How to get distracted

You know how it goes, you are watching a video in youtube and suddenly you are watching other videos that came up in the related links. Since #backoffIndia is trending, I was browsing Nepali news channels and then I found this old Nepali song ‘Kun mandir ma’ sung by Mr Robin Sharma which is a poem by Nepal’s greatest poet Laxmi P. Devkota. Need I say that it has become my favourite song.

It is such a beautiful poem. I am sure it can be interpreted more intelligently and in much depth but I love whatever little I’ve understood and find it soothing to the soul. Religions are so confusing, remember the Hindi movie PK where a human like alien gets stranded on earth and is befuddled by different religious practices and beliefs and doesn’t know how to go about getting what he wants from God because one religion says one thing and another the exact opposite in their different ideas of pleasing God. When infact human beings pray to the same God and religion is just a cultivated habit, a method we adopt because it is familiar (by means of observations or teachings), and is an easy or comfortable option among the available options to us. An element of nurture! Many people including me have gone through confusion and religious ambiguity. It must be natural when you have so many questions and you believe in God too. But I think a person comes to a decision ultimately and is in peace with it. One’s frame of mind cannot be like a vibrating tuning fork forever, no?

Anyways, in this song we are being urged to look to ourselves rather then going to a temple, with emphasis on hard work, good deeds, humanity, etc. A little translation below

“Which temple will you go to, pilgrim?
Which temple should one go to?
What goods for the prayer?
How will you take them with you?

The beautiful Pillars of bones
The Walls of flesh
The golden Roof of brain
The Doors of sense organs
The liquid waves of vein rivers
The Temple itself untraversable”

See what the poet did there? He gave a little lesson in anatomy as well. Sweet! And Mr Robin Sharma has that wonderful voice. Check out the video!

L.P. Devkota, the nation of Nepal is indebted to him. If he were someone other than a Nepalese, he would have been a Noble laureate surely, I mean without the language constraint! The movie ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ kind of reminds me of him, in terms of luck not being in his favour and he being much ahead of his time. But it is said that he was the kindest man one could find. A story goes that he had nothing and no steady income, still he took off his coat and gave it to a beggar in the street. And many more. Simplicity, patrotism, kindness, humanity, progressivenss, he paved the way for all the Nepalese youths. I personally believe his essay ‘Is Nepal small?’ which was in our school curriculum accounts for the patrotism we Nepalese youths have and believe to be innate. And who can forget the snippet from ‘Muna Madan’ where a high caste person touches the feet of someone not of his stature? Not heard of at that time and until many decades afterwards. A Nepalese is proud of many things, I found one more reason today, we are of the country where these legends were born and they were great humans inspite of everything. And we have their works that graces our lives and gives us that soulful connection.

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Nepal earthquake

You know at times you cannot help but stereotype, attribute certain qualities to people from certain countries. Take myself for example, I associate liberal way of living and thinking with the Americans, feel British are a little on a conservative side, Chinese are hard working and tenacious and Japanese are disciplined and polite to the core. Likewise, Nepalese are proud. Foreigners usually find them honest too but honesty is a quickly diminishing trait in today’s world and is getting rarer by the day.

A Nepali, rich or poor is proud. Of what?? You may ask. Of my country which is blessed with natural beauty, of the mountains, of Mt Everest the highest peak  of the world, of the lakes and rivers, the deep gorges, of Lumbini which is the birthplace of Gautam Buddha, of the rich culture and heritage we have, our customs and traditions, our religious tolerance, how beautifully Buddhism and Hinduism exists in harmony in my nation, of our brave Gurkhas, our friendly and hospitable nature, etc. I’ve yet to meet a Nepali who is not proud of being a Nepali. He may not have many things but he has pride. I think Pride is a great commodity to have when you have nothing much.

Nepal is one of the poorest countries of the world. The first and only international airport was built in 1953 and then the country was officially open to outsiders. Tourism became a main source of income of the country soon after that. The mountaineering enthusiasts, the east Asian Buddhists, the middle class Indians looking for cheap holiday destination, the backpackers seeking life experiences and adventures have been the country’s main tourists. Nepal is not an expensive country by any means. A foreigner friend once told me that her being in Nepal was infact saving her a lot of money. The tourism experience is not anywhere exotic like that of the Bahamas, Switzerland, Thailand or even Maldives, etc. Just a handful of five star hotels exist to cater to the very rich who do visit. It is a far flung nation in the Himalayas where celebrities have visited time and again to experience obscurity. It isn’t a pleasure haven. Rustic life, rustic experiences; these are the things travelling to Nepal provides you. But tourism in any form whatsoever has helped the nation a lot, by creating jobs for all sort of people, the skilled and the unskilled! And most important it has brought the people of my country in direct contact with all sorts of people from all over the world and has changed their lives and perspective on things. I truly believe it has made the people of my county more progressive and open to change more so than those of neighbouring India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, etc.

