"Sodya cha bhandinus, hai?"

I think I understand now this phrase, or the sentiment in it. (it’s feeling strange constructing this thought in English, because I’m thinking it in a mixture of the two languages, but autocorrect makes it too difficult to write in both at once without rereretyping.)

When I’m visiting the thulobabas or any dai/bhaujus, people always ask how Ama Baba are doing, and almost always end the conversation with — “Sodya cha bhandinus, hai?” (or, “Sodya cha bhanna, hai?). But when I pass on greetings from my parents, I invariably convey messages of maya, because often my conversations with ze father end in English and he’ll say - “Tell so-and-so I said hello.” While there’s really no way of saying *that* in Nepali (I tried. “Baba le namaskar bhanna bha thyo,” just sounds mad stilted.), “Ama/Baba le maya pathaunu bhaako chha,” - which I often say - is sometimes just too effusive to be appropriate. “Phalaano le phalaano lai sodnubhacha,” used to feel meaningless and cold, a perfunctory asking-about that didn’t convey any sense of emotion — but now I think I get it. It’s still an expression of affection, a way of asking-about that isn’t necessarily obligated at all. Rather, it’s the equivalent of a postcard, a silly forward, or an out-of-the-blue SMS: ” hi! I’m thinking about you, and wishing you good thoughts. ” What matters is just that both parties understand this. And I will not extend any further reflections on culture, propriety, or reservedness from this.

O language you are an interesting little cultural beast!