What is travelling to me?
Been travelling for a while now. I have some attitude regarding travelling and that makes me an avid traveler. Traveling is not only about going a distance carrying a rug sack , for me going anywhere , to the next alley ,next Gully ,next settlement and anywhere I feel like going, sometime a very distance and sometime just some minutes or an hour . I sometime revisit different places I lived once in my life. Last Thursday I visited Ghattekulo, Maitidevi, where I lived for some months renting a small flat in 2006 at a different circumstance of my life. To fresh my senses and to live 2006 after 6 in the evening I strolled and reached Ghattekulo. Since then, lot of structural change have occurred in the tole but the yellow four storied house still remained the same, still in the same color. Most of cement scraps are out and it looked like an old tree standing, without any word and screams. I stopped for a while at the store nearby , the store owners were same and their son has grown old now with a most stylish hair style in town , little pony tail on top and rest trimmed. In 2006, he used to be the shyest child around. I wanted to talk but I can see clearly in their eyes that I am yet another pedestrian and they don’t know me whatsoever. I bought a coke, sat down on the rope chair ( Muda ) and turned my head around for a while . The evening was slowly growing into sepia, I wanted to visit the house and see around but thought that it would not be a good idea to step inside, in the situation where no one knows me in the present day and I might get in trouble. And in 2006 I didn’t made any acquaintances with the families that used to live there. As I was living in the ground floor, washing clothes in Nepali Fashion during weekends, the house makers living in first and second floor used to chortle and pass remark “This brother doesn’t even know, how to wash clothes.” I use to turn my head up and reply them that “I am not use to with washing, but I’ll learn” smile and go on with my rough style, that’s the best communication I made there. I sat there for a while, different faces that use to be in that Tole in 2006 were passing by , I could recognize them , time has transfigured them but they were the same person . Nobody paid attention to me cause , I have changed a lot and there is no way they could recognize me cause as I said before I didn’t made any proper acquaintance with anybody .When I look back to pictures of 2006 ,it gives me some kind of nostalgia or some kind of abstract notion . The 45 minutes I spent sitting on the store porch is same like my long treks. My mind don’t find a bias between the dusty roads of Ghattekulo and the serene mountain tops or a dense mountain forest. When you are a traveler everything that comes with your time laps in amazing and equally satisfying.
Why Travelogue ?
I do write poems, short stories, some articles but have never wrote anything about travelling and what you people are reading now is my first travel blog (Lucky People Bling !! Bling!! ). What I have realized is writing about you travels in the best way to remind or revitalize the wonderful moments that you have lived once. Because the best, very elegant HD memories remains in mind and nothing, completely nothing of modern day image materials like photos or videos in camcorders can match with what’s in your head. Last year, while I was enjoying my holidays in Pokhara, I met this amazing lad Madison from Colorado, USA at the hostel I was staying. We got along very quick, the things that bridged us was the taste of music we had in common & our interest in philosophy. Madison finished his undergrad school and took couple of thousand loan and headed Nepal with nothing, no phone, no camera, no rug sack just an extra pair of T-shirt and shocks. All he said was “all the wonderful memories in High Definition will remain in mind for ever, cameras can get lost, and PC might crash.”
His words and his sense of traveling still lingers in my mind and his company is still unforgettable. He mailed me from Everest Base camp, Gokyo Lake and I mailed him back, wishing best for his travel endeavor. He said, when he will get back he will be working night and day to pay his education loans and it will be hard. It’s been sometime I have not heard from him and I’m too much into my life and its pangs and toils I have not ringed him. May be I will after finishing this write up. My friend Madison is one of many representational character in my life, there are many people like him who in short solid moment, taught me so many things about life , colors of life and colors we give to life.
