February 22nd, 2009 10:46 EST
A Trip to Lamjung in Nepal That Did Not Kill Me
Sunset in the sauryabas pass (bhanjyang); the reflection of sunlight on Machapuchhre, Annapurna, Lamjung and Ganesh Himalayans; the rivers, like Midim and Pisti; the prayers in the temple; and the busy market in the limelight have all been like a far-off place for me.
This time I had focused my trip on social welfare and the Lamjung visit. My friend on this trip was my brother Pradeep. After a night`s stay in our village, Bhorletar, we started our trip. We went to the source of the irrigation canal, which was inaugurated by His Majesty Late King Birendra and Late Queen Aishwarya in 2042 BCE. The riverside hospital, the school and development of Syauli Bazaar were the subjects of our interest. The citizens of the far-off country Germany were also affected by these undeveloped and lonely places.
The main source of development of Bhorletar is the canal inaugurated by the late King and the Queen. His majesty`s inauguration had been the main scheme of the regional plan. After reaching this place, the speech of King Birendra struck in my mind. After the inauguration there was a question, how would the vegetables would be cultivated; as they were in Terai?
The landslide of Dadua might be the largest landslide of the district, which erupts from top to bottom. As the people with AIDS loose every hope, the landslide left even less hope for their lives. I felt as if the landslide was crying for help. I felt so helpless at that time. Neither could we give words like the political leaders, nor could we do anything else. All we had was the desire to hear the voices of the villagers. So we moved ahead from the base of Nalma, where there were equal numbers of houses, schools and shops. We were not very familiar to the hills. Walking up and down in the hills and looking at the scenery, we found that Nalma fascinated us. Resting on the platforms at certain intervals, we felt relaxed. The cemetery of the Gurungs frightened us, and we kept moving ahead. We were not used to such things, so we were very scared to see the cemetery. As we walked through it, we remembered the ghost stories; the terrifying things that reminded us of ghosts and dead people. We were in a condition to shout if we heard any sounds on our way. However, fortunately, it did not happen. We passed the cemetery without facing any unwanted situations, unnecessarily cursing the Gurung for making cemetery there.
The big yards of Nalma were limited with millet, pulses and beans. If there were good irrigation, then fruits and rice would also have grown. The beans of Nalma are exchanged with the rice of Bhorletar from the very past.
We were expecting to recognize the students and football players, who had gone to Bhorletar, but we could not recognize anyone, all of the faces were new to us. There were platforms in different places where people and birds would rest and chat. To the north was the mountain that seemed like it was resting on the hills; and to the south was Bhorletar valley. Now we could see the mountain clearly, but it was far away. The people of that place had a very neat and clean lifestyle: they were eager to make the place suitable for tourism. The people of Gurung community were healthy and energetic.
We enjoyed this place further as we walked ahead, but we could see the cemetery of the Gurung community protected with an umbrella. The Gurung had a profound culture; we were puzzled. If those who were dead were given such respect, then how much respect would they give to those who were living? We thought.
Our minds were filled with different thoughts. We kept moving ahead with our hearts filled with joy, seeing Rhododendrons (he National Flower of Nepal), which had grown everywhere. Nothing was impossible; the people of Bakhre Jagat had made a plan to build an airport over there. They were full of enthusiasm, excitement and courage, but a technical problem had stopped their further plans. The higher we went, the steeper it was.
Once upon a time, this place was famous for housing and foods. While going from Bhorletar to Beshisahar, Bakhre Jagat was a transit. We had to go a long way to Beshisahar. The concerned authorities, as well as the local community had not take any interest about joining these two big cities.
Nepal is famous for its hills, plains, mountains, crossing points and valleys. We had to go down through the hills. We sat for a while; we were already tired but we did not have much time for the relaxation. The sun had already touched the hills, and we had to hurry to our destination. Small trees, the castles, the melodious sounds of the flute, small habitat and the friendly behavior of the villagers had added the fragrance to our trip down the hills.
On the small ancient platforms, the children were playing beside the cemetery; they had no fear of it. The words of Osho; the cemetery should be a habitat and the children should know about death ", came to our mind.
In the evening, we moved ahead towards Khudi from Beshisahar. We had decided to rest at our sister`s place that night.
Is there a dog in Medini sir`s house? " We asked a woman in Simpani, who was retrieving water from a lake.
Where did you come from? There is a dog in the upper house but not in that one ", she replied.
Have you come from her mother`s place? " She asked us; she guessed we were relatives of the sister.
After reaching our sister`s house, we found out that she had gone to Kathmandu to our house; but it was too late and hence, we had to stay there. After dinner, Ashok, our cousin and a leader entertained us with his stories. Then, we fell asleep.
