Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive,
But to be young was very heaven.
– William Wordsworth
Looking back through the haze of time, the past looks so romantic and mellow in soft focus. At this juncture of life, I don't know whether I am happy or sad, or maybe just fine.
This fateful day (Chaitra 22 or April 4) is my birthday. I turned thirty today. If I set 60 years as the deadline of my life, I have lived half a life (also the title of VS Naipaul's novel on which I am doing my dissertation). I have my share of sorrows and happiness. Ah, happiness! Happiness is like a butterfly, the more you chase it, the more it eludes you.
I was born in a small and idyllic hill station Phidim, Panchthar district in eastern Nepal which sighted from afar looks a heap of buildings-both concrete and aluminum roofed; it’s a valley, a picturesque place indeed. I embarked upon my higher studies in post-Democracy Nepal (1991, December).Later on; I was seduced by the glitter and glitz of Kathmandu city. I wanted to study Engineering or Medicine but ended up joining Arts in RR Campus majoring in English and Journalism. Since then, I am here (barring those four odd years in UAE), learning the way of the world, acting in different roles as a student, teacher and reporter at different times.
I worked with Drishti Weekly from 1995 to 1998 (few months in Jana Ashtha Weekly as well) and when going got tough, flew abroad (UAE) to work in McDonald's (an American fast-food chain) as a crew. I worked there for four years and was promoted to Crew Chief. I gave up the chance of becoming manager gathering that that was not my cup of tea.
What then? As I left Dubai permanently, I met my buddy Sudheer Sharma who after accomplishing a great career (I call this three year period his heydays) in Himal Khabarpatrika was then Assistant Editor of Nepal Magazine. As we discussed my four year Dubai Odyssey, he remarked: why don't you write an article on Nepali Diaspora of Gulf? So, Diaspora, a new column started, where Prof. Abhi Subedi wrote forewords.
Then, as writing was both my passion and potential niche, I found myself doing one after another reporting. This way, I worked as a contributor of Nepal Magazine for six months. During these times, I rejoined my Masters in English which was halted due to my expatriation.
Last year, I had already finished my first year MA. One fine morning, when I was grappling with Second Year's complex books, Sudheer popped up in my room. He said: Hey, our magazine is turning weekly. We need some reporters. Why don’t you join us? I would not say anything. He told me to submit my bio-data and vanished like wind. I was considering a job in those empty days. But, it knocked at my door.
In Nepal Magazine, where I work till this date, I am given two responsibilities. I am a coordinator of a news tit-bits column called Ankhijhyal (coined by myself) and a feature reporter. I immensely enjoy my work and look forward to do some investigative reporting in near future.
Hey, I am not just a man of flesh and blood. I have feelings too. How could I forget to mention my love-life? So, I happened to love few women. A couple of them proposed me and vice versa. We played cupid. But, it was tough handling the strong emotion called love. There is always room for uncertainty in love, its tenderness and fragility makes the relationship vulnerable. However, I love all those damsels (not in distress) who taught me the lesson of love.
It's hard to confess, but then I have been rejected in relationships (esp. that of male-female) more often than I care to remember. Some of the ladies I came in contact were caring and amiable while others rigid and stubborn, reconfirming my old conclusion: woman is a mystery, an enigma. The recent one remained with me longer than it should, prick me like a thorn. There is an axiom that aptly suits my situation: Time heals all the wounds. The final woman in my life is yet to come. I am really desperate for her arrival.
The Feb 1 Royal Declaration was yet another blow in my life, for it affected my profession. Akin to my career, democracy has always been my cup of tea.
My Typical Day
I wake up at around 7 am and do the morning's mundane matters: excremental, gloss my irregular, thus no-so-good-looking teeth and splash water once again over my not-so-remarkable face (it must have been more than 8 thousand times, I calculated this).
I read that day's Kantipur Daily and The Kathmandu Post, note down the news I am interested in. By then, my brother prepares a nice cup of tea which I sip with the news, thereby enjoying both the tea and the news. Then, I read or write. I prefer to write at home, especially in quiet midnights so that I can fully indulge in my subject.
At 10 am, I take my lunch (though it's not the proper time, but that's what most of the Nepalese are used to it). I usually shave my beard (to look handsome, obviously) once a week. At 10:45 I embark on my bike or Nepal Yatayat for my office. At office, I greet my seniors and colleagues, read newspapers, talk or crack a joke or two with colleagues and go for tea. The day passes in making contacts, meeting people or discussing the issues. Apart from this, I surf the Net, check mails and sometimes post a blog or two.
I return home usually at 7 pm, listen to songs as per my mood, and relish the recollections of diurnal activities. I thoroughly reflect on the day's events and often tell myself: I should not have done so and so, or said so and so. If happy, I celebrate; if sad I grieve for myself.
I read or write (that's my major activity) while my brother prepares food. I have food at 8:45, drink a lot of water and indulge either in retrospection, listen to BBC News. I end my day at 10 or 11 pm.