So much so, several readers write in to ask, if I travel for a living! How I wish. I am indebted to all those readers, for it is that precise question that helped in the hastening of the realisation that my writing flows with ease when I write on my travels. A certain sense of indefatigable urge to share of the places that are looked at with a new set of eyes and hoping perhaps that it could kindle a possible reader to set sights on a new land.
sunset beyond the wavy mountains
However, a couple of hours wrenched from nowhere, waking up when the clock struck three and it was still as dark as middle of the night, shivering in the cold, snatching the camera, sipping green tea with perfect strangers and clicking odd pictures brings you this post.
Nepal is a rather unique country. For starters, if you are an Indian, you don’t need a passport. A voter ID is enough for the officer at immigrations to wave you in. A lovely country balanced with the most snarl prone roads that makes Mumbai appear juvenile. This snarl prone recklessness despite some outrageously obtuse pricing for cars ( A Santro, I am told costs 18 lakh Nepali Rupees).
They have a 15 minute time difference with India. 15 minutes! Longitudinally speaking I couldn’t piece it together, given that Bengal and Assam that are further to the East, yet maintain IST. But hey, they are a free country and have the freedom to do as their watches will.
If that wasn’t this wasn’t tall enough, well the next difference indeed was. The calendar that’s followed is called Bikram Samwat and by that standard, the current year is 2067 ! While you could be waving in 2011, the Nepal is in 2067 folks!
And the one statistic though that made me not just jump out of a chair, but shoot straight to the moon was that they have 550 + members of parliament. For a country of that size, i imagined having a 100 was a truckload. But i am no geo-politic expert that answers stray questions on national television and fair to say that the Nepalese have their own strong mind.
I must only hasten to submit though that all of the above are empty statistics. The facts that perhaps must hold your attention aren’t really the facts but pictures. Pictures of the great Himalayan peaks as they catch an unfamiliar crimson even while the plains that you stand in are yet to say hello to the sun. And such else.
There is one other ‘fact’ that will keep me going back to Nepal again for sure. (Not counting the fact that the missus has issued an ultimatum that the next trip will be in her grand company, which like every dutiful husband would do : has been agreed to).
That fact..yes the fact… is the people! Ah the people! Absolutely delightful and beautiful people! An accent that drips concern, oozes love coupled with a genuine warmth and that goes the extra mile to lessen the Himalayan chill.
It was enchanting. Plan a trip people. Pristine beauty guaranteed.