Hi guys. Sorry for the delay, the net problem here. Anyways here it comes and Hope it gives you a clear picture of what happened in the strike Day 1. Let me begin by introducing myself, haha. Nope not doing away with my so well concealed identity. This entry will have my photo though..…Stick around sth to look forward to!
I was a Human Rights Monitor, the one clad in a blue jacket with Human Rights Observation written on the back. Seven O’clock I was supposed to be at the Koteshwor Chowk. So left home to reach my monitoring area just in time. A clear sky, clean air to complement it I walked past the garage. The ultimate strike of the political parties I thought, a tangible outcome, maybe this time for sure? Did every one on the street feel that wind of change as put by leaders? The zeal to come out on the streets, to burn tires, to yell slogans against the king, how many would come out for supporting the cause, how many just for the heck of it? Would the cause matter? (N my little cousin is debating Spiderman really exists, just told his Dad in Dubai to get him a Spiderman outfit, he says he can fly if he gets the dress. God this globalization effect) what is the pre requisite to ensure its success? A crowd of people, a lot of hype in the media, the deafening silence of the so called know it alls? Thinking tank, I think I will die of ponderings.
As I was walking on the bridge I could see a woman digging sand in the river below. Life goes on I thought. Everyone needs to survive. For hundreds like her it is a one-day life story. Each day is different, disconnected with what is to happen tomorrow, unconcerned about what went happened yesterday. I got some pic, two to be exact, of her. I moved on.
At the Koteshwor Chowk I met my Human Rights monitor partners. I knew no one among them. My colleague couldn’t make it. The busiest people there were the newspaper sellers. How many had bought a copy of the newspapers, how many just going through the borrowed copy from the seller! I couldn’t make out. I observed. There was a police Tata pickup parked there, have noted its number on my Paperline Spiral Pad but that can have implications I guess, so better not mentioned. I wanted to take a pic but a policeman came up to me to say “ Ke khicheko, basirakheko cha”. I put back my camera. He got on the pick up, glaring at me so that I made no attempt to take it out once again. He wore a mask covering his face beneath his eyes, same as me. Some similarity I thought. Eyes, the only way to detect the emotions. I raised my eyebrows in surprise; he stared back at me. A van with Mahedra Dev Pandey ( UML leader) passed by. (see the pic)
The truck sped off towards the Koteshwor gate area. A HR Monitor inquired about the two blasts he heard sometime ago. “Dashain ko Bomb ho ki!” someone answered immediately realizing the bomb error in it. A man in a bicycle stopped by us to share his insights about the protest that was to occur sometime later. “ People are protesting outside Madhav Kumar Nepal’s house” he remarked. He lives in that area so the roads are pitched, there is running water. Other place there is a lack of everything.
A group of 5 to 7 seven came protesting against monarchy. People understand 70% of the message through visual medium; I remember that from the Development Communication class. So here is what happened then in the photos to follow. Seven people were arrested: Pashupati Chaulagain, Lal Kumar K.C (confused abt the first name, can’t make the handwriting), Bimala Pradhan, Chatra Bahadur Karki, Kamala Parajuli, Ananda Pokharel and Jhapat Bhandari.
(The portion below this is what I wrote in Koteshwor itself, instant blogging maybe)
There is a Sri Manakamana Mai Ki Jay truck parked in front of me. A policeman is reading the newspaper at a distance. It would have been better if I would take a picture of him but after the first round of warning I don’t want to attempt. Maybe that’s cowardice on my part. A HR Monitor, a blogger, a reporter and an observer. Some traits you are born with. Observing is mine. It’s the easiest and most effective reporting after all. And scribbling I guess is a right in a country where we are fighting for press freedom. Doesn’t it exist?
Some action would have been better! This passivity, merely observing the empty roads does have a story to tell though. It is what we, most Nepalese are, passive. I remember the recent discussion in class. Who’ll go in the protest? Who wants to be involved?
A blue press Pulsar just passed by.
Instant gain, its what we seek. Instant changes don’t last. Instant gratification comes in excitement, ends in chaos. I should move on to talking I guess. Observing is a one-man affair. Talking is expanding horizons, connecting.
Don’t stand by the railing.
