A Spring of Surprise

by Ant Stone on November 19, 2007

in Nepal

A lingering cold. Perceptions. An Irish pair. Gore-tex. An English doublet. Love. Salmon Rushdie. An endless line. One Australian. Two Australians. A city in protest. A solo Swede. The Himalaya. The afterlife. A pondering sadhu. Shooting stars. A rickshaw ride. Vegetable moussaka. Expectations. An averted disaster. Central Asia. Spirited Away. Nepali Sherpas. A blazing sun. A brace of Kiwis. A pencil sharpener. Toothpaste tubes. Telex forms. Free Tibet. Conformity. Hot lemon. A lone Canadian. Yak wool. Israel. Down sleeping bags. Country capitals. Ambitions. Candlelight. An American duet. Banana lassi. Please. Take a breath. If the ingredients that made up our lives were a simple family of words filed neatly between a peppering of punctuation, then our lives would surely make no sense at all. Though the words maniacally cascading through to the foothills of these, my opening lines, carry with them the weekly silt of my Being’s physical exposure, from the citadel of it’s very existence.

I’ve spent the last week in Kathmandu and the surrounding valley. Five grueling visits to the Indian embassy were interspersed with day trips into the hills; where the mountain village of Nargakot played stage to a dazzling sunset spectacle, golden rays of sunlight danced faultlessly aside the evening cast of a distant Himalaya. The following morning’s finale saw the sunrise affectionately licking at their serrated, blazing summits. Encore, encore, I mused. The ancient Newari town of Bhaktapur was later realised in the reflection of a pair of twinkling onyx eyes, belonging to a local beggar boy, while the Buddhist mantra ‘om mani padme hum‘ played out to soften carefree confabs with a fetching new friend, named Lucy. The ‘Ayra Ghats’ by the Hindu temple of Pashupatinath provided a moment of reflection, as I witnessed the crude-yet-emotive, open air cremation ceremonies as some of Nepal’s most recently deceased sent plumes of smoke high up into the city air, to dance on the wings of the city’s circling hawks. The soft voices emanating from the painted torsos of numerous dreadlocked sadhus – perched among Kathmandu’s rascally monkeys – provided an uplifting, curious distraction.

I’ve recently been bobbing around like a stodgy dumpling in a steamy stew of bubbling Being. Friends have blossomed out of nowhere like perennial spring flowers (some in the most extraordinary circumstances, and one rare variety quite literally gifted the name of Rose) and while plucking moments from them like precious petals, I have felt a fertilisation in my spirit’s roots. Deep. I questioned, could it be? Roots are forbidden in my world. It could be. It could be not. It could be. It could be not. I plucked away. Until I made, a most monumental decision. Superstition dictates that I won’t be revealing this twist to the masses just yet, but come the English springtime a glorious post will be seen in full bloom here on this very site, that some of you will find amazing, some fascinating, some electrifying and some jaw-droppingly terrifying.

Dramatic pause. Please. Take another breath. I’m leaving Kathmandu tomorrow, returning to rent a motorbike for a day or two in the land where rhinos roam; Chitwan’s National Park. It’s a convenient point to return to on my journey through Nepal’s eastern Terai, and subsequently on to the Indian city of Darjeeling in the following week. With my Indian visa secured, I’m planning on being there for some time – perhaps up to 6 months. I have no plan, though I know at one point I would like to tip my backpack upside down, emptying it’s fading contents into a set of sturdy drawers, at least for a month or two. I realised an oversight on my part recently; in trying to experience other cultures I have largely neglected my own. So during my time in India, I’ll be restoring some homegrown passions; cinema, cooking, sport etc. As well as the longterm surprise I’ve planted tortuously above, there will also be a short term one – for some readers at least – in the coming weeks, one I’m curiously anticipating putting into practice as it’s been at least ten years since I last attempted it.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Becki November 19, 2007 at 3:50 pm

Are you pregnant? Would this be the monumental surprise you’ll be unveiling to us masses in the spring? By my maths that would be about 3 months, and superstition does dictate that you can’t reveal pregnancy until 3 months. I’m so happy for you! Who’s the father?


Ant November 19, 2007 at 4:55 pm

It’s the sadhu, that was the “uplifting, curious distraction.” Shhh, don’t tell anyone, he’ll lose his job : ) x


Rachael November 22, 2007 at 12:41 pm

Given your comment in the lift in Tenerife only you could confirm that ;0)


Dani November 24, 2007 at 4:53 pm

Everytime I read a new entry into your adventures I am always totally captivated (it’s the way you write) and find myself almost living your adventures with you.

Can’t wait for the next installment .. Take it easy buddy x


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