Frogs in Kathmandu are generally almost green, likewise they have days tinged with “greeness” too. Friends going in and out of valley, and country with their stories, are fascinating and despite greenness I enjoy being ‘the frog” hearing them make plans, seeing them off at airport/ calling them to say “safe journey”, receiving their emails from the places they have been to, and when they return, being there at the airport/receiving their calls, listening to their adventures, seeing their photos, and I’m fine receiving gifts as well – memento of times in places I’ve not been but of which I am a part, in a different way. There is an entire dimension to being on the other side of the “traveler”.
Dashain is especially one of those seasons flooded with greenness. Weather is mild and perfect with holidays. Right now is just the time for both international and national tourism in my friends circle.
A friend has returned from a fantastic vacation in Rome, Italy. Eagerly I sit down to listen to the adventures – the walks, the places, and everything to the minutest of detail and am ruddy as my gift lands in my hand. 😉 Ok, maybe excitment or choice, he so happened to click lots of photos but with only one of him in it.
Another friend is back from a visit to a place that is 45 minute away from Columbo, Sri Lanka. She spent 2 days there, and half a day transit in India, but has more photos of India than former. She particularly liked the beach(below) and politeness seems to be her favorite things about Sri Lanka (though it was just a short visit).
She had a tone-change shock when she reached India. People in India had a different tone and not as polite and sweet as that in Sri Lanka! But tone wasn’t the difference she found between the two countries. Road rage too. While Sri Lanka had such traffic that a snail could over take cars, Indian road speed made her think of KTM driver’s as safer. Well, India did give her the adrenaline rush. A tempo driver has a huge role here. He was a well built guy, like the villains you see in movies and was smoking as he drove. When requested not to do so, he did throw it away but was in such fervor that after that he sped like anything, overtaking car, truck, bus – anything on the road, with of course occasionally nearly hitting cars. When they reached hotel, his final stunt was to halt the tempo with a final screech, as if to prevent from almost banging into a car.
Anyways, back to Sri Lanka. As always, an almost Partee Crasher, she and her team intruded in a stranger’s wedding, managed to click photos with the bride and groom (above), band baja barat (below) and who not! Quite an official tour eh, that too from a person who PROUDLY claimed to be a professional when hotel personnel (observing her jeans and T-shirt) had asked her if she were a student.
Apart from the tempo incident, while in her half day transit in India, she and her team were in a dilemma to choose between Chor bazaar and a mall, and they chose the latter. It was too mahango re. No wonder, she didn’t buy anything, and has loads of photos of the mall instead.
Aba, the climax is the story of she flying back home, seated in a three-seat row, with a couple next to her for 3 and half hours. That’s not it. The couple so happen to be the extra super-glued ones, hopelessly in love; shamelessly, noisily making out every five minutes. Ahem! What would one do? She put her head phones, watched a movie and forcefully managed to make herself fall asleep.
Aba national tour ko baare:
Last Wednesday: I sit down in a café listen to my friend tell stories of how she trekked in Mutang last year. The water fall, the caves, the terrain, the wind, the sand, the bus and the insecurity of finding any place at night – for a minute the images dance in front of my eyes, it almost feels like I’m there, and I smile.
Another friend sits by her side, listens to her intently and looks at the map carefully. She and other friends of mine are going to the same place this Dashain for trekking. Another friend from the same team says, the place will change much rapidly than we imagine – “Road is already there, it won’t be the same anymore soon.”
I open my facebook this afternoon and I see newsfeed filled with photos my facebook friends who are at, or were recently at. I see photos of a group of friends who recently went on a hike around KTM, and there’s another’s status updating where he has reached. Apparently, he’s trekking now.
But frogs too have their wish-list. This one’s starts with Rara lake (pic below), Mugu, Nepal.