The Kathmandudes

Sano Prayash: Soch, Katha ra Sangit

A Midnight Trail 

Sauntering among the midnight trails

Consumed in its tannine ales,

The vale of Kathmandu city

Its ancient lust and momentary giddy

Throws a fancy down the whim

To seduce the next goddess queen,

As she peeks through the moonlight wide

Her windows ajar for scorn and chide,

Upon the city she does curse

For the empty, callous merchants purse,

Are never enough for her wandering lust

Across the hills and over the mountains

Where her lovers dwell

Seduce her memory.

How her angers swell

Into a stranger, jovial as I

Passing through the dark and the sky.

She permits and I enter

Her garret smells of tobacco and charcoal

Where sorrow and pity dole,

But she’ll sting like a hornet

And dance like a housefly

As we summerset

In the trance of her flesh

Till the last bill is spent

And the soul shall repent,

The morrow and its seclusion.

Across the Hills and Far Away

Kumal was merely fifteen when he was accosted one afternoon by his elder brother, who told him that a family in Kathmandu required his services. He did not know how to react except that he felt a twinge of excitement and penetrating anxiety at living in the city. That week Kumal threw a party at a nearby hill terrace and drank lots of Coca Cola served with beaten rice with his friends.

‘You will have a blast in Kathmandu’ remarked a stout looking friend. Kumal grinned.

‘Will you be back during Dashain’ questioned another stout looking friend. Kumal shrugged and replied ‘I don’t know, let’s see’.

‘Is there a bull dog there’ enquired another stout looking friend. ‘I heard there are many bull dogs living with affluent families in Kathmandu’ he remarked.

‘I haven’t been there yet’ Kumal laughed. ‘I will write to you when I get there’.

All his friends at village were stout looking but nobody knew that.

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Of Love & Men

He would clamor in his usual ways, ‘I hate these religious pimps. These men and women, alike in their contempt of human life, in search of something beyond life. The obsequious nature of their love and their belief in god and the final deliverance. What nonsense? They are all the same, like you and me, these bigotry filled people full of ethereal convictions. They talk about life as if it were a mere speck of passing in this infinite universe. Like there’s something grandeur than life. Like a lifetime isn’t enough for their grand soul. You see, tears of compassion are easy for them. It comes natural. The airs they assume must reek the heavens’.

Mr. Floyd once told me that the worst thing in life is a wasted talent. He may just have been sobering up then but when he spoke I would stop attending to life and start heeding to his existential rant on human existence and the nature of diabolical crisis thrust upon us mere humans, by the virtue of living in societies. Little did I know that he would abandon our hedonistic ways and turn to a radically spiritual mode of living.

He was my role model. Not for his ideals which seemed platonic but for the way he carried himself, aloof from the world, alien in nature and sick in his ways. He contemplated rape yet he was a true gentleman. He wrangled his malevolent ideals around the family but he was a noble son, loving and caring yet never displaying. He schemed against his friends but he prized them like his own possessions. He was like one of those exquisite souls full with contradictions, like a capitalist with ideals of a communist. Though our childhood, puberty and commencement of manhood, he was the one with balls. He was feared and loved at the same time for the air he carried was that of a wise old man, never disgruntling, never coughing up vexations.

‘Cogito ergo sum’ I declared.

‘You vain motherfucker’ he let out a sinister laugh.

‘You laugh like a witch’ I smirked. He consented.

He was the love of my life, for he gave me courage. ‘Instead of approaching girls, those lass should do themselves a favor’ he taught me. I complied. For years and years, I never managed to make-out with a single girl. He let his wicked wail at my disappointment. We chuckled together.

‘You know what Hemingway said’ I enquired

‘What do I care?’ he rolled his beany brown eyes.

‘It’s not about getting drunk. It’s about staying drunk’ I lolled.

‘Now that’s an idea’ he replied enthusiastically like it was a challenge. After a couple of months, his family had to throw him into a rehab.

