March 20, 2018

Bhaktapur: A Day I Wished Never Ended

Nimiska Pandey
BMKF Scholar (Law 2020)

On any other day, voices hollering my name from a taxi window might have alarmed me, but on this day I was so happy and excited to see the faces inside the taxi that without hesitation, I jumped in!

It was finally the day I had been waiting for, a visit to Bhaktapur Durbar Square where I would spend my entire day with the person I most dearly wished to see, Sonnia Auntie, and the person who was new to me yet so close after the first meeting I had earlier, Shannan didi. Surrounded by the beauty of the location and the company of the BMKF family members, I felt I was on a day out with my own family. The earthquake had devastated the structural beauty of Bhaktapur Durbar Square yet couldn’t hamper the beauty that lies in the eye of beholder. Though I am from Nepal, I had not fully realized what the 2015 earthquake had done but when I saw Sonnia Auntie’s tears as she was overwhelmed by sadness of what she was witnessing, being a foreigner, spoke to my heart and I realized the enormity of what we had lost. Though we had not been together before and had not visited each other, her tears got me teary. I felt how strong the bond was that we had built and how deep the love has been.

The day was filled with many lighthearted activities of us taking photos with the scary masks, posing as if we were selecting a dress, and many more that made us burst with laughter. My best moment was when Sonnia Auntie said to me, “bless you” when I sneezed, and I said to myself, “Yes, I am blessed. I am blessed that I have you with me Auntie.” It was our second time meeting each other, but it felt like we have known each other forever. I felt like she has given her life to us. There can be no other better help to a girl other than educating her and helping her empower herself. Words are not enough to thank Sonnia Auntie, indeed.

We walked along the street together hand-in-hand, I’ll never forget the smile on Sonnia Auntie’s face when I joked that I had saved her life three times from being run over by motorcycles. That smile was so precious that I swear I would do anything to see it again and again. We also had the delicious curd Bhaktapur is famous for. I’m sure the curd tastes even better when you have it with your family around, which was the case that day. We gathered memories by snapping many photos, but I know the lens of the camera could not capture what was truly in our hearts. The moments passed too quickly. As everything must come to an end we, too, had to separate. Saying goodbye was very tough and it got me teary. I felt as if a piece of my heart was being separated from me and the last words still cling to my ears: “Please see us again before you leave.”