Saturday, June 27, 2009

The rivers still run through it!

Ok, let's go back to the river! The two rivers and their tributaries still flow through the Kathmandu Valley, but the flow is a deathly slow, the sights ghastly, and the sound silent. The birds that used to chirp on the branches of the trees that lined the riverbanks are long gone, replaced by the sounds of plastic shopping bags shuffling in the wind. Stray dogs try to snatch whatever they can find in the garbage that now has replaced the fine sand, which as a young boy I used to collect every year a few days before the arrival of Ghatasthapana (sometime in October), the first day of the ten-day worship of goddess Maha Durga. On this occasion, it had been my job (my grandfather had assigned it to me) every year to visit the Bishnumati river to hand-dig the finest sand I could find along the riverbanks, and bring home a bag full of sand. My grandfather would then make two rectangular rows (approx. 1x3 ft each) of sand inside the worship room specially made for this occasion, and sprinkle holy water and barley seeds. On the tenth day, the barley seeds would grow to about 6-7 inches tall, light green in color. The entire family would receive red tika (aacheta) and jamara from my grandfather, as part of the Dashain Tika celebrations.

More to come...


  1. Great blog, Sanjay! Definitely want to see more pictures. Ulli

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