Places · Prose · Stories · The Paths Travelled

Tugging in the Threads

There is a person standing in the door in surfing shorts. In the land without sea, he is full of ocean who carries secrets and cigarettes in his back pockets.  The door leads to a garden. There is a swing and there are trees cut in the shape of triangles. There is one big tree with a pocket made of clay fish. It serves both as ash-tray and bug-house. Dry leaves keep falling in the ground and the ground is stammeringly beautiful with them. They cover up for the unkempt grasses: brownish yellow from the sun. The evening breeze has just started playing through my hair. They hide within the layers of clothes I am wearing and touch the skin where my leggings are torn from carrying the bag with knitting needles poking out. I try to make sense of the touch; connection nature so easily makes with us.

Yesterday, I came back from the hills of Gorkha ruled by mountain winds and thunder. There is something about the mountains that make me feel like fiction. They are unreal. Large. They lift my spirits. I met a mountain person too. We talked through the storm and lightening while Juno the dog curled himself in a nearby tree. We breathed through the cold, challenging the heavens that threatened rain. It rained. We ran inside and said our good byes and the clouds swept away. Next day, mountains showed up in their grandeur and the mountain person was different. He had sky to look up to and ground to hold on to. So, did I.

The winding roads that brought me back to Kathmandu had a different story to tell. They smelled of cucumber-y vomit and dried river insects. They felt like skin bumps, bum sores and back aches. I rushed into a few angry birthday messages. Angry because I had not replied for six days due to the lack of a well-functioning internet.  In the verge of making connection with nature, had I severed it with the humans I loved? I still feel the strings of thread bound in my fingers that hold the other end. I am afraid to tug in and realize the absence of a similar tug.

1:12 AM. And I am still wide awake in the TV room. A soft cylindrical pillow holds my head against the couch. I missed calls and messages because my phone was on silent and I was too busy watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S. I tried to make sense of future in the run this evening and did not come up with anything. I miss him who despite being so distant, listens; who smells like home. He must be busy dreaming now. I don’t know what he dreams about. I am in front of a yellow wall with mismatched mirrors dreaming widely of sleep and shutting off the noise in my head. I wish I wasn’t afraid to tug the threads on the other side.

Advertisements
Odes to people I know and don't know · Stories · The Paths Travelled

H for Here

There was a strange gathering in the TV room last night: the silent meeting of four unconnected worlds, whispers of books and words oozing out of fingers in the keyboard followed by sleepy eyes, goodbyes and retiring to the bunk beds through winding corridors and wooden staircases.

I have been here for a month living in a desk beside a door opposite the fish tank with people with different background music who dance and sing in a mother tongue that sounds like a story from distant lands; is a story from distant lands. There is a weird home like feeling that is comfortable and warm. The definition of what we are, would be: Family that works together, lives together and eats together. Work is a never ending aspect of our relationship. We work hard, day and night. Paper cuts greet us unexpectedly, and phone calls are unceasing even in the alleyways of department stores where we buy our supplies.

Yesterday was the first day when there was very little work to do. The lights were out and there was no wifi; no shared drives working, no batteries and hence a “pen down” day. So we enjoyed the very little sun we had, ate ice-cream and cheesecakes that our bosses bought. Today, I am sitting in a chair that is not mine, trying to update the blog that I have been ignoring. I miss writing aimlessly sometimes. Here, everything has a goal. And after a long time, I can see my goals in full clarity  too. I can see my steps in sands that belong to the ocean. I feel free. However, I can also feel the cultural responsibilities pulling me in. The consistent debates whether I should give in to the customs that have been instilled on me from when I was a child or I should journey into the roads I have waited all my life  to walk in, keeps me thinking in bus rides. It makes me wish I had a different background music. However, the history of my music is too interesting to give up. It is what connects me to the world, writes my story in a comprehensible way when ‘I’ is sometimes too hard to explain.

The best thing about being here is the independence of connections. We are not obligated to stay forever; moving on is always the best option if you are scared of being caged in; you realize what impermanence is. And the worst thing about being here is that you sometimes tend to crave permanence and mom’s fish curry. What I have learned so far is the ease of human relationships. People, entropy of atoms, profession and nationality in a same room, without speaking can make you feel connected to the universe. 

