The tiring journey through the crowded Assam road dimmed as I neared my native place. The greeting into the valley by the sound of black necked cranes made the scene all more mesmerizing. My five year old nephew was travelling with me to see his grandparents for the first time and was full of questions about the new environment and the cranes. He was asking about the Chorten Kora that he had seen in Noezhen Express in BBS and wanted to know how big it was. He kept asking whether Chorten kora was as big as some chorten (stupa) that we passed through on the way. When I said it was bigger than that, he spread his arms and asked whether it was as big. I told him that he would see it in few minutes as we were nearing the place, he kept stretching his neck to see further in front of the car.
My son and daughter who were occupying the back seat in the car kept their silence since they had been to the place several times and knew the place very well. They were observing their younger cousin very carefully since he is very good with facial expression. As we entered the valley and the huge Chorten Kora came into view, he gave a loud “WOW!” which made my children giggle.
My daughter asked “Rinsel, Chorten Katang la gidu?” to which his response was “deadly katang la wai ana.”
When we got home to our ancestral home in the evening, he was still talking about the Big Chorten and the cranes that he had seen on the way.
He was still talking about it later in the evening on phone when his mother called.