घ्यु /Ghyu/


Hajurama heats the giant blobs of butter in a big black karai. She stirs the dadu in a clockwise direction. The bottom of the steel’s dadu hits the base of the karai and makes a weird rubbing sound. Brown fragments of fat sink to the bottom and ghyu floats to the top. She strains the ghyu through a butter cloth into a recycled glass bottle. Why is it always about glass bottles? Glass bottles on the window. On the table. On the sink.Glass bottles that Hajurama rinses and wipes and arranges in the closet with orange and green and yellow lids. Glass bottles that enter this house and never leave. Hajurama fills all of them all with ghyu. In Nepali, ghyu means love. In a couple of days the transparent ghyu freezes and turns translucent. Hajurama opens one of the glass bottles with the orange lid and inserts a steel spoon inside.The spoon entered this house years before I did. Baba’s name is carved in the spoon in tiny letters. Infact, in all of the steel’s spoons in this house. It’s not that the spoons would not get lost with baba’s name on them. But the thief would feel guilty each time he would gulp something in them. Hajurama laughs when I give her the reasoning. She tells me how they worked hard to gather each possession in their house. And they had to be reminded that they actually owned them. All of the steel spoons. All of the steel glasses. All of the steel bowls. All of the steel plates. Hajurama scoops the ghyu out and pours it over the warm Basmati rice on one of the steel plates. The smell forms a cyclone and wraps around my body. The rest of the glass bottles with ghyu are later wrapped in the black polythene bags, one by one and sent in the airplanes. That’s how Hajuramas send their granddaughters abroad.

Mansi Dahal