In a narrow street of Asan, a European lady suddenly opens her
umbrella. It was not raining, neither was it a street that witnessed the scorching heat of the sun. Someone had shamelessly spitted from a balcony above and she had to resort to ‘umbrella protection’.
Aadikavi Bhanubhakta Acharya
gets hit by a dead rodent thrown
from a balcony while roaming in Bhairab Aryal’s “Alakapuri Kantipuri Nagari”. Two centuries later, the
‘balcony manners’ have failed to see a sea change above the seedy streets of Kantipuri; any kind of bolt from the ‘balcony’ may greet us: sputum, dust, garbage, banana peels, dead mouse, sewage water.
Kathmanduites long for a sunny ‘south-east’ facing balcony in winter. Wake up to the fresh aroma of piping hot coffee, sit at the balcony,
pore over a newspaper and catch
a few rays. Of course, the whole
experience becomes more powerful if someone has a thriving and luxuriant balcony garden!
Curiously, a new trend seems to
be catching on even in countries
like the US and Canada, where more and more people in cities are taking
to poultry farming - on the balconies! The activity seems to be doubly
advantageous: people have fresh,
bio and organic meat and eggs on
one hand; chicken droppings for
balcony gardening, on the other. The roosters, however, may pour cold
water on the goldbricks’ lie-in!
In today’s world, trends tend to spread like wild fire. Kathmanduites had better not get enticed by this balcony bonanza. They had better earmark their balconies for themselves and not for the chickens.
Pigeon droppings have sufficiently stained our monuments, dogs’ feces have dotted our streets and human
excrements have debased every nook and cranny of Kathmandu. Now, if chickens start soiling every balcony, then the whole city will be nothing
but a coop! Now, Bhanubhakta will never be seen roaming in the streets
of Kathmandu. However, the European lady, you and I will most certainly be strolling umpteen times down
the same streets.
Fragrant petals of flowers may
not greet us from blooming balcony gardens in the near future. Let’s hope, human phlegm and chicken droppings will not greet us either.