Kathmandu, without you…

The fall of Jacaranda flowers on the ground  that takes my breath away~~ Picture by: Kishor Sharma/ 2014

A love song for a city drenched in election fever (Published in The Kathmandu Post on May 13, 2017) 

After turning pink with the touch of spring, you must have changed to purple now. Your colours always take my breath, even when I am just thinking about you, as I am doing now. I scroll through all the moments that I have captured and I smile with moist eyes realising how life is different…without you.

When you let me go, did you also feel the same pain that I did while departing? Kathmandu, do you miss my tiny feet tapping the dust from the streets? Or the wheels of my scooter traversing your every corner? Lafayette, you know is huge. It is lovely but my heart yearns for your air, your warmth, your sweet touch, your smell. Missing you is a bittersweet feeling but it is something new. I had to travel 7700 miles to know what it meant.

I imagine the Sun being welcomed with water pouring down from an orange brass Kalash. Then an oil lamp guides the Sun that is peeking through the tiny clouds and sweet smell of incense. Colourful flowers decorate the pathway and melody of bells rings in a new dawn. The sun is here and it’s time to wake up, dear Kathmandu.

Kathmandu, when you wake up and wash your face with the shimmering rain and see your glowing face, you know you are beautiful.  The Jacaranda trees, unable to contain its blossoms, clothe you in a purple attire. Every April, through May, I lapped up every glimpse of you in your Jacaranda bloom, just like Parijat had done so long ago.

And, Kathmandu—as the evening seeps into the night—again with the oil lamp, incense sticks and ringing bells, the sun will slip away behind the clouds. But the Moon rises with its muted rays. The Jacaranda flowers, meanwhile, will continue to bloom and fall to the ground, now in company of buoyant fireflies.

Kathmandu, sometimes I wonder, which do you truly prefer? Your Jacaranda bloom or your peach blossom? Even if the both the colours are your own and paint the lives of those that call you home.

The air of spring is your favourite, as it’s mine. Joyous tunes must have begun reverberating through your gallis and alleyways. The Machhindranath too must be on his way in his larger-than-life chariot. The Rain God will bless the Valley once again this year. Kathmandu, you are abundant as you are beautiful!

Kathmandu…without you—thousands miles away, I have been replaying all these memories. Lafayette is lovely, and I wonder if its maple trees would be at home among your Jacaranda blossoms. As welcoming as you are, deep down, I know you’d embrace these red strangers into your ready arms. It is why you’ve always stayed vibrant, even after all these aeons.

I not only praise your beauty but also your strength and perseverance. Even though the earthquake took so much away—you still stand and smile. Your Jacarandas still bloom! You still continue to live with the same vigour and zest. You are inspirational, dear Kathmandu…without you—I understand how you’re rooted to my being. I tell people, I carry you in a tiny pocket. Always with me.

Now as the election dawns, even though 7700 miles away, I hope you get leaders that your beauty, strength and perseverance deserve. The sky belongs to you. The rain is yours. The peach blossom is yours. The blue Jacaranda is yours. I am yours.

Forever yours.

With love,

— S


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