‘To LEP or not to LEP?’ & PKB (Pahad Ko Bajai) shares her story

well, i actually didn’t get a choice. but i am writing this for those who might consider to lep or not to lep, in the near or far future.

ama and her friend (i am going to call her ‘j aunt’ to protect her identity hahahahahha), took me to this place in mangalbazaar yesterday morning. it was there that i got ‘lep-o-fied’ or should i say ‘lepped’. to be precise, my torn ligament got lep-o-fied.

confused?

aaahhh…so the other night i.e. saturday night, while i was engrossed in Karnali Blues…Buddhi Sagar’s debut novel…ama announces that she is going to take me to a ‘traditional healer’. oh gosh nooooo. i didn’t like the sound or the thought of it. it surely wasn’t going to be a jhankri of some sort, who was going to put khursani on my leg. now, i think i would have preferred that to getting lep-o-fied.

ama had just spoken with j aunt on the phone and learned that she goes to this traditional healer in patan and they massage the part that’s hurting…the SWOLLEN and PAINFUL part, they do kadyak kudhyuk and it hurts a lot, but then the swelling goes down. i was definitely not in the mood to get my leg kadyak-o-fied.

i had no option. my swelling had gone down a bit and i was thinking of going to the doctors this week. but the decision had been made to take me to the traditional healers, early next morning.

*****

i get up early, eat breakfast. i am so freaking nervous. i put on my ‘going outside the house’ bandage. see, i have two — one is the normal bandage, the one you roll round and round and round. i wear that at home. and i got a neat and elastic one branded ‘flamingo’ (hahaha) to wear outside, so that my leg fits in my kapada ko juta, the only one i can wear at the moment. so good, i have those.

ama got them for me at bhatbhateni during the monsoon (when i couldn’t wear them…but i just loved the shoe and they were looking at me and saying ‘take me home’…oh kkkkk neverminddddd)

we pick j aunt at pulchowk and enter into the narrow ways of mangalbazaar…where i think, you can get in but can’t get out…like in hotel california. well, you can’t get out the same way. it’s safer to get out to ring road. such are unnecessary details though.

we get to this place and walk through this narrow corridor of the old house. and then see that people are waiting their turns. i am still saying that i don’t want to do this. on the way, j aunt was showing her bandaged hand and how they fixed the swelling by massaging it and pressing it in appropriate places and it was very painful for a bit, but the swelling went down. I WASN’T CONVINCED. i still wasn’t prepared for this.

i am shit scared but i sit and start reading Karnali Blues. i had gotten through a few pages when my turn came. i am so freaking nervous.

*****

in the room there are many other patients. two men with their backs getting massaged with oil. it is a small room and it is jam packed! i am asked to sit on this low seat with a man next to me.

the family of three – mother, father and son – are doing to lepne thing. and on the wall says a sign ‘LEP LAGAUNE’. oh myan, i had no idea that i was at a lep lagaune thau to lep lagaune. i had no clue that this was the kind of traditional healing i was going to.

on the floor are scattered bowls, bandages, cotton and what not. the father is mixing this paste with his finger, like he is whisking some eggs for an omelette. it looks like my ama’s mehendi. it looks yuck, in one word. but they say, it’s really good. and so, guess who is attending me? the son.

that got me more freaked out coz i was like oh no, he’s the least experienced. he’s gonna break my leg. it’s already torn…now he’s going to break it. my brain was breaking apart and my heart was pounding in my leg.

and so it begins. IT HURTSSSS. it hurts a lot.

the first phase is oil and massage. ahhhh…i got tears in my eyes and so i take off my glasses. i take out my tissue paper. after a while, i can’t control my tears and i start crying and crying and crying and won’t stop crying.

i am so so scared and i yell out in the room to ama, who is sitting across to me. ‘I DON’T LIKE IT,” I yell and cry to her. I don’t know why i said that in english to her, but those were my exact words. later, i am laughing in the afternoon with my friends, very embarrassed to remember that i had said that..

see half the tears was because i was so scared and half because it was painful. the son was jerking my ankle and i didn’t like it at all. ama comes and sits next to me and holds me and i am still crying.

after the oil is a slimy liquid..which i come to know later is egg white or sth like that. but good for the bones. and then, the slimy paste which has, j aunt says jadibuti, haddi lai ramro hune kura haru, ani garden snails. SNAILSSSS, no one asked me if i wanted to put SNAILS on my leg. but well, they’ve already put it on me.

what next?

they wrap the brown paste with LOKTA paper!!!! i had heard of many uses of this paper, but not this one. j aunt says fake paper pani hudo raicha. tyo chalayo bhanne ghau huncha re. oh gosh! after the paper, they put a thick roll of cotton and then wrap my leg with a bandage — the one that goes round and round and round.

but i am still crying. actually i am still crying when the thing is over and even when i am already in the back of the car, heading out of mangalbazaar. and the horrible thing after that is that my kapada ko jutta, don’t fit me anymore. :-(

ama and j aunt go shopping, while i stay in the parked car and they bring me these ‘khwasaa halne huge nepali chappal’….tyo wedding wala ma laune khale, but this one is plain and brown in color. and so, i wear those all day long. i walk around them at ktm mall and later at boudha.

they keep coming off my feet: the left, because the big bandaged leg won’t fit in fully. the right, because the slipper is too damn big for me.

my foot is rigid and i can’t move it. i can’t eat alu tama, mas ko daal nor purano achar. and i can’t sit in the sun :-(…i love sitting on the mat outside. the traditional cast comes off wednesday. so, until then, am not recommending this lep laguane or to be lep-o-fied from personal experience. if the results really show, then maybe i’ll reconsider my recommendation. :-P

but now you know, what LEP and LEP LAGUANE is all about. but if you want to go, i can’t give you directions. i was crying all the time and didn’t really look where we were going.

