The eve of every passing year always has that element of excitement, joy and mixed feeling about the year that we are bidding farewell to. Mixed feeling, because we lay at the juncture of such an honorable transition, that redefined and magnified our perspective and deep seated emotions for last 365 days.
She was unknown to me when I last witnessed her on January 1st, 2012. Unpredictability it was, the very core character of time that kept me guessing about the events that were to unfold. Since the past one week the television channels, newspaper, radio stations have been kept busy with a look back at the prominent events of the year 2012. But as I was retuning back from office this evening I went to a bit of a flashback and and quickly scanned through my experience with 2012. I wondered what was special in it? what it had given me?
The first things that struck my mind was the immense opportunity to work on a range of things from news reading to journal editing to managing day to day works at the office. But even more than the amount of work that she graced me with I believe it was the exposure to some core values of professional life that will continue to rekindle my thoughts and guide my actions through out my professional life.
Workplace as I came to know is something like an university where we try to use our knowledge within the limitations of the practicalities. Quite often principles and theories clash with realities of time in rather awkward way but it is interesting that some compromising theorems do come into picture and settle the nerves. Every time when such clashes occurred my so called principles took a back seat which in a way was like any ethical apocalypse.
In all of our journeys through the year each one us might have had our own incident of ethical apocalypse but it so happens that by the time we look back at them they seem quite normal and ever existing phenomenon. Quite resoundingly the year graced me with some compromising character which is something new to me, which is something unlike me and representative of my deep seated fears.
I sincerely hope that for all of us the upcoming year will be victory over our untold fear. let the hope overcome our fears.
I was wondering what title should I be giving to this painting. The first word that struck my mind is defiant. Her rather big eyes seems revolutionary. These days in the chilling hours of the morning Kathmandu I come across a lot of Ladies in scooters with their faces masked in mufflers and mostly a pair of dark glasses covering their inspiring eyes. I will have admit that they look lovely but to me they also look revolutionary which may be associated to years of struggle that these ladies have gone through. In fact each they fight small battle against their presumed status of being housewives as they set out for their office works. I do not know the back story behind every one those ladies proudly riding on a scooter but what I can suppose is that although they may not have had faced that much of restrictions or limitations that used to exist even decade back but I am pretty sure they do get asked “where are you going?” or “when will you return?”. The questions get even more interesting when it gets asked by her small brother or any of their male members of the family who are smaller to her age. So I feel that the ladies in the scooter every time resemble a war hero as they proudly ride their vehicle in the streets of the capital city almost a victory march, almost a celebratory ride. May be my new found respects for the ladies in scooters ,in coats, boots and fancy jackets comes from my deepest respect to my mother who is a single mother ,who handles the house alone like a field commander of an army. My salute to all those ladies.
My city has been currently gripped up in some cold chilly winter temperature. Although it is not as bad as which I used to experience during my childhood, but enough to challenge the self pride of every early risers in the town. Moreover the early morning power cuts seem be the prized bonus of the chill outside which manipulates the biological clock into thinking that it just past midnight.
With the work cut out for the poor and laborious emergency lights the city wakes up just a bit late. The laziness creeps in just a bit more as alarm clocks go off wishing its owner a very good morning. But for the poor alarm instead of getting a gentle tap of appreciation for the wake up call gets a harsh smash and in case of mobile phone alarm the deadline gets extended with snooze time.
The warmth inside the quilt has no comparisons with the mother’s lap but I guess cold temperatures outside a wet window pane compels me rethink both these emotions of warmth. The quilt has no emotions but as she protects me from the biting cold I begin to appreciate her love for me.
Metaphorically the cold outside stands up for all those hindrances in one’s life that sometime seems almost impossible to conquer within. But the cold outside keeps me vigilant instead against that entire passiveness, restless and hopeless in life. The conscious decision to come out of the enticing warmth embodies within it the willingness to overcome all barriers as I wake up to a testing chilliness and set out work in yet another knowledgeable day at work.
As I travel to my radio station at six in the morning the challenge of the biting cold will have reached new heights every passing day. At that hour of the days sun seems to be late for work as well. But the low temperatures of the morning hours also come with some graceful sites. The ladies in the boots, fancy jackets, coats, white colored air plugs, colorful mufflers, cross bags and the scooter are some usual sites of the morning Kathmandu. The ladies in the boot and coat very much resemble an empowered London girl that is I had written a few days back commenting on my colleague’ picture in a social networking website and true they are. The freshness in the faces is worth a look as it all makes up for a beautiful morning. Although they look humble in their first sight but when I trying thinking about it later I always think all those inspiring faces not only circulate a wave of positivism but also shuttle boast of their beauty as if telling me , “ you don’t have to stare like that I know I look beautiful.”