When on 25th April, an earthquake of 7.9 rector hit Nepal with its epicentre west of Kathmandu, there was a huge damage to the country. Thousands of lives were lost, cultural heritages from centuries ago were turned to rubbles. I am sure much of the dead were among the poor who didn’t have strong enough houses. Natural calamities like these hit the poor the hardest. It is hard enough for them to survive day in and day out. They must have toiled hard to built a small home without qualification and proper employment and no support from the government. And now nothing remains. My friend was right that day when he said “God has failed today!”
The cultural heritages destroyed were many centuries old, built without modern architecture by the local arts men of the city at a time when Nepal was a nation entirely cut off from all and living in times far behind than the rest of the world, when probably things like cement and rods were unheard of. It is understandable that they didn’t withstand the big earthquake but their loss is felt in a huge way, these were part of our history and had wonderful stories behind them. But more than the cultural heritages my thoughts go out to the people who were affected by this earthquake.

This earthquake was the first of its kind that hit Nepal in a long time. I cannot tell you how this has shaken us out of our reverie and impacted our thoughts. Nepal, because of its harsh topography, location and lack of resources is economically crippled and is in a hard position to even support itself. It has survived mainly on foreign aid. The major highways were built by various countries like Russia, India, Japan, China, etc as foreign aid. And today, the major source of income of the country is foreign remittance. What does it say about my country? People are aware that the government is a farce and does nothing worthwhile for its people. But whatever the situation, whatever the status, even when they knew they didn’t have much hope, the majority of Nepalese who were poor were not an unhappy lot. They were generous with whatever they had (foreigners recall being invited to their homes to share their meals whatever it may be) and kind and full of laughter, and  content with what they had. But this earthquake have hit the people hard and ensured that they will have to struggle for years to come.

Foreign aid, rescue team and relief materials were quick and promptly send to Nepal when the magnitude of the disaster was realised. India, China, Israel were first responders with USA, Pakistan, UK, Bangladesh, Netherlands, etc soon following. There has been pledges of millions of  dollars of donations by many countries. We Nepalese cannot be thankful enough for their selfless support. Now it’s upon the government to support its people and do things extraordinarily with the fund utilization. And upon the people of the country itself to rise irrespective of support of any kind.

We were people who were easily pleased and satisfied. We didn’t require much to be happy. We were the kinds that will be at the pits and still be happy. It’s like the Universe is telling us something, like “don’t you dare and be happy when you have nothing, work even harder, find valid reasons to be happy and make your lives worthwhile, aspire for more. I will not let you rest”.

Let’s see what the future holds for my country. But like everyone else I have been woken up, my bubble has burst and I realise we have very little things to be proud of.

A Trip, a decision

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A little bit of an airhead (or maybe much), a very sheltered person who took most things seriously and when not serious, came up with ideas; some stupid, some naughty, some nice to carry out with friends. That was me! I had a group of friends that did most things together. Why am I getting nostalgic? Of those days when we used to laugh and laugh till our stomachs hurt and in between laughs told each other we’d live a long life because of course laughter was the best medicine and laughter increased life expectancy. Those school days when we used to be carefree and used our brains only to solve math problems and memorise stuffs. Those growing up years were years of obliviousness, ignorance, unawareness and so, of happiness!

No, no I am not complaining nor am I saying I was happy then and not happy now. If anything I am quite liking the process of knowing my own mind. This includes realising that though I think independence and freedom are most important to a person, I have been somewhat faint of heart and have always protected myself and been happy being safe and content. Like happiness and intellectual thinking were two mutually exclusive stuffs, I tend to not think about things on an intellectual level when I am happy and am unbothered, dare I say, like animals going on about their lives, grazing or doing what they do, devoid of consciousness and awareness. I hope to change this aspect of my life. Maybe I will go on a trip to an unknown place by myself. Of course, I don’t find it enjoyable to go to interesting places alone. Who do you share your observations or jokes with if you are alone? But if putting myself in unfamiliar and unsure surroundings and situations alone will help me be brave, strong and experienced. I am gonna go for it. So, watch this space.

