When I went to Pokhara few weeks back, the only things on my list were to relax, read and write. “I want to sit by the lakeside and read a book or write few poems.” I’d said to my friends, “And sleep too.” I am a Kathmandu girl. Someone, who was born and bred in the capital city of the country. Someone, who needs to walk around the dark narrow gallis of the city that always opens up to a chowk. Someone, who enjoys walking along Asan, pushing and pulling others. But for past few months, after the earthquake, I’d realized that I needed a break from the city I called home. For most of the times, I was too tired to do anything. Of course there were stories to write, interviews to be taken, dishes to be washed and food to be cooked. But there were much more to what I was feeling than just work and chores.
Kathmandu, post-earthquake, was suffocating me. There was something about the air or the ground that made me want to break free. So, right after I left my previous job and before I joined a new one, I decided to take a mini vacation at Pokhara. Many people in my friends’ list love to claim Pokhara as their favorite chilling destination. I know exactly why. The moment you get down of your bus or plane, you feel like wanting to throw out your jeans and pants and wear shorts and dresses instead. You feel like throwing your phone away, get offline and just enjoy what you can see, feel, hear and taste.
On the first evening, I went to lakeside and found myself staring at a boy, who was there to catch fishes but instead ended up blowing bubbles. Seeing him laugh while enjoying his little game with the backdrop of sun almost setting in the horizon and the lake, calmed me down. I ended up writing poems. The rest of the vacation, we went for three nights, were spend doing similar things. My friends and I would find a spot near the lake and we would either write, or read books or listen to one of us playing guitar and singing songs. Forgetting to call our parents up and about the work left back home.
Pokhara has that ability to make you forget about your home. You can spend hours staring at the lake, or hopping around different bars and restaurant in the evening, or going back and forth to other areas like Pame, Sarangkot and Begnas Taal. You will not remember your mother waiting by the phone for your call or your boyfriend or your work or even yourself. You can eat when you feel hungry and sleep when you are tired. The rest, you can do for how much time you want to do. There is no time that bounds you. You don’t live according to your watch.
And that’s why I went to Pokhara. To break away from my daily routine. To forget about the chowk that soothes me down. To calm down. To be in peace. To rejuvenate. And it worked. Three weeks after returning back, I don’t get headaches like I used to and my mood swings have turned mild. I no longer get cranked up as fast as I used to. I like this change. So the next time, things are going out of my control, I know what to do.
When nothing works, going to Pokhara always does.
A.N: The edited version of this article was first published here.