It took us four hours to reach Mahat village from Thabang village. It was mostly a pleasant walk on flat land (just a couple of small uphill and downhill) that followed the Thabang river.
A day after Maghi there were no signs of colors in Rukumkot village. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to see young boys and girls in Rukumkot hitting each other below the knees by stinging nettle. Dozens of boys and girls had gathered around the Village Development Committee building in the afternoon. Most of them held bunches of sisnu wrapped by pieces of paper or plastic to save their hands from sting.
Elderly people, mostly women, watched the teenagers play the game of sisnu. It was, like the game of colors in holi among youngsters, primarily a game between girls and boys– girls trying to attack boys and vice versa. The rule was that you couldn’t hit above the knees. I learned from the elders that the sisnu festival was a tradition in the village. Actually some women were surprised that I didn’t know about it. One of the girls hit me and an elderly woman, showing much sympathy, suggested me to massage my calves with ghee in the evening.
I saw that people in some villages of Rukum and Rolpa celebrated the Maghi festival like the way many in other parts of Nepal celebrate the Holi festival- by smearing their faces in colored powders. (See here how people of Thabang village celebrated.) A day after Maghi, after my return from Thabang, at Khabang Bagar a girl put abir (dye) on my forehead and jamara (barley sprouts) on my ear.
Here are some photos from my bus ride on what people are forced to call a ‘highway’ that connects Rukum with Dang. In between these districts is Salyan. The road isn’t blacktopped which meant a bumpy ride that lasted for about 7 hours. The funniest thing is that I ended up, albeit reluctantly, sharing a hotel room with a man I met in the bus, at the end of the trip, and disagreed on the need of the road networks in Nepal. The bus halted at
Tulsipur, the final destination, where I got off along with the person. It was too late for me to go to Ghorahi (and stay there) to catch a bus from there to Rolpa the next morning. So the man took me to the hotel that he knew as he also stayed nearby and ate there when his wife didn’t stay with him.
>>This post contains 46 photos.
This a sequel to the previous post titled People and Faces from Rukum’s Headquarter Musikot [RIP, Steve Jobs]. In this post I present photos that I took (of kids) during my excursion in Musikot, the headquarter of Rukum. I somehow encounter kids willing to be photographed (and very happily) during my trips. From Helambu (heading back to school and doko girl) to Dadeldhura (garlanded & Dasain tika on their foreheads). Continue reading
It was a bumpy, and at times scary, ride on a Bolero early in the morning but that saved me a day’s walk to arrive in Musikot, the headquarter of Rukum district. As I ordered the food I took out the iPad from my bag and started browsing the Twitter app. A tweet by Kyle G Knight, a Kathmandu-based Fulbright fellow, attracted my attention. The tweet was an extract from a New York Times article with the link at the end: “with Apple’s resources, he could’ve revolutionized industry to manufacture devices more humanely, and chose not to: http://nyti.ms/pY0oeT” Continue reading
From Nishel Dhor to Kakri via Taka Shera
(Click on the photo to enlarge.)
Waking up in Nishel Dhor: When I sleep early, like 8:30 or 9 pm, I wake up before the alarm clock comes to life. This was one of those mornings because that was one of such evenings (when I slept early and, more importantly, fell asleep early). But I remained in bed till 6:15 am, thinking about the day ahead and about those things that are not significant. I enjoy such moments- the self-imposed pressure to wake up and start the journey. To move ahead. And the desire to remain in bed, to get some more sleep. To go (back) into dream as the sun appears on the horizon.
Hunger strikes: I woke up and I paid. The lady was already awake. She was cleaning dishes with warm water. She made a cup of tea for me upon my request. I also asked for a packet of noodle and stuffed that into the side pocket of the backpack. Later in the morning, as I became hungry and thirsty and somewhat afraid of the uneasily quieter and lonely journey that witnessed me crossing one mountain after another in a thick jungle crowded by not a single human but all sorts of noise that, when combined- and that came as combined- produced one big, weird and somewhat frightening sound, I realized the importance of that substandard noodle that some profit-oriented company made especially for such rural areas where price, even by a rupee, matters a lot and the quality comes a distant third. The second, if you are interested to know, is the access to the noodle itself. Continue reading