Today is the second day (officially) of Summer 09. Sitting here in my College Station home where the outside temperature is 89 F (it is 10 in the morning), I thought about my friends and relatives back in Nepal, and contemplated about the magic and lure of my hometown Kathmandu, and how it has been gradually heading toward destruction instead of development.
Recently, I spent 32 days in Nepal, mostly in Kathmandu but also a few days in Chitwan. I managed to do a few "first ever" during this trip: visiting Changu Narayan Temple, a World Heritage Site; taking the Mountain Flight (courtesy of Buddha Air and my relatives who work there); and a day trip visiting several famous temples (starting with the magnificent Vajra Yogini, on the foothills of Manichoor Danda (Hill), Changu Narayan, the oldest temple built in Kathmandu Valley (Bhaktapur), Surya Binayak, Vajra Barahi (Lalitpur), Dakshin Kali, and ending at Chovar Ganesh.
The sight of Bagmati flowing through the Chovar Gorge made me really depressed about my Kathmandu Valley. The river was inkjet black, the rush of the river (elsewhere it moves with a deathly slowness), and its collision with the boulders and rocks on the river bed and around it created white fumes (toxics). The smell of the water was horrible to the extent that I could not muster the courage to walk down the beautifully laid out stone steps outside the temple to visit the holy river and take in the scenery around it. Yes, the scenery around the temple was magnificent, but it was ruined by decades of negligence (or ambivalence), greed, struggle, and corruption of the Nepalese society.
What is the prelude to the current malaise? The blog will continue...as I travel back down the memory lane.