Our blogger sneaks out of her suburban home at Lokanthali and narrates her kind of protest
I saw a crowd of people with red flags from our window. I had just posted the last entry and finished reading Prabesh’s “I wonder if you are going to go out at all, and as always, looking forward to reading your experiences.” (This end sounds like the end of a formal letter. Finding it pretty weird to address you that way, but will slowly get used to it I guess).
The writing along with the view was a sure combination for disaster. Adrenaline rush. “We gotta go,” I told my sister. I got on my Andolan jeans? Nope! A different one this time. My sister agreed to come with me. Mom was nagging this time, saying there is no sign of protest now. Why do you have to go? We’re going out to observe, I told her. Don’t worry, you won’t be childless. We both have a long lifeline. I am the palm reader after all.
I grabbed my bag. Stuffed the camera, the HR monitor jacket, a notebook cum pen and the HR id inside, just in case. We had only taken a few steps when my right toe started bleeding. I think I should name it ‘The Andolankari Toe. ’ There was no stopping. We dashed off, crossed the bridge past the Shiva temple and made our way to the Jadibuti area. A group of people could be seen running towards our direction. There was no reason. Just someone scaring the others saying “Aayo, aayo”. Once there, we could observe people on the terrace, red flags floating in the air and a lot of commotion. Political party leaders, I saw none. The party workers must have been there obviously but no one that I knew. Do I know any?
Let’s get some photos of the police, my sister suggested. The one clutching the baton, she pointed out. I think the police overheard our conversation. He tightened his grip. We got a fine picture! A group of people had formed a line just in front of the police LOC (if I can tell that). No not beyond this they were telling the others. There was a huge crowd of people there, 100 to 250 maybe (not huge, I guess). People from one side were telling the ones standing opposite to them: “Hey come on this side,” so they were running as though it were a game of “Hanky Relay”. Really, have fun! Whistles and applaud from the spectators followed. What were we? Spectators, reporters, HR monitors, a blogger?
I don’t know. But whatever we were, one thing is sure we were out to support the cause of democracy, and yes we truly feel “Atti Bhayo…Aba Democracy Chahiyo”. And maybe also to have a first hand experience of the protest, a fine tale to tell my grandchildren!
“It was on the 20th of April, 2006. I along with your grand aunt, walked out like freedom fighters, heads held high, a confident gait. (It’s only a sample. I’m sure I’ll add a lot of masala to it, as I grow older. Chances are my right toe was bleeding will be replaced by my right leg was broken, I was on crutches, I let go of the crutches and ran for my life!! Suddenly, I turned into a Superwoman!)
“Wear the jacket or hang the HR monitor ID around your neck,” my sister suggested.
I declined the suggestion. “Let’s just be two girls supporting democracy, taking photos and nothing more,” I told her. Its not like we will be shot at any time soon.
We walked past the crowd towards the Manohara bridge. A photo of the police there, we need to get one my sister told me. There was no one in between we two girls and the police. What if they shoot us? My sister asked. I was wondering if they would shoot me, if they ever wanted to aim my sister. We are the so-called twins after all! We moved on. We both took turns to take their pictures. As we were moving towards them, they also moved to our direction. I felt as though it were a scene in an action film. They were about 200 or 100 yards from us (I don’t really know the yard assumption). One policeman gestured, “Back Off”. We were done with our work. So we did. They stopped on their tracks and didn’t come any further.
I just received an SMS, which reads: More than 2 lakhs people at Satdobato and 30 round of bullets have been fired. I can’t say I trust the message. The news only informed me about 12 people injured in Kalanki. The police there used copper bullets this time unlike the rubber ones We headed back. An ICRC vehicle arrived from the Bhaktapur side. It was welcomed with a thundering applause.
Another SMS received: Interim govt is going to be formed with Madhav and Poudel as pm and dpm today. That governmentt will organize a round table conference and talk with Maoist and do election of Sambidhan Sabha (Constituent Assembly).
I tuned into the news. There is absolutely nothing about it mentioned. Bhupi was right when he said: Yo hallai halla ko desh ho (This is a country of rumors).
I was informed of KP Bhattarai being the PM sometime ago. I mean what do whosoever sends such SMSes think we are, some toddlers?Who will believe in it? Two protestors were killed in the capital. May their souls rest in peace.
We headed back home when it started to show signs of rain. The huge drops of water had already started to fall on us. It stopped once we reached home. It is cloudy at the moment but no rain.
Ram Krishna Dhakal is singing:
Man paraune hajar bhetinchan, juni katne aeutai huncha
(You’ll meet thousands who proclaim to like you, but only one you to spend your life with).
Any significance? Not in my case. I am waiting for the next news.