Poems · Stories

Serendipity

Serendipity

I suppose that is how it happened.

The process of regrets and gratefulness followed.

So many things followed.

Nothing mattered because,

serendipity never chose to leave.

We found our way,

through

gullies of loneliness,

streets of emptiness and

bridges of hopelessness.

Looked into each other’s eyes

only to look away.

Glances mystified and conversations halted in the tips of our tongues,

like early onset of Alzheimer’s taking over for a moment.

The bus stop was a huge stadium surrounded by people,

hearts blazing as loud as beat box,

we evaded the bond that was right there.

In front of the café in the bend of the road, we loved walking on

we needed a catalyst to swing by

and it came when clouds decided to shower the bamboo trees.

The drizzling Blues and bright streetlights

reminded us of

The Smiths.

 

There we were on opposite lanes,

same song playing in our ears

never realizing that half our souls we were searching

for every second of every day

was just a second away.

Serendipity.

That’s how it happened.

We smiled and we knew love.

You were strong enough to pick up my pieces

I was strong enough not to break you apart

 

The carousel could not stop turning in the park

where roses were shades of faded pink

Not trying to sit still, the sands took the shape of a hurricane,

passing by us like a genie in the bottle,

granting the wishes we wished last night

Without realizing that

we were no longer going to be You and I today.

And then,

we became the candles of conscience drifting in the air.

mixtures of blood mist and shattered organs.

Serendipity.

That’s how it happened.

We died knowing that there’s a light that never goes out.

 

 

 

 

Poems · Stories

home

Two thousand seventeen was the year I struggled with the definition of home, felt homeless, searched for home, got home and still kept searching for it.

Home was round spiral wooden staircase,

Smell of wet mud and cold breeze

Home was around small stupa

And gold plated, bowl bottomed, oil filled thread lights,

It was stony broken roads

You could play see saw with your legs on either side of stones

Home was where grandma made hot rotis

And I dipped them in milky white tea

 

Home was when my brother saved me each time from being a seeker

And I hit him with lego pieces just because

Home was papa coming home

After his leather jacket smell reached home first

Mommy’s lipstick stains on both side of cheeks when she went off to work

Home was simple things

When happiness had wings, we saw it in the sky full of kites

 

Home was holding baby brother

And counting tiny star like dots on his nose

Home was a cacophony of laughter and noise in a busy streets of Ason

Home was home when home needed no definition.

But still was.

Home.

 

Now,

Home is the top of the hill

It is breathing hard while walking up

The sound of heart beats as they sing how much your legs have strained

How much your head is free of thoughts

Home is an ocean of colorful eyes, uncooked friendships, hopeful souls

 

Home now is a universe

Trying to find a coherent chaos

Trying to make bridges

Home is not what home was.

Now.

But Home still is.

Somewhere.

Letters and Letters · Places · Stories · The Paths Travelled · Uncategorized · Volunteering Diaries

A Plan at Action

This year I volunteered for 6 months in ICS program for Raleigh International Nepal. I went on from being In-Country Volunteer (ICV) to In-Country Team Leader (ICTL). Both my experiences were vastly different from each other but in them I found people who profoundly influenced me and gave me so much warmth and love. I learned about rural Nepal that was hidden from me by rings of hills I was surrounded with. I learned so much about the people of my own country who toiled all day long and were still so happy and kind. I learned about people of the UK with different cultural values but similar souls.

19399300_1873412669649970_4809511777890836339_n
This is how it started!! Prats and I were put into different teams.

There are a lot of things to share: mountains of triumphs, valleys of despair, barriers and confusions, self-awareness, DMCs underneath the stars, art of eating porridge, saga of a broken kettle, 9 and 27, firefly in the millet fields and in the room, goals in a purse, mentorship and sisterhood, open kimonos, doctor with a camera, sound of goats and chickens,  5 AM demands, spider webs, long walk uphill, silence in the bridge, pink clouds, schizophrenia and parallel universe, the laws of attraction, cultural history and many many more. There are a lot of things to think about too: the future, universities to apply and get in, courses to take,  places to travel. I don’t know how to fit all these things in 24 hour-ed days where half of the time, I stare at the wall and miss all the treasures I’ve lost and rivers I’ve seen. I feel overwhelmed and restless. So I keep pacing in the corridor avoiding my cold room.