Now, getting back to the main story, a few months back I decided to be impulsive and spontaneous and go to a temple on top of a mountain in a district neighbouring my hometown. This was before my epiphany so, I asked my little brother (who had much free time on his hands) to accompany me. It became a road trip for us (we took a motorbike, Bajaj Pulsar), a trip where we both didn’t know the way to our destination. We planned to set out in the morning and return by evening/night of the same day. But that didn’t go out as planned and the one day trip became a two day trip. The trip was everything; fun, excruating, regretful, enriching, you name it.

Things that happened on the trip
-I woke up very early, long before the alarm went off on both mornings. Talk about divine calling.

-We started our journey by descending down the hill on the spiral road and reached hewa river in no time. After crossing the hewa river bridge, the spiral road went up the hill. Soon, we were on the back part of the hill, the shady side. We were going through villages, whose names I had only heard of. My brother like many young boys is an avid biker. He loves speed. Since it was early in the morning and the cold wind was whacking us, I took out a warm scarf and wrapped it around his neck and wrapped a Kashmiri shawl around myself. But an extra helmet would have worked better on hindsight because I did get headaches.

We were going up and down the hills on the snake like road. I enjoyed the speed we were travelling at and the scenery of the hills but after a while the same sight of the humongous hills was monotonous. The big hills were vertigo inducing. I must have stayed too many years away from my home town that I, who have grown up among these hills was getting nauseous on seeing them so close.

-On the way, we got glimpse of the Kanchenjunga moutain range (pic above, which has the third highest mountain in the world) though afar and snowclad in its glory. When we reached the Kabeli river, we stopped to rest where my brother ordered tea for himself at a roadside restaurant. Guess there are only so many hours you can ride a bike before your body gets stiff especially your back and buttom.
 

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-We reached Taplejung and went though the town to the airport area. Beyond Sukhetar airport, the road was rough and full of rocks. And it got even worse as we went further. Where the rocky road ended the muddy road began and since it had rained the night before, the road was full of puddles of water which were like little swamps. In many places, the bike was in danger of getting swamped or skidding. Whenever the bike would get swamped, I would get off and my brother would navigate it out of the swamp. He indeed is an excellent biker.

-There are two bases (fedi); lower base and upper base before you reach the mountain top. We had planned to take the bike as far as lower base but the road was so bad we decided to leave it before that point and made our way on foot. Apparently, there were 2 paths, the long one going around the hill, and the shorcut up the hill. We took the shortcut but I found it very difficult to walk uphill. It took me forever to walk even a small distance. My brother unlike me walked fast and would wait for me. He was surprised to see me struggling and was worried because this was just the beginning of the road uphill. There was a small shop on the way so he ordered tea. And as we were waiting, he suddenly said “this will not do” . Because we had planned to return the same day, speed was of utmost importance and he asked me to wait there and he himself went back to get the bike. We were going to take it as far as we could after all.

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And I dozed off in a chair. It took my brother about an hour to get back with the bike. I had enjoyed a really good nap by that time and my headache was gone! Then, we were on our way again. From the lower base we had to make our way on foot.

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-It’s customary to not eat anything when you are going to a temple to pray. What we didn’t keep in mind was how difficult it was going to be to walk uphill for hours without energy. By afternoon we knew we had not even come halfway uphill and we will have to stay overnight! That was when we had the first meal of the day.

-Since winter had barely begun and It was still warm in my home town we decided to travel light. We didn’t heed the advice of my brother who had been to the temple before to take more warm clothes. I thought it was just few hours walk uphill and we could endure it. But yes, after we took a room in a hotel we wasted no time and got under our blankets. I didn’t even want to wake up and go down for dinner.

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-Going to a place in the Himalayas where the God lives was surely not gonna be easy, this is the great Himalayan trail after all. It turned out to be the hardest thing I have ever done in my life but I had my little brother who was my messiah on this journey! It may have been hard but now I have some idea why people go on adventures. It was just a two day trip and I came back with blessings, experience, many stories to tell and memories, the best ones with my little brother.

-A picture is worth a thousand words. Some pictures taken by my brother, I didn’t care about taking pictures. I was just glad that I didn’t die of sheer exhaustion.
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I went somewhere amazing

This year we were planning to go trekking to ABC (Annapurna Base Camp) but most of my friends couldn’t get holidays from their jobs or universities and the plan fell through. The friend who was in charge of organising everything said it was not feasible for just 4 or 5 of us to go as the trip would be expensive for a small group. So, I went somewhere else, somewhere amazing, a temple on top of a big hill in eastern Nepal, close to my home district. A temple of Goddess (Devi) Pathivara which is very well known and revered in these parts. It was what I really needed most.

