Et al : Nepal spring in Europe

Yuyutsu RD Sharma

It’s advent of spring in the winter of my life,” says Thekla Eick, a German woman in her late 70s. I met Eick in Bonn after my reading at Nepal Day Meet organised by Deutsch-Nepalische Gesellschaft EV. “Finish your conversation with this young woman,” she said, referring to my wife who stood next to me. “I’ve lot to talk to you.” Later I find out how her visit to Nepal a few years ago has transformed her life to such an extent that these days she talks of Nepal and stories from her previous visits to Kathmandu all the time, uninterruptedly. Even in her sleep. “In my dream last night,” she disclosed.” I stood near Jyantha Tol and moved towards Thamel square. Abruptly clouds came and then a storm raged furiously. I rushed to a Thanka shop nearby and asked the way to my hotel. The next moment it was quiet again, a sunny day in a minute…”

Caroline Fry, another German I meet at the Nepal Day Meet after my reading, seems dismayed at the fact the people haven’t bought all the books that had been placed at the counter for sale. Later as we talk, she tells me how Nepal has come like a morning glory in her life.” I’m a businesswoman. I’m single and run a chain of Department stores in Bavaria. It’s our family business for many generations.” She seems to be in awe of Nepal and the Nepalese and says my readings from the new book ‘The Lake Fewa and a Horse’ conjures a graphic image of mountain life in the Annapurnas. Then she takes out her wallet and brings out a picture of a Nepalese child and shows it to me. “She’s Kali from a Nepalese orphanage that I’m going to adopt.

Do you think it’s a good name, Kali, I know what it means — black.” “A long time ago in some village or on an unknown trail someone had smiled, or in a city or a town someone had taken a stranger in with folded hands or helped these guests we regard as gods in our part of the world,” says Hom Paribag, Nepali poet and editor of London-based Society Today magazine. This sacred bond of friendship that originates out of moving out of enclosed spaces. During the last part of the journey as we leave Heidelberg for London, I cannot erase from my memory an e-mail of Eick, now known to me as Nepali Amma. Leaving Germany without meeting this stranger who had in a day become a Nepali Amma is more difficult than leaving our own homes in Nepal.