However, today I am following the doctor (with a camera)’s advice. In his own words he said, “go back to the reality of the experience. Sometimes, we need to see experience in its objective form to understand it. Write about the simple experiences, the simple moments of belonging and being which we all felt. Keep it simple! The pebbles under your feet, the sun in your eyes, the green fields and cable lines winding their way out of view like thoughts and ideas we can never possess.”

I am starting with the crazy poetry prompts Francis and I used to come up with during the placement. She is 18 years old with a beautiful heart. Emotional and dreamy, I found a little sister in her. Our prompts consisted of random words ( the first one was: Monkey Nose) and we tried to make sense out of them in the random world of Golping where haunted places and haunted stories ruled the minds of people who were haunted by obscure life. Francis’s words flowed and with her beautiful accent and voice, she could make the images dance in cold evenings. I miss her! She’ll have her own blog soon along with Hannah (the funniest and the coolest 18 year old I’ve met). And hopefully, they’ll share their own stories and poems with you.

DSC_0617
With Hannah and Francis

So from today, I’ll be posting  those prompts and poems and small stories behind them just to make a sense to myself about where I was and where I am. It will be my tiny project along with all the bigger projects I still have to plan and accomplish.

Stay tuned! 

-Vi

Places · Poems · Stories · The Paths Travelled

Cravings

I crave the river bank

where lying upside down

I forgot my doubts and fears

grasses smelled of rain

and so did the mud

but they were always quite about it,

like

sophisticated angel eyed butterflies

that flew, flew, flew

befriending dragonflies that had rainbow hues

in their wings

as they went up, up, up

around a farm with pearl teethed buffalo

who lost her pearls

but still gave milk,

still chewed the dried maize plants,

still breathed out aggressive carbon dioxide

as she saw us climbing down a small narrow path

where the pink pastel house waited

like

a tree that waits for her birds to show up at night

I crave the river

under the bridge

that brought clouds right next to my nose

making me sneeze but smile

I was one among the clouds

and I had no full stops

only semi colons

of days that went

by bye bye

in blink of an eye

there was a hill with two rainbows,

one moon and one woman

who had lived a drought in a forest with no water

she was washed into a village

with no blue water bins and

 she talked, talked, talked

but did nothing to change the dresses

that marked the up and down

of that village and town

I crave the banana groves

gated greens of mulberry trees,

a mustache man with strong hands

whistling tunes into basuri

and his family in the rice fields

digging beneath the earthy soil

growing soul in rocky hills

DMCs in a room with fireflies

tinkerbell’s knock, knock, knock

and smile that opened all the locks

windows facing happiness

night prowl of brown-white cat

gazing stars and planets

that blinked, blinked, blinked

stretching in a yoga mat

I crave all those things

that made me breathe the misty mists

I believed in the mysteries

the calling of never-ending melody

and I crave all those things

Stories

Reason of my absence

I was absent for more than two months from the blogging world. All this time, I was in the most wonderful village of Nepal. It is called Amling. This village gave me invaluable memories and the people gave me so much love.

Why did I go there?

I was volunteering in International Citizen Service for Raleigh International. I learned many things there and I hope to share them all with you guys. Thank you for not clicking the unfollow button even when I was gone for months.

20170825_142108
This is what Amling looks like! Isn’t it beautiful? The pink house in the farthest left corner is where I stayed for 2 months.
Stories

A Tale of a Lost Hippopotamus

Sometimes I cannot write and at times like that life happens. So maybe I should not always write to let life happen to me.  It sounds stupid and lazy because I don’t know shit about my life. It  has been slow and fast at the same time. Paradoxical.

