Emotional Ordeal

The other day I had gone to my maid’s place. People who have worked at my place have practically seen me grow. And for some odd reasons they are always fond of me and vice versa. So this vacation when I got back home and when I met her she could not stop smiling for 5 mins continuously .I was wondering if there was something on my face or was I looking weird. Asking her she said it was really really nice seeing me after long. So was the same. It was nice getting back home after 1 year precisely 10 months this time.

So yea I was talking about my visit to her place. So after couple of days she just asked me if I would visit her room. I was pretty glad and wanted to find out where does she stay. So one day after her work we went to her room. I do travel in public transports Safa tempo but avoid travelling in micro bus. So me and her got onto the micro bus and there was just one seat so she offered me the seat. I happily squeezed in between 2 guys with smelly socks. I think I was sitting half in the air. When I looked at her she was standing with that smiling face. I really like this thing about her.

We got off the tempo and started walking towards her room. Her kids as soon as they saw her ran towards her. They were dressed very untidily with that innocent look on their face were asking their mom who I was. I had gotten sweets for them and pencils. She took me to her room where her sister in law was studying. It was a one bedroom hall kitchen all in one. The place was all covered with black smoke in the wall and was very dark .I could not believe my eyes when I saw the stove right next to her bed. And the closet was in front of her bed. When I asked her how many people stayed in this place. She said 4 adults with 2 kids and some guests are there mostly all the time. I was taken by surprise. I said how do you manage to take care of everything with just you and your husband earnings? and what about your savings?Where do u sleep?? As long as my daughters are studying and my daily expenditure keeps rolling its enough for me. I was so touched by her thought that she being a helper and her husband being a security guard in some hospital knows the importance of education. She knows how will it help her kids to grow of they have an education, their future being so bright. And about her sleep she said there are times that we sleep under the cot.

She offered me coffee and omlettes to eat which I had to refuse as I had just eaten my lunch. I gave the kids the sweets. The younger daughter took it outside and gave it to all her friends and neighbours. I kept looking at her and thought What a big heart the kid has?? She finished the whole packet. I kept quiet and after a few conversations she showed me the place around. She told me how they have to fight everyday for filling a bucket of water. And there are days when the water does not come at all. Whenever we go out of our rooms we lock our rooms and then go out. She said we has to keep her things secured or else theres no one to blame. She told me that whenever I happen to go abroad for my further studies I should call her there and she will start earning and her family can have a happy life ahead.

After half an hour I bid them goodbye and started walking towards the main road. She insisted on coming along and seeing her, her daughter also followed. I sat on the tempo and waved them. My eyes were watery and I felt so helpless. From far away I could see the smile on her face. That’s when I learnt LIFE DOES NOT COME THAT EASY TO EVERYONE!! AND WHOM IT COMES SO EASY DO NOT VALUE IT.

The Imprints of a Soul

(Part 3) Rebirth
Give me your hand,
The child whispered to me.
I’ll take you somewhere
Alive and free.
It was in those hands,
I saw the fate
Of awakening.
In those shimmering eyes,
I saw the life
that was calling.
A longing
to be.
Another chance,
you may call it.
The day it all began.


(Part 4) The End of the Beginning
I remember.
I remember the tears
behind the veil.
The cries
Of scales
Digging into my pink flesh.
The vultures arriving.
Talons and decay.
Nothing left.
‘One last breath,
I beg you.’
She cried.
And as she opened her eyes,
the madness died.
The vermillion pools of
Scarlet red.
Another stranger
she thought
was dead.
He said to her,
‘Believe in me
when the candle flickers,
behind the iron gate.’
‘Don’t let it fade away.’
‘Just wait.

The future is now


— Ashesh Maharjan

I’m not surprised, not at all. I knew all along that this day would come. I knew it right away, back in 2008. Well, I know it’s easy to boast about your ability to predict the future when the future is ‘now’ and nobody is really going to know if you really predicted it right. But it doesn’t matter at all, since it’s too late and nothing can be done. You have no choice but to walk all the way to your office, a few miles from here, and your home is a few miles in the opposite direction. This place, in Maitighar, used to be a busy traffic island. Now it’s a park. We come here to ease our poor legs, since they have been working all morning. I live in Lagankhel and work at the Bir Hospital in Sundhara and it’s a tough day.

