December 21, 2010
Keeping our little world going on!
Dear Bali Saheb and Madam Bali,
Happy Birthday to you, Many Happy Returns of the Day! May your every wish be fulfilled and a very healthy and long life inspiring well more enough to all your friends and well-wishers!
Your life after retirement has been inspiring enough to those who know you and your life - even a little like me - enjoy it the best to the best possible and be there wherever you find your heart and yourself attached. When Betu told me your desire to reach more to your friends, that you have many, by having a website of your own, the first thing I could do for Raman’s 35th Birthday was to start making one for you www.rajenbali.com with little knowledge I had picked up and with your ramblings he provided me. While in the US, I could see our www.karunaguthi.com made possible with Maiya and Vimal readily available with their technical support. I update this every week as Dr. Kamal Prakash Malla, intellectual who opted for California to spend his retirement days than to be embroiled in the activities of transitional phase back home in Nepal and whom I know since my World Newah Organization days in the US as a contact, was the first to comment. He said, “It is easier to build and have one website than to maintain it.” Now with 15th Update this week four months old (since August 21, 2010) , he was just happy to know of it and find my Bakhan Daboo story interesting and to share his story on the Newar in his recent update for his www.kamalmalla.com. Raman will do the needful to have your idea, how you wish to go about it and improve it when he presents it to you on this Birthday! With Blog Page created on whatever subject of your interest, you can update easily, I believe. I am myself still learning how to manage it myself and better myself with every update!
I am in the heartland of the heart of Nepal, Tengya Twa: (Tengal Tol) on this Great National Day in Nepal in honour of the Yomari Punhi!
The fate of this Yomari is itself threatened and it could be placed in the Red List of our Endangered Items of the Newar Identity – our food, like the language, culture, custom, tradition rites and religion. The picture in our website is that of made in the USA when Raman’s Sanima Rajani and her husband Dipak visited Maiya, while we were there. Ranjana and many find it too cumbersome and difficult to make. We are, therefore, going without Yomari being prepared today as Yamuna, her brother Samir’s better half, under whose love and care showered we both are here these days, too of the similar view. They managed with one bought and brought from outside last year for Rs. 30/- each for a slightly bigger version. Otherwise, cost itself is prohibitive, we feel so. Ranjana’s elder sister Sushila wanted make us fortunate enough through her kind gesture to entertain us with Yomari, but death in the family of her husband Ramchandra’s cousin just the other day soon after they were out of their 13day mourning into another, deprived us the benefit of her deft hands in making it.
I thought it best to spend the day after having a glimpse of the Jyapu Diwas celebrations, to be with our nearest relative reunited and honour and celebrate the age in my uncle Deo Shanker Lall Shrestha in his nineties on this Great Day while I am here. His eldest son Vijaya Shanker Shrestha, elder by a year or so and the only person to know from our Nepali Kothi of Chaukhambha, Benaras days, I could get contacted on Facebook recently. When asked of my food preferences, hopefully I enquired that Yomari was that I would be getting of sure. It was rather in negative – it is not being prepared in the family. Reason simple enough and quite convincing. Most of the people are now in the age with either diabetes or gastric trouble to bear with and survive. Yomari is, as such, a distant thing to wish for my gastronomical delight!
I was truly convinced once again that the Yomari was really something that should be the subject to study and research about its nutrient value and demystify the myth of its being some health hazard or otherwise. Some expert or biotechnologist should come forward and that something should be done to its preservation and propagation. Just see how its first cousin introduced by the Lhasa Newars from Tibet first, momo has taken the world on and conquered it over the hearts of millions in every possible variant and in different names of dumpling and what not. It is now a very favourite dish, a very popular street food as well here in Nepal and in neighbouring parts of India. I had supported the kind-hearted soul who came up with his YouTube presentation on how to prepare Yomari on the Facebook and I was the first person to Like it as a timely thing to show when the Yomari Punhi was just knocking at the door!
The day is also known as Dhanya Purnima, when harvest season is celebrated, again with peasant background, to worship the store room with new crop and Yomari offered in gratitude to the Nature and God of Prosperity.
While here heartily welcomed to our native land by my NESOCA friend Maheswor Shrestha, I have taken the opportunity to wish my fellow fraternity here on this Great Day by issuing a display advertisement in the Sandhya Times, all-time favourite eveninger here in the Valley with native-dwellers since time immemorial, the Newars. After the world-wide release of my book Newar Haami Yastai Chhaun (We Newars are like this only) Karuna Devi Smarak Dharmarth Guthi is proud to announce the launching of www.newarsinsikkim.org and www.rajivashankershresta.com soon with the book cover and its logo in the ad complete.
This reminds me of my We the Indians are like this only that I sent for the Independence Day 2010 release to the local press in Gangtok to find them still waiting to be in a position to come out with. I had written about the Indians and the neo-Indians of Sikkim besides those of our clan in the USA.
Another thing that I try make for and to my daily wake-up call is to spend some time while still in bed to come out with Thinking local, like this today and my laptop with battery back up support helped me without electricity now. Previously, I used to write in leisure but now more for pleasure to indulge in – even a poem will do to make it a day for me when time does not permit or I want something quick to thank my relatives on time we spent together. One they liked was Chhora- Chhorima Bancheko Hunchh Hamro Adhuro Zindagi, (we see our incomplete life completed in our children) it was Nepali version of the poem Happy Birthday, Vimal! For Dipak, it was done in just 15 minutes that morning.It is easier to convey one’s thinking writing than saying it to a person, as we all know – though I had a Birthday card for the Son-in-law from Archies at Mani’s Square Mall in Kolkata before I left for the US!
I could contact using Google Talk for the first time yesterday to my octogenarian Shambhu Bhenaju in San Antonio, Texas, USA and when told we are here in Tengya Twa: Kathmandu, he just you are now there too roaming, whether we would go to his daughter Sarita’s place in Dhankuta I wanted, my reply was of doubt about it.
Kindly bear with my language, I could not go editing due to lack of time. This is before my usual daily Yoga session this morning that I rarely go without. It’s already 8’-clock.
Power has come and I better e-mail this to you soon to wish you once again a Very Happy Birthday with Rahul and second son Raman there to seek your blessings as well as from Madame Bali.
With our Best Regards to you both and Love and ashish to the sons.
RAJIVA with Ranjana
PS: Ranjana just received a call to inform me that her elder sister Sahanshila's daughter Anjali (married to a Newar activist and UML leader Rajendra Shrestha, who visited us in Sikkim as a Minister here) is bringing for us some Yomari much to my satisfaction and relief that our days are not yet gone to....!