my Dad in a few words
Mr. Kaising was an extremely loving and caring father. He always enthusiastically performed his duties as a father. He glowed with pride when Rokpo hit a snake with a stone, he laughed forgivingly when Lobo forgot to bring back the bicycle. Rokpo, his eldest son, was much loved in the neighbourhood, and in the entire village. The married women in the neighbourhood often joked, “Don’t you know, your son can not just cry with his eyes, he can laugh with his eyes as well.” Lobo, his youngest, on the other hand was too emotional and idealistic, he did not know how to get along with people well. And Mr. Kaising was their father: as long as he lived he was responsible for their happiness.
Mr. Kaising had become a father only much later in his life. He married at the age of thirty two or thirty three (he did not know exactly which year he was born because nobody had written down his date of birth). He had actually never believed that one day he would have wife and children. The elders in the family, the older brothers of Gulab, had taken his death in the near future as a matter of course. The reason for this was Kaising’s sickly nature as a young boy. He was always being carried from one village to the other throughout the year due to his stomach pain. Kaising lived with strangers and distant relatives as he attended courses of quack doctors who was known to cure ailments of his type. Also those years he was failing his matriculation exam again and again, always unable to sit through the examination time. On his eighth failure he requested his older brother Phukon to please take him to the government hospital in Jorhat. Phukon somehow managed the money and Kaising was operated. Within no time he regained his health and good looks. He also passed his matriculation and his Higher Secondary Exam and B.A in quick succession. But he was left with the scar across his belly and the general knowledge all over the village and in all concerned parties outside the village about his operation. Those days nobody in the village had been operated (many years later Kaising would boast of being the first one) and the common belief among the villagers was that he was no more a full man and will never be one. So girls never agreed to marry him, and even if a girl did, the parents and everyone concerned would tell her that he would never be able to father a child or be able to live long. Kaising himself had more or less accepted what people had said when he first saw the much younger Pongkir Doley. She had come to Dola village to help out a classmate of hers in the preparation of a dodgang, a normal thing for young village women to do. He saw her to be extremely pretty, blooming with laughter and vivacity and youthfulness. She was not just pretty, she was tall and large in size, with a beautiful bosom and back. He had no high hopes but he made his approach and she did not shy away from him. For a year he wrote love letters and Pongkir finally relented to his persistence. She agreed to elope with him and did exactly that. She ran away in the middle of the night hoodwinking her vehemently opposing older sister. Her whole family wept as if she had been lost forever. She herself wept when he saw Kaisng’s scar across the length of his belly on their nuptial bed. She was petrified at what she had done: that scar was the ugliest thing she had ever seen in her life, and now she could blame no one but herself for agreeing to elope with this man she though she knew all about.
Dodgang: A feast for the deceased where the whole village is given free food and drinks. There is no dodgang without pork or apong.