I am a  Hippopotamus with my eyes just above the surface of water watching deer, monkeys and giraffes drinking from the lake as they go on with their life. They have stuffs to do: application forms to fill, exams to take and classes to go to. They know their grounds. Submerged in the deep, treading through the dirty water, I cannot even find a ground to stand on. Where is my ground?

I am trying to find one. In the lake. Because I love the lake. I love treading, floating and swimming even though I mess up and drown sometimes. Water is where I belong. When the air blows soft ripples on the surface, I feel alive. Little things make me feel alive. I like the solid ground as well. It has grasses where I can sleep in and I have lots of terrestrial friends who love me. They have excellent GPS system on their brain and they help me navigate through the forest. I get lost everywhere which is sometimes a good thing because I have made lots of new friends in places where I got lost. They know their grounds too and they know it so well! However, I am always searching for misplaced pieces of puzzles; always squabbling with myself; always intruding the crocodiles. So I have more chances of being eaten by a crafty crocodile than finding a ground!!

Sometimes I dream of being a Hippogriff like Buckbeak because he can fly. Buckbeak is a war hero and lives in the Forbidden Forest. I know it is hard to believe, but he visits when I ask him nicely. He doesn’t believe in grounds because he has wings and he can go anywhere he wants. He is proud but polite. He found me when I was absent-mindedly thinking about the shape of clouds.  He loves solitude and so do I. We stare at each other silently and he goes away with a gush of wind. And I stay. But now, I am leaving too. I am going on an adventure in search of realms that never existed. It is going to be a long ride and I have no expectations. I plan to embrace everything that comes along the way. Far from the hullabaloo of my crowded forest, I am going to swim in strange waters and hear strange stories. Regardless of grounds and knowledge, I hope to find my sleepy soul.

Prose · Stories

Kopfkino

“About time I wrote something”, thought a wandering mind on a breezy morning. It was easier to think then. It was much easier to make a cinema out of the scenarios that went on. Naked trees somehow inspired vulnerability. I wanted to sit on the footpath and scribble shamelessly on the ground about how happy I was at that moment. I have always had a thing for silent roads. They let you soak up all the calm and space that you need. That is when the entropy comes in. Total randomness of thoughts, inaudible and lively and everything in between. Rational even but not always.

There were no ends to the words that flowed this morning as I was walking, no ends to the metaphors that came up. I think blankets beckon the stringent side of me who does not hear whispers of that morning soul. It craves for foreign words instead. And the rational papers made up of logical points. It seeks answers to all the questions asked in the day. I also have a thing for answers. The folders of questions open up making it impossible for the Kopfkino to go on. It never stops entirely though. In fact, I have doubts on entirety of the Universe. Nothing is ever complete. Everyone’s life looks like an unfinished Venn diagram. And that is how, the night becomes a bane to all the calmness and sleep becomes “Leises Leiden”.

So the stories of the mind end when there is a desire to be something more than the story. The road to reality is painfully crowded and noisy. It smells of cigarettes, sweat, and thousand other unpleasant stuffs.  I am homesick for words, for lies and for sleep. They are all within my reach. There is a drawer full of books behind the bed, adorned with words and bewitching lies. The magical worlds, soulful poems and tragedies laden with blood and tears. Lies. Then there is sleep in my eyes which I ignore most nights in the pursuit of time. I am homesick for time too. I need more. I need more easy breezy mornings in still silent roads, I need a slow-paced hour to fall in love and I need a couple of hours more between 4 AM to 5 AM because that is when real sleep occurs. Before that, the sleep is a werewolf, a metamorphosis of restless voices and visions.

In between the deafening reality, sometimes, I can hear my Scorpion twin scribbling away all my thoughts back in the 1950s. Only that she was one of the most eloquent, innovative and intelligent minds and I am not even close. As ingenious as she was, she writes in her journal, “…… to know that it’s four twenty three o’clock by the watch you got for graduation and that in three days you have your first midyear exam and that you’d much rather read anything but what you have to, but you do have to, and you will, although you’ve already wasted two hours writing Stream-of-consciousness stuff in here when your stream isn’t even much to brag about, after all.” I wasted three hours writing this stream of semi-consciousness. But thanks to her, I wrote fearlessly after a long time.