That Footpath University!

I was rambling in the streets of Kathmandu when a stray dog started leading my way one day.

I got confused. “Did he know that I was like him; nothing to do, nowhere to go?”

I decided to follow him. Yes, I said I decided to follow a stray dog. Because I was like him.

After some five minutes, the dog stopped, turned his head back, raised his eyes up to mine, blinked once and resumed his journey again. Maybe he was glad that he found a partner! I kept following him.

Sometime later, a next dog from the verandah of a house barked towards him. There was no reason. As soon as he saw, he started barking.

“Why should he bark towards a being same as him? Son of a bitch! (Pardon me here; I really meant to offend him but how was a dog offended when he was said a son of a bitch. He was the son of a bitch indeed) Maybe he should have learnt this elitist manner from his owner” I thought. “Just because he is sitting on a sofa inside a house, he thinks he is superior? Otherwise, why should that elite dog bark without any reason?”

I wished I could understand their language and know what that elite dog barked for! But my partner did not care. He did his dog-business at one of the corners of the gate and moved. And I loved that.

He always became the leader and me, the follower. I would advance for a short time when he stopped for his dog-business but he would leave me behind in no time. It went on like that until he saw some other dogs playing on a ground, and twisted his move towards them.

Oh, I had thought that he was just wandering, nowhere to go. Like me. But he had an aim? An aim to reach to his companions?

He moved towards them and they discussed something I did not understand.

Did you really have an aim?” I wished to ask.

Has he headed here? Has he really aimed this location or just because he meets someone to get engaged with, he’s stopping here? Is that why he did not argue with that elite dog who barked at him? Because he knows that he wouldn’t reach his destination in time if he started debating with each of the dogs that bark at him?” Again, I wished I could understand and speak their language.

Will I ever find some place/people to get engaged with? Like this dog?

I just leant against a wall and watched them with a blank mind for a long time. None of them cared my presence.

Being ignored by somebody who you think cares you is the worst feeling.

Some swallows flew over my head. I shifted my gaze towards them. My eyes swooped with them in the sky for a long time.

I heard some giggles. I turned around. On the other side of the road, just beyond the footpath, there was a park, The Fiction Park. A couple was laying down facing towards the sky. She raised her hand and pointed towards the sky. He did the same. I looked up to see what it was. There was only a moon in the deep blue sky, smiling. Maybe because the moon also heard their plans she was smiling. I smiled with the moon for some time. But I could not stop from bursting into laughter for long. The couple stood up and moved away.

I heard a faint, flute melody far away. But that faded in no time. Maybe, the gust of the wind that just passed away brought it!

I turned towards the swooping swallows. But they also had already flown out of sight.

“Oh, where am I going?” I got confused.

“Ah, I was following him. The dog. Where would a derelict go!”  But now, the dog had met his companions. When he met his companions, why would he give a damn care to me! He did not even turn back to look at me now. I expected that he, at least, turned towards me once, and felt sorry that he was no longer my friend.

I was alone. Left alone even by a stray dog!

Nobody cares a derelict. Not even stray dogs!

There was no point in staying there. There was no point in leaving the place either because I had nowhere to go. But I did not feel like staying in the place where I was being ignored even by stray dogs. I moved. Moved towards a place I found yesterday, nearby a temple, where I could sleep comfortably and could even get something to eat if the prayers were kind enough like the day before.

Representative photo; from Rajana’s blog

But, to my great surprise, the dog came following me. I became speechless. Even if I had something to say, he would not understand. This time, he only followed me. If I stopped, he would stop and look up at my eyes and down to the ground as if he was looking for something around. I kept leading and he kept following me until we reached my destination this time. There was nobody. I lay down. I saw the moon again. I recalled the couple’s plans and laughed again. The dog sat beside my feet.

Sometime later, in the evening, I got two loaves of bread from a prayer. I gave one to the dog and ate one. Had I not given him a single piece, he would have neither demanded, nor protested. I just felt like giving a whole. I didn’t know why. That was all for our dinner that day. And we slept.

Early in the morning, the dog got up. I got up. He looked at me as if he was ready.

Does he want to go for a morning walk?

He had already reached quite far when he turned back and looked at me. “Aren’t you coming?”

I began to follow.

“Hey! Jungey, wait!” I heard like someone calling me. I turned back. There was a fat man jogging hastily.

“How did this man know my name? I don’t think I have seen him before. I don’t even know who named me Jungey. Who is this man actually?” I stood still, confused and waited for him.