Moreover morning shift college students also have continued battle against the cold. But the college couples seem to love the morning cold as they pass by me with their arms entangled around each other by their side may be the cold provides a strong reason for the new found intimacy.
But lucky them and luck me that at least I have every reason to talk about their impounding fashion rather than old rhetorical stories of gender discrimination. Their pin point high heel shows may just be mere fashion statement but to me they are the sounds of joy, of victory, of hope and of belief that things are changing and they have changed. Let the freedom sound to its loudest at least I don’t mind.
Life makes all being a philosopher and as I perceive we are all philosophical by birth as we express our deep seated emotions since that moment. You and I, he and she, them and others we all have something to say about life. As I complete a 25 years of journey my eyes have been witness to lot of different realities of life which does not have matching vocabulary to express. Although a twitching of a cheek muscle may culminate into a smile but that sudden exuberance of joy is under valued when words are used to describe them. That is why I just thought that I allow the colors do the talking, the variance of colors are a mere highlights of all of our journey. Just place your self on the road and allow your emotions to toddle.
Today has been a rather testing day as far as my patience is concerned. A six hours of delayed flight to Biratnagar (A city of East Nepal) from Kathmandu required some meditative composure and undulating faith of a spiritual one to pass through it. But however, six hours of wait were not as uninteresting and gloomy as a weeping cloudy day. It had its bits of sun shine in form of some pretty faces that I took notice off during my wait to board the flight. Among those pretty faces one of the lady who was in the lounge too waiting to board the plane seemed familiar. It just sounds like one rotten trick of breaking the ice, ” Have we met before?” ,but unfortunately I am not quite the hero or the super dude to have used that line. As I unfocused my attention from her I was witnessing some anxious, some angry, some inquisitive and some quarrelsome faces as result of series of delayed flight. Thinking back I don’t know which of these emotions best described my state of mind then.
Focusing my attention back to girl again what I noticed was a shuttle calm and relaxed attitude of her towards a rather uncanny situation. She was taking bites off a lovely red apple by then and was engrossed in reading a book. ‘Unfortunately’ my flight took off at 11:40 am and I gave her one last look as probably I was giving my eyes one last opportunity to grace the sight.
In the plane I just felt that my titanic had untimely met its iceberg as Jack had not had a conversation with Rose. The plane ride also did not end without drama bit of turbulence first, the heavenly look of the mountains as if each mountain was boasting of it height but yet displaying the humility of the person who had seen it all. Wow they certainly have their place in the heavens and I felt that they do meet the gods quite often.
Leaving behind my little and one sided love story I soon landed in Biratnagar. The road heading from Biratnagar airport to Itahari quite surprisingly did not have ladies on the bicycle but they had bikers instead. I just thought that may be the place just progressed and went un-green because the overpowering innovations of modern world are very enticing. But at the same I thought that those girls on the scooters that passed my vehicle must have once been the bicycle riders a year back when I last visited. We then headed for Laukahi, a small town in Sunsari district. What I witnessed in Laukahi was not something new, a Haat bazzar, which is a periodic market day for the local consumers conducted only on Monday and Tuesday. It was a bustling marketplace,some busy selling clothes, some daily commodities, some utensils, some fast food and so on. For a urban dweller the sight was pleasing and interesting but for the locals it was a way of life a place where they had to come to get daily supplies fulfilled. May be I was free of all those compulsions of having to purchase my requirements on a scheduled day only so the sight was just an interesting piece of situation to be in. But for the locals it a superstore, a rural superstore, which was devoid of all those fancy elevators, escalators, reflective floors, pretty looking attendants,Credit card payment facilities, well organised and well arranged stations of different varieties of material. Comparing the two may be unjust but for me the rural superstore was more lively, bustling, interactive and most important of all its ability to cater to all the needs of a common man was commendable. The superstore was a melting bowl where all those needs had met their end where all the hard earned paper money had met their honor and pride.
Everyday you and I become witness to lot of things around us.
We tend to notice some of them and I don’t quite remember many of those things that I have been witness to. May be because I am unwilling to speak about it, I don’t associate myself with the cause, I am not worried about it as I am engulfed by the problems of my own and interestingly there are also those instances which strike me and I feel that I cannot do anything about it. I believe its the latter thing that separates some extraordinary individuals from the once perceived as common man, like many of us, wanting to play safe, fearful, supposedly tactful and preoccupied by our atrocities to time. Getting to the point we choose to remain silent about those problems and remain quiet. The candle in the pictures is in a way sarcasm and representative of all those things that we once choose to remain silent about including the things that you could not say to your love during a candle light date.