“Oh, hi, how have you been? Haven’t seen you for a while? Were you on a tour?” asked my friend’s elder sister. “Hi, ana, I am fine, thank you. I am here only, just that I was a little busy, plus I don’t go out much. Hope you all are fine too?” “Ah, yes, I am fine. We all are good.” She said. But, her frontalis pars medialis says it all. She is a BP patient and it attacks her often.
I met her on my way back from VAST, had gone there to see some paintings done by girls. It was specifically organized to promote Bhutanese girls and women’s talent by means of arts. There were beautiful paintings, pencil sketches, photography and some contemporary arts hung all over the wall. They simply made me go, “Wow! Girls, you all are full of talents.” And, that was actually my second time going there.
“Come let’s go for some tea, if you have some time?” She offered. “Amm, okay, okay.” I started following her, cutting the busy Sunday traffic, through Chubachu and descended-wards vegetable market.
Up in the sky clouds were starting to swallow the mighty sun, casting dark blankets all over Thimphu. Wind caressed neatly loosened hair rough and dirty. Folks could not help than to let vegetables on the ground and wrap their face from the mercy of the sandy wind.Tomatoes here, potatoes there, chilies in the dust and baskets all empty. What a harsh wind!
“Zai oye, this wind, seems like it’s going to rain heavily,” she coughed every word she spoke. “Most likely,” I nodded. Minding every step, she led me through the temporary make-shifts, built for the skilled men-power from the neighboring country. “Oh, please, don’t blow those CGI sheets on me, my dear mighty wind.” I was a little scared.
Finally, we reached near her building, although there were flights of stairs to climb, for a moment I was relieved. As we took our first step, a few steps up the stairs, I saw a group of girls, most probably between 12 to 14 years of age (I presumed) seated on the ascending stairs. So bold, so open, so dominant, their attitude spoke for them, but with cute little faces. Milk might ooze out if one ever touched their cheeks. On the contrary, I was very shocked to see these little cuties busy blowing trumpets. “Oh, my goodness, these OGBs have started to smoke,” I could not believe my eyes. They don’t mind people nearby, simply kept sucking on to the butt.
“See, these day’s youth, by the time they reach my age they might die of a lung cancer,” ana squinted her eyes as she spoke straight into my eyes. “No, no, ana, they are pre-youth, just that they grow too fast, faster than their age,” I replied her promptly. “Yes, yes,” she agrees. I could see what she meant by that, looking at those OGB cuties blowing trumpets.
If you only pause for a moment looking around you, one will find how things have changed and how fast they are changing. Yesterday’s egg becomes a chick just too soon before their time. Sometimes you don’t even believe yourself that you cannot help than to ask, “Did she/he just walk before even crawling?” You try to teach them A.B.C.D and they already know how to say, “Please, leave me alone!” Just in primary school and they will already tell you, “This is my life, I can do whatever I want!” What a rapid transition!
But, the fact is, this is the truth, these day’s folks grow so fast before their time and even surpasses the society’s notion of growing means: listen to your parents or elders on every errands of your life. They grow and this is how it is. They are growing more brilliant, more intelligent, more talented, more out spoken and more of speak their mind. We should learn to accept this. However, this is the time in their life where they need your guidance and advices. They have so many options to choose from these days.
Everything is thrown out right into their face by the time of transition, as simple as saying what they are eating tonight, they have multiple mediums to choose from. What they want to be in life, they got multiple careers to choose from, which folks of our age haven’t even heard of. This is the time in their life, where we should teach them the correct ways to cast the net, than to catch fish for them, because they already know a few ways to cast the net from the net. It’s more important to show them how it’s been done than telling to do this or do that, for they are fast at learning, as well as fast at getting confused.
Confuse, they get, when so many interpretations of the very same word is cooked up. They are so confused at this age around by the meaning of, “FASHION.” They have seen in the social medias and heard in the TVs saying, “fashion is what you wear that’s makes you comfortable,” it’s true to some extend but, not at all occasions, “fashion should be something that doesn’t weakens your mind.” On the course, they end up listening to the wind of the trend blowing in the town inflicted by peer pressures. If its accepted in their peer circle, OGBs don’t mind blowing trumpets in front of the elders, parents of other folks, teachers of other school and friends of other friends. And, this is what elders like you and I, parents, friends and all alike should explain to them.
“I hope some time down the lane, one fine day they will realize and learn to say no it,” ana murmured. To this I replied, “Ana, it begins from home. First shun form smoking in front of your two primary school going boys and then you need to start by telling them of the adverse effect of smoking, if one smokes.” “Yalama, giwala ni, zaii (OMG, its true),” she has already poured two cups of tea, through the misty flavored tea vapors floating up, she asked me, “What’s OGB, by the way?” With a gentle laugh, as I sipped on the tea, I replied, “OGB stands for, “Over Grown Babies.””
We had a wonderful chat over a beautiful tea infused with a hearty laughter.