Vodka Diaries + Method
When I travel I want to get in the scene or in my personal phrase “method travelling” something like “method acting” Daniel Day Lewis would be an ideal example of that ( stated cause he is my favorite 😛 ). Once I was making a trip to India ,resigning from office , withdrawing what I have saved. I choose to visit Banaras being little spiritual and to see the life of Sadhus. I planned my trip vis Nepal westerns plains through Bhairahawa ,Sunauli border , then took a night bus from Kalanki to Narayangarh , which was the best possible I could get in the festive season. The mini bus was massive packed but with little knack with the bus helper I managed a sit at the last. Which was some similar to mini roller coaster ride, bouncing and giving pain to my bums. I got off at Narayangarh around 8:00 Pm and with the bumpy ride and empty belly I was in no condition to make a rush hush hush and get a seat into another bus that might be arriving from Kathmandu ,which would take me to Butwal. I had never went around Narayangarh as it was only a VIA station, so without caring about bus much I went around the city. The city was shining in the sparkling electric lights and my empty belly directed my slaphappy mind and my eyes saw this flashing board “Thakali Bhancha Ghar”. I ordered rice with goat curry and fish and before that a quarter of Vodka for my Bums actually cause with the bumpy ride I was in no condition to sit.Had a wonderful meal there I still remember the Kitchen cook with lot of tattoos in his body, with dreadlock hair in Rasta fashion who later sat on the next table and was drinking some Red Label (must be the owner himself but he was not way a Thakali 😛 ) . I could not finish the quarter as the rice came little early, so I bottled the rest half quarter and put inside my rug sack. After much await I finally managed to stop a bus which would take me to Butwal but I had to stand as all the seats and isle were full with the final destination travelers to Achham , Mid-Western Nepal . Since I had to catch the train next day from Gorakhpur and the night was growing heavy I decided to do yet another adventure and as said above “Method Travelling”. I stood catching the bar right by side of the bus door for a while but with the night bus speed and , u-turned roads I thought going to the top ( Chhat) would be a good idea as I could sleep there too and talk with other fellow “ Chhat Basindas “ . At the next spot I carried my bag and went to Chhat there were couple of other lads, talking about girls and shouting and enjoying in their own ways. I snuggled myself into the lower corner and made my rug sack a pillow. With little rain drops and cold air, it was little colder on top , now you can imagine what a wise man would do “Break the Diamond when necessary” . No price for guessing I still had half quarter of vodka left. As I produced my Vodka and was mixing with water , this amazing man came up singing ” Raijuma Jhuma Kyamas Kyani Ho Raijuma “( very famous folk son of the far-west) in a very proper far-western accent .
As he came near, he was no other than bus conductor. He was a mid-aged man with thick mustache and gums filled with some tobacco with pungent smell, at-least for non- tobacco chewers. He was man with great aplomb and he also asked me if I need any rugs or blankets to lay down which was a little comfort in such mode of travelling. He was murmuring about coldness and life of conductor to himself, spitting in Nepali fashion and stating “Thukka Jindagi”. I don’t know why but I managed to ask him if he would love some vodka, this was for the first time I was taking alcohol while travelling only because I was a “Chhat Basinda” so I was little uncomfortable . He was little hesitant but when I approached a bit he said “Sir le bhannu huncha bhane Khaideu na ta ek pyaak / if sir says let’s have a peg.” As it was just a half quarter it went empty quick, now this conductor with whom I had some introduction about our names and works was coming into mood. After a little while he asked driver to stop on the highway Bhatti and the quickly brought some , daal mooth,couple of plastic glass & a full bottle vodka . He said “ Mukh Jiskaidinu bho sir le, aba ta kaha maan mancha ra / Now with little taste of liquor on my tongue, I got to have some more ”. Though I was not a massive drinker, I said no at first but little later as I said before “Method Travelling” , I said ok , now the other two lads also joined, on the windy night with little water breeze travelling in high speed and on top, sitting on the “Chhat ”. Then , after some pegs we in Nepal need music and no matter how much of Pink Floyd Fan you are , no matter how much Radio Gaga and Bohemian Rhapsody plays in your speaker, Paan ko paat , Resham Firiri, Rato Rani Phule Jhai Sanjha are the songs which we massively love to sing out loud . Though it was my first time in such a cocktail party with guys from mid-western and far-westerns villages I asked them if they could sing some local tunes and if I could record them, they agreed and then we were drinking and singing every folk Nepali song that came to our mind. Cracking jokes and to know about their village life, their girlfriends was another part of that fantastic traveling.
I closed my eyes and thanked to my father, who always held remote controller and child locked television on Thursday in our school days to listen to folk Nepali music show, because of which I was able to crack some Nepali folk songs. Mr. Conductor bought another 1 bottle on the way and we didn’t cared the night we were just drinking, singing and talking about lives. During the course, what we came to know was shocking, yet much laughable and amazing, the mid-aged conductor was actually the owner of the bus service and the driver was his older son and the helper was his nephew and he runs 3 buses in different route of Nepal. I don’t know at what time I slept cause that much vodka was too much for me when I reached Butwal it was around 4:00 am in the morning. I was the only one who stopped and dropped to Butwal other fellow passengers still had a long way to go. We “Chhat Basindas” & “Daru Partners “shared phone numbers and Facebook addresses too. Mr. K.B, the owner gave me invitation to visit his house in the far-west with all proper location and map of his house and he said “Pakka Auauna parchha hai Sir/You have to come for sure sir”. No matter how many times I told him not to call me sir, it all went in vein, he called me sir throughout the journey. It’s been couple of years now and I haven’t managed to visit KB’s house, maybe someday I will for sure. All that epic and awesome travel is still fresh in my mind in very, just like yesterday.
More on my travel diaries in coming days. Next would be about my India trip. Don’t forget to smile 😀