He had a vice and it was that he loved life too much. But he loved breasts much more, I guess. He was fascinated by breasts. Women were fine but it was those breasts that got his mind swirling. ‘I see breasts flying everywhere man. It’s amazing how simple these objects are yet one needs discerning eyes to understand the grand meaning of such a creation. These bouncy, mushy, fleshy bosoms fill my heart with great ideals. I am truly alive when I witness those plump and eatable and beautifully smiling objects’ he blushed.

‘Why don’t you cut the crap and get a pair of those’ I told him. A week later he fell madly in love with his cousin. Although he succumbed to injuries that one sided lovers yield with scorn, he was glad that she knew of this infection. It was a farce, the way he projected his feelings to the poor little cousin. It would have been sinful for the poor little girl if she even thought of him in such a way. With anxiety and fear, she complained about the incident to her mother who in turn, without any reservation, tittle tattled such a crime to his mother, who in turn, let her sisters and their husbands know of her son’s mischief, who in turn banished him from attending any family functions thus denying him any future family audience.

‘Now, that’s a talent’ I remarked.

‘Why’ he asked.

‘To escape from all societal constraints in one stroke’ I rejoindered.

‘Ha!’ he drawled, ‘It feels really great to achieve freedom’. He continued ‘I was contemplating suicide just yesterday. Now I conclude that only free men can commit suicide’.

‘Why so’ I inquired.

‘Well you see, we are bound by life. And by life I mean, by what surrounds us’. He cupped and lighted a cigarette. ‘You see my friend, what surrounds us is dogshit in the name of family and friends and lovers and enemies and what not, all human and all devouring. It is the fear that binds us together….’

‘What fear’ I interrupted.

‘Well, fear of everything. We are humans and we are fearful of everything in life. It’s the first instinct that grows on us since the day we pop out of those lovely vaginas. It is something that’s primal in us. So, when we talk about societies we are actually talking about the collective fear that has glued us into safety, into the arms of a collective greed of living and enjoying and loving and hating. It’s all the same…’.

‘So, you mean to say that our individual fear has evolved and matured the world as we now know it?’ I grew interested.

‘Why do you think, we humans created god in the first place? It’s the fear of uncertainty. We have all scientific advancements in our hands to understand the universe physically now. But imagine the horror when it thundered and hailstorms swept over the little settlements and suddenly the sun shines bright enough to have a noontime orgy. Those first humans should have gone nuts, man’ he grew excited. ‘That’s how the first humans created the concept of an omnipotent being who rules nature and thus with time it evolved into a way of life and this and that and what do we know, we have different religions directing and nutmegging our lives. It was the fear, man’. Floyd suddenly gaped and soliloquized Nietzsche, ‘Is man one of God’s blunders? Or is God one of man’s blunders?

Suddenly, Floyd stood up, slender and fat, like a bottle of coca cola, reached out his hands to the rear pockets and rummaged for something important; a piece of paper which he hastily unfolded and there I saw a sketch of a man being raped by a goat. ‘What do you think?’ he asked.

‘You made it?’ I was taken aback.

He nodded.

‘It’s a horrible drawing for sure’ I remarked, not able to grasp anything.

‘It’s symbolic’ he asserted. ‘The man, who is also a representation of god is being banged by a goat, also a representation of god’ he smirked. ‘The goat symbolizes most innocent form of nature, weak and faultless  the man represents himself, vile and corrupt. In this way, the goat, like mother nature is free to do anything it likes but the man, you see has to take it in. And such is our human existence. We have to take it in no matter what. We have superior consciousness which guides us into deliverance but it is our sense of propriety which inhibits our true potentials. Thus, if anyone who dares to challenge this law is challenging god himself. And what challenge but the challenge of taking one’s own life is harder and diviner. He who commits suicide is the one who takes on the challenge of freedom and excels on it’ he expounded.

‘What are you taking about? I clearly don’t think so’ I retreated.

