Print Edition - 2018-09-12  |  The Collegian

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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The sepia tinted, cinema-esque Basantapur vista is a beauty to behold. In spite of being someone that tends to avoid people and crowds, the chaos of Basantapur, its sheer hustle and bustle, attracts me like a moth to a flame. Somehow, in this din, I feel a kind of silence, calm and peace.

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I can not tell since when I started taking these strolls but they have become a thing of habit. Nor can I tell you what exactly it is that I am looking for—that thing I am always failing to remember. Yet every step I take in these cobbled lanes feel familiar to me. Just like the crumbling buildings that flank either side of me, the plastered memory of countless evening walks have started to wear off though I wish I could hold on to every detail—forgetting is a cruel thing. The crumbling plaster has left my heart bare—my chest is an empty home for memories cherished for people, now long lost. Perhaps, it is them that I seek in these alleyways in spite of knowing I will never find them here.

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I wish I could feel that love again. Maybe one of these evenings, I will find my feelings and fall in love again—do a double-coat plaster and splash the walls with all my favorite colors. I hope this time; I will build something that will last.

I reek of cigarettes. At the back of my mouth, I can still taste didi’s strong tea, just the way I like it. The top of my tongue has scalded and feels kind of tingly. It’s time to go. I will see you in another afternoon, Basantapur.

- Shrestha is a student at St Xavier’s College

Published: 12-09-2018 07:45

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