MIDWAY: Journey back in time

Darkness haunts us every night yet we desperately cling to our fast fading optimism. The clock appears to be ticking as if in the 19th century. Not just the darkness, the ethos that we held dear too appears to be eroding fast. If cities are built with concrete, we sure are living in the concrete jungle bereft of humanity.

Probably the concrete around us has inspired within us the cruel base of callousness as well. Not long ago, we took pride in the tradition of treating guests as gods. Now we fear if the midnight guests might not turn out to be murderous monsters. We will find ourselves fortunate if they leave having spared our lives.

Still, our spirit of nationalism is undaunted. Patriotism (even if that means firing gunshots from over someone else’s shoulders) has a pride of place in Nepalis’ hearts.

Yes, we are well versed in nationalism that knows no frontiers. We rejoice over the victory of every person of Nepali origin, be it Prashant Tamang or a Kapil Thapa though inadvertently there are no takers for a Nepali Tara or Miss Nepal. And we staunchly believe in our urge to remain optimistic.

This we expect of the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), too. In these times of crisis, it might as well attract large numbers of visitors with what little we have to offer. We can showcase human lives that share the same habitat with those of cows, bulls, goats and chickens.

Apart from the bucolic pleasures far away from the rough and tumble of cities, we also have the capacity to offer them a glimpse into the lives of the growing number of destitutes. And the ‘sensual’ sensation that starving, semi-clad and spindly men and women can arouse.

Our darkness gives us a unique edge over other foreign tourist destinations. Perhaps, we might just be a couple of centuries behind. But the prospects that have so emerged will definitely illumine the melancholic faces of our countrymen.

As every cloud has a silver lining, so is there a silver lining to the endless hours of power cuts. The power emergency declared recently is a powerful indication of what we have done so far by way of development of the country. Perhaps to despairing Nepalis, all this has shown the light at the end of the tunnel.