By Dinesh Wagle
This is part of an article that appeared on today’s Op-Ed of the Kahtmandu Post. The other part is here. The complete article in PDF is here.
In my five-month-long stay in Delhi, I almost missed two things in particular about Kathmandu. 1. Why no bandas here? 2. Why no power cuts?
I was back in Nepal for a week recently and experienced both in ways that were in no way enjoyable.
A colleague at Kantipur told me about the banda the next day as I reached the office in the evening after booking a nonrefundable ticket with Buddha Air. I was destined to get stranded in Biratnagar (from where I planned to reach Delhi via Darjeeling). I thought, okay, a day of banda has become a non-issue for many of us these days, so I’ll take it. It’s like only a couple of hours of power outage a day. But eastern Nepal has become a hotbed of protests of all kinds. So my sixth sense and my colleagues at the Biratnagar office were saying that there might be another sudden banda or disturbance on the East-West Highway the next day as well. Continue reading
Time to sleep again, perhaps last nap before reaching Delhi. I was reading the Grisham book after dinner but the woman in the berth below switched off the light. So I decided to sleep. Bikash Ghalay is also sleeping.
I don’t want to sleep. For now blogging via iPhone seems to be the better option.
The kitchen guys along with servers came for tips. I gave Rs. 6. That’s all I had as change in my front side pocket. Peraps they didn’t deserve more.
The environment inside the train is interesting. It is culturally so diverse. People speak so many different languages and have all sorts and kinds of faces. They are from differnt cultural, religious, geographical, linguistic and ethnic background. I love this diversity and plan to do more rail trips in India in coming days.
While the train was moving with its own speed, afu chai pura sutiyechha ni hoo [I was having a sound sleep. Was in Darjeeling until yesterday, thus the ascent!]
In a way, the rail completely screwed me up. I was supposed do something as soon as I reached my Delhi apartment. I was expecting to reach there by late morning.
Just had some snacks the rail guys provided. Now waiting for the tea glass and hot water. Tea bags and creamer are here with me already (courtesy the train kitchen).
Ok, this guy from Darjeeling who slept on the berth just beneath me last night thinks these two girls must be from Shillong. [Later, at the near end of the travel, I learned that the girls are from Manipur.]
The Ghale guy from Daejeeling. His name is Bikash Ghalay, I learned later. We started speaking in Nepali from the moment we knew the other guy was a Nepali. Bikash is 27 and says his parents have been suggesting him to find a girl from “afno jaat” and marry. He is looking for a Ghale girl. “Hamro tira kam 6 ghale kt haru (there r very few Ghale girls on our side)” he said. I suggested him to go to Nepal (Kaski, Lamjung) and find one.
He is sleeping now. So are the girls. Same with the sasu-buhari pair.
I must be somewhere in Bihar at this point in time (10:57 am). There is no Airtel network signal here so this post will be saved as local draft. I am now seared on the upper berth (0003) inside the B3 compartment. This particular block is fully occupied with all eight people.
Two girls from Assam are lying on da double seats on right to mine (tripple). I must be looking like a monkey from down there (I had the same feeling for folks on da upper berth last time when I traveled down to Kanyakumari in October in Raptisagar Express).
To be contd…