Dreaming of Shangri-la

At last I’d found some peace and solace. No hustle or bustle, no rush, no anxiety and away from all tensions and anxieties.

The snow-clad mountains were reflected in the serene lake, the chirping of birds and the cold breeze, the azure sky, the beautiful flowers and the butterflies dancing around, the leaves of trees danced in the breeze and so did my heart.

I thought: “If there is a heaven, this is it!”

A little further I saw the city — a perfect

blend of tradition and modernisation.

The people on the way waved at me with smiles, and I waved back. The city and its people looked very familiar. I realised it was our very own Kathmandu but sans pollution, crowds of both people and vehicles, and heaps of stinking garbage.

The city looked magnificent with lesser number of concrete buildings and the old traditional buildings standing in their splendour. I had never before seen Kathmandu so beautiful.

I looked around the streets — I saw people busy in their work, yet they did not look like they had missed out on their lives. Happiness radiated from people’s face. I saw no lust, no greed. I saw no street children and no poor people displaying their pathetic conditions to earn few coins. So happy and satisfied were the people.

I heard no news of abduction, deaths, killings, fightings — there was no terror in the environment. The denizens had no complaints, no anger. The city had preserved its traditions and values and was dignified.

The Bagmati river was flowing so crystal clear that I knew I was in Paradise. I closed my eyes and took a long breath of fresh air, when suddenly an irritating sound distracted me.

I opened my eyes to find myself lying in my bed with my alarm clock ringing its head off. I had merely been dreaming of a beautiful and peaceful Kathmandu. When I was on the streets of Kathmandu later that day, I realised that we still have a long way to go to become the paradise I’d dreamt of. — Pritishma Lakhe, St Xaviers