*****

the other patients in the room had interesting things to say….half of which were highly discouraging.

keta keti haru le sahana sakdaina…dhukcha aba k garne, tar thik huncha ni…(gosh, i am not keta keti anymore :-(…)

ali ali ta dhuki halcha ni…(no this is not ali ali)

mero ta accident ma sabai karang bhache ko…doctor le thik garna sakena…yehi auna thaleko. balla haat chalaune bhachu.

mero ta bike accident pachi khutta ta kichkandi jasto bhayeko…ULTO ghumera…khutta ta….

timro khutta usle lagdainaa…lagera pani k garnee…ek chin ho…

*****

and so, PKB is here in kathmandu. PKB in our family = Pahad Ko Bajai. CKB = Chitwan Ko Bajai. TA = Thulo Ama.  SA = Sanu Ama….and so on and so forth. that’s our email codes…hahahahahhaha….

so PKB arrived from village, in lamjung, yesterday in ONE DAY!!! ama was pondering…hamilai pahile janu teen din anu dui din lagthiyo…the small micros have reached to a place some five hours from our village, so now it is possible to reach ktm in a day. the road is however, not too good. i haven’t been to village since 2009.

anyhow, i tell her how i sprained my ankle and she laughed out loud. khurchi bata pani ladcha kohi?? and then she tells me her story. which of course, is way AWESOME than mine. i am roughly narrating her story:

she was in the khet. ma tyestai eghara bara barsa ko thiye. she is in her late 70s or early 80s right now, i think. ani tyespachi ta hai…akash ma ‘ZHHOOOOOM ZHUURRRRRMMMM…ZZZZHOOOOOOMMM’…awaj ayo hai…tyeti khera ta aeroplane bhanne kura dhekeko pani thiyena…ani dekhepachi..dauridai ghot tira gayeko ta, lade…

ahh! that’s a valid story, right? she continues:

gau ma ta hami…bessarrrr, nooooon ani bhaisiiii ko gobbbarrrrr…ani tato tato pani…athutu hune gari lagaucha khutta markyo bhanne.

no you didn’t read wrong. it is Buffalo DUNG! that goes on a sprained foot. and so that’s what she did on her leg, but it still gives her trouble these days. yo haddi ta phutta niskincha…bihana bihana tato pani ma dubauchu ani…timilai ni pachi samma dukha dincha…nope, i get no words of consolation…and hmm, i conclude that lep is better than buffalo dung.

*****

until wednesday then. that’s when i also have to put my leg in tato pani and nooooon to wash off the snail paste.

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5 thoughts on “‘To LEP or not to LEP?’ & PKB (Pahad Ko Bajai) shares her story

  1. Ah …was the lep that bad…..i have had lep before many times but not the kind u had ….i usually go to this jadibuti baje ko pasal just around my house whenever i get a sprain ankle….well to tell u the truth….his lep works wonder but i never went through that painful procedure that u mentioned…but the way u wrote it it must have hurt u a lot…..any way ….hope that works for u ….have a speedy recovery !!!TC

  2. snail paste, ha ha ha!!

    i was 11 years old when i came to kathmandu for the first time and stayed in a rented room in kupondole. i saw a little black thing crawling up on my room’s wall, leaving mark behind just above my bed, i ran out screaming. the landlord’s driver came to see the “snake” as i described. he laughed and said “yo ta hile machha ho, pakayera khaye pani hunchha, he he”. “hile machha?” heard about it before but never seen it. i took a stick and a bowl and carefully pull the machha, washed the slippery thing, mixed with my tarkari and ……. i had just learned to cook, practicing to be an independent class 4 student in kathmandu…the machha tasted, can’t describe.

    i proudly told my friends in the class room about the machha i caught, you can imagine the reaction…. he he

  3. Congratulations!! It’s quite an achievement…. I witnessed the surge in the no. of views of your blog over the last few weeks and esp. the one about BA concert drew attention from many quarters. Maybe its the candid spontaneity mixed with humor that draws many blog viewers…..

    ~So you hail from Lamjung?? which place to be exact?? I have been there on a number of occasions and also a lot of my relatives are now settled there.

    ~Ani, did the lep work??

    • hahahha..thank u. well my mama ghar is lamjung. but was born and raised in ktm. our village’s name is Taji. heard of it? hahaha..about lep, well…i don’t know..i guess it’s working. the second visit was hilarious. i was laughing all the time.

  4. hahahha…i know what you went through…i used to get lep-o-fied (in your words) a lot when i was a child and went through the exact same process that you described and it HURTS!!! a lot!!!! i have sprained my ankles many times and every time I sprain it, I cry,…not coz the sprained ankle hurts, but spraining it meant I need to get it lep-o-fied….oh man it hurt!

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