Eyeing the Waves of Change...

Features Issue 82 Jul, 2010
Text by Nandita Rana / Photo: Kishor Kayastha

Legends, myths and other spiritual references all clearly present Nepal as one of the holiest places on earth. According to a Hindu belief, Nepal once stood as the kingdom where the first ruler of the world, King Manu, reigned during the age of truth (satya-truth; yuga-era). Back then Nepal was known as the land of truth (satyawati), where gods and goddesses roamed and the most venerable of priests and sages resided and meditated. Many epics and legends were conceived in the holy land of Nepal and it is believed that sage Valmiki composed the holy Ramayan by the bank of Sapta-gandaki River.

Nestled right in its fold are the highest peak of the world and the sacred mountain of Gauri Shankar, seen as the abode of lord Shiva and Parvati. Nepal is epitomized as the land of peace by the birth of a great teacher of enlightenment Lord Gautama Buddha. As eons passed by, the yugas progressed from satyayuga (the age of truth), dwaparyuga (copper age) to the present Kaliyuga (age of science and technology). The current era of Nepal, however, has seen many transformation and changes compared to its legendary history and very few remains of what Nepal used to be.

Many rulers overpowered the country only to be replaced by another force of change.  The path towards today’s political stability is an extended course of this historical upheaval, which has never been as smooth as anticipated. Those were the period when dark clouds shrouded over the serene skies of the country. The ever welcoming smile of innocence in people changed into frowns of dissatisfaction and doubt. Dark smoke rose from the lamps of revolution and peaceful temperament of Nepalese people turned into fury.

Now that this storm has calmed once again and people have found an alley to their definitive causes, normality is what people long for. They are beginning to anticipate a new start, a subtler one that people are ready to embrace. As it is said that every cloud has a silver lining; the decade long conflict of the people’s war in Nepal is promising new light of hope to the people.

The wave of change has finally begun to dawn upon every individual. They are looking for a vision, a change, a transformation that they had been searching in different pursuits. The eye, which is the window of the soul, reflects their untold stories. Those eyes reflect curiosity, anger, fear, surprise, excitement, happiness, and emotions they have lived with so far. Their eyes and their demeanor express the eagerness of the results for which they had been fighting so long with utter valor. Discarding the biases of gender, age, culture, occupation and any other such inhibitions, the nation has once again united to raise its voice and to have it heard altogether.

As a child in her mother’s arms rejoices with the same excitement that is seen in her expression in awe of the impending dawn. Brothers and sisters, hesitant yet inquisitive, stand at their doorstep who long to see the coming of the unknown and so does the two neighbors, arm in arm, exuberantly and hopefully expecting the reawakening of the change. It seems as though everybody is preparing for the grand welcome of what is to come, of the hope they have been living for a long time. This nostalgia embraces everybody from a youngster to an elderly, whether in mass or in melancholy. It seems as though, each and every one of them is preparing for the change. Some smile in agreement, some are anxious to find what may come and what it may lead to.

Some long for the new sun to shine in awe while some contemplate in solitude, deep and thoughtful in self reflection. Despite different occasions, celebration or remorse, people seem to be expecting and searching for the ultimate answer. From the well adorned bride getting ready for the big moment of her life to the copper statue of antiquity in a state of prayer, all seem to welcome the new wave with open arms.

The changes are seeded in thoughts the same way different theories, inventions, and revolutions sprouted from minds of great individuals and their enduring visions. Such contemplation has led to the evolution and transformation of the entire human civilization from discovery of different philosophical disciplines to the proliferation of high end technologies. Once in a while, time bends situations that provoke concern but Nepalese people still hold on to their pride and strive to take the path of peace and security, which was immortally stamped on their identities.

Nepalese still remember their grateful past. The land belongs to the great gods and the brave Gurkhas, who have fought and died for their sovereignty. Nepal, though a mere peck in the vast atlas of the world, has remained undefeated and unbeaten by foreign forces and power. The immortal mountains and the lush hills of the country have contributed to save its dominion. The rawness is still there; its history smells fresh in the hearts and soul’s of the people and its culture alive and guiding their way. Once known as the land of salvation (Muktisopan), Nepalese have stuck to the path of serenity and simplicity. Although their demeanor is laid back and they seem satisfied with whatever life bestows them, the spirits of Nepalese cannot be mistaken for folly.

Many a times they have risen, awakened and roared the screams of disapproval should their composure be threatened. Yet they have remained generous all through those times. Despite bloodshed, sacrifices and loss, they have overcome mortal illusions and are still willing to step down, except when they have had to fight for freedom. Shoulder to shoulder they walk, hand in hand, although many have suffered gravely the losses of their loved ones. They seem not to be disheartened by the darkness. Unafraid and unaffected are their spirits which shows in their eyes.

The mountains, temples and different deities are their assets and in their courtyard they still pay homage to their ancestors. Drawing from them strength and persistence. This is one reason why Nepalese are never in short of hope. With sole belief in the cosmic and spirituality and despite all creed, tradition, race and religion, they stand united and elated in their nationality. They are easy on forgiveness.
Adorned with traditions and obliged of their past Nepalese seek the same standards of peace as stated in its legends. With waves of change coming in once again, and their hearts recovering from a state of mourning, they seem to have let go of all the vengeance.

They are prepared to start again with the new sun rising. The shadows of doubt have begun to steer away letting in the rays of righteousness. This has cleared the sky once shrouded by pangs of worry. People have been looking out from everywhere, they have been searching in their souls, and they know that they anticipate positive progress. They are aiming higher; they’re analyzing the next step to take. Once again they have the freedom to think and act. Thoughts that have shaped history are firming up once again. The sovereignty will be settled and the legends restored in a new Nepal. Let’s Hope. 

Photographer: Kishor Kayastha (98510.52.778) Email: kishorkayastha73@yahoo.com