The excitement of meeting her kept me awake late in the night. I was busy recalling my last meeting with her. I wasn’t sure if she remembered me, it had been quite some time that I last met her. But anyways I knew my feeling for her were unrelenting despite the gap. No doubt I was blushing the whole way, but the 200 kilometers distance from Kathmandu to Pokhara seemed like one post lunch lecture session in College which I always wished ended in a wink and I thought that the time which was supposed to be running along in its natural pace felt like basking in the sun engraved in all the laziness that could be there in store, some slow motion art film where one would fall asleep before the next dialogue is spitted out. Since I had pretty much too many emotions jumping up and down I did not really feel the jolts along the way nor did I complain. Most of the comrades in my bus were subdued and so was I. But in my case the silence just about allowed me to calm my vociferous excitement.
I don’t know why I was so much excited to meet her I guess she’s my childhood buddy that’s why. My fondest childhood memories go back to when I was 11 years old and I was there at her place to have some ice cream. My mother left me there all by myself while she hurriedly went for a shopping spree, but I did not mind nor was I afraid but instead I quickly finished some four cups of ice cream as she came back. I was in the firing line no doubt but more than the scolding I was much more worried about the embarrassment being scolded in front of her. I don’t know if she listened, “she” that I am referring to is the beautiful Pokhara (a famous tourist destination in West Nepal).
The stone studded house with flower vase, some colorful garden, omnipresent clouds, milky white canal water strolling by the side of the road, the alcoholic greenery and the self injected aromatic ambiance are her signatures looks, as we enter the city. Most importantly…. the wait was over and suddenly I was devoid of emotions may be the thrill, the excitement, the frenzy, the nervousness, the anxiety, the anxiousness, the dilemma on the way to this passionate holy reunion held within it the ultimate sanctuary of my unfathomable emotions drenching me in subtle numbness. But however the ending of this dramatic anticipation does in no way devalue the beauty of this long awaited meeting.
A meeting with an old friend always has the power to dilute the reluctance and awkwardness born of the unavoidable break and happiness within our eyes suggested that we were never away from each other. It felt as if like the conversation started from the last word exchanged during our last meeting. The city has almost grown with me; she was there in my happy times. My father as a Government officer had spent quite a bit of time in the city which in a way allowed me to grace the nook and corner of the city; I will have to say it was some privileged outing. The nostalgia seeps in, the road, the lanes the staff quarter that I once used to stay has some unsung, unspoken very light but yet intense attachment. This time around as well I did manage to visit the staff quarter from the outside. I clearly remember the little Niraj paddling his bicycle through the big lawn of the staff quarter. On this fate full day as well I was in a bicycle. I just stopped rolling my paddles for a while and watched the staff quarter from the outside hoping may be…… may be I just meet its former resident (my late father). I know that’s quite an absurd thought and something beyond the reach of the miracles, I wish it was that easy. I wish I could plunge into one of those memories.
Memories is like my holy soul, it’s always within me perspiring within my physical self, often keeping me grounded, often keeping me innocent. The longevity of the human memories is often subject to aging; don’t know how long will I be able to hold all such beautiful memories but what I know is that the day I will have lost them all it will be time to say goodbye to my physical self.
This time around when I left the city I left with a hope that the city does have its renaissance as some of its pride like the Fewa Lake has been marred by human encroachment. Like any old buddy I just wished that all amongst the urbanization that the city is undergoing hopefully the city continues to hold to its beautiful self….