A FICTION: The Day CM Wore Sikkimese-Nepali Topi

Writes: Amir Gurung

“घाम चर्को लाग्दैछ… its getting hotter by the day”, mutters the village tailor in some far flung village of Sikkim. Nearby his son is meddling on the Android phone not paying much attention to what his father has just said. They are generations apart.

The boy seems to be engrossed in the phone and the old man mutters with a half angry tone, “के गरि खान्छ होउ यो केटा ले… how will you survive” The boy looks up for a while, shakes his shoulders, “टोपी सिलाउने विचार छैन मेरो… I am not going to stitch topis”. Then he goes back to his mobile…

The tailor looks up at the sky. In his mind he is thinking along these lines… sunny days means hot days, hot days means more people looking for topi, more demand for topi means more income and then we have all those good festivals coming up… aha! Business is going to be good now.

He looks down at the green house nearby his house. The organic डल्ले खोर्सानी, the रातो रातो अर्ग्यानिक टमाटर all ready to be made into some ‘Sikkim Supreme’ pickle product. He feels a sense of achievement.

The Day CM Pawan Chamling Wore Sikkimese-Nepali Topi
The Day CM (Pawan Chamling) Wore Sikkimese-Nepali Topi

He turns back to his son. “के गरेको मुबिल मा… what are you fiddling that Mubile for?”

“मूबिल होइन बाबा.. मोबाइल मोबाइल… हेइत कत्ति भन्नु होउ.. News पढेको बाबा Disturb नगर्नु होस् त …. its MOOBILE and not Muubile… how many times do I tell you that Baba? I am reading news, don’t disturb me”

The tailor is hurt. Last time the CM was on one of his tours, he was impressed to know that he is still sewing the Nepali topi. The CM even wore it while addressing the people of the village. He looks at the boy and thinks, well, he knows more than me. Let me ask what the news is all about.

“के रैछ news मा… what’s in the news?” The visible irritated boy tells him, “CM ले भनेको हामी चैं Sikkimese नेपाली हरे… अरु चैं सबै गोर्खे हरे… the CM says we are Sikkimese Nepali, while everyone else is a Gorkha”.

And then in the most emotive expression of the information he has gained from ‘intellectuals’ over Facebook, the boy explains to his tailor father, the difference between the Sikkimese-Nepali and the Nepali people living just beyond the Teesta. He tells his father how the other Nepalis are the “Gorkhas who came to be recruited from Nepal in the Gorkha Regiment and how the Sikkimese-Nepali were living in Sikkim from the ages past…”

By the time the son finished practicing his theory session on the ‘History of Sikkim and Beyond’, the tailor father is thinking deeply with his age old wrinkles twisted in confusion.

“ए ए ए ए तेसो भा अस्ति मैले सिलाको नेपाली टोपी CM ले लाउनु भाको थियो नि… त्यो चैं Sikkimese-नेपाली टोपी पो हो? So the Nepali topi which I had sewn and CM has won is Sikkimese-Nepali topi?”

The son is back on his Android. He is not listening. All he mutters is, “हेत्त बाबा तपाईंले बुज्नु हुन्दैन क्या. तपाईंलाई थाहनै छैन इतिहास चुप्पो लागि टोपी सिउनु होस्… ahhh Dad you won’t understand much… you don’t know our history… let it be.. focus on sewing the topis”.

Via TheDC

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