on my mind here 🙂

Maghe Sankranti

According to Nepali calendar, it was Maghe Sankranti (1st of Magh) a few days ago.  Please click here to read more about this festival.

As I am married now, I was invited to AS’s grandparents house to celebrate the festival with my in-laws. AS missed the occasion but I was glad I was there as I got to meet all his relatives again.

As I mentioned in my post, this day we eat laddoos (sesame seeds candy ball), chaku (molasses), ghee (clarified butter), sweet potatoes, yam, khichari (mixture of rice and lentils), ginger and salt  and green leaf spinach. So a big feast was ready in the house when we got there.DSC04802DSC04800DSC04799

First his grandma put mustard oil on our head and blessed us then we all enjoyed the food. It was fun catching up with my new family.

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After a few days of Magh 1, AS’s Mama (Mum’s brother) also invited us for Maghe Sankranti. In Newari culture normally, daughter’s family invites SIL, daughter and their kids after the festival as nakhatya (festival invitation in newari) to celebrate the festival.

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I got to meet more family members in this function as well. As you must have guessed,there was a feast prepared which included laddoos, chaku (molasses), ghee (clarified butter), sweet potatoes, yam, khichari, green leaf spinach and many more  dishes. .

Ma fussy chu ( I am fussy)

Sometime words have two different meaning in different languages and I got caught into that recently.

The other day I was in a departmental store trying on few make-up items. The sales gal was doing her job well convincing me to buy something so in reply I said, “ Ma fussy chu ( I am fussy), so let me think about it.” But she understood completely different thing.

Fussy (pronounced Fashi ) means con in a gentle way in Nepali language. So she thought I was telling her that she tried to con me into buying something else. For a minute I didn’t understand her reply as it was out of context when she said, “Don’t worry I am telling you the truth” but after a while I understood that she thought I thought she was conning me into buying something different.

Now I think before I say something as it might have a different meaning here.

Pasni Party

While AS was here we were invited to a Pasni of one of our friends’ kid along with my parents. They live in Sydney near us but they came here to host the function like my brother. It was nice to go to this function and enjoy Nepali way of socialising. I met a few friends and relatives in this function because in Nepal, somehow everyone seems to be related. 🙂

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Wedding party experience

I am writing this as my own experience and have no intention to disrespect any caste.

As I have told you in my post here, Nepal is a country of four castes and thirty six sub castes which means all of these castes have their own tradition and rituals.

I am from Newar caste and in our culture wedding parties goes till late at night. It is common to see Newari party starting around 6 pm and finish at 12 midnight but other castes like chhetri or bhaunu may have wedding parties that start in the afternoon and finish a bit early like 6-7pm.

One of my friends (a chherti by caste)  had invited me for his sister’s wedding. He asked me if I needed a physical invitation card but I said it’s OK as I didn’t want to bother him. So I went to the party hall where he had told me in that day with one of my cousins.

When we reach the hall, the hall was almost empty so I thought either I mix up the day or the venue. But as I entered, I saw my friend. It was 7 pm at most but there were only a few people left there. Even the bride and groom had left as they had to travel few hours to reach their home.

He informed us that the party was almost over. I was a bit embarrassed because I didn’t know what to say. I had tried to contact him earlier to find out the details but he was unavailable as he was flying in from the US the same day. Even my mum had reminded me to check the time but I just assumed that it would be same as ours but I was so mistaken.

I was happy to meet my friends after a while but it was a bit embarrassing situation and for the first time in my life I reached a party when it was almost over.

Latest update

I am having a great time with my parents. I am spending lots of time with them talking and having a great time. We have been to many temples around Kathmandu which I will post details of later. I am really glad that I extended my 2 weeks holiday to spend with them as they are very happy to have me here and I am very happy to be here.

I still miss AS a lot but I will be seeing him soon. We talk on the phone or Skype everyday so I am happy to be in Kathmandu in my birth home.

Take care everyone till my next post.

Guest blog : My hope for my daughters

Thank you Sid for writing this beautiful post for my blog. You can check his blog on Dad Knows . You will realise when you go through his blog why I think him more as a dad than anything else. He is a proud father of two gorgeous gals, Audrey and Anna. 

Thank you to the lovely M for inviting me to write a guest blog post.  Hers is such a beautiful and smart blog, and while I was delighted to have the chance to be a part of it I knew I’d have to create something better than my usual to be worthy of inclusion here.

So what could I write about that would be of interest to nepaliaustralian’s readers?  I haven’t traveled the world like M has, with gorgeous photos and great stories to share.  My knowledge of Nepali culture is limited, and residing in the Great Lakes region of the United States, I’m about as far from Nepal and Australia as one can get without involving NASA or ESA.  Further, I have no experience getting accustomed to living in a foreign land or trying to mesh two cultures or backgrounds together.  I started to think that I really was not a wise choice to help fill up this space, and that maybe M wasn’t as smart as I’d been giving her credit for.

