Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Heart of Darkness

My Melancholy Musings

I scribble these lines as soon as the electricity goes off. While I was driving back to my room, I noticed in Anamnagar chowk that there's no light. Ah the beautiful biblical lines: God said, let there be light and there was light. Where is the light? What does Nepal Electricity Authority have to say? Dry season? Buying electricity from India? Are we destined to live with darkness? My nocturnal life is punctuated by sudden load shedding. I don't keep any schedule for that matter. The darkness is just thrust upon me.

My bhinaju suggests me to buy an emergency light. Chinese stuffs are cheap, he says. I just nod, thinking what kind of emergency it could be: political? A dim light coming from the candle suffices my need to remain enlightened. I receive calls: our part of the valley is under the spell of darkness, is yours? This hide and seek game of darkness and light; these binaries only Derrida cold have understood.

In the morning I wake up with these horrors. There's no water in the bathroom. I somehow manage; managing life heretofore has been art of living. The land lady blames the Water Corporation: no supply, no electricity to run the motor. I recall reading Coleridge's Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink. Ah, the prediction for parched people of Himalayas.

I have lent Echoes of Pain to Pawan, the possessor of the famous beard in Kantipur Complex. "How is the progress?" I ask this self-proclaimed voracious reader. "Oh Dai, load shedding," he answers with a grin. Does this darkness symbolize the deteriorating situation of Nepal? The answer must be NO. But, who knows what happens next when the fear has wrought large in Kathmanduites' faces.

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