It was an ordinary Saturday Kathmandu morning nothing new about the smog enmeshed air, the littered streets that were worsened by Melamchi water supply pipelines and the pale sun that was still hiding somewhere in the clouds. But one thing was different – the purpose for which I was walking down the road towards Dakshinkali. I don’t like to tag myself a ‘religious’ man in the actual sense of the word, I am more inclined towards adopting to finer things in religion. But again I do believe there are always unknown reasons or unknown powers that can influence the course of our life. So here I was heading towards Dakshinkali just to relieve myself of any unintentional wrong doing. And my pick for the day was Sheldon’s “ Nothing Last Forever”. The novel’s title and my journey’s objective, i realize now, seemed so contrary. I was heading there to make something last forever, but I was reading nothing last forever through out the day. Funny!
That being said, there was actually some relationship between the purpose and the book. The book has been in shelf for the past 11 months and I was yet to make it meaningful. It was an outstanding task that I had so much overlooked through these days. I felt a kind of urgency in me that called on me to finish and to give the book its due respect. The same was about the journey too. Earlier when I was there I think I was so much into my interest that I seem to have not paid due attention to the call of time. I m not sure if I had indeed being not much respectful, because thats generally how I have been. But, you know sometimes, some mysterious and unexplainable doubt plant themselves in your head so much that you just can’t neglect it totally. So, that I had brushed aside everything and getting into past to fix any probable damages that I might have done.
It was around 10 when I reached there. The streets were full of people – all smiley smiley. Seemed Close Up has huge customers in Kathmandu – everyone’s teeth were flashing and flashing. The colors of souvenirs, the fruits, the vegetables, the flowers and the equally colorful and welcoming street vendors were vibrant and full of life. On the earlier occasion, when I was there, I seriously hadn’t noticed them at all. Well seemed that – this time around I paid them their beauty and existence the right tribute. Good Morning – with a Pepsodent smile.
I moved on. Figured out that the procession of devotees were too long – coupled with their goats, cocks and their kids – the line’s length was insane. Generally I would have not liked such long long lines, but that I felt good – I realize that I was not only the one, who is here to fix up issues. But the smart guy in me led me ahead towards another end where it said the line will be shorter. Bingo – it was short. Comparatively though. So got the best puja bouquet for the goddess with all the materials that would please her and I also lined up there. And started reading – nothing last forever.
People began to trail out fast around 12- I saw people were returning and getting off the line. It was lunch time for the goddess – an one and half hour break! Well – the “chudyau chudyau” moment (Means What to do , what to do in Newari) moment was there. I figured out the women behind was not going to buzz – I talked with her and her family members, handed over my puja stuff to her son, and off I went for a tea and yes, smoke break. God, being civilized and respectful to other’s well being certainly has a price to pay and worth the walk too!
I was into my second cup of tea and was raging like a fighter jet through the novel – the story was getting intense. A lean and thin guy, with spectacles and face that reflected the inquisitive and simple wanderer within that been and thin human frame tried to enter. He looked at the whole eating range and asked for the price of every snacks these guys were selling. I jumped in when he started inquiring about the recipe too. He smiled – the thankful smile. And I too got touched by it. So the next one hour we were sitting there together, smoked couple of cigarettes, finished two cup of teas and Yes a packet of juice – a small birthday treat to this unknown wanderer who goes by the name Fulvio Bertasso.
Its always a pleasure to talk to unknown people. They have a lot to explore – you explore, they explore. There is newness in the atmosphere. There is all smile. There is all fun. No seriousness, no commitments and no need to compromise. Thats perfect free lance stuff, that all wild animals in the jungle love and thats the freedom, that we civilized animals miss so much. The romanticist loved this feeling – dancing the daffodils, the hippies loved this ideal – smoked out everything serious in their life, the Beats – have it whole fucked up in sex and drugs and yes our own yogi’s have it all along gave up for various reasons. The existence of Jogi or Hindu sages – the wanderers, were of Fulvio’s interest.
We discussed and shared opinions on the very existence of these segment of people and by extension on the very meaning of life. Like Fulvio, some people wander out of their otherwise stable life or otherwise meaningless life – in search of the missing element. Jogi’s were also human – some of them get lost into the wild, wander into unknown lands, and keep wandering to find the very meaning of their existence, albeit in the form of God. Fulviyo’s quest was also similar but his approach was different – he was finding the meaning of his life by investigating the love of others. A quest that brought him here and will take to so many places more in the days ahead, until a day he finds it or gets lost into oblivion.
I don’t know what I learned or gave him, but it was definitely a very happy hour- though unknown and alien, he made me feel as if we knew each other for a long time. We even figured out the meaning of being a ‘fucktard’ and a ‘fucker’. Will try explain these terms in a later post. Fulvio left out – he dismissed out in the crowd. And i got back to the queue. Retraced my lady back. Another two hours – ultimately I was there at Her home. Finished the rituals – as much the better way I could think of. Walked out from there. I don’t know if there was anything to fix or if it was fixed, even if there was anything to fix, but glad that I responded to the inner call along with making a soul happy for coming into existence on his 50th year of wandering in this world. What else!