Outskirts of Pokhara

People who love to travel know what it means to travel. They feel the excitement, the exuberance as they hope to explore new places, people, food, culture, arts, music, and an ambiance of the aura.  People are curious creatures, nor like other species that flutter around without any purpose or want to be fixed in a place where no one invades. People want to enjoy life, want to explore new territory, experience the pleasantness that the world has to offer, behold the beauty nature emanates, and want to come out of the shell and achieve vindication. 

On the way to Mustang

It was a pleasant morning, mid-March, mild, benignant, perfect weather not different from the winter mid-afternoon in the plains. The sky was azure after the rain last night and the green shoots on the tress appeared sprouting indiscriminately. The soil on the land was moist. It was 6 am, the sun seemed throwing its glow from a distance where the land was stretched all the way out. A horde of swallows flew past us and diverged to their directions individually, creating imaginary routes of flying planes and again showed up in a group bringing a gush of morning air.

Annapurna Mountain glittering at a distance on the way to Mustang

This further inspired our energy as we were already on the way to Mustang.  My wife and I had embarked on our journey with our loaded backpacks. We took a taxi from Pokhara and headed towards Mustang via Benibazzar and Jomsom, two other wonderlands on the way.  The taxi driver played a Nepali song “yo man ta mero Nepali ho,” meaning my heart is all for Nepal and continued driving north and west by the brim of the Seti river that flew in a serpentine way up and down. On the other side, some beautiful terraces were being ploughed with yoked oxen. A forest bee zoomed into the windscreen pane and died right there fluttering. My wife was watching either side speechless. I could not help watching what was happening around me. I sympathized with the bee, but the pleasure the morning and the journey gave me was enormous.

Lunching at Beni bazzar

In no time, we arrived in Beni bazzar. From there, another river named Kaligandaki would begin on our way. We had way furthermore to go to reach Mustang, also called a district that comes only after one crosses a few snow-clad mountains. We continued. We reached the top of the mountains and looked down out of the taxi’s window, deep down, just to see deep gorges of Kali Gandaki with merely a thin line of blue water, most probably 1000 meters down from where we were.

rocky mountains on the way

On the other side appeared gigantic rocky mountains that, it looked, could fall any times and squash all of us. We saw our life with no hope. In front of the granite mountains on either side of us and the deep Kali Gandaki down below made our body feel frail and diminutive. We felt we were so small, such small forms of the energy that was about to fall any time soon. As the taxi was moving, the ideas drove its way through the maze of corridors in my own brain. We human beings were nothing more than a moth that could die while drawn towards a flame anywhere, nothing more than a bee that just died on the taxi’s windscreen fluttering. Mountains and rivers appeared so powerful that not only take our breath away, but might take our breath literally.

Mustang
I am reading a poem after arriving in Mustang

Finally, we reached Mustang in the evening. I always used to watch snow clad mountains up in the north and it was my first time I had to turn towards the south to see them. Snowflakes welcomed us no sooner did we reach there. A throng of tourists was clicking and capturing priceless and speechless beauty in camera, I was contemplating the journey back that we could have died any time like the bee. I felt so powerful, but that was a fragile feeling.

I am recapping and writing
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Moonless nights

Moonless nights

मेरो कतारमा अर्को दिन शुरु हुन्छ , म हेर्छु सुर्यको किरणहरु मेरो नेपाल घरको छानो हुँदै यतै आउदैछन, म चैं अँध्यारोमै काममा निस्किसके र अहिले पर्खिरहेछु आफ्नै घर अांगन चुम्दै अाउदै गरेका सुनाैला न्यानो किरणहरुलाई। लाग्छ त्यहाँको सबै जाडो संगै लिएर अाअोस ताकि सानानानीहरुको जाडो बाख्राको पाठाले खानु नपरोस। स्कुल जाने फर्कने समयको झरी पनि यतै परोस् ताकि यहाँको फुपट्ट बगरहरुले पनि हरियाली उमार्न सकोस् । नानी बाबुहरुले रुज्नु नपरोस्।

परदेशी कलम


पदमप्रसाद भट्टराई, हाल कतार

अहिले बाताबरण चिसो छ यहाँ पनि, खासै फरकपना छैन, मात्रा धेरथोर हो। यद्दपि चिसोमा पनि अाफ्नोपना भेटिन्न , तातोमा त झनै भेटिन्न। मनमनै गम्छु “चिसो र तातोको एउटा बेग्लै संयोजन त रहेछ नि यो प्रकृतिको चक्र। यही चिसोतातो भित्र अट्ने र यसैलाई पराजित गर्न डटने क्रममा चिसोलाई तातो र तातोलाई चिसोमा परिवर्तन गर्ने काममा पुरै जिन्दगी खर्च गर्न तयार छ मान्छे। माैसमको चिसो त रुइ, फुइ र दुईले ठीक होला तर मान्छेको मनको चिसोपनाको इलाज हुन मुस्किल छ। चराचर जगतको भलो, बिश्व बन्धुत्वको भावना, भातृत्व प्रेम, मातृत्व सम्मान जस्ता अाधारभूत अाैषधिहरु मान्छेले ग्रहण गर्न छोडिसकेका छन् ।” मैले के गमे भनेर फेरी सोच्दछु र स्वयं बुझ्दिन यो परदेशी माटोमा म के कुरा खेलाईरहेछु ।

