Babuan Revisited

On a sunny Friday the 13th, I hit the road to Babuan.  Like in 2010, Dheeraj was my driver up to the tiny town on the Nepal border.  The road has been much improved and was less bumpy.  However, it still was an elaborate obstacle course to navigate.

At late morning, the motorbike swung into the familiar drive of Ritu’s family’s house complex.  Ritu, the girls’ teacher, stood there.  We kind of stared at each other in amazement before hugging, me jabbering away in English about how much I had missed her and the girls, unable to give voice to my feelings any other way.  And then her sisters Niha and Shadna appeared, little changed from our prior meetings.  Next was Gita, all smiles.  And then, Urmilla, Ritu’s mother, and again the awed moment of disbelief that we were once again in each other’s company.  A trip across the street took us to Micky, newly married and pregnant with her first child.  Changes.

I took tea while the school girls were assembled for class.  All new girls, about 14 in all.  I warmed them up with some footwork drills, and then moved into self defense techniques.  Wrist grabs, face scratching, knee strikes, web hand to the throat – we did them all.

In no time, the sun’s rays were lengthening, and it was time to leave.  My brain buzzing with “I wish”s (‘I wish I had more time,’ ‘I wish I could stay,’ ‘I with they could all come with me,’ ‘I wish…’), I swung my leg over the end of the motorbike, and was on my way.

1 Comment

  1. Sandykins said,

    April 21, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    I wish….too

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