TOPICS: Oops, the capital city
A day's walk, at the age of eight, I got to see the motor for the first
time. My mom's words about the motor fuelled my feet's energy needs,
the distance was simply covered. I
ran with eagerness to see the
exotic wheeled object for the first time. The night in a lodge near the bus
park passed counting minutes and praying for the sun to rise soon. And the wait ended as we took a bus to the capital city, Kathmandu
Now, two decades later, walking kilometers along the side of the road jam-packed with vehicles is normal. One more difference is the sheer
number of vehicles, unimaginable pollution and the never diminishing crowd, which were not to be seen
back in the village. Then, my walk
was to get to see a bus, but now it is just to escape any vehicle. I used to walk, and it remains the same.
While in Grade One in my village, there was no option but study in front of a kerosene fuelled lamp, and singed hair if sleep suddenly overcame me. When such would happen, my mother would sense my need for sleep and take me to bed. The relief factor drove me at times to feign it. In the capital city, during my masters degree exams, candles and books could be strewn all around my room. With no electricity in the village the kerosene lamp provided the light, while in the supposedly sophisticated capital city the candles has to be banked on for light as load shedding is the reality.
The reality strikes at the end of the day, when you enter your room you have empty buckets, empty gas cylinder, sweat smeared clothes strewn around, and the bulbs in silence without electricity.. The capital city has the enviable cap lined with visible waste, pollution, traffic snarls, water scarcity; load shedding, insecurity, disease; overpopulation and much more. It's but dreaming for the sunshine to break the vicious destiny.
Yet, one has to move on with life in the urban setting that makes up what we take as our respected habitat as long as we have the urge to remain here. The reality speaks otherwise but there are compulsions that make us undergo the tortures of the capital city life. It is just being happy as a capital dweller with buckets of problems. Inundated by problems, we nevertheless pretend to be contented and declare ourselves as veteran city dwellers Cheers to thee!