Anyway, it’s 2048 A.D. and Kathmandu is a dark, cold city. It can hardly be called a city as there are no automobiles running on the street anymore, just a few ambulances pass by now and then. Ambulances don’t scream as they used to, because the road is all theirs now. We had a few of these things around till 2015, some distinctly rich could put up to ride till then. But the unfortunate ones wouldn’t tolerate them. I heard they flipped those cars and burnt them. Still, we see a few aeroplanes, since they are fueled elsewhere. But, aeroplanes are of not much use to us since there are only a few fortunate ones who can afford to get the hell out. Load shedding schedules were modified every six months or so, all the while lengthening the dark hours, till it stabilized about a decade ago. Since then we have had three hours of electricity a day, three days a week.

Television and music systems are no longer a part of daily life. The crime rate has gone up. People have been shifting from one alternative resource to other since. The owners of candle businesses, those with manual industries, and the few with land have become the wealthiest ones in our society. But they are no less anxious than you or I. They have their own aches to ease when it comes to transportation and efficiency. People have changed professions. Most of them are turning toward agriculture since people in the city are short of food and it’s quite impossible to transport food from elsewhere without fuel.

I used to believe that everything happens for good. Now I don’t. Since I work in a hospital, I’d observed some brighter sides of the crisis. Less people suffered from respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, throat inflammation, chest pain, congestion and a host of other different diseases pollution would bring. But that was only during the few years that followed the crisis. After a few more years, people poured in once again. A massive number of malnourished people came to us. With the abated food supply everything had started to become more expensive. The poor were the first to suffer miserably. People who studied at night in the candle light suffered all different kinds of defects in vision. Myopia, hypermetropia, purblindness to name a few. Every now and then we heard that an international agency had arrived to deliver aid, but it never happened. Or maybe the donation was never large enough to be noticed. Or maybe we had expected too much. Or it could be the same old story of dirty politics. Politicians- they never seem to back off. Not even in these desperate circumstances when we seem to be going backward.

When I was young, back in 2008, we had lots of vehicles around. Anyone older than their mid forties should be able to recall the dreamy scene back then when Ratnapark was just a few minutes drive from Lagankhel. Now, it’s a two hour walk on a day like today and an hour and a half when I’m in a hurry. Legs are the kings of the street, bicycles too. I wish I hadn’t damaged my old bicycle after I had my motorcycle. I guess I shall buy a new one soon. It’s hard to believe I once had a motorbike. I see it every day in my garage, but I miss riding it. It had only been a few years of luxury. I was a kid back then with a thirst for speed and risk. I was amazed by the way bikes could make you feel the rush of the air. Then, we ran out of fuel. And it was never the same again.

I keep telling myself not to be nostalgic, but I can’t seem to help it. Not a day goes by with the thought that kid in me is long gone. This old man is all there’s left. I got to live with that. And hope. Hope is a good thing, probably the best of things. Yes, I hope that someday the dust covered piece of metal in my garage is going to come alive once again. And I’m going to feel the same rush of air, with the rays of crisp sun on my shoulder. Well, I know it seems unlikely. But not impossible, or is it?


Pachali Bhairab – Khadga Jatra

Bhairab, the fierce manifestation of Shiva is one of the most important deities in Nepalese culture, sacred both to the Hindus as well as the Buddhists. According to mythology, the origin of the Bhairab is traced to the times of Shiva Maha Pauran where Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahama are entangled in discussion about who is more superior and thus who should worshipped first. Lord Brahama argues that he should be worshipped prior to other gods as he himself is the supreme creator of the universe. Upon hearing this Lord Shiva becomes angry and incarnates himself in the form of Bhairab to punish Lord Brahama. The fearsome Bhairab beheaded one head of Lord Brahama leaving him with only four heads.

