It was a bright autumn Saturday in October 2005, very similar to many other beautiful days often experienced in the Kathmandu Valley. We decided to visit our favorite place, Nagarkot, to get some of this wonderful fresh air. Arriving at our usual spot we wandered around taking in the serenity of the area.
We did not know beforehand that the Changa Chait festival final was scheduled for that day. Club Himalaya was decorated like the best bride and many enthusiasts were flocking to behold the event. Huge crowds were assembled, so naturally internal tourism was happening spontaneously. Congratulations to all the sponsors, organizers and participants who made that event a great success.
As we were enjoying a meal that day, I spotted a friend and went to say Hello. This gentleman had been in the UK for further studies and I had not seen him for a long time. After general courtesies, my friend asked if I had enjoyed the previous Changa Chait festivals? I replied that I had not seen them, but I was really enjoying this event. However, it had made me very thoughtful and I had decided that actually I was feeling “Aaphain nai chait.” He said – “I beg your pardon my friend, what do you mean by that?” I said “yes, Aaphain Chait. My country is Chait! Consider its plight, it is being unnecessarily dragged into issues and conflicts that benefit no-one, brothers fighting brothers in their own country sadly makes it appear Chait.” My friend was very thoughtful, but did not utter further comment.
While the Changa Chait festival was progressing and people’s thrills and shouting continued, I gazed at the kites in the clear blue sky and tried to recollect those peaceful and relaxing days, when my brothers and sisters, along with their Mother Land were moving ahead somehow. Was this now lost, somewhere, forever?
Then the Radio Nepal news started. The distressing headlines detailing so many casualties, fighting, conflict, bandh and so on brought me back to earth. Was it actually The Changa Chait of this country? People were suffering and still through their hopes aspirations and feelings were there to celebrate. Our family members were listening to the news attentively, but still feeling gloomy. My friend started comforting his wife saying not to worry so much, and I started consoling my family likewise. Then I looked again at the clear sky and said “it’s never too late My Dear, it will be alright, we must be optimistic for all our families.” This “Chait” situation will soon end, so once again we can allow ourselves to fly freely in our beautiful blue sky. Un-restricted, un-hindered, un-afraid and breathe the same fresh air tomorrow, that we once possessed.