Two Worlds in Thamel


 

It was the last Friday of December when Sujit a 19-year-old high school dropout who worked in a Chiya Pasal near Baneshwor was walking in the streets of Thamel hoping to buy lighters and cigarettes from a mini-mart near Trisara: The Baking Factory. On his walk towards the mini-mart, he kept hovering over Google Maps on his Nokia C1 that he had bought after saving his money for 3 months. It was his first time witnessing Thamel’s nightlife and its haunting beauty. He there observed people in all kinds of clothes doing all types of drugs, he saw people in their most fancy outfits going to clubs he never stepped foot inside, he saw businessmen talking about making an amount of money he’d never even heard of and he saw people in alleys in an altered state of mind participating in tomfoolery, to sum it all up Sujit who was new to Kathmandu witnessed lives of people that he’d never seen in his home town Ramechhap.

As he further made his steps towards the mart he saw two parallel scenes that he couldn’t take his mind off of on one hand he saw two beggars fight for the spot right below the huge green trash bin so they could sleep peacefully in the night, without worrying about policemen circling their backs and on the other hand he saw four presumably rich government officers in their suits with their hands full of bottled beer and cash. The two beggars were going through an intense argument over who should be allowed to sleep under the trash bin and they were in a heated verbal altercation about who was more deserving. In contrast, the four rich men were giving bottles of Barahsinghe to what looked like people in their early 20s just cause they felt like it. Sujit who before 4 months had never been outside of Ramecchap was witnessing lives that were beyond his comprehension, his worldview was shattered and so was his narrative about the people in Kathmandu, what he thought was the land of dreams was indeed a desert of sand where people were fighting for their cup of water to quench their thirst. 

Sujit had never stopped so long to watch what goes on the two opposite sides of the road, but that Friday he did and the more he watched both of the scenes unfold the further he understood about the inequality and division of our society. Sujit made mental notes about how the two beggars who were clashing against each other had emboldened themselves to move forward, progressing to fight for each other's living space and the four government officers who spent their money like tomorrow didn’t exist were simply doing it cause their mirage never dried. Sujit’s attraction towards the atmosphere of both threat and prosperity made him feel as if he was drowning himself in a matter of social existence, He felt helpless as he couldn’t do anything about the wealth gap in the streets of Thamel. Both the rich men showing high levels of delinquency and the beggars' struggle to get one night of peaceful sleep had damaged Sujit’s mind, as he felt unable to fulfil his social obligations. He was a perceptive thinker immersed in the derided question: How can contentment, social justice and prosperity be achieved in this society?

While some continue to fight for more wealth and happiness others languish in helplessness.

( I wanna thank Aditya for his insightful observations that made Sujit's story happen, Aditya is an incredibly beautiful human with his interests primarily being art and human society. It is due to their generous spirit that this story is being told

To check Aditya and his work check out his profile on Linkedin : Aditya Pandey ) 

 




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