An ode to Kathmandu

Published On: July 13, 2019 12:25 AM NPT By: Usha Kiran Regmi

Usha Kiran Regmi

Usha Kiran Regmi

The contributor for Republica.

People come to Kathmandu to get further education and you’ve changed them into philosophers. You have revived many dying souls, taught them to live on their own

Dear Kathmandu, people’s perceptions toward you have been gradually changing with the changes in the political system of Nepal. The capital of Nepal only is not enough to describe your greatness. People attempt to define your existence according to their experience on your lap. The loud voices of happiness and anguish, content and discontent, respect and hatred, inspiration and frustration these days are not uncommon in Kathmandu. And, yes, you’re being both blessed and cursed for everything. 

The day I was introduced to you for the first time, both of us were so naive, so innocent, and so pure. You have taught me what civilization, modernization, humanity is, what rights and responsibility are.  I have spent my joyful childhood jumping and bumping on your lap, hearing the holy bells of Pashupatinath temple, roaming around Bouddha Stupa, and refreshing myself having beautiful views from Swayambhunath. I neither can forget, nor can explain how beautiful my life was in Kathmandu. Remembering those days makes me emotional. 

A decade long (2006-2016) long companionship with you has turned me a human with better understanding. Thank you for patiently accepting those innocent yet impatient ten years. 

You accommodate all 
I wonder how you balance all these sentiments inside you. Subtle and strong, terrific yet tolerant. I wonder how you have been managing the shelter for everyone. Your kindness to provide equal space to every religion, your generosity to provide opportunities for every creative and needy being, your greatness to provide life to life-threatened people is inexplicable. You have everything that people want in their life. For a homeless child, you’re a happy home, for an orphan, you’re a loving and caring mother, for a hungry man, you’re full plate meals, for an ill-health, you are a panacea, for an enthusiastic scholar, you’re a university, and for a dreamer, you’re a personal legend. Witnessing you for a decade has provided me a good volume of comprehension. I have observed drastic changes in the lives of asylum seekers, who have successfully safe-landed their wistful days in Kathmandu. I have seen a beggar from a remote village who has turned into a millionaire on your lap an insane who has restored sanity with your blessings, a physically-challenged man who has lived an exemplary life on your mercy, a cowboy who has become a president, a coward who has built up a confidence to rule the world with your counseling. Dear Kathmandu, words are never enough to sing your greatness.

I have observed people coming to Kathmandu to wash away all the sins they had deliberately committed in their lifetime and you’ve refilled them with humanity. I have witnessed people coming to Kathmandu to cure their cancer and you’ve rejuvenated their health in return. People come to Kathmandu to get further education and you’ve changed them into philosophers. Dear Kathmandu, on top of these, you have revived many dying souls, taught them to live on their own. You’ve energized the extinguished souls and taken care of sheer skeleton and turned them out into a lively bone. Not only that, a malnutritioned Ram from a remote village has become a nutrition professional in Kathmandu. An education deprived, suppressed and exploited Chameli from Sindhupalchok has become a social justice activist in Kathmandu. A restricted and exiled Shyam from Jhapa has enjoyed the freedom in Kathmandu. An impoverished Gopal from Chitwan has been established as a renowned businessman in Kathmandu. This means you’re something for everyone. 

Dear Kathmandu, time has changed, and things have become different. No matter how much encroached you’ve been, you’ve kept your calm as usual. I can see that people are fighting with one another to wither you out. Your kindness to bring up millions of youthful people has been devalued. Your patience to absorb all the suffocations has been disrespected.  Your way of being helpful and useful has been misunderstood. Seeing all these insensitivity of your people hurts me deep inside. People are keen to destroy you in the name of development. People are making fraction of you and struggling to possess you more. Your wholeness, your eternity is breaking into pieces. Seeing this, my heart aches. Dear Kathmandu, the sacred Bagmati River has lost its originality and looks like a drainage. The holy bells of Pashupatinath are over echoed by vehicle’s horns. Noisy machines and the human crowd have overtaken the amity and serenity of Bouddhanath and Swaymbhunath.

They hurt you 
Dear Kathmandu, looking at you back after a decade has worried me. You have brought up artists who are there to entertain the big mass, you’ve facilitated scholars to educate all global citizens, doctors to cure people’s illness, politicians to make a prosperous Nepal, engineers to mend rifts inside out, and social workers to spread the work of humanity. But, who understood you? Who has shown little responsibility to take care of you? Who has realized your endeavors to make them what they are today? Is there anyone who’s felt as if he is indebted to you for your kindness, greatness? Instead of being respected, you’re being cursed from dawn to dusk. Instead of worshipping you, people are spitting on you. Dear Kathmandu, it hurts a lot to see a son targeting a knife towards a father, and a son stepping over the chest of a mother. It upsets me to see those learned, schooled, professional, and kindly brought up people being indifferent to you. People have forgotten how patiently you tolerated them when they jumped and bumped spreading a dusty air everywhere. They have forgotten the warmth you spread when they were suffering the bareness. They have forgotten the days you coaxed and revived them when they were dying with frustration and unemployment. 

However, Dear Kathmandu, I wish you to be the same welcoming, loyal, kind, generous, understanding to everyone. I believe you will forgive those entire venal, violent, impatient, and heartless human for you are above all. I wish you to be the one-man army to protect all kinds from every possible shortcoming. I wish to see you the same lotus blossoming on the mud. I wish to hear the same sacred bells around Pashupatinath temple and meditate on the serenity of the Shivapuri. I wish you to be the same caring mother, a happy home, a full plate meal, and a contented one-night bed for everyone in need. Dear Kathmandu, I am grateful to you for everything you have poured on me. You are above all.


The author has MA in Global  Journalism from NLA Universiy College, Norway

Leave A Comment