MIDWAY: Tears of joy

A couple of days ago my brother, Cheban, flew to the US for higher studies. I was thrilled because this was the first time that anyone from my family was going abroad for higher studies, that too, by winning a scholarship.

We all became very emotional when the moment of departure arrived. Most of the relatives, friends, and near and dear ones had gathered at the airport. It was indeed a joyous moment. We even took several photographs in order to cherish the moment.

But the most painful experience was when my sister and uncle hugged him tightly and started crying. The occasion became both joyous and painful. I almost froze and could not utter a word. My emotions remained bottled up within me. There was nothing that I could do. However, I secretly kept a cassette in my brother’s bag. The cassette contained a few outpourings which I had dubbed a day before. It had a few words of encouragement and inspiration which would come in handy in trying times. I had particularly urged him not to forget his motherland and the Nepali people.

It was he with whom I had passed many wonderful days, months and years. He is now far away though geographically only. He has crossed many seas and oceans. In fact, he is in an alien world. But the emotional bond between me and my brother is eternal. In his presence, I had never discussed those special ties. But my mind was now flooded with childhood memories. How we used to play ‘Chor and police’ and had our lunch from the same plate. We used to visit most of the places together. I distinctly remember how my brother used to steal sweets from my pocket. Those were the days!

I could not control my tears anymore. I felt as if something had gone missing from my life. But I soon realised that my brother had gone nowhere; rather, he would return after a certain period of time. It was not a painful departure but an initiation into a progressive life. I’m waiting for the moment when I will be reunited with my brother, who will return to his motherland equipped with all the expertise. This is because I had seen tears in the eyes of those who had come to say goodbye. After all, those tears were of joy and not of sorrow.