DeTour

Road and River

Posted by admin on March 23, 2017
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The road runs parallel to the gushing river,

They’re like two lives running together with same intensity

The road takes a curve, the river bends

Bringing to mind picture of lovers copying each others’ moves and making amends

 

While I reasonably wait for the journey to end

the road and the river seem to be in a ceaseless affair

because till the time they are together they don’t want to leave nothing to chance

Until another curve and bend brings to end their romance

 

Perhaps in some other place and time they will suddenly see each other once again

And continue with their unknown destination

When one road stops, another begins

A small stream turns into river, flows and sings

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In the Sauraha Jungle

Posted by admin on March 14, 2017
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It was late spring but already very  hot in Chitwan. A lazy, restful silence was in the air until a jeep drove past the empty road billowing a cloud of dust.

“You’ll just be making a round of the jungle,” the rickshaw man said as we sat in a restaurant waiting for the elephant to arrive. He was beetroot-red in the face and sweating heavily after the ride in the sun.

Heaving a long and tiresome sigh, he wiped his face and hands with a damp towel flung round his neck and continued, “There are tigers, rhinos, leopards, and other wild animals out there, but it’s mid-day and very hot, so they’ll not be easy to spot. They will hide deep in the bushes.”

The heavily built restaurant-owner nodded. “He’s right. If you’d come later in the afternoon, like at 3 or 4, you’d have had a better chance of spotting wild animals. It’s very hot now.”

“Nobody told me that before,” I said, feeling a little helpless, “not even the man who sold me the tickets. He claimed that some tourists had spotted a tiger just this morning. Was he telling me a lie just to sell the tickets?”

“Only rarely are tigers and leopards seen in the jungle, and certainly not at this hour,” the restaurant owner replied. “They come out of their hiding to make a kill or drink in the ponds late in the afternoon when it is much cooler. But you’d still have to be  very lucky.”

Sauraha was not accustomed to welcoming visitors at this time of the day. The shops were still shuttered and restaurants deserted, save for waiters fanning themselves or lounging on tables under the shaded terrace. There was nothing to do, but wait. Continue reading…

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Locomotive People

Posted by admin on January 19, 2017
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At the Raxaul train station people were shoving and jostling in line for tickets. Although not a major railway junction, the station was brimming with people. Some sat on their haunches while others lay on the floor, fanning themselves to beat the flies and the heat.

The Express arrived two hours behind schedule, its compartments almost deserted. A group of neatly dressed Gurkhas were placing their luggage on the platform. A lanky man stood out from the group. He was rather shabby compared to others. He clearly didn’t belong to the Gurkha group. With a smile on his pale face, he spoke with a slightly older Gurkha with broad shoulders and pursed lips.

I talked to another man in uniform, and he said I could travel with them in the military bogie, if I wanted. Despite having a reservation elsewhere, I could not turn down the offer.

Once on the train, I took a window seat and watched the soldiers settle, putting their luggage under the long wooden seat that could double as a bed. Soon, the train left the station. The movement was a relief from the mid-day heat and humidity. Continue reading…

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Kirtipur’s Indrayani Festival

Posted by admin on December 22, 2015
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Devotees carry the chariot of an idol of goddess Indrayani during the Indrayani Festival at Kirtipur, outskirts of Kathmandu, Nepal, Dec. 20, 2015. The festival is celebrated every year with the goddess Indrayani and lord Ganesh kept in chariots and roamed around the streets of Kirtipur with traditional instruments. (Xinhua/Sunil Sharma)

 

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Devotees stand to offer prayers to an idol of goddess Indrayani during the Indrayani Festival at Kirtipur, outskirts of Kathmandu, Nepal, Dec. 20, 2015. The festival is celebrated every year with the goddess Indrayani and lord Ganesh kept in chariots and roamed around the streets of Kirtipur with traditional instruments. (Xinhua/Sunil Sharma)

 

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Motorcycle Shayari

Posted by admin on January 23, 2015
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Riding fast along the highway/

Leaving behind strange, dusty towns one after another/

As revolting as the sleazy, powdery blue mascara a fine young lady crossing the streets wears – truck drivers’ eye candy/ …

Then all of a sudden paddy and corn fields from where sprouts ugly houses and brick kilns in equal measure/

Like undesired weeds in an abandoned garden, the expanse, the freshly bathed green hills/

The paddy fields just ploughed, watered But the ugly houses, factories and kilns keep their prominence/

As if reminding us that there will come a day when all this lush expanse and open sky will soon be consumed by their clones/

They say beauty is power, but in front of ugliness it doesn’t stand a chance. Beauty is but momentary, it lives forever only in memory

Bhaktapur to Dolalghat – 2012

Citiwalks

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A Pilgrim’s Prayer on High Himalayan Journey

Posted by admin on January 14, 2015
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A boy sells fruits – naspati – on the rain-soaked and fog-swept trail to Gosainkunda

I knew going trekking during rainy season was not a good idea. During the lead up to the big day, a deluge of news reports on numerous rain-triggered road accidents was the order of the day in the media.

I had tagged along with a team of scientists from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), who were headed for Rasuwa district on a five-day trek to Gosaikunda  (Gosain means monk and kunda means pool), a pristine lake in Langtang National Park. The team was going there to study the biodiversity of the protected area designated as a Ramsar site, and observe conservation works being carried out in the entire Park.

We had planned the trip for the sacred thread festival of Janai Purnima (observed during the full moon day in August). The festival sees tens of thousands of pilgrims from Nepal and India congregate for the popular religious fair near the lake (located at an altitude of 4,380 m above sea level) and to take a dip in the holy waters.

Gosaikunda , as the story goes , was created by Lord Shiva during the Samundra Manthan, the churning of the ocean to recover Amrit (elixir of life) ). One of the products of that exercise was the Halahala poison, which the lord consumed to prevent it from destroying the world. But soon after swallowing the poison, he desperately needed cold water to quench his immense thirst and to get relief from the burning sensation. To do just this, he created Gosainkunda. Continue reading…

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