On the stony way up and down the village of Bridim he told me “ Murkha Keti, dimag le socha” ( Hey foolish girl, use your brains.) Gosainkunda janchu re, eklai!!
“Maile ma super-woman ho vanera kahile vaneko chu ra?” I’ll be back if I can’t, yes I know descend, descend, descend.”
“Waihat. What with security?”
“You know. Mukh khulanu nai parne ho ta?”
“Waihat!” I said again.
On the walk
We were two. I ended up alone. I had to ask for permission AGAIN. Field trips, they are times to be disconnected, times to be forgotten if people can. I hate to be calling home when I’m out. I never do. So don’t enjoy doing the same in front of everyone. I call and inquire“Hey mom, hope you still remember me!!” She laughs. I tell the plan, she’s laughing louder as if I am insane. “Talk to her” she hands the phone to someone who is supposed to be the younger one and then the dialogue of the trip “Who do you think you are? You 40 year old woman! Ghamandi keti ( proudy girl) eklai janchu re, khurukanna ghar aija!!” I find that terribly funny!! So obviously laugh “Ha ha ha!” But as soon as I put down the receiver I realize that it isn’t supposed to be funny. Here I am, dictated what to do by the “hijoko anda ajako challa!” that’s Insane! But the trip is canceled. So much time wasted on planning the trip, so many people that I talked to about it, she was more excited than me and in the end she can’t make it.
I feel betrayed. Sort of. I am hurt, sort of. Still in the trip back home, I console myself with the thought “ Its alright. कति एक्लै हिंड्नु?……” The feeling resurfaces-the desire to walk just anywhere. So what I couldn’t go to Gosainkunda, I’ll go on my own somewhere then, somewhere nearby: Chisapani the map shows. Great. Alone. They have problem with that AGAIN. She is sent to tag along.In the beginning she’s excited. I am too.
We choose to take the Sundarijal route: its only 14km to Chisapani. I want a change of mood. The microbus driver plays the same “ Tamang Selo” again and again till I want a change of vehicle first.
Sundarijal. It’s the first time have ever been there. But I know the place from story tellers. The devil lies in details. I have an illusion of knowing it all.
I don’t like the place. There’s nothing to like either: no sundars, no sundaris and no Jal as well. I wonder what makes it a “dating spot”. I’d read somewhere “nature is the furniture for romance” but what I see there is no furniture at all. So much for the romance.
Tree in Style!!
We were yet to enter the Shivapuri National Park and she said “If anyone asks us where to say to meet Mark and Anthony!!”
“What the hell? Who are they?”
“ Boyfriends!!” She answered.
The army man on the park entrance asked us the same. She replied “ Chisapani”.The tickets required only our name and age. He was going into unnecessary details. And I don’t know why but I was thinking “If I were 28 then no one would dare to ask me such useless questions!!” We chose not to reply to his questions. I faked a laugh and she was just saying “Ammmm hmmm” Nevertheless he wished us a safe journey.
And I asked her “What about Mark Anthony?” She’d already forgotten the characters!!
Then the further continuation of the staircases. A friend of mine had told there a total of two million such staircases in that route to Chisapani. I was prepared though not for 2 million! I didn’t count but there were just too many of them, enough to make me want to return back. The scorching heat and the stony stair case. The experience was exactly her words: “The fun stops when the stairs start”. And we thought we would not even make it to Mulkharka! But we realized we’d already walked past the place.
Kids were calling “Bideshi, bideshi” after us which was really funny. Then it was “Naamaastey” (नामास्ते!!) And I didn’t know whether to pretend to be a Bideshi replying to their namastey or just walk being rude. Once I did return back the “Namaste” then it felt too silly to continue the act. I mean how come they thought we were “Bideshi??” (Foreigners). We look so Nepali!
Then Borlang Bhangyang. The best part of the journey. Its easy and fun walking on the fallen leaves with the loud insect noise coming from the trees and bushes. The perfect furniture for romance, I concluded.
Way to Chisapani
We reached Chisapani, in five hours. There was absolutely nothing to see there other than “Everest panoramic view from your bedroom window” written on a board in front of a hotel. It was a cloudy day. Maybe we were unlucky; maybe there is nothing to see?!? So she said, “What now? Rest for half an hour and head back home. It’s an easy route!” I agreed though the original plan was to stay overnight.
Lying down for a while….
We lay underneath the Salla trees and then it was Mission Home. I was irritated to be walking continuously. Then okay with it. I bet anyone can do the same, but I warn you it’s really tiring. I slept on the bus the entire journey back home. And when we got off I was still walking in my sleep, only peeping to see the path! She acted cool that day. The next she was sulking, sulking, sulking some more and finally when I had the guts to ask why? I was showered with punches. I needed no one to tell me her legs were aching by making a journey to see NOTHING! Ha ha ha….