Le do le le le le: Can’t you see, She’s at her feet!?! Pic by Wagle
By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle Street Journal
Saturday Blog: Life out of politics. Well into a different one!
Thamel is the one place in Nepal where West meets East in a style. This style makes it distinct compared to other precincts of Kathmandu. What’s not there in Thamel? “I was offered everything available under the sun,” told one of my Californian friends who was staying in Thamel couple of years ago. Just imagine a scene: disparate Tiger Balm vendors trying to sell the “magical product” budget travelers with backpacks full of aspirations to go around Nepal in the cheapest package available. Those scenes will be rare as the tourist season is nearing an end. In its best times, Thamel is always full of goras from all parts of the world representing varieties of cultures. Foods taste cosmopolitan in Thamel. So if you don’t frequent to Thamel, you will definitely miss something. And if you were not in Thamel today, boy, let me tell you, you missed so many things.
Oh… those awesome girls, in their tight jeans and free flown black hair, with their gajalu aankha full of messages, and yes, their skill in twisting their narrow waists in such a way that you would be forced to forget the Columbian diva. As Thamel started disappearing within the sounds of “wherever, whenever” this afternoon, the main street was crowded with many Shakiras. It was the day of Peace Project, a DJ event in its fourth year that has been branded as Music, Dance and Street Festival by the organizers Party Nepal.
Like in previous years, you could feel the true urban atmosphere in Thamel today. Dance and do the masti, don’t even think if you will live until tomorrow or not. Forget everything. What the hell is happening in rest of the country that’s not your business. The war has ended (by the way, there never was war in this part of society) and the peace has been restored. Don’t talk about politics but don’t be surprised if you face politics. The only politics here is: tyo pari lai kasari patyaune! [how to impress that damsel and vice versa] There in lies the biggest politics and, be assured, this is no less intense and important than what Prachanda and Girija are playing in Nepal.
The best part, after the dance of course, was the varieties of dresses that the girls were wearing. Jeans were dominant but, wow, what a mixture that was. The temperature of Kathmandu is cooling down but here in Thamel you will feel so hot in a cotton shirt that you will throw it away (and dance!). A diamond cuts another diamond. Dance a good dance to impress another equally good dancer. Dance is your weapon. Use it to your utmost advantage.
Look at that pair. Without caring about what these spectators are thinking about them, they are busy dancing. They are the only two dancing superbly and this is what everyone is feeling (needless to mention, from the Shakira song):
We’re meant to be together
I’ll be there and you’ll be near
And that’s the deal my dear
You’ll never have to wonder
We can always play by ear
But that’s the deal my dear
Meet Kamala Serchan and Asim Thapa, (all pics above) both 18 years and new to Nepali lifestyle. Born and raised in Singapore, Kamala came to Nepal four months ago and since then she has been to almost all discos and hip bars in town. “It’s better in Nepal,” Kamala compared the life in Nepal and in Singapore. “There are no street festivals in Singapore. The society is no as open as in Kathmandu.” And she gave her verdict on the Nepali capital: “It’s vibrant.”
Lucky you were born that far away so
We could both make fun of distance
Luck that I love a foreign land for
The lucky fact of your existance
Baby I would climb the Andes solely
To count the freckles on your body
Never could imagine there were only
Ten Million ways to love somebody
Asim, who was born and raised in Brunei and came here two years ago, feels the same. “You know Brunei is a Muslim country and everything is closed. It’s good here.”
Both of them were dancing on the street this afternoon as if they were in their own world, not caring about what the crowd watching them might be thinking. They kick started the dance on the street at around 2 PM. “No one was dancing even as good music was being played,” Kamala said. “So we thought why not start. May be other people are feeling nervous.”
But that nervousness disappeared as the clock hit 3:30. The whole crowd was shaking their body as different kinds of music, Nepali and English hip hop to Nepali and Hindi remix numbers. Helmets on the hands or tied on the waists were not disturbing boys from dancing with girls: eyes fixed on the eyes, ears closely following the beats and feet acting as per the beats. “Life is to enjoy,” a sixty year old woman from upper Manang told me as she was heading toward her destination via Tridevi Marga, the street where young souls were dancing. “Only thing is that you should realize the limitations. Otherwise, it’s fine. Enjoy! There is nothing that you can take with you after you die.”
It’s Thamel, baby! Expect the world here.
It was indeed a challenge for all thoes DJs to keep the crowd dancing.
When you puff may be you will get energy to dance?
Oh baby when you talk like that
You make a woman go mad
So be wise and keep on
Reading the signs of my body
And I’m on tonight
You know my hips don’t lie
And I am starting to feel you boy
Come on lets go, real slow
Don’t you see baby asi es perfecto
Oh I won’t deny my hips don’t lie
And I am starting to feel it’s right
All the attraction, the tension
Don’t you see baby, this is perfection
Oh boy, I can see your body moving
Half animal, half man
I don’t, don’t really know what I’m doing
But you seem to have a plan
My will and self restraint
Have come to fail now, fail now
See, I am doing what I can, but I can’t so you know
That’s a bit too hard to explain
Baila en la calle de noche
Baila en la calle del dia