WHEN EAST MEETS WEST

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It was six months straight away that I have lived far from home in Kathmandu in a rented room in Kathmandu. I was exhausted, and was desperately missing my home. I wanted to travel back to home to at least gather some good time with my family and friends. I found a pause for few weeks in the end of March to the beginning of April. I planned to travel back suddenly and the next day, I went to the Bus park, took a ticket for the night bus for that same day. It was all sudden and I just wanted to reach home as soon as possible.

 

The passengers were adults and most of them were in their mid-40s. The man next to me also was man around his 50s. He was very friendly and had a lot of ideas and knowledge. It was great to have a person like him next to you especially when you are travelling in bus the whole night. He shared his ideas, I listened and we talked a lot that night.

 

When I travel on bus, I usually put on my headphones. But unfortunately this time, my earphones were not working since few days and I could not spare time to buy new ones. So, I had no other options rather than listening to what peoples were talking and what the bus staff would play on the way.

 

As time passed, we travelled further and further, beginning from the traffic of Kathmandu to the heart-stopping mountainous road of Dhading and all the way to the dangerous Banks of Trisuli, the bus was moving fluently. And we were on the mid journey when we reached to Narayanghat and stopped for Food there. After having launch, the bus began moving again.

Around 11 in the evening, the bus stopped at Butwal. All the lights were off until then. Suddenly, all the lights began glowing and the conductor began shouting. I woke from my sleep and was little angry on him. As the bus stopped, an old women came into the bus with her hand in her son-in-laws hand. She was night-blind and needed support to travel at any time.

 

A seat in front of me was vacant, so she took the vacant seat where another old women of same age was sitting.  The one that recently entered the bus was from the Eastern Nepal and another old lady who was there since the journey from Kathmandu was from the Far Western part of Nepal. Eventually, they began talking to each other. It was almost 12 in the night, almost everybody in the bus were sleeping but they were talking to each other and I was listening to them.

Their chats were simply amazing, I could not stop myself from listening to them and neither could I sleep. They began by introduction and their age. The one who entered the bus at Butwal was older and said,” Then, I am older than you and I shall call you sister, right?” They laughed for a while and began talking about their children.  The older women had 3 sons and 2 daughters and another had 3 sons and 3 daughters. They were very proud to announce that they had 3 sons but not so happy while talking about their daughters, probably because of the inequality that still exists in this Patriarchy Nation. The older women was travelling to the far western region to meet her oldest son who had an electric shop in Kailali. She would proudly say,” my son is not among ordinary men, he travelled across a lot of disparities and trouble but yet did not broke. He is my son and that is why he will not fall apart. Now, he has a complete family, has a son, a healthy wife and I will travel to heaven now”

 

And as they talked and talked, they became good friends which I could sense after a while.  The older women brought some popcorns that her daughter made for her. She shared the popcorn and they began eating, laughing without any sleep.

After some time, I fell in sound sleep. The chatting continued and it was as sweet as they shared their stories and their part which are completely different. The eastern culture was shared to the western and the western to eastern. And the fusion of these two parts was out of the world.

 

Around 4 in the morning the next day, bus stopped at a small cottage in Kohalpur, at my station. I came out rushing as always. After few time, the ladies came out of the bus holding each other’s hand, The younger was saying, “ slowly, or you might hurt yourself’’

 

And that is what happened when The East met The West, the traditions, cultures are shared and United we become.

Position: High School graduate

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