Detached was the only adjective I could name her character. She thanked me for “discovering the Word” for her. We inspired one another in the trip, became “Pakka Sahayatri” in the field trip at least. We are alike in being detached but its something like “Same, same but different”. She is involved yet detached. I am observant and detached. I told her that she was the modern day Buddha. She gave me the background of the Buddhahood which was pretty impressive and then concluded to say “Well, I’m like water. Soluble.”
“Sometimes the tiniest of events matter. For instance, you’re sitting beside me in this seat. I would have been thoughtful, teary eyed, lost in memories if it weren’t for you. There are moments in life when nothing else matters other than filling up the empty space. The space happened to be the seat, you came and you made all the difference. Thank you.” I told her after she woke up from her beauty sleep. I sat looking outside the window at the passing trees, rivers, buildings, no earphones in my ears( as always) merely looking.
She gave me a queer look, broke into laughter and then gave me a pinch saying ” Sutda pani yo keti ke ke matra sochera basiki hola. Uff.“( God! how much thinking can you do even when I am sleeping!)
” La tyo ta samanya soch ho ni. Ta afain bhanna pratek fieldtrip ma u hunthi, ma kasari birsun? Kura bujhna yahan ta manche nai mari kya!” ( This is a simple thought. You tell me how can I forget that she used to be here beside me in every tour. The case here is She is Dead.) I told casually.
” Kastari bhaneko Manche mari bhanera!” ( The way you say She is Dead.) She looked at me and laughed.
“Ho ta ni! Mari hali.” ( Yah, she is dead.) I stressed and smiled myself. It sounded like simplifying everything but I wanted it to sound simple.
Her Ancestral Buddhahood ought to have transferred to me. I was cool about everything the trip, felt almost like treading the middle path, no emotional highs and lows. There was no excitement like in Saurah, no stimulation like in Makwanpur, no wonder like in Jiri, nor any romance like in Pokhara or a mindopener like in Briddim. It was just another trip, though the last of my undergraduate studies, no regrets either. The lack of emotions made me feel “old”, but even old felt good. ” Be soluble, be bindas.” That was the mantra. We discussed the power of thought, the power of love, the desire to be engaged with small assignments, parties in Kathmandu, places in Thamel, schoolfriends, and everything which could be put under the umbrella namely ” Jiwan ra Jagat” ( Life and the World) . The intersections were many and so were the differences. Our thought wavelength matched, the power of thought influence did too. She enhanced my Zero Thamel knowledge. First she talked, I listened then the tables turned. Finally we discussed ideas, taking ourselves to the heights of greatness so to say and bounced back to reality.
She posed for my pictures. She was the model. “The look, I want the look, not that, this” I had the pleasure of being of a photographer. She gave me the look. “Give me the Gunda kinda look, your smile is the same in every picture.” I would tell her. The Gunda( gangster) look finally materialized. We were in Madan Smriti Park, Hetauda and she asked for the camera. I was taking pictures of someone else. ” Here” she said showing me three pictures in which I happened to be the “subject”. None of them had my (entire) face but they were real good, natural poses and creative simply ” Khatra shots!” ( Btw I love my pictures without my face on them the most)
Taking a pic of a friend in Madan Smriti Park, Hetauda Pic by Shristi
Looking at the pic just taken Pic by Shristi
“Sahayatri” ( Travel Companion) was such a detached character that I didn’t want to seem Attached by planning to do anything together. Therefore I was taken by surprise when she said ” Let’s have coffee in your Sheela’s.” The evening was strange.We were in Pokhara but as I stated there was absolutely nothing romantic about it. We spend some time in the cyber and I refused to go out to eat. She had company so I didn’t worry much either. But seems like another good friend was worried of my “unwillingness to eat.” She thought it was because I used to go out to eat a lot when SHE was there but stopped doing so now. Somewhat true, but not entirely. Once I went out to eat in NDs, Mahaboudha on my own to reinforce the fact to myself that she was no more, ordered a glass of pineapple juice and black forest. Even that felt too much to eat!! I had a tough time swallowing one glass of juice! Earlier we used to gobble and gulp down glasses of juices with pizzas and momos. Hmm I am not sentimental though, just happened to remember that day. Your concern moved me nevertheless, Neeli 🙂
This should make it clear to Sahayatri about why little things matter 😉 he hehe Well this is just a peek into the recent field trip. I will blog in details about it and of the solo trip that followed ( which was a real good experience). I say ” Keti ho, pack your bags and hit the road. No reason to be scared, you just need a bit of confidence and stay careful nevertheless.” 🙂 For now , Happy Tihar everyone!
Read more on the tour : On college tours and precious lessons