MIDWAY : The best of times

Unexpected guests are good for me. The cell phone rings, the classmates whom I haven’t seen for ages would be arriving in a few hours. Then I suddenly realise to my horror that I haven’t changed the bed sheets, pillow covers or arranged my room that was in shambles. All those dirty dishes have been in the sink, laundry has piled up and I have been wearing the same socks for days now.

I wouldn’t call myself a particularly lazy person. I work moderately hard, I keep my apartment reasonably unsoiled, but I feel that when I settle down for an evening in front of the television, I deserve to put my feet up. And yet there are so many things that I don’t seem to find the vigour to do. Take for instance, culture. When I came to live in Kathmandu three years ago, I was thrilled. ‘This is it’, I said to myself. I’m a bus ride away from the art galleries, museums, cinema halls and libraries. The supermarket is a few blocks away. However, things seem to have changed. I haven’t been to the theatre for months and rarely leave my apartment.

It’s the same with fashion. When I walk along the street these days with teenagers sporting jazzy haircuts and hip-hop outfits, I feel like time has imperceptibly zoomed past me. I have been wearing the same old-fashioned denims that were in vogue during the nineties. Those were the days when I used to follow the chartbusters and rush out to get the records before any of my friends did. I still own a collection of those scratchy records and I can’t remember the last time I bought a new one.

That however doesn’t mean that I don’t want to be in the vogue or follow current trends; it’s just that keeping up with the changing times has become too much like chewing iron pills. So, whenever I begin to feel uncomfortably old-fashioned, I just remind myself that even a

stopped clock is right twice a day and the best of times will be back.

When those friends rang unexpectedly the other day, I was doing one of those personality quizzes in the Vogue magazine. It was called ‘how lazy are you’ and had questions like “How long ago did you last keep in touch with your high school buddies? How long have you had your newest pair of sneakers? …” Fortunately, I was too busy to end it.