Our brother in-law, a poet had his books spread out everywhere. Some of his poems have been published, and some of them were ready for publication. We listened to some of his poems from Ashok. He had some medals and felicitation prizes nailed on the walls of his room.
We also came to know about the environment and situation of that place. Khudi village was naturally a very beautiful place. To the north were mountains, the Khudi Bazar was on the base near Marsayangdi River, and on the other side of the river was a beautiful forest. The place was so inviting that a person would enjoy writing poetry, while viewing the natural scenery.
Since it was on the way to Manang, Bahundanda had some development projects. We left Khudi after our morning meal. On our way to Beshisahar, we saw Marsyandi River, which divided Lamjung to the east and the west. We walked ahead through a motor road, talking with the potters passing by and finally reached Beshisahar.
After reaching Beshisahar (Headquarters of Lamjung District), we explained our work to Purnachandra uncle. His expertise helped the governmental work to finish quickly. The old Lamjung place of Shah Dynasty; Manang, Marsyangdi River, the mountains and green hills had been a main attraction to many people.
We left Beshisahar, taking a bus to Bhoteodar. The bus moved through the Shore of Marsyandi River. The river was large but had caused no harm; instead, it had facilitated the villagers. The Midim River had been a disaster in Bhorletar since it was flowing in cultivable land, but Marsyangdi River had been a necessity there. In Bhoteodor, we observed great religious tolerance. We spent our night at Basana sister`s place. Since we were very tired, we slept after eating dinner. Early in the morning, we left Bhoteodor.
We soon reached Sundarbazar on a short bus ride. Sundarbazar had been a bit more developed because there were many governmental and private offices. The agricultural campus had been the heart of that place. A bus came there to leave for Kathmandu, but ignoring the call, we moved ahead. That modern place had their own religion, as well as the occurrence of development in an ancient way, though being a modern habitat. The plain land had turned barren due to lack of irrigation. We remembered our great grandfather`s words; The financial development of Lamjung is impossible until there is an irrigation facility for every plain land ".
The place had a park, playgrounds, a museum, a library and other development projects underway. Our trip was moving ahead beside the Paundi River through a motor way. Since there were no hills but just red soil, the construction of roads was easy. The sun was bright and it was difficult to walk, so we sat on a stone. The village had facilitated electricity. Since Bhorletar had no electricity, we cursed the lazy people, political leaders and unaware civilians. With all of this type of conversation, our trip had been moving ahead.
The people carrying tin plates to Duradanda helped us to make our trip easier. We knew a lot about the environment of that place. Though the Karunche River was small, the damage caused by the river during rainy season was hoarse and could be seen clearly that time. The names of the places were given after the casts, like Khatre Thanti, Koirala Fahat, etc.
Our trip to Duradanda was cancelled after we found out about the 2-3 hour walk it would take to reach that place. We had planned to spend a night at Bhorletar and return to Kathmandu the next morning, but this was in vain. We felt that our trip was incomplete when we were not able to go to Duradanda, which taught us the respect of work and the value of time.
The ancient habitat was not exactly as we thought, but was of a historical importance. We took down the names of some of the relatives of our grandfather, but all of them were living in a different place. On the Shore of Paundi River, small shops and houses were famous in Koirala Fahant. After leaving Koirala Fahat, we went to our sister`s house in Dhuseni, where we could see large pieces of land, though there were hills. The place had a good production of paddy in the rainy season.
We finally reached our sister`s house after some hours walk. We had a fear of the dog there also, but it was chained. Our sister had forced us to spend the night there, but we had a compulsion to leave. We had not been able to be at our sister`s place in Duradanda, but thinking of the fun we would have if we had visited her, we went towards our destination of Bhorletar. We went through Kunchha, where the court was held earlier; then we reached Thansing, from which our destiny, Bhorletar was seen clearly.
We went through lots of different things we had never experienced like cemeteries, dogs and steep lands. The river had fallen into the low lands, as was ordered by the law of nature, and took the form of a lake, flowing through the plains. These experiences forced us to think that we have to cope with the environment. Leaving the narrow passage, which gave us the first sight of light to Bhorletar, we moved ahead towards our destiny.
My Lamjung is not poor. The people`s goals and thoughts are poor. There was leadership, determination and love for work. If we are disciplined, hard working, and honest, and do not interrupt in others work, then we will change. Then change will take place very soon within us. The goal of each plan should be to help the citizens. The culture should be developed in such a way that it will respect the law of the country. Which village of Lamjung is not suitable for tourism? Which village does not have natural beauty? All the villages are rich in agriculture, forest, herbs, water resources, hills, etc. One thing that always came into my mind throughout the trip was, if we could use these natural resources, then we could make Lamjung very rich. I felt that development would take place there because development is a change in people`s thinking and the respect for time, which I saw occurring there clearly. Finally, our trip to Lamjung ended with these types of feelings in our minds.