Skip to main content

My heart cries for you, Nepal

Over 6,000 people have lost their lives in the Nepal earthquake, and the toll is expected to touch 10,000. When I think about it, I am at a loss for words. It is deeply saddening, and painful to see so much suffering in this world. 

Nepal holds a special place in my heart. I visited that beautiful country in April 2004. It was the first time I stepped out of India; I was sent there on a 'fam' (familiarisation) trip by the newspaper I was working for then. I had never seen a snow peak till then, and remember being awestruck by the sight. What's more, the peaks were part of the mighty Himalayas. In fact, on April 25, 2004, exactly eleven years back (the day the earthquake struck in Nepal -- April 25, 2015) I was somewhere between Kathmandu and Pokhara, I think. This region is among the worst affected. The epicentre of the quake is somewhere in between these two famous tourist centres.

During that trip, we went on a shortish trek near Bandipur, visited the Siddha Caves, went to Manakamana, and in Kathmandu, visited the famed Pashupathinath Temple and the Darbar Square. It saddens me to see that the Square is pretty much rubble today.

Back then, I didn't even have a camera. I took along my brother's handycam, but unfortunately that tape can't be played anymore. I didn't have a cellphone, and had to make calls from a telephone booth, probably one per day or one in two days to my then boyfriend who is now my husband, who would then inform my family. I was an introvert (still am), and didn't even make many friends on that trip. When our team of journalists set out to fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara, if my memory serves me right, the flight was cancelled because of poor weather. But that turned out to be a blessing in disguise as we hired a small bus to make the journey back to Kathmandu.

I remember gazing at the snow peaks, freezing them in my mind forever, (the Himalayas, the Himalayas!!), stopping by some roadside tea shop that served food, and seeing a leopard cub being petted by the shop owners. They let us touch it, and with shivering hands, I touched the cub's skin oh so lightly! I remember going on a village walk near Bandipur as well. And tasting raksi, the local brew made of rice.

Anyway, I think of Nepal fondly, and have so many memories associated with it on the professional front, but more importantly on the personal front. Today, as I see the wooden structures reduced to rubble, and the death toll only rising, my heart aches for that beautiful country. 


Popular posts from this blog


Re-plug of an article I wrote five years back ahead of Independence Day. On Vidurashwatha, which is known as the Jallianwalah Bagh of Karnataka. Vidurashwatha is actually very close to my hometown and the temple there is a much-visited one by my family.

Of lives lost under the peepal FREEDOM STRUGGLE Vidurashwatha is known as the Jallianwala Bagh of the south. At least nine people died in the summer of 1938, when British authorities fired indiscriminately at a fair held there, writes Savitha Karthik
If the giant peepal trees here were to tell a story, what would that be? That of the Mahabharata character Vidura coming here to plant a sapling of ashwatha, or the ficus religiosa, in botanical terminology? That of the holy peepal being worshipped by generations here, along with hundreds of idols of the snake god installed by believers? Or would the peepal trees choose to tell another tale? Of nine brave souls who fell victim to an oppressor’s guns, right under the stoic trunks?

The ficus…

Remember Sadanand Vishwanath?

I write this as I watch the post-lunch session of the first Ashes Test 2017 at the Gabba. Watching it on Sony Six with the Channel 9 line-up of commentators (plenty of flak for that line-up, of course), my mind goes back to the Benson & Hedges series of 1985-86. I was too young to remember much, but certainly remember the Audi car that Ravi Shastri won. That was also the first time that DD telecast the Channel 9 feed -- I know now not then. I only remember the famous animated duck walk past the screen as the batsmen walked back to the pavilion. That series saw the emergence of a young, dashing wicket-keeper who kept the chatter going behind the stumps -- Sadanand Vishwanath. A Google News search told me what's up with him now. Here's a link:

Bhuj landscapes - Gujarat Diaries

Typical sights on our journey to Bhuj.

The yellow of this man's kurta brightens the barren landscape just that much!
The vegetation, if any, was 'gando baval' (in the local language) or 'jaali' as we call it in Kannada and Telugu.