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.

The Sphere: A Perspective

The circle is a beautiful geometrical figure. No edges. Smooth.

Expand it, give it a volume. One of many things it may become is a sphere.

The planets are sphere, so are the stars that we sing about at nights. Our world is a sphere; a circular figure expanded to include life.

Life is a sphere. We reside inside a sphere. Sometimes its easy to get lost inside of it, other times we’d just walk out of it into the vast vacuum of the universe, filled with matters of all kinds, discovered and undiscovered.

You could be happy inside the sphere. Who says there’s nothing inside of it. From the minute grain of sand to the vast endless blue waters. Your body is a sphere, my body is a sphere. Our boundaries make us a sphere.

If you’d like to stay inside the sphere, like sometimes I do, stay in it. Perhaps, you like the secure feeling of the walls, like I do. If you want to break the walls apart, like I do one piece at a time, cross them over. If you’d be happy, be happy.

It’s all in the eye. While I have come to believe that the eye is one of the most deceiving organs we know that makes us forget about the grey matter inside the cranium, and the beating instrument placed inside the ribs, but aren’t the eyes also a gateway to a person’s soul? Perhaps its deceiving nature has to do with the fact that it should not be easy to break into a person’s soul with so much ease.

It’s all in the eye. The sphere whose shadows I have failed to shade.

I’ve sometimes thought it is in the hands of the artist to be able to draw the fine lines of a person’s face or the shadows of the mighty mountains, breathing life through a perspective, through the wand of a paintbrush or a broken pencil.

Take the sphere I’ve drawn.

I do not know how to draw but I am always awestruck by the magnificence of the ones who portray reality and beyond through sheets of paper, meticulously using their hands. If I were to enter an art class, I’d be that outgrown kid who doesn’t understand shades, but then again who’s not a kid. And finally one fine day, I decided to be that kid, again.

One fine day.

To be a novice, to not know the technicalities, to pester a friend to help you, to stare hungrily at your peers’ work (as if they were a cream doughnut!). To look at an object like never before. I often said, I cannot draw a potato, and turns out I am not wrong. Potato! You’re a challenge.

It’s all in the eye, the magic, the deception or any other adjective you’d like to name it. To be able to see the darker shades, the brighter ones, the shining ones, like a story in progress. To depict reality and how it acts, to fuse imagination. It is all in the eye.

To be somehow able to predict the future by feeling the texture of the paper in front of you, with nothing but sheer practice. That is how I learnt to see an artist, as I tried to be a kid again, through a sphere and its shades.

While some draw its fine shadows, I am lost in the vast perspective of a round object. 


Thanks to Subina Shrestha for helping me draw The Sphere. 

A Starry-eyed Writer,

Alfa