Saturday Features

Basantapur: In transit, in waiting

- Shashank Shrestha

Dec 23, 2017-I grew up around Basantapur and learned to walk in its nooks and gallis. To see it still in complete disarray after the 2015 quakes stings me to no end. Yet, despite the rubble and the steel scaffoldings that have now become a “part of the furniture”, the people somehow still seem the same. 

Spending a day around here shows Basantapur gives the city so much of its character—the perennial ‘hustle’, the quiet moments in between the rush, and the unhurried resilience that is both strength and a weakness. People around this area have grown to accept the scattered beams and unattended stacks of bricks, the stores still open and close at their own time; and the alleys are still noisy with bikes and pedestrians fighting for space. 

What has changed is the background; something is always under construction or under repair—sometimes the houses, sometimes the heritage sites, often the people themselves. 

Like the location itself, people around Basantapur seem to be both in transit and in waiting. 

There is a constant rush but if we look closely, there is also that calm wait—for a breath, for a break, or maybe an answer. These photos are an attempt to look a little closer into that state. 

 

A quiet place amid the chaos.

 

A peek into the flag shop.

 

The rickshaw crew. 

 

Another day down.

 

Vapour trails.

 

Everything in its own place.

 

Brick by brick.

 

The fence-jumpers.

 

Hustling to meet the day’s goals.

 

Impermanence. 

 

The obstacle course alley.

Published: 23-12-2017 09:10

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