08. 09. 16
The airport today seems like a comparatively bigger bus stand. ‘bhai Singapore jaben, Singapore? You wanna go to Singapore, Bro?’ Saw one pretty guy. Only one.
Forty-five minutes. Then the landing. The airport took the noon, the hotel took the afternoon. The evening gave Boudhanath.
And there she was. The Lady in Red. The Lady who looked like she was searching for something. Or someone? Or was she searching at all? Everyone was turning round in circles. I turned the circle wrong.
The night gave MoMos. MoMos that I missed, MoMos that I craved. MoMos that I still loved equally as much, if not more. MoMos that after having them made me realize that perhaps in my memory I had enhanced their taste manifold. The past was easier. In the present.
In midst of the blinking lights, the chicken MoMos, the Sangria, and the “She Will Be Loved” coming afloat from a faraway bar I thought that these thoughts might just get lost. And I thought that I might never be happy with anyone, anywhere.
Midnight made me sink into sleep. [And think that I want to get drunk with you.] The bed was too soft.
On the road. From Kathmandu to Pokhara.
It rained. And I saw the most beautiful purple-orange hue I ever saw.
Then came food, rain and music. And a dancer whose sad and distant look reminded me of Gong Li, in some WKW movie.
A late night friend kept me company. Or I him. Not that he asked for it. I did.
Pokhara. The attempt, the desire – to see the sun rise, on the mountains. The clouds, the fog, the drizzle. A peek. It was beautiful. It was mountains. Mountains are not my thing. I cannot climb them.
On the road. From Pokhara to Kathmandu. For what seemed like forever. The Lady in Red crossed my mind. And the shawls that lured humans to just feel them.
Nagarkot, Bhaktapur. The old. Anew.
Kathmandu again. Wondering about human connections. Who do I feel connected with? Do I?
Patan Durbar Square. Museum. The old again. Anew.
Boudhanath again. Devotion, prayer. Going round. Because that’s what you do when you’re devoted. That’s what you do when you pray. You go round. And round. Again. You repeat.
Kathmandu. The last day. The end. Are ends ever ends?
End of the travel. Or the tour? Are you a traveller or a tourist? The line between differences and similarities is very thin.
‘Do you still get cranky and sad after leaving a place?’
Went to a rock bar and didn’t dance. Saw a cute guy and didn’t flirt. [And thought that I still want to get drunk with you.] He left after a while, though, I think. Didn’t see him anymore, couldn’t find him.
The band started playing. She will be loved. Again.
Airport. Delayed flight. Sat reading Middlesex for what seemed like forever. The end for real. The end for real? Someone said forever can be one second.
About the Author
Anika Shah is a bilingual writer and translator from Dhaka, Bangladesh. She has recently finished doing her masters in Literatures in English and Cultural Studies from Jahangirnagar University and is currently an Adjunct Faculty at the Department of English and Modern Languages in Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB). She writes and translates both fiction and non-fiction, and takes an interest in literature, music, film, art, and bits and pieces of popular culture.
She is the translator of a collection of short stories from R. K. Narayan’s Malgudi Days, and the co-author of A Tiny Book of 18 Word Stories on Revenge. She also co-edits Prachya Review, a cross-cultural literary webzine.
She can be read at anikashaharchived.wordpress.com and reached at email@example.com