‘It came to me like a vision the other night’ he grew excited. ‘I was taking a dump and in the tranquility of those cold, tiled walls, I experienced a spiritual moment. I had an epiphany. Never was I so clear. It is but death that makes us weak and withers our soul but as we surficially forget that we will die in the end, the unconscious mind doesn’t and it displaces our fear into actions, into activities, into hobbies and passions and lust and employment and family life and all that comes with being human. How can we be but free when we have to carry such anxieties’ throughout our lives? How can we be free when freedom is taken away by the idea of final deliverance? How can we be free when the society takes our freedom and inhibits our potentials? It’s a crooked world and we ought to live it like the way we want, without a conscience’.

‘So, you are ruminating about committing suicide? I wondered.

‘No, on the contrary, I am going to live my life to the fullest’ he answered.

‘But why?’ I was stupefied.

‘Because it’s a challenge to human existence now that I have decided to choose life over death. It’s a message I need to make clear to everyone now that I know the truth. The most daunting task in the whole wide world is to act like an idiot when you are not. And it’s fun to live. Don’t you think so?’ he probed with screeching eyes.

‘It certainly should be fun to live like a barbaric with those funny thoughts hovering around his thick skull, never piercing and never escaping’, I thought.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fathers & Sons

There was a certain kind of restlessness that had engulfed Mr. Floyd for weeks now. It weighed his heart and he felt the weight of the world crumble down upon him. This certain kind of anxiety that had taken over Mr. Floyd was a sporadic one. It occurred to him twice or thrice a year and it always left an indelible mark on his awareness. It arose out of something, pertaining to an event, a situation, a gossip, a book or even a commercial.

He loathed it and was also obsessed with this neurotic tendency. This existential crisis was the crux of all happiness and evil that could be gathered from the world. It was a bliss yet it convulsed and pained him. It was a malady yet his seething entrails would have peace when it concluded.

This time around, a dilemma had twisted his cognition.  To be candid, what he envisioned on the canvass of his conscience, a son for the sake of life has sadistically mutilated his father’s fat limbs, headless trunks and hopeless genitals. The son whose sickly tendrils and sexual deformities made a man out of him, for his own family needed food and roof. It is a story that the universe spins on the wheels of fortune over and over again and only extraordinary people with Mr. Floyd’s penchant for meticulous observation and poetic inference could conjure up such a trivial everyday story into an existential crisis.

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On The Road

As the countdown to the New Year began, Mukhe, in cultural shock gaped through the crowd as strangers with crispy Sherpa beers and acerbic mocktails, enthralled in this ebony madness, lighted by neon lights led by a trail of warm yellow jumped hither and thither like frogs on acid, for shelter from a storm of unreserved happiness, ready to welcome uncertain times which would bring joys to some and maladies to the rest.

I had finished Kerouac’s On the Road just a day ago and in awe of such post war young Americans, pioneers of the Beat Generation, hippy prototypes, I was feeling quite sprightly already. I remembered of Hemingway who allegedly said ‘The idea is not to get drunk. It is to stay drunk’. In spite of his uptight upbringing, having traveled the orient, Mukhe led the entrouage with a grim countenance throughout the night of drunken revelries and brief encounters with pseudo philosophical battles of wits and other such mumbo jumbos.

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The World Is A Vanity Fair

I used to have sudden, violent urges to be free. I wasn’t at liberty to parade my perspectives and judgments. Let’s say, I was rather inhibited by my social milieu. I met people who were absolutely and relatively free. I, on the other hand was relatively enslaved. I stayed inhibited since my teenage years where I had my share of run-ins with drugs, high life and incoherent family values. These restrictions made me yearn for freedom and I used to imagine that to be free was to be able to say no to family life. I abhorred family life and societal values. I still do to some degree. My family wasn’t a conservative one but when your daughter is doing drugs and hanging out with prodigies for her classmates who in spite of their nomadic life and drug use were destined to succeed in life. I on the other hand had no idea what I was gonna do. I was a fuck up.

