Om’s Home (Reflections on Life in Kathmandu)

Posted by J Foster on Oct 28, 2016 in Cultural Anthropology, Fieldwork in Nepal |

That Wooden House
Audience in public
From what today
And that whacked the entrance
I am the mansion thorn
I am that there are
The sense of master
You’re cole and left
Haven’t you got a rug
Not the hypocrisis to gateways
The sense of master
A Saxophone’s tones guillotined
Developed by an eye on Springfield
Movie Stars that you love and hate
To another home, that wooden kate
That wooden house and a lob
Bring the jewelry to the railway cops
Turtles, Busters in China
A refugee on angina
Donald Amy, Set Whinfield
The guards described, the guards that yield
Coconut, Tetris and raft
A hustler smokes what is left
The director has enough to read
Write miseries on sheet
That wooden house and a lob
Bring the jewelry to the railway cops
It’s the entering thief
That wooden house and a lob
Bring the jewelry to the railway cops

~The Wooden House, by Pierre Rausch

Kathmandu is a lot like an old house. These deep internal supports, centuries old or more, overlaid by the patchworks of time. New cement walls painted with bright pinks and yellows, jarringly brilliant blues, and all wrapped precariously around 18th century brick-work and 12th century woodcarvings. Intricate Naga snake-women and ancient Vedic, Tantric, Buddhist, and animist deities overlooking sliding glass windows, rooftop water tanks, and an accumulation of about eight decades of creative electrical engineering. Is it any surprise that there’s only about 6 hours of electricity per day? Kathmandu is a city that shows its wear and misuse, its wealth and its poverty; in short, its life, in so many ways. Finger-stained door jams, trash discarded in the streets, kumkum and sandalwood powder caked on roadside shrines, the constant bustle, screech, and hum of streets filled with taxis, buses, cars, people, stray dogs, meditating sadhus, and cows. People hanging out on balconies overhead, women attending to the washing beneath alleyway waterspouts, beggars crying out for alms, fruit sellers plying their trade from rickety carts and bicycles, children running after a toy or a pet bouncing down the road. It’s a city in perpetual decay, with the veneer of life constantly building on top of it. Kathmandu is rotting underneath, but as the people of Nepal will tell you; this is how the soil of life is made, from which the wildest flowers grow.

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