भनिन्छ, रेमिटान्सले मुलुकको अर्थतन्त्र धान्दो रहेछ तर मुलुकले खुद यो कुरा मान्दो रहेनछ। पर्देशी भूमिमा धेरै नेपालीहरुका धेरै पीडाहरुको त्यहाँ कुनै दुखाइ नहुँदो रैछ, महसुुस नहुँदो रैछ। काम गरेबापतको पैसा नपाउनेहरुको समस्यामा, उचित खानापिनाको अभावको बिषयमा र श्रमिकले पाउने अाधारभूत सुबिधाहरुका सवालमा राज्य अनि सम्बन्धित निकायहरुको माैनताले अर्थपूर्ण भूमिका नखेलेको अाभास हुन्छ। यदपि धेरै सम्बन्धित निकायहरु यस्तै कामका लागि खडा भएका छन् , राज्यको धेरै रकम खर्च गरिएको छ । फेरी पनि समस्याहरु ज्युँ का त्युँ छन्। एकातिर सर्वसुलभ रुपमा युवाशक्तिलाई खाडीमा निर्यात गर्ने भन्ने अर्कोतिर बेरोजगार युवालाई भत्ता दिने अनि खाडीतिर अब जानुपर्देन भन्ने अन्तरबिरोधको वीचमा समृद्धिको सपना देख्ने र देखाउनेहरुको निन्द्रा तोडन ढिला भईसकेको छ।

सुन्दर सपनाहरु र सुखद भबिस्यका निम्ति बिरानो भूमिमा जोतिन बाध्य नेपालीहरुको मुख्य चाहना ” समृद्ध मुलुक र सुखी नेपाली” नै हो जसलाई नारा बनाएर सरकारले गीत गाईरहेछ। भुकम्प पिडितको लागि अावास, मुसहर बस्ती, धरहरा पुननिर्माण, क्रिकेट रंगशाला निर्माण जस्ता राष्ट्रिय स्तरका अनि अाफ्नै गाउँ ठाउँका अनेकौं भाैतिक निर्माण, पुराण महापुराणहरुमा सहयोग गर्ने राष्ट्रिय तथा सामाजिक उत्तरदायित्व निर्वाह बिदेशमा बस्ने नेपालीहरुले गर्दै अाएका छन जसको सही मुल्यांकन र सम्बोधन राज्य पक्षबाट हुन सकेको छैन। राज्य संचालन गर्नेहरुका लागि बिदेिशएका युवाहरु त केवल घाँडो पन्छाएको झैं भएको छ।
सुर्यका किरण धेरै माथि आईसकेका छन् । मैले काम गर्ने ठाउमा सुरु हुन्छ दैनिकी र त्यतैतिर लाग्छु छोरी र श्रीमतीको सपना साथमा लिएर परदेशी माटोमा मनको इलाज गर्दै ।

यदि उ त्यसो गर्दैन भने
त्यो पनि तिम्रो सच्चा प्रेमी हो,
त्यसलाई पनि तिमी एउटा गुलाफको फुल दिनु
र कसिलो अँगालो हालेर
“ह्याप्पी भ्यालेनटाईन डे” भन्नु।

It is lugubrious to see that our politicians perambulate the entire length of the esplanade and enjoy the unspoiled air on their vacation while the poor have to end up begging for an alms in the streets of Kathmandu. Last month, I went to Kathmandu for a sojourn to meet my family, and right after I took my leave out of the airport, found two young children in rags extending their hands to strangers for paper bills. Further down the road where the airport exit was, a mother with her frail baby was feeding him her breast milk hiding him underneath a ragged shawl, lulling, and importuning every pedestrian for an alms, at her front was spread out a piece of cloth on which a few coins were scattered, with flies buzzing around them, and five yards down was a young boy tattered and lame slumped on the pedestrians’ floor, a captivating scene, indeed, for a poet to write a poem about, for a composer to compose on, and for a politician to pantomime emotions for politics so they could canvass votes. A horde of street cops sprinted to where the beggars were begging for the alms and hit them with their batons to clear up the way, but, unable to move, the beggars fell back where they were, clutching their heads about to bleed with their hands and a variety of open head wounds

Begging or an alms in streets of Kathmandu

I think the best way to address such conditions of the poor, the babies, the mothers, and the disabled who lived deplorable lives as beggars in the streets of Kathmandu that engenders and spreads a bad name  concerning the country and an unfortunate image of the politicians who always fought for this country, against the monarchy, waged a people’s war for the rights of women, children, disabled, and the people in poverty, is to discuss this issue in parliament and come up with policies that exterminate the beggars, meaning the policies they would make could utilize  Nepal’s army, who have no jobs but sit on their asses and kill the lice in their head, to take up a useful role for society once again by either shooting all the beggars or inviting all of them for feast serving poisoned delicacies so they might receive an easy peaceful death.

I think that is the most rational decision the government or the politicians can ever make as the government himself is a beggar and cannot do more than talk, cannot afford everyone’s education, food, clothes, and shelter as there are more than forty percent of the people live below the poverty line so the extermination of the disabled, the poor, and vulnerable women is what I profess as most suitable for this dire predicament. One thing I admit, one of the demerits if they are exterminated, that the politicians will not have beggars as their weapon to use in their politics at the time of elections, a big circus where the poor are purchased from the same tax money the poor pay. However, it also will have some benefits in terms of establishing an international image of the sturdy work politicians do, and that how clean the cobbled lanes and streets of Kathmandu are that one does not have to see young children importuning walkers for an alms, nor one has to see a postnatal mother feeding the baby her breast milk while laying the shop of begged coins under scorching sun in the middle of the footpath where the pedestrians walk, nor will be the disabled be deplored for his “lame” look in the street.

What a feeling!
सुन्ने कविता: डाक्टर सापले कपाल काट्दा !

अहिले रारा यस्तो छ हिउँकि रानी जस्तो छ। मेरो साथी आनन्द खड्काले त्यहाँ पुगेर खिचेका केही तस्बिरहरु। तपाईंहरु पनि हेरेर मज्जा लिने होकि।

एस एल सी

एस एल सी