My Experience in Nepal Part III- Biratnagar, bugs, and Bratabandha! By: Mayank B.
Part l: http://www.everestuncensored.org/?p=1293
Part ll: http://www.everestuncensored.org/?p=1323
After landing in Biratnagar, I felt uneasy again. After just getting accustomed to Kathmandu, I got thrown into the heat and bugs of Biratnagar. After spending some time in the Airport (which was very bad and full of people smoking), we took a taxi to my grandparent’s home in Puspalalchowk (a suburb of Biratnagar). I was surprised at the amount of family and friends waiting for us there. It was all a big transition at first but then I slowly got adjusted and talked to everyone.
However, I did not like the city of Biratnagar one bit. Although I was warned that it would be hot in Biratnagar, I didn’t mind that much because I was used to heat. However, I hated the mass of flies, mosquitoes, cow poop and other waste lingering around the street. Don’t people care about keeping their cities clean? Also, the bathrooms weren’t too great either. The bathroom smelled bad, it was a pan toilet and it was extremely uncomfortable! Luckily, we had some Toilet paper…Eventually, Biratnagar became more fun. More cousins and family came for my Bratabandha and I enjoyed playing with my little cousins and hearing about what I was like when I was a little 6 year old boy. After a few days of milling about and preparing for my Bratabandha, the day finally arrived.
I woke up that day nervous and scared. Nervous because I didn’t know what the ceremony would be like, and scared because all my hair would be gone (which thankfully is back). The ceremony began with me having to perform some spiritual rituals. Afterwards, it was time to cut my hair. The blade hurt against my head and I almost cried at the thought of all my hair being gone. After it was over, I took a cold shower in front of everyone (which was very awkward). After quickly getting through the ceremonial shower, it was time to “beg”. Along with my mamas (maternal uncles), I performed a traditional “begging” ceremony where I walk around the premises and beg for money and rice. After getting that ceremony taken care of (which consisted of stepping in mud and cow feces bare foot), I took the longest and most rigorous shower I’ve ever taken in my entire life. The ceremony slowly winded down afterwards and I breathed a sigh of relief.
The remaining two days in Biratnagar were well spent. Luckily, my uncles were there so I didn’t get bored and I had company. When the day finally came to return to Kathmandu, I was excited and sad. I wanted to leave Biratnagar’s bugs and cow poo, but I knew I was going to miss everyone I met there. We took a few Rikshaws to the airport along with my little cousin Panesh and my uncle. I was amazed at how little Rikshaw drivers make. For 20 minutes of biking in the intense Biratnagar heat, they only make about 20 Rupees. Anyhow, we arrived at the Airport, bid our farewells and boarded to Kathmandu.
All in all, my Bratabandha experience was one worth remembering. It was a fun but embarrassing and (at times) painful ceremony but I didn’t regret it one bit. Certainly, I wouldn’t perform the ceremony again but I am glad that I did my Bratabandha and I will remember it forever.
TO BE CONTINUED…