Since the original photos of the post were lost because of a technical failure on the web site, I re-posted these photos. Some of the photos were taken in March 2005 while others in 2006.
A few months ago, I was in Ason, the heart of Old Kathmandu, to see pro-democracy political protests. One day I stayed there for about an hour and observed activities just before a demonstration took place (that was immediately controlled by the police). While some people were taking risks of being arrested, a few were worried about their business being hampered. Today here is no sign of political protests in Ason. Everyone is busy shopping, bargaining and deciding the thing that they are going to buy is good enough for them or not. “We need some spices,” I just overheard a woman talking with her husband.
Oh, did I just see Mickey Upriety in that crowd?
“Namaste! Tihar ko subhakamana hai. (Happy Tihar)”
“Oh..Namaste, Mickey ji. Same to you. Kata ho?”
There were a few Japanese following her in that crowd. What’s going on, Mickey ji?
“Shooting for NHK (a Japanese network),” she said before disappearing into the crowd.
A few foreign tourists are roaming around visibly awed by the intensity of the crowd. One of them is chewing almonds with a map of Kathmandu under his shoulder.
Now, I am in front of a shop, trying to get myself away from the crowd and observing the movements of people. Its really amazing to see these people struggling in the crowd and worried about their own ‘problems’.
Ason is crowded today, very much in fact. It is difficult to walk without touching other person. I can see people who have come here with their families and close friends.
Yes, majority of them are middle or upper middle class citizens. Shopkeeper are hell busy with their customers. Intense bargain. This is the time for them to sell as much as they could. This is the business season when people are ready to spend more than they earn.
That’s the Ason. I arrived in New Road to eat something. Got a chicken burger in a bakery shop. Great. I have not eat anything other than two cups of tea today. A burger partly filled my belly. For a meeting with a pair of American journalists, I left house early in the morning that is to say at 8:30 AM. Both Dr. Sherry Ricchiardi and her husband Frank Folwell are journalists. Sherry, director, International Media Affairs and Senior Writer at American Journalism Review came here to do a story on Nepali politics. Flowell, photojournalist and Deputy Managing Editor at USA Today, accompanied her for photography. What a lucky pair.
New Road has now a new landmark. Just in front of the Gorkhapatra/Nepal Bank offices, near by the Peepal tree, a huge temporary tent has been established. Inside, I can see idols of Shiva and some Bihari types of songs are being played in loud sound. I tried to figure out what the song is saying but failed to understand.
Unlike in Ason, In New Road, you can have some spaces for easy breath.
When I SMSed him, I found that Deepak Adhikari was in office enjoying the Deusi songs and dances. His presence in office compelled me to go there and see the dances. Great.
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