‘The pie was never larger than what it is today; for every piece one takes away, another has to be given back. Pull a flag down in rage, another springs-up in a momentous flutter. Let go of a scar, gently let go, another tears into being, arising delicately; an eye for an eye, a tattoo for a tattoo. How naive could one be… wishing to retain a blank slate’- iihjee
There is a guy I follow on instagram. He is a Nepali, who posts thought-provoking reflections and beautiful pictures. I know him but I haven’t really talked to him in real life. When I first saw him in 2013, I knew there was something very different about him. He used to frequent the same café I used to visit. He was noticeable as he always wore slippers, white kurta and a black ‘Bhaad-gaule topi’, a typical Newari cap especially woven in Bhaktapur, Nepal. This café was very popular among the travellers backpacking to Nepal. The seating arrangements were very casual, you could even sit on the stairs or floor if you wanted to. We sat next to each other a couple of times but never talked. I heard his conversations with his friends. From what I gathered, he was so young probably around 17 then, but he was so introspective and had a very altruistic view about life. I liked being a silent listener of those conversations listening to their talks about life, society, politics, art and being young.
Fast forward 2017, he is an activist now who walked across Nepal from the east to west on foot through the Himalayan belt in his slippers. Yes! he walked through Everest base camp in his slippers. About the walk, he wrote: ‘The walk was an individual calling, not an organized effort. There were no fixed plans or routes; no agenda. I kept improvising, leaving myself open to all experiences & possibilities. I could not have done this as one does an errand; the burden would have been too great for a bloke like me who thrives in frivolous spontaneity. Never has dosh or servility lit my soul. Honestly, the stories were primarily a consequence of laziness. Writing an original piece takes great effort, taking notes & translating is a relatively undemanding deed. Adding interpretation would also have brought me into the picture – this I wanted to avoid, I wanted you to experience the journey as a first-person participant (rather than a third-person); the baton of interpretation was passed to you.’
In 2016, he did a similar 37 days walk. Through this walk, he connected with Nepal’s average people, mainly minority groups and families of the minority Madhesi people of the Southern Nepal, who were killed in protests held in the Terai region of Nepal in 2015. The message behind his walk was simple: national unity and peace.
Why I am mentioning him is because we have developed this bond with each other throughout this time on instagram. He wrote comment on a video I made on instagram and we started talking about the organic cafe, and life in general sometimes here and there. He asks for my interpretation or feedback if he makes a video posts and I write to him asking question about life if I am in a dilemma. It’s like Socrates and Plato. Lol! But he is much younger than me yet he is very mature and an inspiring human being. I want to share one of his answers to the question about calm response or retaliation towards anger/hatred directed towards you.
‘to anon m, with love : The viscous cycle of pain displacement, of paying pain forward, is in my opinion, the root cause of all human suffering. To mend one’s aching heart is difficult, to translate that pain into action is not. We try to save others from what we perceive to be ill; we try to help them find the happiness that could not be ours. Here, I question, how can an action rooted in anguish do any good? Our suffering often leads to actions that lead to more suffering. Be mindful of this, always. Question yourself, at every turn – “Why am I doing this?” I do not ask you to abandon what you are doing, but to merely be aware of what motivates your innermost self.
What makes you angry? Why do you blame yourself? What makes you feel pain? Why do you seek to hurt? Are you angry, or, do you want to be angry? Are you in pain, or, does a part of you want to feel pain? Reflect. Be honest with your self. No one else can help you. String together the answers; understand causes, be aware of their effects. Untangle. String back to when you were in the womb… just that instinct to live on & nothing else, everything laid bare. Stay there for a while….
Be kind, rewind, come back, to this moment. You have all the answers you need, my friend. No one can help you. No one knows you better. Only you can help yourself, only you.‘
And the funniest thing is every time I am going through something, he makes a post that hits the right nerve. Like the one quoted in the beginning of this post that he posted today.
I have been in a strange frame of mind since a couple of days. No, not because of the polar nights but because of the situation I am in right now. This feeling of being lost doesn’t ever get lost. I still feel overwhelmed by things and even though I am much calmer now, I have begun to wonder about being with someone mainly in love. What is being in love anyways? I feel like Hozier: ‘I fall in love just a little o’ little bit everyday with someone new’. But seriously, I am scared of commitment, about giving my life for someone else, the expectations and then there is existential crisis. How to deal with the situation when I am going through a situation when I am sad because I am sad not because of you? How do I tell them that the pain, the sadness, the frustrations are my own. It has nothing to do with them. I also realized that in the last relationship I had I gave so much love that I do not have that love to give to anyone. I know it sounds strange because of course, I love other people too but not love is different. I feel like the spiritual side of me that loved is empty, hollow. How can I ever manage to fill it with love? And how will I ever manage to give it to someone?
But I am beginning to feel that this period is very important for my existence. I lost love, but I think I am on my path to find myself!