well, stranger things have happened. i was sitting in sujit’s hot sandwich shop (opposite my hotel in pokhara) minding my hot tuna and cheese sandwich when the lady in the butcher shop beside started working her limp and very dead chickens with a blowtorch.
given the recent shenanigans of the marauding maoists, i suspect that she was trying to make the following points, that (a) she could use a blowtorch and (b) she would use said blowtorch. nice, i like when women take action.
between sitting in the garden with a badnewspaper or in bed contemplating geometrical variations while nursing a bad stomach, i managed to find time to visit a maoist feeding centre by lakeside and attend one of their rallies. given the kind of people they are, i can understand why they like bandhs (strikes) and rallies so much – they only have to eat, sleep, scream and shout, thrash things and people upside down and most importantly, not shower. nothing like satiating the baser instincts to keep a caveman happy.
maoist feeding and general r&r zone by lakeside. they couldn’t have chosen a better spot for a picnic. a storm was brewing and lightning exploded the sky when i made this picture. how appropriately ominous.
under a lobster-red tent, they fed on daal bhaat and “simple foods”, according to one of the them, and them according to him being “simple peoples”.
they say hunger makes a man mad. this guy was more mad then hungry, i think.
today marks the end of a bandh that lasted 6 days, much to the chagrin of some maoist cadres who still have the fight in them. the guy in the photo above can put away his cap. frankly, they are facing a dearth of popularity. reports from several parts of nepal told of folks retaliating against maoist force. forcing people against their will to participate in the bandh is not exactly the best way of making friends.
getteth thyself into the ol’ photograms below, ye maoists, for obstinate and obsolete thou have becometh.
i shot this from the second storey of a half-constructed building. to get there, i had to navigate through seething cadres lining the spiral staircase, agitated by mr. i-have-the-runs-of-mouth below. i have never heard a diatribe so long or irritating in my life. nevermind that i couldn’t understand much of what he was saying. i did catch the names of some locations in kathmandu, so i surmised he was delivering an after-action review to his dear comrades. much like how communist leaders overstated grain harvests and poultry output – same same but different.
mingling with the crowd, who stared at me and my camera like i was either the bubonic plague or the san franciscan (according to nick cave & the bad seeds) gold rush, i saw crazed youths with young communist league headbands and sticks in their hands. at the other end of the spectrum, there were old men brandishing sticks as well. not walking sticks, mind you, but the kind that goes bam-bam over your head.
a standard shot of the grand ole standard. only in nepal and with love, xoxo.
p.s. trying to write like kunda-ji is so much fun, reading his stuff even better.
for more crusty (mostly not) posts direct from nepal, click here.