Just my boy and me
in the cab.
We are greeted by drizzle as we step out
We think of the one and only old umbrella
left at home -
that belongs to my girl.
She is in a far off land, we are reminded.
A sudden moment of melancholy
Managing half a smile, we walk;
to be somewhere before noon.
Others on the street have umbrellas.
Some are in cars.
Quite a busy morning, I notice.
Faster by the minute -
our paces -
my hand in my boy’s,
Crossing the road could be dangerous;
I’m young no more.
It isn’t just the drizzle, though,
that has us walking fast;
it is more the excitement of what is awaiting us.
And then we are there.
Have to wait a while…
for my turn.
A long queue because yesterday was a holiday.
Finally, standing proudly facing the lady at the counter
I am about to utter my magic number
and she asks, “Code number.”
I repeat, “Code number? I have…” (fumbling in my bag)
My voice fades.
She then asks the next person in line for her code number.
I realize I have mine in what I was holding dearly in my hand.
Being educated (literate?) feels useless for the first time.
I am waiting…
for my turn –
a second time! (still full of hope)
I read out the number
and my name.
The lady says, “Sorry, the names don’t match. It’s Dolkar Tshering here, should be the same as what’s on your ID card.”
“That’s the international way of writing names, isn’t it?” I blurt out. I must sound desperate.
“That’s the problem. They do it that way. Sorry, I can’t do anything. You have to get it fixed.” The lady looks annoyed.
That walk in the drizzle…
those quick paces…
all for nothing?!
Once more on the roadside
with tear-filled eyes
staring blankly at the rush of cars –
of course! It is Saturday.
The cab ride back home isn’t exciting at all.
Everything seems in slow motion.
Half the day is over.
“How can it be?” my mind questions.
Stray dogs are lying on the car park area
- as usual -
used to be a pleasant sight, but not today.
They are wagging their tails;
I walk past.
Not a word.
The climb up the stairs feels like the last straw.