Don’t sit on it. The police just dispersed people around it. I too got off immediately.
Kehi Bhai halla jasto cha, Kehi bhayeko chaina. Another HR monitor is talking to sb on the phone.
The policeman is back telling the bystanders “ Ekai thauma jhundirahanu parcha ra?”
“Chodera jadaula ahile. Chuppa lagera basne ki nabasne!” The father of two little kids, clad in blue pajamas is threatening his child. Out from the bed, straight on the road. He looks like that. The little boy is shrieking, pretending to cry, not a single tear rolling down his cheeks! Look it’s the police he was pointing out to the other sibling excitedly sometime ago.
A boy my age, ear studs, green sweatshirt is standing at a distance. He seems to be confused about where to look. He is glancing sideways, trying to be inconspicuous while looking at our direction, observing the HR monitors. But the Observer, he can’t escape. Confused like the hundreds like him. To be or not to be. What difference does it make if I am protesting? Yell and everything is still the same. What is the gain? You attempt to change the system; the system changes you. Makune and Girija aren’t going to change anytime soon. You can’t teach an old dog new trick. I feel I have seen the guy somewhere, but I don’t remember. Though not in my dreams for sure!
We need a hero in Nepal. It was the topic of conversation among my friends sometime ago. Someone like Gandhi, a Mandela. Someone to draw inspiration from. Why can’t we be heroes ourselves? I believe in Bonjovi “Everyone’s a hero, everyone’s a star.”
More bicycles on the road.
Two people were arrested from Mahadevsthan. It happened just before I reached the spot. “ Gyane chor, desh chod” somebody just yelled. Lucky guy, the crowd was small. The people instantly dispersed. The police are confused, didn’t arrest anyone. The man, whoever he was is sure a daredevil. Kudos to the yell man! (See the photo the confused police)
We are walking towards the Balkumari area now. A man stopped us to say “ Parcha Pauna Tapain haruko” (Can I have your leaflets). We weren’t carrying any! His neck has fresh red scars. One on his face stands out against his white complexion.
He is saying “ Ma yahin ko hun, Nepal ko. Sthiti bhujnuparyo. Internet ma rakhnu. Ma thyahan aunchu.” I’m sure he doesn’t know what he is saying. Drunk? I can’t tell the difference between drunkards and the so-called normal people. Both kinds are more of pretenders I gather.
A woman just threw a stone at a bike that passed by on the road. He stopped his bike to say “ Party ko manche ho”. Amako operation cha he added. (See the photo, the guy in the red jacket, helmet, surrounded by a crowd of people) Why can’t we have a people friendly strike? A couple arrived in a bike. Someone shouted..Han..Han.. The boy, man! Just zoomed off the bike to the other direction instantly. That’s what I call speed. Dating plans, foiled I guess. Another Tourist Only vehicle speed off like nothing on the road I had ever observed, releasing black smoke from its rear end, its engine roaring to action.
Am in front of the army barrack on my way to Jadibuti. A man just stopped a police vehicle to say “ Malai ekdum jaruri cha” (It is urgent). They gave him a lift. The Police are humans after all, just like everybody.
A man came up to me sometime ago. “Tapain haru jasto hamilai protection dinu parne manche le pani darayera kina mukha chopeko” (The BBC is talking of the Curfew going on here, the ..Mathew sth.. Charles Haviland is reporting of the shoot on site..the mobiles have been cut off). I explained to him that it wasn’t the fear of identity. I had an allergy on my face, I pointed to my forehead. I have it on my cheeks too. So they are swollen and the sun only aggravates the itch and burning sensation. I haven’t been able to go the Doctor’s due to the strike. I wanted to tell him what my fren commented on seeing my cheeks “Syau jhain gala hune, syau jhain gala. Yeuta ta tokchu, tokchu jyan gaye jala!!!” Of course I didn’t.
The Nepal one crew is here. The reporter asked a man “ Prajatantra ka lagi bhanchan ni yo hadtal?”
“Prajatantra ta cha ni deshma”. The man answered.