But to my disbelief, the man jogged past me even without looking at me once. “What the hell is going on here? I am cent percent sure that he called my name and even waved at me to stop. Is he sane?”

But he left me behind and kept jogging. He reached to the dog, who I was following, picked him up and held in his arms, patted and spoke in a quite scolding voice, walking, “Why did you leave home, you rascal?”

There was nobody to lead my way.

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Grandpa: an enigma!

Whenever lunch falls short of salt

Comes to my mind this picture of  my grandfather’s kitchen

But the mystery is

How does he know exactly

That his grandson is having tasteless lunch?

To send each time

Some salt into my eyes!!??

Kitchen home

एउटा नुनिलाे कविता !

जबजब तरकारीमा नुन लाग्दैन

सम्झन्छु हजुरबाकाे यहि भान्छाकाेठा

तर अाश्चर्य,

ठ्याक्कै त्यहि बेला थाहा चाहिँ कसरी हुन्छ हजुरबालार्इ

कि नातीले बिलिनाे तरकारी खाँदै छ भनेर ?

पठार्इदिनलार्इ प्रत्येक पटक

मेरा अाँखामा नुन !??

Kitchen home

A short Tall-inn tour

[Hover over the album to see all photos]

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That was a very short tour. We had only two days. So we decided to spend one afternoon in Helsinki and the other day in Tallinn, the Estonian Capital.

There were other three batchmates; two from Nepal and one from Vietnam. Altogether we were four.

We boarded the early train to Helsinki on Saturday, 13.10.2018, from Joensuu. Thinking we could talk to each other easily during the travel, we reserved the face-to-face seats. When we reached inside our coach/cabin, the seats were face-to-face seats, but two of them were on the left side of the aisle facing forward and two on the right facing backwards. 😂 We did not notice how the seats were arranged, but only looked for the face-to-face seats!! And that was that.

In Helsinki, we met a colleague of one of our friends, who has been living there for many years. He guided us to the most worth visiting places in Helsinki. All thanks to him we did not need to spend much time finding the sites we had planned to visit.

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@ The Amos Rex museum in Helsinki; with Tom

In the evening, we boarded a ship from the port of Helsinki. After spending half an hour inside the cabin, I thought of going out and watching the Baltic sea. Envisioning the Titanic scene in mind – hair fluttering in the wind – I went towards the back of the ship. But as soon as I stepped out of the door, the wind nearly blew me away!!😂  Anyway, the first experience with the ship also became memorable.

The next day, in Tallinn, our main aim was exploring The Old Town; a UNESCO world heritage site. We collected the town map from the Port of Tallinn and started our journey.

In the afternoon, while we were sitting near a park and trying to figure a route to a museum (or church, I forget), a quinquagenarian lady came nearby and informed us that we could find beautiful girls in Tallinn :). She also asked where we came from and some other things. We did not care about her presence that much, so she moved away. But later, when we were ready to move, we saw her sitting on a bench nearby. I just went to her and asked about the specific area that beautiful girls could be found (actual intention in asking was not on finding such area). She told that it was quite far and we had to go by bus/metro. She showed the bus/metro route in our map and told that she could take us up to the station if we gave her some beer. Now we knew the story behind her information on beautiful girls.

In the afternoon, we had to go to the McDonald’s and eat something before using their restroom because we could not find public restrooms. Later we found one in the Tammsaare park which cheated us. We inserted the coin but it neither let us open the door nor returned our coin. 😂 (Maybe that was not functional. But we did not know)

The WC that cheated us!

And in the evening, we returned to the port of Tallinn and back to the port of Helsinki. We caught our night bus from Kamppi.

But the story hasn’t ended. A guy was sitting in one of our seats and claiming it as his seat. Because I was sure that was our seat, I asked if he was on the right bus. And he got angry with me. I never knew that asking somebody if they were on the right bus was that rude :). Later, he himself admitted his mistake and went to his seat.

I fall asleep. In my dreams, I was travelling towards Helsinki, not Joensuu!! 😉

 

साला अङ्ज्रेगी !

