Dear Dharahara, We will rise again!

5th May 2015

A 7.9 richter massive scale earthquake hit my country on 25th April 2015. The central part of Nepal including the capital has been devastated. This nightmare has cost us 8000+ lives and the numbers keep on increasing.It has also cost us our infrastructures, our homes and our heritage. 5 of the UNESCO world heritage sites of Kathmandu valley are ruins, leaving a vacuum in their place and in our hearts. It eats up my heart to see it empty, what had always been there, which we had always taken for granted. Our ancient Durbars that have witnessed the different eras; the various dynasties; many rulers; their conspiracies and untold stories have collapsed. Our temples that have housed our millions of deities; heard trillions of prayers; answered many’s wishes and provided solace to all have crumbled; completely devastated and in ruins. Our deities are homeless like their many believers.

And our Dharahara has collapsed too. With the first seismic waves, hitting Kathmandu valley, it crumbled into pieces and Dharahara 2collapsed to the ground, taking many lives with it. A hundred stories, turned to dust as it fell,. I have been seeing the photos of our fallen Dharahara ever since the second day of the earthquake in national dailies and social media hundreds of times, and it appalls me every time. It has become a symbol of this earthquake, even though other UNESCO listed heritage sites have also faced similar or more destruction.  It is not a World Heritage Site, neither is it so tall , nor it has a unique architecture as such. It is a white tower, 9 stored, significantly tall in yesteryears but these years it stayed cosily amidst other high-rise building and was definitely not our “Qutub-minar” like Indian Media has been asserting. Still, when it opened a few years back for public to climb, it did attract a lot of kathmandu-ties and Nepalese from outside valley. One had to climb it at least once in their lifetime, so we all thought. And so on a packed saturday, when the earthquake hit, it fell with around 400 people in and around the tower. Continue reading

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Post Nepal Earthquake: A trip to Patigaun Village, Sindhupalchowk

April 30, 2015

30th April! Day 6 of the devastating earthquakes that hit Nepal! A 7.9 Richter scale nightmare hit my country on April 25th and with its wide spread effects, my country is still shaking! It has already destroyed 5 of our UNESCO World Heritage sites, caused trillions of damage to the meager infrastructure of the least developed country and claimed more than 5000 lives. This doomed number keeps rising with hundreds every hour.

Our country is mourning, traumatized and yet slowly picking up, gathering strengths. The youths are organizing, gathering themselves and their country with them, fighting their own government imposed red tapes and trying to act immediately, urgently and reach out to the needy ones. With the same pursuit, we visited Sankhu today. Sankhu, a municipality few hours drive from Kathmandu core city, a very old city in itself and center of Hindu religious tale, Swasthani, is highly damaged.   Approximately 166 of these were destroyed, 97 severely damaged, and 37 moderately damaged, according to sources. We ,a group of around 15 volunteers, reached there at around 1 PM, after a busy morning volunteering to bottle and package Piyush (chlorinated water disinfectant) but when we reached there, it was filled with Chinese aid, Mercy Malaysia volunteers and other supports. Because of its proximity with core Kathmandu city and motorable roads, there was even a traffic jam because of aid carrying vehicles. So the locals of Sankhu themselves suggested us to go ahead. As we moved further,  we crossed Jarsingpauwa (Lapsiphedi VDC) and reached Bhotechaur , of Sindhupalchowk district.

On  April 26th, that is the second day of the earthquake, the biggest aftershock of this earthquake series hit Nepal and had its epicenter in this very district. Sindhupalchowk has already lost 1587 lives and this number will also rise with each passing hour. A remote district next to Kathmandu, the district had to suffer the highest number of deaths and the second highest per capita death rate at more than five deaths per thousand residents.

The directions were confusing as we hadn’t done our research earlier. But when we reached Bhotechaur, there were Patigaun1already big trucks and vehicles carrying and distributing food and medicines to the locals there. More like looting and hoarding by the locals out of desperation. The relief materials still had no tents, only some packaged foods and medicines. Our volunteer group had no affiliation as such to any organization and we had collected a few bucks on our own and bought little relief. We were on bikes and had another volunteer’s car where we had kept few noodles and Chiura (beaten rice). Sensing that Bhotechaur has received aids and will continue to do so, because of the motorable roads, we decided to go ahead. The roads were mostly dirt roads, and we had to park car, when we couldnot take it further in the narrow trail. After around an hour from Bhotechaur, we reached Patigaun VDC of Sindhupalchowk. Not a single house was untouched by the earthquake there. Houses were toppled down, looked more like rubble. The standing ones also bore the cracks and scars of the nightmare.  Continue reading

One fine afternoon!

20th April 2015

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Summer arrived in Kathmandu! After almost a week of detouring here and there, summer announced itself in Kathmandu boldly. Scorching in Mid-afternoon! I was going back to office from a meeting; a pretty interesting one if I must say! A half an hour long meeting; with me drilling questions and the lady answering with maybe-s an around-s, really very interesting! See, I love my work!