(Nepal FM is bringing in the news: Kausaltar Police station has been completely destroyed, 5000 protesting in Bhaktapur, many protesting in Baneshwor, Tinkune, and Minbhawan defying the curfew)
As the crowd dispersed I heard someone remark “ Prajatantra, Ke ka lagi Prajatantra?” (Democracy, Democracy for what?)
There is nothing to do other than look at the “ Jungle Ki Haseena” poster on the street lamp”. (See the pic). A human rights monitoring vehicle just stopped by. A man got off; he is a well-known journalist and also an activist. He shook hands with everyone, did Namaste to the lady HR monitor. I was standing at a distance. He didn’t care to look at me; I didn’t bother.
Sometimes I feel so disconnected with everything around me. As if I am observing my life from somebody else’s eyes. A third person view. I don’t belong to the Activists gang, not a journalist or a reporter; blogging is an act I don’t want to be labeled a blogger either. Do I need to belong? I don’t give a damn.
You know a person by the way s/he treats fellow beings deemed lower to them in any sense (income, education, access to resources, experience) Ashish’s reiterated this dialogue of his uncle to me when we were walking in search of Balgrihas last Jan. It stuck to my mind. A profound statement.
(Our observation session ended finally. It was a windy afternoon. Dust flying everywhere. Mustang must be like this I thought. Everyone went home, I wanted to observe so I headed to Baneshwore)
I reached Minbhawan, noted the number of Nepal Korea Dongsan Skin Clinic. Finally, I thought after all those calls to 197, Ask me (none of them had the number). A man stopped by to inquire what happened? Pointing at the debris on the street. I don’t know I replied. He happened to be a HR monitor as well. So we walked together to Baneshwore. He talked of the Human rights organizations, the feuds, and the lack of unity. I listened to him, I learnt.
(At the moment Ek nazar main bhi pyar hota hai, main ne suna hai
Do bato main bhi ikrar hota hai; main nai suna hai …is being aired. I love the beat, Kool job by Bappi Laheri)
Baneshwore bus stop. There were guys going…hooo…ha..yelling just for the heck of it. Ready to throw stones at any vehicle passing by. There was a shower of rain. (I’ve taken 2 pics of Baneshwore, couldn’t get many pics , sorry 4 that ..had to delete many pics to accommodate it all..the memory card is less and it’s not my camera, not even my fren’s A distant..sb I don’t know..arkako tesh mathi pani ramro kasari khojnu…Bal ho..thankful for this anyway)
I walked towards the BICC area. I was scribbling on my notebook. “Life is full of adventure” a guy read my T-shirt. Patrakar hola sb remarked.
“Hoina” I wanted to reply. I am just like you, who after the realization that she would be completing goddamn two decades of existence without making anything of herself is doing this. What difference does it make? I debated with myself. I walk alone; I scribble on the bus stands, on the road, try to look beyond what catches the eye. So what, nothing. People come up to me to say, U can be a politician in a mocking tone. To articulate what is on your mind is art I want to yell. Am I being a press button I ask myself? Bal ho, the expression lets go of all tensions. I don’t seek to bring an upheaval doing this. Its mere pursuing passion. Being yourself after all these years of cocooning your emotions. Feels like breaking free…. One fine day I’ll exist no more. But when I do, let me be Alive and Kicking. Living not merely breathing in Oxygen and breathing out Carbon Dioxide. Now, I bet my bottom dollar that I will die of a disease called “ Thought Block”!!!
“Bahine Rumal Kholideu” a “ Maile Nabanayeko Dai” remarked in Tinkune.
“Mukh ma ke bhayo” another one inquired as I reached the bus stand.
I felt like retorting “ Tero Tauko Bhayo” ..haha. But I didn’t. Just kept walking. I sometimes wonder if boys have a defective syndrome called “ Inquisitive abt things that don’t concern you”, maybe an illusion “ Welcome: Poke your nose”.
I just walked past a couple. There is another one right in front of me. Aren’t there any singletons left in Kathmandu? Someone from the other side remarked “S.L.C ta siddhisakyo”. Oh yeah! That’s news .I was the 2058. Batch …little brother!
Hmm..my Nakap lako photo..having second thoughts..won’t put it I think ..:) There’s a danger in knowing Zade. How thoughtful of me to be concerned about u all! Aren’t u glad?