Sunday, January 07, 2007

Good head start, lonely highway and lucky us

After a month long of technical what nots, a week long stay at Help Nepal Network (HeNN) office, broken stomach, shattered sleep with biscuit and sausage snack, our Linux based low cost computing solution using thin client system was finally ready. Destination Lalmaitya, Dang – our excitement was perhaps higher than the mountains of ktm valley, willing to cross Thankot. We were supposed to gather at HeNN office by 6 am. I was the nearest but perhaps it was broken sleep, i slept more than i should but fortunately didn't get too late for HeNN office. Shishir was already there and half of the stuffs were already loaded – dozen bundles of cartoon full of books and eight set computers. Rajiv and Ayush joined in a while. Kebina came a lil' late, but since the whole microbus was on reserve, we didn't think it was going to be something to regret on for a while.

Some photographs at chabahil, n we hit the road. But not for too long - we got stuck at Kalanki. Might be just some 'Kalanki ko jam' we thought, but it was infact a strike. And to turn us down, it happened to be for indefinite period. C-R-A-P. It was 7 in the morning. Our microbus was almost at the front of the line of vehicles that soon made up. Had we been lil' early to move, we would have escaped. But there was no moving behind. All we could do was wait.

But it kinda became wait, wait n wait. We stayed in the microbus listening to some music, then got out for a walk, then again back but still no sign of escape. The strike was getting more aggressive as one got beaten up for shouting at the strikers. We started gettin hungry. Kathmandu's momo for the last time – we'll be missin it at Dang. But if we can move forward, that is.. Well, i dont believe in superstitions but that moment i was too joinin others with – 'Kun sahit ma aaiyechha'.

Then around at 12:30 our guruji suddenly came out with an indigenous idea. There was a petrol pump little below Kalanki's chowk and there was a small road which we were told was shortcut to reach Thankot. Although there was much risk using that road, our guruji dared. Not to dare is to be dead. Now we felt much alive.

But the travel wasn't a pleasant one. Infact we almost had near death experience taking that road. Well, there were no strikers there to (maybe) burn our microbus, but the road itself was a real killer. At one place the road was so narrow that we almost doubted the microbus would pass, but i really appreciate the courage and skill of our guruji that we finally got outta there and finally reached ..... at around 2.

Now hit the road jack! Journey till then had been quite a nightmare – uneven road with creepy turns and breath-taking width. But now the highway was so lonely, courtesy the strike at Kalanki. We'd reserved the microbus but it seemed like we also reserved the highway. I have never seen such a lonely highway in my life. Our guruji told us that the Koshi was also bandh. Our microbus ruled the road. Just us and the open road.

Naubise at 2:30pm. There we had a very very expensive lunch. It was clear that the shopkeeper was cheating us, but at highway we'd no option.

Now it was a fun-ride. The microbus was new too. At times we were also hitting 100 kmph steady. But i hadn't realized microbus can be this confortable. Even at 100, we didn't feel anything jerky. The ride was smooth and comfortable. No sound of engine, felt like riding a jet plane. Shishir and me were at the front seat, and we both enjoyed the scene. I specially liked the sunset around at 5.

Around at 8 we stopped at .... to have dinner. Finally our own dal, bhat and tarkari. There was meat too, but the skin were really rough. We even were jokin if it was the skin of recently killed rhinoceroses. More enjoyable was the fact that we're gonna reach our destination after one hour.

Finally we reached. The most delightful thing was the stars. Dude. Jus lay back and marvel. There's much light pollution at ktm, we never get to see such a clear sky full of bright stars. It was really really beautiful scene.

More enjoyable was the school. Previously i thought that the school was small and located at remote location. But things weren't like that. The school was two storied and full concrete building. Later on i came to know that the building was constructed with the help of British Gurkhas. There was a separate block to keep the books and computers. 'Laxmidevi Bhawan' – the inscription at the outer wall said. But shouldn't it be 'Jamunadevi Library'? I was confused. But i had no time to ask, we all were busy unloading the stuffs.

After unloading, we said bye bye to the microbus. Kebina stayed at one of the ma'am's place. Rest of us headed towards Govinda sir's room. It was some around 15 minutes walk from the school premises, but i really really enjoyed the walk. It was cool weather and we were walking on the highway. Really liked it. Finally reached Govinda sir's place. We shared the room. Tired, didn't know when i slept.

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