So, as I was backing, I started observing; my favorite time pass! Staring at my fellow passers-by and shops whose life-size mannequins have taken over the walkway, dressed in fancy summery garments! There were all sorts of people. It was mid-day, so less people. There were housewives- running around with their shopping bags; college girls in groups- gossiping endlessly; boys from shops- hooting at those girls; street dogs sleeping lazily and motorbikes and a few cars passing busily on my right! Consistent Zwwiii and occasional horns! All beneath the scorching heat! Umbrellas everywhere! (I myself had one!) Some were walking swiftly, some sluggishly! Some were walking and shouting on their cell-phones and some were pushing others in their hurry and not even saying sorry! While some were peeking at the shops; indecisive of whether they should take a look and keep walking, creating a momentary people-jam!

And amidst all these variety of strides, a kid was coming my way, marching in his uniform and was holding his mother’s hand! A mere 8-9 year old little man, he seemed to be returning home from school. Kids are amazing, always delightful! What was even more amazing was that he had his eyes closed and had his right arm held open as if in an embrace. He would let his hand brush across other pedestrians and strangers with his eyes closed. He would then laugh and jubilate and open one eye to see who his stooge was!  Continue reading

A little bit of Everything!

7/1/2015

A little bit of love

Like sunshine through the clouds,

A little bit of Companionship

Turns the world around.

 

A little bit of confusion

To lose the path,

A little bit of Distraction

And misguidance to end up in wrath.

 

A little bit of grief

Distress, pain and dejection,

A little bit of havoc

Daring the entire conviction.Happiness_ 2014

 

A little bit of Turmoil,

To burn the confidence,

A little bit of Shame

For self  Reflection.

Continue reading

You start dying slowly – By Pablo Neruda

I read this poem and loved every word of it 🙂

You start dying slowly
if you do not travel,
if you do not read,
If you do not listen to the sounds of life,
If you do not appreciate yourself.
You start dying slowlyUP
When you kill your self-esteem;
When you do not let others help you.
You start dying slowly
If you become a slave of your habits,
Walking everyday on the same paths…
If you do not change your routine,
If you do not wear different colours
Or you do not speak to those you don’t know.
You start dying slowly
If you avoid to feel passion
And their turbulent emotions;
Those which make your eyes glisten
And your heart beat fast.
You start dying slowly
If you do not change your life when you are not satisfied with your job, or with your love,
If you do not risk what is safe for the uncertain,
If you do not go after a dream,
If you do not allow yourself,
At least once in your lifetime,
To run away from sensible advice…
~ Pablo Neruda

Invocation

(a request from this loving daughter to her loving parents)

7/7/2014

Let me fly high like a bird;
Let me soar and take new directions;
You have given me my wings;
And taught me to make this world my home;
You have made me who I am;
Given me all these values and beliefs;
Now dont ask me to cease being me;
And exchange it for a naught;
Freedom and respect are what I want;
Now dont make me trade them off;
Let me wander, let me choose my path;
Let me make my own mistakes and find my worth;
I dont know where these winds will take me;
I wont make promises nor any predictions;
I might give it all up and come home;
Or I might fight and own it all;
But let me live and grow by my heart;
And please dont panic that I might loose;
A race I have never wanted to run;
A compromise I dont want to make;
A strange nest where I will never belong;
Trust me when I say that this is what I want;
To fly high; achieve more and stay the way I am.

New Year’s Wish!

1st Jan 2014bouganinville

New Year’s Day! Holiday after a long time and I am basking in the winter sun, staring particularly at nothing, enjoying uncensored Laziness! Then a cold wind passes by, and my eye catches the Bougainville branch moving along the wind. I see the Bougainville tree, in my garden, at least twice a day; when I go to college, and when I come back from work. I have been seeing the plant , for the past 8 or 9 years, or more. It has always been here! I have admired it, when its full of Pink lovely blossoms; cursed it when its leaves drop and litter our porch; watered sometimes; felt sorry for it when my father trimmed t short. But today, I am thinking what it feels like to be this Bougainville!

I look at the branch that is swinging with the wind! The leaves are sprouting, must be a growing branch. The pink sepals are budding too. There are few thorns to it, not prickly, but thorns for the sake of thorns. I look to its other branches, cartwheeling in all directions, unruly; despite my father’s best efforts! Tied to the rope and going all the way to our balcony all the way from the ground; bridging the ants to our balcony!

I look at its main stem! Wow, that’s big; I remember it when it was planted years ago, a tiny thin stem was all it was! Planted in the wrong season, and my Ma had said, “This will never survive, it should have been planted in Asar.” If it could feel, I wonder how our bougainvillea must have felt, upon hearing My Maa. And here it is: thick and flowery! Continue reading