However, when I asked what she’d like me to write about, M replied that (because of my blog) more than anything she thinks of me as a dad, and that it would be fine if I wanted to share something about my daughters.

Ah!  I was then tempted to write that what I want for my daughters as they grow up is no different from what parents in Australia or Nepal – or Colombia, or Ghana, or Estonia, or anywhere else – want for their children.  Can I really say that, though?  Do I really know that for sure?  Definitely not.  I can only assume, and making assumptions about people in different parts of the world can be terribly closed-minded and has all kinds of potential to be wrong.  So then, what?

Well, as bloggers I think we’re all encouraged to write about what we know, and what I know about is my daughters and what my hopes for them are.  So that’s what I’ll write about here.  What I want you readers to do is consider your children – or, if you’re not a parent, the children of the world – and what your hopes for them are.  If I’m right, M has readers from all over the world, and if a few of you respond in the comments below, we might have a fascinating glimpse into all the different hopes and priorities we humans have for our children.  More importantly, I’m hoping we’ll find out that, regardless of where we live, our wishes for our children aren’t really all that different.

First of all, since the moment they were born (and before), I’ve wanted to protect them and keep them safe.  In twelve years, that hasn’t changed one bit.  I may be overprotective at times (it’s what dads do, no?), and fully expect that as the girls become teenagers I’ll get even more protective.  There are scary and dangerous situations and people in the world, and the more independent they get, the more our children need all the wisdom we can pass on to them.  Audrey and Anna will always be my little girls, and I won’t ever stop wanting to keep them safe from harm.  That harm will change form over time – from bullies in elementary school, to strong and overexcited boys in high school, to peers and adults who would take advantage of them at work or in myriad other situations.  Eesh – just writing that makes me want all the more to hold them close.

Safety and protection are not always within our control as parents – some other things, though, are.  It’s been entirely up to my wife and me to provide a loving and happy home for our daughters – and I’m the first to admit that I’ve not always been great at this.  Loving my daughters is easy; giving them a fun, carefree, and happy home isn’t always so easy.  I get tired.  I get frustrated.  I get grumpy.  It’s maybe taken me twelve years, but I think I’m finally getting better at realizing that’s probably what they want more than anything.  Speaking of what’s in our control, no matter how rotten their day at school may be, children should be able to come home and feel safe, secure, happy, and comfortable.  Home should be a refuge for them – the place they can relax, be themselves, say what they want (well, within reason…), act goofy, and feel free to talk about their fears.  I always want them to feel like they can come back home and feel at home.  If they can return home and let their worries and fears just fade away, then my wife and I have done something right.

I also want our girls to grow to be kind, respectful, compassionate, and intelligent ladies.  I can only guess about the rest of the world, but where we live those qualities are scarce.  They’re doing quite well as far as intelligence, and do okay with kindness, but, hoo boy, we’ve a long way to go to get them to be as respectful as we think they can be.  I suppose this wish for my girls is just as much a wish for the rest of the world and anyone they come into contact with!

Another thing we’re having trouble with is instilling in those girls the value of hard work.  Oh, I’m sure they’ll get it someday, but I would really hate for them to become adults and still expect everything to just happen for them, or expect that things will always be easy.  In both cases, they won’t.  The sooner the girls learn that, the better.  (Wish me luck, please!)  I hope that they will never be daunted by the prospect of hard work, and that they’ll be willing to put in as much effort as they need to accomplish their goals.

Something else the world is terribly lacking is respect and compassion for all the other living things that share the planet with us.  I’ll be so, so proud of my daughters if they continue to be as concerned about the welfare of the planet and all its residents as they seem to be so far.  Even at their young ages, the two of them seem to have an inherent concern for all animals – certainly more so than most adults in our society.  My hope is that they never lose that.

Image courtesy universetoday.com

Finally, I’ll mention those things that are almost totally out of our control.  I have no delusions that any of this will happen anytime soon, but I still wish it for my children and for all children all over the planet:  a world with no war, suffering, hunger, disease, or inequality.  I want them to grow up in a world where humanity works together for the good of all, and where religion and culture and nationality and appearance and language and local customs are no more than points of interest that bring us all together.  Will it happen?  I have my doubts.  Can it happen?  Can that kind of world be embraced by everyone?  I think it can happen, and I also know it can start with my Anna and Audrey as much as with anyone else.

For sure I could go on for days about what I want for my children, but this will do.  It’s up to you now.  What do you wish for your children?  What hopes do you have for them, and for all children?

Please click here if you are interested to write a guest post for me.