By Suvecha Pant
In between two seas in where I am
Not here not there
Just in the middle
I look out of my window on this chilly May and think to myself â??what am I doing here?â??. But then I look back into the room and the books spread around me stop me from buying the next plane ticket out of here (â?¦â?¦.and the fact that I have no money!).
It’s not like I havenâ??t had this feeling before. I have travelled between Australia and Nepal since I was three years old. I have probably been to a dozen schools and made hundreds of friends but this time it has been different.
The five years I spent in Nepal was not all a joy ride. To be honest, the first two years (the year 2000 and 2001), I hated the place. It was a new culture to adjust to, a new place. As soon as I climbed out of the plane at the airport the hot wind blew Kathmandu (well airport) sand all over my face. It was a welcome I did not want. The first few weeks were harshâ?¦..I was in bed with diarrhoeaâ?¦â?¦had cravings for Mcdonalds and Pizza Hut, hot running water and drinking water 24 hours a day.
But then, I joined The Kathmandu Post as a journalist. That was a huge turning point for me. I finally found where I belonged. Zooming up and down on those busy streets of Kathmandu on my motorbike (most of the time on the footpath!), I looked at the Bagmati river, (even though I had to hold my breath as not to take in the fumes) and thought to myself â??what a wonderful worldâ??.
Without caring how the drivers near me would feel I started singing (I guess they didnâ??t hear me or I am sure it would have caused quite an accident). I felt that no matter where I was in the world this would be the only place I would belong. I think most of the Nepalese living abroad must share these sentiments with me. Its funny how you seem to only remember those great times you had. Itâ??s like suddenly you have rose coloured glasses when those memories of Nepal play in your head.
Anyway, after five years in Nepal, my family moved back to Australia. Mcdonalds and Pizza Hut seem small competitors to the food menu I experienced in Nepal. I now have cravings for chuira sadheko, sukuti, batmash sadheko and all kinds of tasty chatpatta food. Itâ??s great that with multiculturalism I can still enjoy making these treats at home (hmmm even more than what I used to eat in Nepal!). I remember watching desh prem movies and feeling like they were a load of crap.
But now, when songs like asarai mainama or bihana uthne bitikai or har rat sapanima aithan huncha play tears well up in my eyes. I find myself taken back into the familiar sounds and smells of Kathmandu. I have these days where I feel certain emptiness in me. Even amongst friends I fell as if I am an outsider. I think itâ??s the feeling of knowing you belong somewhere else. I wonder how it must be for Nepalese who have lived abroad for a great many years. Do they feel the same way?
UWB welcomes ‘Home Thoughts from Abroad’ from our respected Nepali readers residing in bidesh.
7 Responses to “Home Thoughts from Abroad”
May 28th, 2005 at 11:00 pm
…. I think the “sickness” is rather a curse to all fellow third world people. We have to live with it.
May be our ancestors were lazy and non-enterprising lazy louts else we would be not be so emotionally scarred.
May 28th, 2005 at 11:17 pm
“….the books spread around me stop me from buying the next plane ticket out of here…”
This Harke must be a very different creature. When your truely looks at the books, it feels like returning to Nepal immediately. It is always sekuwa (I mean that affordable ragako “fried” sekuwa) and Daru (which is available even in drug stores in Nepal) harke remembers every now and then. Harke always prays to Goddess Saraswoti to take away the books etc….
This Harke also grows nostalgic about TUâ??s â??notesâ?? available in photocopy centers around TU. Who reads these nonsense books? Buy photocopies of classnotes and read before a week of exam. This is how Harke managed good grades during his days in Tribhuvan Univerisity. With King Gyanendraâ??s contribution, TU must have been even better. I feel like returning to Nepal nowâ?¦
May 29th, 2005 at 2:55 pm
hi its true living(in foreign)with feeling of knowing you belong somewhere else. It builds pressure just like there is no freedom. And people get trapped on the bloody system, you are trapped But once you escape there is your own world waiting for you
May 30th, 2005 at 10:05 am
Nice article- I can identify with it. It’s great living in a country where your basic daily necessities are well taken care of. My personal experience has been that despite this, the heart is never really satisfied with these and other luxuries. All those years I spent O/S, nothing compares to the true feeling of satisfaction I am experiencing right now back in my own country. When someone asks me why I came back, my answer is simple- for myself, for my family, for my country