Little conviction, even less talent and big dreams was what I had to my name. A day dreamer, a nihilist, an atheist and a rigid moralist. My sense of propriety was so gluten free that once in school I told my teacher that a high mark in one of my papers was erroneous and I had only earned second rate marks. When that Department recalculated my paper, it was true. They gave me a point for my honesty and I gleefully accepted the gift. My friends made a mockery out of me that day. I still feel like an imbecile. In soothe, I was a hair-raising hippy from the 60’s. I don’t like the hippies, but since we human beings tend to brand everything, I was an unreasonable hippy adrift in the purgatory of spiritual cum hedonistic measures.  Anyways, I said fuck to humanity during my adolescence when a girl I had been having an affair left me like she’d left her truly yours. The whole roller-coaster of an affair turned me into a savage. I became a Patriot.

As a jingoist, I wasn’t a brilliant one. But I wasn’t bad either. It sounds ridiculous to measure patriotism but everyone measures it anyways.

‘What have you done for your country?’

‘Fuck you, I eat local momos daily to support the local economy’.

For my part, I deliberated a hunger strike to call into attention the misery of my fellow countrymen. It turned out to be miserable for my friends instead. Well, I can proudly say that I once hadn’t eaten for three days and nights straight. There in hunger, my patriotism faded.

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Nepal: Gulab ko Kaada

Big Brother vs Big Bully

“The Pahadi elites have always created the notion of anti-India in Nepal which the people of Nepal needs to understand”. This is the summary of most Indian diplomats and media personals when they infer the recent political situation in Nepal. Or is it?

What Indian commentators should quintessentially understand is that Nepal hasn’t gone anti Indian but with the ghastly realization that Nepalese are ultra-dependent on India for almost everything, the people have chosen to go pro-Nepal. With a big help from the Modi government, which is treating SAARC like his own party, and Nepal as a buffer state of India, things are going really critical for him to handle. Well, at least pervious Indian governments with their own ingenuity and collective political greed of Nepalese politicians had the situation well under control. The Modi government has not only unified the people of this country but to our own amazement, even these so-called democrats, communists and ethnic leaders.

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Lolita by Nabokov

Have you ever condemned a man or even a literary character so much so that you understand him and have sympathy and adulation towards him which in the end commensurates that animosity. Well, Lolita isn’t really about Lo. but Mr. Humbert Humbert’s memory of her; impish, manipulative and destructive. What gaudy adjectives can’t be used to describe his personality. Humbert is a compulsive ego-maniac, hand wringing, etherally guilt ridden and timid inside, yet he is a gentleman. However, it is almost ubiquitous that Humbert is a paedophile and in luck after he reaches the Haze household, rather reluctantly and meets Lo. the light of his life, fire of his loins, his sin, our conscience, his soul, our disgust. One can sense that it’s always going to be Humbert vs I (the reader) from the outset.

Lo.

lee.

ta. Read the rest of this entry »

Making a Temporary Shelter House for Earthquake Survivors (How to)

Upon my visit to Gorkha district with People in Need (PIN), I had an opportunity to work with some of the most honest and diligent people I have ever met. On my last day at Gorkha, I volunteered to join Daniel and Martina to make a model shelter house for the people of Nanglepani. I had absolutely no idea even how to hammer a nail properly, but with their instructions and pragmatic, simple ideas, I managed to pull off the day. At the onset, I had no idea how a shelter house was to be built but, by the end of the day, I had a stream of ideas running through my mind on how to build more shelter houses that can help the people dwell for a time being.

The core idea behind it is to teach the survivors of the earthquake, how to build a temporary shelter house with the resources from their toppled construction. It is meant to encourage the people to build their own shelters instead of waiting for government reliefs and I/NGO aids. Let’s face it, one day they’ve got to rebuild their own homes again, without any external assistance. That’s what it addresses, ‘helping them to help themselves’.