A little back history. The eastern part of Nepal is the Limbuwan region. Initally, these were Limbu kingdoms before King Prithivi Narayan Shah conquered them and made a unified Nepal. Predominantly, the Limbus which is my tribe, live here. We are one of the ethnic people of Nepal and have our own language, script, scripture, culture and religion. Though we are influenced by Hinduism, we are not entirely hindus. Kirati rituals are different from Hindu rituals; especially the birth, marriage and death rituals. Also, the people of the hills and mountains are in someway nature worshippers, they worship the rivers, mountains, the forest God etc as mothers (mata, mai, devi).

But Pathivara mata(mother) is worshipped by all who know of her; the Hindus, Kiratis and the Buddhists. I personally think if a person believes in all Gods or a God and respects every religion and wants to pray in a monastry, a church, a temple or a mosque, irrespective of his/her religion, he/she should be allowed. It seems anyone can go to a church or a monastery, there are no restrictions but some temples and mosques are stricter on rules. I have seen boards outside some temples in Kathmandu prohibiting foreigners (people of other religions presumably Christians and Muslims) from entering. Similarly, non muslims are not allowed in Mecca and Medina. It must be because people while visiting these places, which are not their holy places see these as tourist attractions first and foremost. I speak from my own experiences ofcourse. When I have gone to churches and monastries, and the first thing I did was say “How beautiful!!!!” Maybe someday we will change.

The temple of Pathivara mata (mother) is in Taplejung, a neighbour district of Panchthar. But for all the years I have lived in Phidim I had not ventured beyond Hewa river. My mom and dad have made the journey to this temple once, albeit separately many years ago. It had taken them many days as the roads were rough then, and the site was not even developed as a temple.

They came back with so many great tales that we listened to with awe. How there were money and gold everywhere in the holy site, that people had offered to the Goddess and they had to step on those to get to the praying place. It is believed that She will grant you your wish if you go to her temple and pray. You know how you are not supposed to lie when you promise. And then there’s ‘Mother promise’ which you believed as a kid, will effect your mom if you broke it. And then there’s ‘Pathivara promise’ which is the most fearsome of all. People rarely if ever use it. That is how powerful the Goddess is believed to be.
If you say you will visit her temple then you must. This is the reason we must never utter our intentions to go. If we say it outloud then we must go anyhow. It’s like a promise we make her. Few years back, my aunty asked me if I wanted to go to the temple with her. When I asked my mom for permission she scolded me for even asking as I was going to return to college in few days and I shouldn’t have harbored such thoughts.

So this time since, we had an extra day before we returned back to Kathmandu, we set out to go the temple. It was an impulsive decison. And I didn’t inform my mom, dad or aunties… Only my brothers (cousins) knew of my plan. You are one lucky sister to have brothers who love you and do everything for you. My brother R’s motorbike had some problems so his friend lent us his. No problem there but they (he and my bro) had some work in Kathmandu and were going to take the same bike all the way to Ktm the day after so we had the bike for a day only. We were to go to the temple and come back in a day.

I was gonna go with my kid brother Abhi. He was with his friends for most part of the day. When he came home I told him “Let’s try to go to the temple and return. Eveything is set. We are leaving at 5 or 6 in the morning.” My kid brother loves riding. And because he loves me too, he was excited. But more because a biking opportunity was presented to him, I think.

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My brother “Abhi”

There are so many tales about mother Pathivara. They say people who have sinned beyond redemption cannot make it to the temple. They fall ill or even die on their way to the temple. My cousin (sister) taught me to say it like “I will go and return back”. Apparently some woman promised to bring her child back to the temple if she was blessed with one.  And when she brought the child to the temple, the child died. You are supposed to say I will bring and take back.

We started our journey without declaring our intention. This was my first time and my brother’s second time going to the temple. He had gone before with his parents when he was a little child. So, basically we didn’t know the way to the temple when we set out. This is how our 90-95 km of bike ride on the spiral road up and down the hills began.

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Beautiful scenery on our way
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We were going to the top of the hill like this one. I thought this was the one my brother pointed out to me. Apparently, I was mistaken. The one we were going to was more pointy and taller which I didn’t photograph. This is near Kabeli river where Mechi ends and Taplejung begins.

