Print Edition - 2018-12-08  |  On Saturday

Bhaktapur in a trance

Dec 8, 2018-

In Bhaktapur, time seems to have stopped. The spectre of modernity and gentrification might have pushed other districts to a point of no return but it has left this ancient city untouched—so its labyrinthine streets evince as you take a walk around.

You still can see the logos of Kodak and Konica on the wooden doors of shops—worn out but not lost to the sands of time. The photo studios might have been replaced by gift shops but the antique structure that houses them remains intact. The architectural aesthetics of these antique abodes give off a warm, welcoming feeling that modern designs fail to.

The houses here were built for the lifestyles of the old, when people would take some time off from their hectic schedules to take part in community gatherings. Unlike our busy lives where doing nothing is looked down upon, here people seem to appreciate the role that idleness has in our lives.

Has this quality been passed down by generations, one wonders upon encountering people freely taking a nap in the middle of the day, oblivious to the hustle and bustle of the surroundings. This could be a metaphor for Bhaktapur itself, which remains quiet against the tide of the rapid modernity that has engulfed its two sister cities.

PHOTOS & TEXT: NIVA RAJBANGSHI

Published: 08-12-2018 07:26

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