Stories By 'MAMINA SHRESTHA'

Sepia

Mamina Shrestha, Sep 12 2018

In late evenings, Basantapur is bathed in sepia light steeped in the fragrance of incense, cigarette smokes and boiling tea. On most evenings, as I stroll along these avenues, I find myself souring for traces of a forgotten past—for what reason? I don’t know. Almost always though, I fail.
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I realised that I fall in love with Kathmandu not completely or all at once but over time and piece by piece. This evening, I fell in love with Kathmandu again as the city glowed in the faded yellow light of the setting Sun. From my evening perch I watch the dust swirl endlessly around Ring Road as people commute to and fro. Tufts of white clouds drift along an azure sky. A gentle breeze sweeps the balcony where I stand and I smile for no reason. I have no reason for why I love and yet I do, I love this city, inexplicably and piece by piece.
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I remembered the blue windows on the white walls. I remembered the white windows on the blue walls. One after the other, I assembled, dissembled and reassembled every detail from the pages of my memory. The weight of every moment was hurting the back of my head, the core of my chest. Little did I know, the details: their remembrance and absence both would hurt as much.
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Papa and I have been walking partners for a long, long time now. Maybe having no personal vehicle at home brought us together in taking long walks. We enjoy each other’s company, even when the walks are mostly quiet. We are not big on conversations.
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When I faced harassment last week and fought back against it, people told me I took a ‘brave’ step. Some came up to me and told me that I did something many couldn’t. Others told me I had done something they didn’t.
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It is mid-December already. The hours in the morning and evening are cold and harsh. But I like cold. I love winter. I, however, can’t say the same for that day.
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