Let’s begin with some rudimental instructions

  1. Clear all the stuffs and clean the designated area.
  2. Level the area if required.
  3. Organize and arrange the available building materials. i.e corrugated irons, bamboos, timbers (into lengths), tarpaulins, plastic coverings etc
  4. Conceive an idea of what to build after observation of the arranged materials.

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I said, Goodbye to Romance

My love! Do you remember the time when you whispered to me, “I would love to give you a blowjob in this moshpit”. I was ecstatic over the idea. But it wasn’t the idea of an erotic setting that set flames to my heart but the chaos and disorder that you would see through to make me happy.

But in sooth, it’s been a while that I don’t feel nourished. It hasn’t been quite the surge of emotions that should have suspended me into oblivion and as I should have liked to dangle to and forth, but it hasn’t been quite so. I like despair and I loathe happiness. It’s all meaningless and if it’s meaningless then I might well be meaningless in my own existence, I have begun to ponder. But with the ugly reality clinging on to my mind, for some time now, I can’t be lost in oblivion. Yes, love has been beautiful to me, such brilliant billow of lifelessness can one be engulfed into. I wonder if I could ever feel despair again. But, I am in despair now. It`s ironic but it`s not complicated. This kind of despair is the despair of love. Read the rest of this entry »

Silence Fest: Jindabad, Divine Influence & Day 1

BHRIKUTI MANDAP. On a rather hot, autumn October, Silence Festival-V has kick started. In the morning Nepal Inked, a tattoo fiesta for those who were interested to ink their skin, took the center stage. In afternoon the annual concert was held.  And thus, Silence has now gained its unabating momentum.

After a notably lengthy, tuning session and paraphernalia decorative, opening act of the Festival, Antyesti, a Kathmandu based Experimental/Technical Death metal band stormed the venue with its shrilling vocals and fast paced tracks.  With their original songs (including Alien Invasion) they also covered Necrophagist and Dying Fetus. When the sun is high and the crowd is languid, Antyesti commenced with a fine performance for other bands to follow. Read the rest of this entry »

The Dangling Conversations

“….with certitude, Dai, I confide in you that I shall commit suicide at some point of time, plausibly at twenty seven, not because I would get all depressed or heartbroken but that, I would feel enough of love, maybe too much love will surely kill me”, I said, rather dryly.

He laughed and argued his case against me. He never said that life was beautiful and it ought to be lived till one’s cough ran dry but there was always a sense that it ought to be lived beautifully. It had been lucidly evident from the onset that we were contradictory not just in nature but in essence too, black and white, bliss and malady but we were there for each other and I always felt we were destined to meet, not I for him but he for me. He was my senior on academic grounds but he was senior on life as a whole. He always did his hair to the left, meticulously, his narrow Sherpa eyes always gleamed, it was uncanny but I thought, it always gave life to everything. His brusque skin evinced that he was made to conquer and perish in the unfathomable crevasses of the Himalayas. It would be the highest form of honour that god could bestow upon him, I guess. “The life of a Sherpa is very hard but you see, only in difficulty one discovers the quintessence of life” said he as his dimpled cheek made me blush over my own narcissism. Read the rest of this entry »

The Escape

“I guess, I have to apply some cow ghee on my balls”, he said and with some resolve, “You see, it acts like a conditioner on my balls”, he gave a broad smile enough for Mr. Floyd to see tartars on his blunt tooth. He was a thin man, furrowed throughout the cheeks and his eyes had sunken deep enough to give a malnourished countenance as his cheek bones looked like undulated rocks from the steep mountains.  He had a short hair while some strands looked like they were singularly polished on silver. Mr. Floyd had just met this chocolate coloured man and he seemed amicable enough to have a brief tête–à–tête with, as others were busy on some portentous errands. He guessed that they thought so, with the diligence that they were doing it.

“I think, you should really check with a doctor”, replied Mr. Floyd chafing his greasy hands. He hadn’t still figured out why his hands were soiled in what looked like muddled with grease and mud. Read the rest of this entry »