by ASHOK SILWAL
… as a Nepal guide
The spaces had become narrow to me,
The days little monotonous and sleepy
In their lazy repetitiveness…..
I studied, I practiced.. I chose to be a Nepal Guide
And I have become with passion and joy.
Maybe I did not imagine how much, staying at home,
I would have traveled the world….
Today, my “last” guiding ,
Because of this damn virus,
Dates back to a year ago.
Today, I’m missing my guests, my friends,
My steps on the paths and through the monuments
In “my” Valley…
In my heart, all is present.
In my pen now, all in past.. moments of nostalgia,
But I’m not celebrating a commemoration….
I GOT EXCITED PREPARING MY BACKPACK
Strange sensation:feeling it as a part of myself;
It will not be on my back but in my body and emotions.
Its smell, its little stains as scars,
Red are its suspenders as my beloved red wool cap.
They accompanied me on many paths
In the sun and in the snow.
I love my small white and beige checked crewneck scarf,
I love my a bit slumped hiking shoes,
I love my blue windbreaker down jacket.
They are securing, they are my friends.
I GOT EXCITED MEETING MY GUESTS
From France, Italy, Canada, Israel, from USA,
From Australia, from India, from Korea…
Countless countries in the world
Everyday a surprise: young or old, blond or dark,
Cultured or ignorant, men or women,
Alone or with family and friends,
Hurry or wanting to enjoy …
Words, glances, hands communication,
In need of one thing or another.
And what a joy for me
Discovering their countries, their habits,
Their religions and ways of life,
It was not working : it was talking,
Exchanging, learning.. giving and receiving.
I GOT EXCITED TRAVELING WONDERFUL PLACES
Buddhanath, Swayambhunath, Patan,
With passion and joy, explaining and showing,
And hiking in the hills and higher;
The white domes, the small Tibetan flags,
The monkeys,the fires, the orange flowers of our garlands,
And our messy streets full of scooters
With their tangles of dangling electric wires…
I GOT TIRED BUT EXCITED BACKING HOME
I knew they were backing home too, abroad,
My guests become friends,
In love with Kathmandu.
I felt it in their eyes and in their words
Amazed, moved, delighted, curious.
I guided and we enjoyed together.
“ CHOOSE A JOB THAT YOU LOVE
AND YOU WILL NEVER HAVE TO WORK
A DAY IN YOUR LIFE.”
I had choose to be a guide
And the virus attacked…
But guiding lives in me still with passion and joy.
All in the present in my heart,
Even if my pen is writing in the past…
But waiting to ignite the fire of enthusiasm again
With monuments, sites, guests and friends.