back in kathmandu and i was woken up by a jolt as i headed out into the familiar spaces of the city. the melody of the blaring horns, walking in the sea of traffic, with my first stop at an art shop of bhotahity.
the day before, anand had called me. he needed some pastels. this was the only shop that had the pastels i got for him – for one it is within my budget and secondly, it is better than the korean ones he used to buy for whooping prices. i reached their rented room. he was preparing for his morning prayers, he had woken up late, he was saying. his mother made me a cup of tea.
a painter had talked to anand the other day, telling him that he would teach him how to paint. anand was skeptic. khai katti jana aunchan malai k k bhanera. asti ta ek jana le malai, jum timilai lagchu bhanera anath ashram lagnu khojirathiyo. ma kaha janchu ta anath ashram.
and why would he?
anand is not an orphan, although his father passed away last year, and he scrapes by life by drawing on the streets. even so, with hopes we called the painter who had given his card with my cellphone. i won’t mention his name. it was close to 11:30 am and the guy was apparently at thapathali. he told anand to come to sundhara fast. anand told him that he still had to pray but promised to make it fast.
anand lit up the incense and hurriedly offered prasad of mishri and peanuts to his idols, giving some to me. the table with a huge image of three gods was propped against the wall on a table, at the end of his bed. i sit at one edge of the bed and watched him pray in silence. before he started, he told his mother to take out the toothbrush in her mouth.
the painter called again. he said that he’s already at sundhara and he should come fast because he had brought the media with him!!!! i was appalled and so was anand. this guy was supposed to be teaching him to paint and instead he brought a tv channel.
yes, i do work at the media and i have written about anand, but this annoyed me. doing anand’s story was personal to me and i visited his home few times and talked to him on the street. i visit him every now and then.
i didn’t want to be a part of this. and so i parted ways with anand at khichapokhari and took a long walk to office.
in between i got another call from the painter guy and that is what pissed me off. “Kata ho? ma agi dekhi kurirachu…kati dhilo gareko, yaha media ko manche haru kurirachan…!!!”
i was so shocked…shocked than before. i hung up the phone while he yelled at the other end. i couldn’t believe this guy. for one, he was an artist…so-called artist, i should say…hungry for media…and here i am, working for a media company too.
i felt caught up within being an artist and being a reporter. for a while, i wished i weren’t both.