A Missed Meeting

Tatopani (Tibet Nepal Border)

It is February 17, 2010. I am waiting with my younger brother, excited and prepared to meet our beloved Dad whom we have not met for many years — I for five, and my brother for ten. I know my brother’s joy will know no bounds when he meets Dad.

Unfortunately, the Chinese border guards do not allow Dad to come even to the centre of the demarcration line. They have demanded plenty of money from him to meet us. Dad is a poor man and has large family to support, so he naturally cannot afford the kind of money that these greedy Chinese policemen are asking.

I cannot find any words to this situation, and salty tears well up in my eyes and stream down on my cheeks.

We waited, and then decided to talk to Dad on a cell phone. Finally a sherpa man helps us get hold of a phone, and we talk to him across the border. We listen to Dad’s voice but it is unclear and in a very low pitch. At the same time, we see his blurred figure on the other side waving hands to us.

In such a condition, the hours go by like seconds. Night is drawing close, and we have to go. Under the roof of a fine Nepal day, tears flow, and two brothers’ hearts are clothed in sorrow.

I believe that time wipes out many things. But it never wipes away the tears of that day. It is ever fresh in my mind.