new chapter

i’m moving out. moving to another room in another part of göteborg.

it feels weird knowing that this is where i had started out as a stranger in/to this city. i have lived here with this peculiar painting for the last ten months. personally, i would have never chosen to hang it on my wall. but since it was already in the room, it became a part of my life. i don’t know why, but i never removed it and instead, i left it hanging (quite aptly) in front of my table. and so i often sat in front of it and stared at it wondering what the painter had thought while making it…the colors, the different kinds of flowers (quite impossibly) growing out (assuming the boot was not a vase) of a worn out laceless boot. the grass growing sparingly in an otherwise dry area….hmmmm….questions questions questions in my mind. then i’d move on to something else less distracting. but for some time i’d honestly forgotten that the painting was there…until today, when i’d finished packing and was looking around to see if i had missed anything. and there it was on the wall, telling me that it wasn’t going anywhere.

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so here i am, packing my life in boxes again. even though i know i have to move or leave eventually, i never learn to not hoard and buy stuff i don’t really need. it’s always the same. you arrive with one suitcase and when you leave, you have a mountain of things you never realized you had amassed over the months.

but here’s to a new room, to new memories and to a new chapter in göteborg.

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out in the streets here i just talked a young guy about Röda Korset or Red Cross in Sweden. i’ve seen many of them around the city in red jackets, red caps, carrying red files and trying to get a hold of pedestrians who are heading in their own directions. i always evaded them by saying ‘nej, tack’ or ‘sorry, i don’t have time’. but today i stopped to talk to one of them and now i know what each one of them is saying to people in the streets.

i forgot his name. the guy i talked to, but he tried to convince me about becoming a monthly gift giver (monetary gift) to red cross so that they can help people in south sudan, syria, ethopia or north korea…to name a few countries he spelled out. he said that there were many disasters unreported and people need help in healthcare, clean drinking water, proper sanitation…..you get the picture.

i agree that one needs to stop and think about people who have such difficult lives and to realize how lucky one is. how lucky i am and privileged in many ways. there’s enough problems in nepal itself that one doesn’t think about on a daily basis….

he was trying to make me pledge 50 sek a month which is equivalent to 718 nepali rupees or 7.45 us dollars. it is not a big amount he kept saying, adding that he understood that i was a student. they would automatically cut the amount from my bank account and i won’t even have to think about it…. ‘if i care, yes i would take out time to donate money and not simply forget about it,’ i argued with him…and then he said, well..you know there are people who don’t want to think about it.

ahh…. i don’t spend 50 sek here like it’s nothing because i don’t have a free flowing budget that allows me to spend blindly. but that is not the point…i don’t know, i feel uncomfortable with donating money…esp. when i don’t have a choice where and how it is spent.

and that’s that. don’t really know what the point of this post is. but i thought i’d write it down since i came straight to school, after leaving the guy standing in the street to find another passerby willing to listen to him.

Today, as I was stepping out of the Academy’s building, I came across a candle and flowers in the lobby. They weren’t there when I had come in, in the morning. And a book open with condolence messages. I had never spoken to this person, even though I knew he was a teacher here. I had never been in his class and yet, I always remembered him smiling as he walked across the halls and steps.

It always feels numbing to know about someone’s death – be it close or far. Since I got here in Gothenburg last September, three people in the Academy where I study have passed away. At home, my baje and a little boy my family knew passed away.

Summer is here in the city. But even after all this waiting, I don’t feel particularly elated. Maybe it’s because it isn’t really hot as Kathmandu, which defines my standard of a summer! I mean, it’s hot for people here. But for me, I still have to carry a jacket in my bag. Then there’s the sun that sets after 10 pm and rises around 4 am! And I have a feeling that by the time my body adjusts to this crazy schedule, winter will have started rolling in. hah!

I wish I would do productive things instead of watching mindless CSI tv series online. Classes are over and it’s been tough to motivate myself to be productive. I go to the park to read but I instantly feel sleepy under the tree’s shade and soft breeze. I get distracted by the guided tours on the boats. I am tempted to buy a bag of chips and munch it all down. I have to consciously buy oranges instead. This is the first time I have lived on my own and I’ve realized how little things matter everyday. In Kathmandu, I never went grocery shopping – I mean tarkari shopping to be precise. haha. So the food choices I make on my own here are not quite healthy. I think the only vegetable I eat regularly are mushrooms…hahaha…does that even count?

I am a bit lazy sometimes.

I came across these plants in the park yesterday. I think it is the right moment to use the word ‘flabbergasted’ here. hahaha So I was ‘flabbergasted’ to see how precisely they were arranged inside fake gigantic metal ‘flowers’. I thought it was insane! Then I began to wonder, if I had ever seen these plants growing in their natural habitats. NO, of course not. I wish I could seen them in the middle of somewhere, growing wherever they’d wanted to be. This whole artificial arrangement made me feel really uneasy. Like they were being confined into this ridiculous shape of a flower! I mean, can’t you just let them be?????

an afterthought: maybe it’s because i don’t like artificial plants. i really really don’t. and this basically is the worst I’ve ever seen.

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I have slowed down, paused, stopped and drowned.
Drowned deep to recount, recall, replay histories, memories and regrets in my mind

It has taken me time to come up for air.
Now with each breath, I try to lunge forward.

 

-

our lives have changed so much
that
if we were to cross paths today
we wouldn’t know where to pick up from

 

even strangers would have had more to say to each other

 

the weather
the crowd
the pollution
the price hike of petrol
the water shortage
the rash bus driving
the valley bandh

 

i wish we had always remained strangers

-

 

who knew that tears glistened like diamonds in the sun
that they looked like a thousand stars hidden in the depth of the eyes
that the drop that dried on its way down, would look like dusts of mica
that she would once collect on dusty tokha hikes