Rock in a River

Do you sometimes feel
like a rock amidst the flowing waters
of a big river?

Each splash of water
you come across tells you a new story.
The river flows on it’s own
as you stand there, immobile
unable to chase the current
as it erodes a part of you.

The river has it’s own mind,
it goes on it’s own
as you become accustomed to its sound.

You can’t roll with it
neither can you run,
for it has a heart of it’s own,
and it meets so many stones.

But you await for the river
long gone to the ocean.
Each splash chips a piece of you,
perhaps it will flow into the ocean
but will you ever be able to find
all your pieces scattered across time?

Do you sometimes feel
like a rock amidst the flowing waters
unable to move,
only there to witness
the change that comes forth?

 

Snow on the Fourteenth

If you’re a 90s kid that grew up in Kathmandu Valley, chances are we share a vivid memory of St. Valentine’s Day.

‘Ah, hai…hami sano huda valentines day ma snow pareko thiyo!’ (Yeah, when we were little, there was snow fall on valentine’s day!).

Each year as February approaches, so does this little memory hidden at the back of our minds. It’s unusual for Kathmandu to witness snowfall. But about a decade earlier, on a cold cloudy day of February the 14th, as it poured hard, bits of snow touched the ground. For many of us, just early teenagers back then, it was the very first time we saw snow, even if it melted just as quickly as it fell.

Everyone who remembers has a different narrative to share. Some of them were in grade 6, some in 9. I don’t particularly remember (just lazy to calculate, more particularly) which grade I was in, but it was that year when we shifted to a class from where we could see the Langoor’s cage as our school was close to the central zoo. Drawing a parallel analogy of the animals in the cage and the students inside the classroom was very common. But on that particular day, apart from the Langoors, someone who was by the window shouted in the middle of an on going class that it was snowing.

S-N-O-W-I-N-G.

The class was halted, even the teacher could not do anything for minutes. Perhaps, snow did the trick. Some moved towards the window to have a glimpse. It was indeed, snow; a light layer that was already melting as it was falling.

The teacher settled us back, but the class was still buzzing. From that day onwards it would be That Valentine’s Day when the snow fell.

We were quick to assume that anyone who dated that day, must be very lucky, after all it was snowing. But little did we know that just like the falling snow that changed from water to a white magical substance, change, in all aspects of our lives had been marked ahead.

It will always be that Valentine’s Day when the snow fell.

I Think of Summer

I think of summer
as autumn moves away
opening the doors to winter.

Strong gust of November winds
blow past my shell
ripping apart my safe house
just at the start of the cold.

Summer has ended,
a season gone
but work still remains to be done.

I’ve been lazy
dancing under the sun,
now I’ll shiver and run
at the sight of the beacon,
nature’s sign of change.

I think of summer,
but summer’s gone.
I think of the next summer.

I will always think of summer.

The Festival of Reminiscence

“What does a rhombus look like?” the teacher asked. 

“A Kite!” the students replied unanimously. 

A rhombus in our heads was always represented by a kite. And a kite, was and will always be about Dashain, one of the most important festivals of Nepal and Hindu devotees around the world.

I have been trying to remember what is it about this festival that I absolutely adored as a kid.

Perhaps it was the month long holiday (which is now only being cut shorter and shorter as we step into adulthood!), or perhaps about the cramped shopping with my mother and aunts. May be it was about meeting my cousins after a long summer at school, flaunting our new dresses and making plans weeks before on what we would do the day we finally meet. May be it was the kite flying tradition at the last moment that we always lost, because some other neighbor always had sharper and stronger thread. Or perhaps it was the amusing game of cards that the adults played as we counted the number of years when we would be able to join along.

We learnt about cards in probability or probability in cards. Whatever it was, it was certainly worth the wait.

A big part of the festival was always about my cousins. Some of us have moved abroad, some of us in the city are studying and busy chasing our respective lives, others- the younger ones, the new generation is growing up and living the times we once lived. Some of us have joined the cards table, borrowing a couple of hundreds from our parents to marvel at the game while it lasts. The younger ones are demanding kite traditions and traditional clothes, moving their tiny heads away from their iPads and tablets.

Lately I have been talking about how Dashain is no longer the same. But may be I’ve forgotten that it was not supposed to stay the same. Or perhaps it has remained the same and I have changed, as I was supposed to.

As I returned back home a single kite flew past the crescent moon. The air does not feel like it used to, and the skies are not that colorful anymore. 

As I watch from the observer’s seat, the child like excitement may have faded away, but a new set of perspectives are on the rise. For each year, it means a different thing. For each set of transitionary period, it represents a new angle of life. The memories that were still remain. And they are not essentially just about the time that was, but also for the time that is and that will be.

As Corrie Ten Boom would say:

Memories are the key not to the past, but to the future.

It was simple. And it still is.

Behold the time has come and gone in a flash, what have you seen? What you have seen is all that counts.

Wishing everyone celebrating a prosperous, lively and meaningful Vijaya Dashami. May this festival bring you closer to what you’ve been looking for.

Best Wishes,

Alfa