Let me tell you about my hometown

So, we reached our hometown Phidim after travelling for close to 24 hours, by bus and then by taxi from Kathmandu, covering 900 km or more in distance. Phidim is in the hills between the plains and the himalayas, in the eastern part of Nepal. It is a small town surrounded by hills on all sides. But it is not a valley. I remember asking my favourite teacher, Sir Kulman why Phidim was not a valley like Pokhara or Kathmandu although it fitted the description of a valley. He told me it was not a flat area but an uneven rolling land surrounded by hills.

We were in town for some official work. So, after we finished that we went to the local river called Hewa. There are not many places one can go in a small town. But the river is a popular picnic spot. It is one of the places student bunk school to come to on hot summer days. We had fresh river fishes in a small riverside shop. Then we tried searching for crabs (we found three), skipped stones, did the regular stuff and had fun!!

IMG_0788.JPGOn our way to the river

IMG_0780-0.JPGFish dish was tasty

IMG_0785-1.JPGFound these crabs

IMG_0747-0.JPGAlso saw a truck that had overturned in someone’s rice field.

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I don’t know if it’s because I’ve grown up in this place that I feel at peace there. Other places are more beautiful and more fun but there’s something heart-warming about my hometown. On the way to my hometown, when the terrain changes from plains to hills and the road become spiral, going up and down the hill and up and down again, like a roller coaster ride, I hate it. But when you are on the last leg of the journey and descending down the hill, you get a view of the town and your heart leaps with so much joy!!!! “Home”…your heart says and this is exactly where you feel the crappy journey was actually worth it.

IMG_0826.JPGExhibit A

IMG_0825.JPGPhidim

IMG_0768.JPGI can see my home

It’s a small place where everyone knows everyone. It’s so small that sometimes I hesitate to call it a town. There is one or two of everything like 2 colleges, 1 hospital, 1 cinema hall, 1 prison and so on. You can go anywhere within the place on foot. So, of course there’s no internal transport service, only in and out of the place. We used to walk everyday to and from school. Nowadays, motorbikes are quite popular. It’s a must have for a young male. Boys with bikes earn big points with girls. And Saturday is bazaar day, a day when there’s a Farmer’s market and people from nearby villages come to sell their produce. There’s nothing for a tourist to see here; the river, thakle temple which is at the top of a hill among huge rocks, a nearby tea estate, tupi salla which is a pine trees filled hill with a tower (another popular picnic spot) are not exactly tourist attractions. Still, there’s something about my hometown that I told my brother it’s a perfect place to live in, if only the health and education facilities were little better.

Do we place more value on independence?

Yesterday, 19th September 2014 was a huge day for the people of United Kingdom. The people of Scotland were given a right to choose if they wanted to become independent or remain united as Great Britain. As soon as I woke up yesterday, I was constantly checking for the referendum results. No, I do not have any kind of relation to Scotland, just an interested citizen of the world here. But yes, my good friend is married to a Scot and my family lives in Wales but that has no bearings to my personal opinion. I was on the ‘yes’ side and was a little disappointed with the result. A country having a very rich culture, language, history and resources flourishing and putting itself on the map of the world not as a part of United Kingdom, but just as Scotland with all it uniqueness would have been wonderful to see.

I don’t know much about the history of Scotland or England or their economic, political and social situations but as a citizen of a small country, Nepal myself, I tend to think mostly with my emotions. Ofcourse, you cannot compare Nepal and Scotland in terms of development and progress, with Nepal being a developing nation only. But the feelings of patrotism is same everywhere. We Nepalese take great pride in our natural and culture heritages, customs and traditions, languages and most of all in our independence. Nepal may be a small and poor country lodged between two giant countries India and China, but it has always remain independent. When Britain was colonizing countries left, right and centre at one time and claiming that “the sun never sets in Britain”. We have fought with great valor, the great anglo-Nepal war, with our khukuris, primitive weapons, stones and even bare hands against the English to remain independent and not come under any foreign rule. The Gurkhas have earned the respect of the world and written their names in gold in history. Ofcourse, when ‘the treaty of Sugauli’ was signed between Nepal and Britain (East-India company) Nepal had to supersede 2/3rd of its territory (to be verified) and become the country it is today and the British have been recruiting the Gurkhas in their army ever since.