The vicious Bhairab has many appearances, among which Pachali Bhairab is one of them. As we explore the mythology, Bhairab was the king of Pharping. Having a perchance for mealtime, he used to lock himself in a room and devour a grand feast of rice and goat. Doubting her husband’s curious behavior, the queen insisted on joining him during his meal. The king accepted her request but warned her that he would have to transform in another state of being. He directed her that to bring him back to his human form she would have to hit him with the grain of rice. Agreeing, the queen joined her husband. Yet, despite his warning, on seeing the fearful form of the king, she ran away without hitting him with the rice grain. To prevent being discovered, the king took shelter in the palace, which now is the temple of Pachali Bhairab.

The festival of Pachali Bhairab Khadga Jatra, originated some 500 years ago during the ancient period of Gunakamana Dev. It is said that the king from the Thakali clan from Nuwakot ruled over twelve places in Kathmandu. Ratna Malla (son of Yechya Malla) killed all the Thakuri kings and extracted all divine power from them. He then summoned up the Malis and began the festival of the Khadga Jatra. Even though it was Ratna Malla who began the Jatra, it was Amar Malla in B.S.1556 who organized the Jatra in a more efficient and official manner.

Every 12 years the festival of Pachali Bhairab Khadga Jatra is held. The ceremony begins from the day of Gathamunga chariey. Priests, elders and the performers as gods and goddess gather in the Dya Cheinn and prepare for the Jatra. During the Aasthami of Dashain the ritual of Khadga Jatra is performed. The king and Lord Bhairab exchange the Khadga three times. This ritual is known as Khadga Siddhi. The main idea of this ritual is to transfer divine power to the king ruling the country. It is believed this will bring peace and prosperity to the kingdom.

During the Vijaya Dashami, there is the custom of performing Pachali Bhairav Naach (dance). The person wearing the mask of the Bhairab is chosen from the Mali family. The Bhairab is worshipped and a puja is performed sacrificing a duck and goat. During the second day of dance, other deities (Ganesh, Brahamayani, Rudrayeni, Kumari, Narayani, Barahi, Singhini, Byangini) are worshipped and a goat, duck, buffalo are sacrificed. The gods and goddesses perform the sacred dance wearing a ceremonial dress and Khwapa, or traditional mask. It is believed that while wearing the mask, the person in the role of god and goddess enters into a trance and posses miraculous power. The whole procession is interesting as well as surprising. After the animals are sacrificed and offered to the gods, Bhairab drinks the blood of the sacrifice and feeds it also to other gods.

Since olden times, the Naach was first performed at the palace of Thakku juju (Newari King), and then it was performed to other places (Jyabahal, Lagan, Goffal, Barha Barsey Einar, Hyumatt, Marru, Chikkamugal, Bhaktapur, Patan, Nakshal, Haddigaun, Hanumandhoka, Tebahal, Bahttu).

During the Jatra, there is a ritual called ‘Dya Chahikku’ where Astamatrikka (family of 12 gods and goddess where, Bhairab and Barahi are husband and wife and Ganesh, Brahamayani, Rudrayeni, Kumari, Narayani, Indrayani, Chamundrayani, Singhini, Byangini, Pachali Bhairab, Mahalaxmi, Nasa dya are the children are escorted to a procession along with traditional Bajjas.

This year the Jatra will be concluded on ‘valval asthami’ of Asar, 2069. On this day five gods and goddesses (Ganesh, Brahamayani, Rudrayani, Kumari and Chamundrayeni) perform the ritual dance. After the dance, according to the tantric rules, puja is performed with a sacrifice of a goat and duck. The person wearing the traditional mask are offered ‘shi jaa’ (death rice) and then followed them to Marru. When they reach at Marru, the performers are offered ‘shi la’ (death water), from there they are escorted to Pachali Peinth. At Pachali Peinth, the performers’ take off their mask and the elder priest, again according to tantric ritual, removes the performers from the trance. All the performers then take their mask to the bank of Tekku, where the masks are kept on the pyre. The person acting as the Bhairab sets the pyre and masks on fire. Once the masks are ritually burnt the Jatra is officially finished.