I’m in Pokhara for a personal assignment – a nice & neutral phrase when you don’t want to explain the reasons.
On the April 1st, I was repeatedly getting the same reply,”Sorry, the Mobile you…been switched off. Maf garnuhola, tapaile… “
The country being at its climactic make-or-break uncertainty, any uncertain reply could mean three options:
The Mobile has been lost again.
The Mobile has really been switched off by its legitimate owner.
The Mobile owner is missing.
As there was equal probability of any given option, I needed to ascertain the whether the third option was wrong or not.
Anyway, no one, who can afford, needs any excuse for visiting Pokhara.
“I’ve been to Pokhara twice, but never to Kathmandu,” a certain American had written somewhere. I was afraid to say, “Welcome to Kathmandu.” I could welcome anyone easily had it been Pokhara.
A local woman breaks her ‘Om-Mani-Peme-Hoon, and asks me, Bhai aren’t the moutains look hazy today? I ask her back, “aren’t they always like this?” “Nope, only yesterday it was so clear.” And she resumes her ‘Om…..’
A tourist couple click-click at every step they make. “Seers, Seers,” I smile to myself.
I, too, have been to Pokhara twice, & I feel like, perhaps, I’ll stay in this city for a couple of years in future.
Pokhara is cleaner, greener, & healthier than Kathmandu: a perfect place to call where the East meets the West. In fact, I discovered only much later that I was unnecessarily covering my nostrils – a must Kathmandu phenomenon.
“I’ll be here again,” I promise to myself. After all, I still don’t know the name of the hill that is sitting gajadhamma like an elephant driking Fewa water. I’ve not rowed the boat in the Lake, nor have |I swam in the Seti River. Although I’d never take the paragliding from Sarangkot, I still have to discover the mysteries behind the Davis Falls, the Bat Caves, & those things that makes someone write, & someone else to sing – Fewatalko aaganma lai lai Machapuchre chaya, Jeevan mero Seti bagar bina timro maya…(In the courtyard of the Fewa Lake mirrors the Fish Tail itself…)
Oh yes, one needs to be with their fellows to enjoy all those things, so that one can laugh at the beginners’ uncertainty on how does a boat move so straight on the still water. I remember boating with a friend in Kathmandu Zoo as one of the most hilarious experience. But of course, you have to do it yourself to appreciate that the boat-drivers know something better than you do. Being a single & internally displaced tourist is a hindrance to understand the Fewa Tal.
Thanks Pokhara for your hospitality. But hey, in some ways you’re exactly like Kathmandu: your beautiful people & landscape, your scrawling city based on structuralism theory: that the invisible center defines the periphery, & the signboards that prohibit doing disa pisabs, & the only public toilet of the city – at the Fewa Lake!
On the fourth day, this guy came into contact greening sheepishly, “A life-time experience, I’d been to Annapurna Conservation Area, even beyond Tatopani.” And that was too much to bear for this Terai dude.
When I’d been to my friend’s home after a 3-days uphill trek along the Larke Pass last year, I was no less proud of myself. After all, I was another Terai dude who used to be afraid of the Kailash Parbat slopes near Pashupati in Kathmandu. And I was really frightened to go downhill at the Osho Tapoban of Nagarjun! <!–[endif]–>
“Oh no, It’s started raining again, with thunders & hailstorms, you can never trust the weather conditions in Pokhara. And it’s not only the rain, I’ve also been cheated by the humans here & there, & while one’s ready to play for the genuine costs no matter how high, one really feels pissed off when cheated for a few dirty bucks.” I start getting irritated. Perhaps, my days in Pokhara are over for this time.
“Love the desert, but never trust it,” cautions the camel-driver.