“मे आइ टेक द चेयर?” – म अगाडिको कुर्सितिर हेर्दै उसले सोधी ।

म योएन्सु सार्वजनिक पुस्तकालयभित्रकाे कुर्सीमा एउटा अङ्रेजी उपन्यास पढेर बसिरहेको थिएँ।

पहिलो पटक गएको हुनाले, पुस्तकालयमा अङ्रेजी भाषाका पुस्तकहरु कुनै ठाउँमा छुट्टै राखिएका छन् कि भनेर  सहयाेग कक्षमा सोधेँ। किनकि त्यहाँ प्राय: फिनिस भाषाका कितावहरु मात्र देखिन्थे।

“छ नि।” – पुस्तकालयका ती कर्मचारीले मलाई अङ्रेजी कितावहरुको संग्रह भएको दराज छेउ पुर्याइदिए र इन्टरनेट सिस्टममा केही खराबी आएकाले अहिले किताव लैजान चाहिँ नमिल्ने बताए। मैले अाफू पहिलो पटक अाएकाे र अाफूसँग पुस्तकालय कार्ड नभएको, त्यत्तिकै के कस्तो रै’छ भनेर हेर्न मात्र अाएको हाे भनेर बताएँ।

एकपटक सर्सर्ती दराजहरु चहारेँ। कुनै दिन पढ्नुपर्ला भनेर सोचेको एउटा किताव ठ्याक्कै भेटाएँ। यसो समय हेरेँ – साँझ पर्न अझै केही घण्टा बाँकी नै छ। कोठा त साँझ परिसकेपछि हिँडेपनि पुगिन्छ। चाँडै गएर के नै गर्नु छ र!

केहि घण्टा त्यहि उपन्यास पढेर बस्ने निर्णय गरेँ।

दराजबाट किताव झिकेँ, यसो वरिपरी हेरेँ, प्रायजसो टेबलहरु खाली नै थिए। नजिकैको टेबलतिर गएँ, एउटा कुर्सि तानेँ, झोला भुइँमा राखेँ, अनि किताव पढ्न थालेँ।

पढ्न भनेर बस्न त बसेँ, तर ध्यान कितावतिर खासै गएन। पहिलोपटक गएको ठाउँ, यसो छेउबाट कोही हिँडेपनि आँखा त्यतै जाने, कसैले केही बोले भने ‘मलाइ त भनेका होइनन् नि!’ जस्तो लाग्ने आदि आदि भयो। अर्थात् कितावतिर पर्याप्त ध्यान गएन।

मन नलागी नलागी पनि के पढ्नु। दश मिनेटजति पछि किताव बन्द गरेँ, टेबलमा राखेँ अनि खल्तिबाट मोबाइल निकाल्ने विचार गरेँ।

ठ्याक्कै त्यहि बेला ऊ मुस्कुराउँदै म तिर आई। ‘चिन्नु न जान्नुकि यो खैरेनि मलाई नै हेरेर मुस्कुराइरहेकि हो त!” म अलमलमा परेँ । यसो पछडि फर्केर हेरेँ, कोही थिएनन्। मुस्कुराउँदैमा के जान्छ र, म पनि मुस्कुराइदिएँ।

“के यसले पनि यहि किताव खोजिरहेकी थिइ? मैले नपढिकन बन्द गरेर राखेको भएर त्यो किताव माग्न आएकि त होइन?” मनमनै सोचेँ। “त्यस्तै हो रै’छ भने पनि, त्यति सजिलै त के दिनु र ! ‘पढ्दै थिएँ’ भनेर एकछिन निउँ त खोज्नै पर्छ। बाेल्ने बाहना पनि त हुन्छ। तर  दिन चाहिँ दिनुपर्ला !”

“मे आइ टेक द चेयर?” – म अगाडिको कुर्सितिर हेर्दै उसले सोधी ।

हत्तेरिका, ऊ त यहिँ बस्न पो आएकि रै’छे।

यसो हेरेँ अलि परको अर्को टेबल पनि खाली नै थियो। ऊ किन यहिँ बस्न आइ त! बसेर पढ्न होला भनूँ भने, उसको हातमा किताव पनि थिएन। ‘के ऊ यहिँ बसेर मैले राखेको किताव पढ्न चाहन्छे! अथवा कितावको बारेमा केही कुरा गर्न चाहन्छे? अथवा अरुनै केही कुरा गर्न चाहन्छे?’

“यस, स्योर” – अलि अकमकाउँदै भनेँ, अनि ज्यानलार्इ यताउती चलाएर अलि सजिलाे हुनेगरि बसेँ। ऊ अाफैँ अाएर “बसूँ?” भनेर साेधेकी हाे, कुराकाे सुरूवात पनि त अाफैँ गर्ली नि।

ठीकै छ! म पनि गफ गरिदिने मुडमा पुगेँ।

“थ्याङ्क यु”- मुस्कानलाई अझ गाढा बनाउँदै उसले भनि, सरक्क कुर्सि तानी र बोकेर हिँडि!!

साला अङ्ज्रेगी, लास्टै धाेका दिन्छ भन्या कहिलेकाहिँ त !!