I entered the computer lab after class as usual.
Someone called ‘Come here as soon as possible.”
“Can I go home for lunch and come?” I asked and felt extremely foolish and childish on completing the sentence.
I could see the call duration on my cell phone.
‘Home, too far, no lunch, hunger” I thought on these terms for a while and decided it would be best to eat outside. Yah the Vegetarian restaurant would do. I got on the Nepal Yatayat, got off the bus and entered the place. A plate of “Mixed Chat”=Rs 35. A samosa and some vegetables would suffice I concluded. Not that I was on diet but because I was surviving on a shoe-string budget. My meal arrived. No sooner I took a bite of my Samosa I remembered my sister’s words “Ek dharni aalu ko Rs 70 pugeko cha!” (One dharni of potato costs Rs 70). I don’t know what measurement is Dharni but I do know what Potato (the substance inside the samosa is) and also that Rs 70 a considerable sum of money for me. In the middle of my meal which consisted of “aaluko tarkari” with the samosa I was worried of the bill. What if it costs more than 50? What do I do? Where is the place to clean the dishes? The potato price ruined my meal. I gobbled up all the food in the shortest time possible and walked to the counter. “25” the man said. I heaved a sigh of relief. But 25??? A samosa would cost Rs 6 and almost twenty for the vegetables?? Penniless people Think in Margins.
I reached the destination and the work was divided. The work (which I had no idea about till then) was to paste posters and distribute leaflets to people walking on the road. There were some 10 people who were given a glue stick, A-4 size posters and the leaflets. The cause: Youth Representation in the Constituent Assembly Concert which was to be held the very next day. Too less time to inform everyone about it. It sure would have been fun if we had done that in groups but everyone was on their own. I was in charge of going around Koteshwor, Tinkune, Minbhawan, Old Baneshwor. The work began and so began this blog entry too….
Now, what if I said I am a thinker. If thinker doesn’t imply only the likes of THE THINKERS like Aristotle and Plato then I would qualify. Here by thinker I only mean someone who indulges a lot in the activity of thinking or talking to themselves inside their heads, reasoning, justifying, debating etc without speaking a word.
I was left on my own so I headed for CIT College in Tinkune first. They’d said the students their know of it so I went up to the reception handed the poster to put it up in the notice board, gave two girls the leaflets and left. Then I dirtied the city by pasting a poster in front of Merryland College. The glue wasn’t an effective one so I had kept hitting the pole with my palms to stick the poster (very embarrassing indeed). My thinking cells were activated the moment I came to know of the job but I was doing my best to avoid every single thought. First I am anti-posters, hoarding boards in the city. It simply dirties the surrounding. There I was doing exactly what I did not believe in. I was justifying my actions thinking: “Come on, its time for Constituent Assembly first. Cleaning can wait”.
Paper is still a decomposable waste, so as it didn’t stick properly in the first place it should still not dirty the city. But how long will decomposing take? And on this blacktopped road?? I was going crazy reasoning my actions. Every poster was stuck and leaflet distributed. I went back to their office for the second lot.
This is the Electronic version of the poster, the real one was plain white, green and blue in color with dark or black illustrations
I headed for Purana baneshwor. Someone had specifically told me to go to Nepal College of Management in Minbhawan. I went inside the reception, handed the poster and there were some four-six guys sitting outside watching a basketball game. First I didn’t have the courage to hand them the leaflets but I mustered some courage and said, ” Bhai , bholi Baneshwor ma 3 baje concert cha, aau hai. Free Ho.”
“Ko gauncha?” one asked.
“ Lochan Rijal, Sudin Pokharel.” I answered. (They’d told me that, though Sudin didn’t come the next day)
The dark skinned guy said, “X-Mantra chaina?” (Aren’t X-Mantra performing?)
“Leaflet padana , concert ko purpose nai arko cha. Yesai ta free cha aja demand??”(Read the leaflet, the purpose of the concert is different. Its free already and you still have demands??” I wanted to tell but said “Chaina” (No), 3 baje, be there.”
I bought a bottle of water (Rs 15) from the Rs 20 they had given me for traveling. Till then the scorching heat was acting as the perfect catalyst to instigate a myriad of thoughts. Now I was feeling absolutely crazy doing what I was doing. Walking on the alien roads of that area I was thinking. Do I look like a poster tasuwa?? Maybe not these thick glasses should be something to consider shouldn’t they? Then I thought if I was some first Sem student then it would be something to do. But come on I am a Fourth year Student and is this what I am qualified for?? Is it the only skill I got or what?? Ah..that habit of mixing Nepali and English while talking like saying “Be there” should make me seem like a ‘Padhelekhekai” manche I thought and probably even laughed like a madcap.
I headed towards Old Baneshwor. The area was called Mid- Baneshwor( I didn’t know it existed before that). All the while I was walking and really wanted to share my live experience with someone who would understand it. So I sent a message to a friend saying: Hey, timlai euta khabar cha ma purano bnshwrma poster tasdai, aba yeslai ke bhanu opportunity ki kahan fasiyo yaar? ( Here’s some news for you: I am sticking posters in Old Bnshwr. What should I call it opportunity or a trap??) I got the reply some 5 hours later starting with “….balla sas ferna paiyo” (Finally I get to breathe). Students, they’re all engaged. And they’re all penniless revolutionaries. Just the same.
Ace College of Management. I was at the gate and the guard asked me “What is it?” I said, “There’s a concert tomorrow for the constituent assembly. Please put this poster in your notice board.”
He read it and told me “Yesto ta notice board ma rakhna mildaina. U tyahan bahira bhittama tasnu.” (Such things can’t go in the notice board. Stick it on the wall there.) Talk of heights of “beyijat”.
I felt soooo , I don’t know what stupid, crazy, silly but I did what he told me. Took out the non-functional glue and did the “hit the wall with the palm” sequence again to paste it. It took me a real long time to stick it this time. Phew! I heaved a huuuge sigh of relief and left the place before the poster could fall again. I distributed the remaining posters to students on the road after that. The hell with Sticking it!
I was dead tired and as I reached the place called “Kharibot” my legs would barely move. I had to drag them to reach their office.
Now, I know that there is nothing wrong with sticking posters and doing that for a cause which needs attention is better than sticking ‘Choco Fun” posters too. I respect the job. There’s nothing wrong with it. But everything is contextual and it made me think of everything I have done and made out of myself till that day. I have had my share of good days with reasonable amount of cash in my ATM (self-earnings), unlike the minimal balance it holds know. Have experience of working, volunteering, and a hell lot of things but is it the way is supposed to be? Aren’t people supposed to move up in their career graph? Or is a circular progress in these days? It’s like going round and round, back to square one with “no job, no money and no honey” as reads a very common t-shirt guys wear in Kathmandu. What kind of progress it this? One instance I am on the top the next the bottom. And is “Sticking posters” my field of work???What happened to the me that wrote? Why can’t I be somewhere just studying, researching? Is there something inherently wrong with me?? RT said I am the progressive kind. What’s progressive? This ??
Sometime back I was listening to Lucky Ali’s “O Sanam” in my room. It reminded me of a friend. We used to be close friends and competitors both back in school. We both loved the very song then and in one holiday she had written down the lyrics for me. I still have the piece of paper. Her mom had scolded her for wasting time doing that. Currently she is doing her Masters in International Relations in JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi). And as I was listening to the song it struck me “ I am still listening to the very song while she is in JNU.” Look at what we’ve become now. I have still not found my niche..I am still a lost wanderer….still sticking posters…..and that’s frustrating!
And that is all about the “How Much Thinking You Do While Sticking Posters?”