A glimpse of how incessant curfew has made everyday life miserable.
By Deepak Adhikari
I was reading today’s The Kathmandu Post when my brother informed about the 9am to 8 pm curfew today. It was 8:45 am and there was no way I could be office within fifteen minutes. I could have driven my Hero Honda Splendor but there’s no fuel. So, at 10 am I took a meager meal. Meager because I was served only curry and rice without daal. I was also informed that we were running out of gas.
I dressed hurriedly and at 10:10 am took a walk to my office at Tinkune. I didn’t know how I will make it to the office, but somehow the zeal was there. I went to Anamnagar chowk. The security forces were non-existent. The road was empty; a girl was romping in the road with a kid, the latter’s mother was yelling them to go home. I took the road to Baneshor height. In the inner parts of city, life seemed normal; shops were open, people gathered and chatted about the latest political happentances.
In Dhungedhara, ladies were queing to collect water. It seemed as though curfew was only in the main streets. I was a bit worried that there might be security forces at Ratna Rajya School, Baneshor. But, to my disbelief, there weren’t any and I quickly strolled to Khariko Bot. It took a while for me to find my way. Finally, I made it to the Shantinagar Gate. Few residents of that area gathered and tried to defy curfew, more in jest and less in protest. They could not make it to the main road, as there was heavy security. I decided to give a try. I hung my card and walked swiftly so that the police will not think I am just another protester. A police jawan allowed me to go ahead. But, a furious Sub Inspector, who seemed the in-charge, demanded curfew pass. I said my office was just few blocks away and I had walked all the way from Ghattekulo. But, he wouldn’t listen to my plea. He told me to take another route. Meanwhile, few residents shouted at police. This was enough to make the Sub Inspector pissed off. He threatened to shoot them while I was walking beside him. The bystanders ran away.
Then, I took a short cut way to Bagmati River. But as I approached the bridge, another bunch of policemen were guarding it. Now, I gazed at my office building and pondered over possible ways to cross the river. But, there wasn’t any bridge nearby. My travail started now. I asked a woman where I could find the bridge. She pointed towards Sinamangal. Passing the slums, smell emanating from dingy Bagmati, I crossed a bridge made by iron. Then, I went straight to the bridge on the main road. There again, a policeman standing outside the Tinkune Police Beat caught me. “Hey, where are you going?” He demanded. “Hmm, just roaming around,” I retorted. He told me to go towards Koteshor. There was no option. So, I agreed to him. After circulating my office (otherwise, I could have reached there within 5 minutes) for 15 minutes, I finally landed there. When I reached office, no one was present (Sunday being our official meeting day as Nepal Magazine hits the stand). I guess, I don’t need to describe anything about what I do these days at office. Update is the word that clings to me and doesn’t want to abandon. Ongoing Andolan has made me a different person.
UWB Note: UWB Blogger Adhikari writes his personal blog Deepak’s Diary