Nepal still doesn’t have much to show in terms of progress. Being a land-locked country with China on the north and India on all three sides, it has not been easy for Nepal. It depends on India to meet its supply of almost everything, especially petrol and gas. The political and economic situation of Nepal has been in shambles for a long time now and most people are living under the poverty line. And as the unemployment rate is high, many go to foreign countries to make their livings. But despite of every thing, not having proper electricity, water supply or roadways and other many things, I think people of my country are generally happy, being oblivious of many things. They get to be the way they are in the hills, mountains, springs and rivers, despite of their day to day problems and struggles. If Nepal was a part of India or China, it would have prospered definitely and not have the problems it has today. But Nepal exists in its own rights. It’s what we have fought for and what we shall choose every time.

How independent Scotland would have turned out, we can only guess. The people of Scotland have voted ‘No’ and the decision should be repected by all. To build a nation is a difficult job and as a new task it must be absolutely terrifying and daunting. Maybe people are more rational to stick with the known rather than venture into the unknown. Why rock the boat when it’s all good!!! Maybe the repercussions of going solo would have been greater, maybe it’s old fashioned to be an independent nation. The world has become a global village afterall and anyone can choose to live anywhere in the world today. Obviously, the people of Scotland know better as they are the people living there. Also, there’s a certain dynamic to being united. And maybe the United Kingdom deserves to remain united and not be broken down owing to all its magnanimity.  And whether independent or not, the highlands will always be there with their beautiful castles, breathtaking views and culture and I am sure nothing will diminish that.

Astrology, religion & superstitions

We who live on this side of the world particularly India and Nepal put great importance on astrology. It’s like what eastern medicine is for Chinese.  Something that has an impact on people’s everyday life. The impact may be of varying degree on different individuals but few can deny it’s existence. Even for someone like my family who is supposed to follow kirati religion is influenced by astrology. But in all fairness we haven’t given up on hinduism esp. my generation who knows more about hindu religion which I think we got into in the first place as it was our nation’s religion a long time ago (nepal being a hindu kingdom in those time and all). But by the time our country became secular and my dad was insisting we write our religion as kirati for the census, data collecting process as we are kirati, it was already too late. I remember protesting vehemently, asking him how we were supposed to be  kirati when we knew nothing about kirati and loved celebrating the great hindu festivals. I was very young at that time and he was silenced (there’s a joke somewhere here). Eventually my parents started losing enthusiasm for hindu festivals or maybe it was those times when the baton was passed on to me to do all the preparations for those celebrations on holidays. I cannot tell. It’s all very confusing. It’s like we follow two religions. You know the information on one is very little. But we do what we know and what we can… And we also do a little bit of hindu thing.

With regards to birth, marriage, death… Limbus are not influenced by hinduism at all. I mean at all. The rites are different from Hindu rites. I have compared notes with my actual Hindu friends and there’s very little similarity if at all. But still I think of myself as Hindu also. This is not an uncommon thing in my country I guess. Some of my friends say they are Buddhists but they do both things, Hinduism and Buddhism. This is how my country rolls, one can have more than one religion at a time.

As I was saying, my family follows atleast some Hindu traditions. We celebrate the great hindu festivals… There’s no way out… Even if the elders wanted to give up on it, we the younger ones of the family will not allow it. It’s what we’ve grown on. And besides it’s too much fun.

Back to astrology, when a child is born, the exact date, day & time of his birth is noted and a cheena (kundali in hindi)  is made. It is made by a hindu priest,  some writing on a paper with diagrams. And the chartering of the planets begin, saturn, neptune, mars, the sun, the moon, the zodiac signs and what not. The priests are usually the ones who  decipher the codes and tell about the person’s past and future just by looking at the cheena. He will tell all about the person’s important milestones, when he should get married, whom or what type of person he should get married to, at what age to do certain things like marriage, buying properties, go abroad and all that, even going as far as to suggest what faculties someone should pursue in study or what job one should go for…Is it too much??? Not yet, it’s also imperative that two people’s cheenas should match for their marriage to suceed. Or who knows what disaster may befall and things like that. How do I know all this? Because of my mom. She is a firm believer and does this stuff from time to time. She and my aunties swear how something predicted has come true to the minutest detail which is amazing. I mean the stories… And other times point out how things the priests said didn’t come true. So, I am half and half on this. (yes even being a science student).

Superstitions- Nepalese have lots of superstitions like they believe cats especially black cats crossing your path bring bad luck, breaking a mirror brings seven years of bad luck. Looking into a mirror at night, cutting nails at night or even combing your hair at night are all bad. You are always supposed to flip back an overturned footwear, always or the owner of the footwear will fall. And then the saturdays, you cannot leave your home and set off on a journey on a Saturday or the first of a Nepali month. That’s bad, bad. And many more…