Boudha, Barsaat and Pure Imagination

[Summer 2019: Memories] 

This summer, I decided to end my stay at my home in Delhi, prematurely and return to Nepal before my summer holidays formally ended. I’m not entirely sure what motivated this course of action. On one level, I wanted to come back and get started on possible ideas for my thesis. I was also maybe missing the little Tibetan Buddhist bubble which Boudha is. I don’t often find myself, in Delhi, in neighborhoods with the street or shop signs in Tibetan. Nor do I, back home, find myself often surrounded by friends and people who casually work in Madhyamaka references into the jokes they make. Perhaps most of all, back home, I don’t wake up to the sight of the Stupa prominent from my room’s window. These all might be possible reasons for coming back sooner than I planned.  

Of course my arrival was perfectly timed with the coming of the Nepal monsoons, I probably beat the monsoon clouds to the Tribhuvan airport by about an hour and a half. Not much but it gave me time to mentally prepare. You see unlike many other parts of India, we in Delhi are severely starved for the rains, and at this stage I’m more used to dry heat than constant drizzle. Which is funny, my house in Boudha (which is basically a little room on a terrace) would in colloquial Hindi be called a “Barsaati”. That’s significant because the first half of that word- “Barsaat” is Hindi for Monsoon and I wonder if the spirit behind this odd coinage is “that structure which catches a lotta rain” as I have found out in the last couple rain drenched days.

The View from my Barsaati 

All in all, I couldn’t have asked for a better ambience to read and write and work. A friend of mine, who incidentally told me the legend of why the valley now courts so much rain (cliff notes version: Angry sage enslaved rain causing nagas for 12 years, until Bunga Dyo came all the way from Assam, India to rectify the situation which has been fine since) also suggested the perfect soundtrack to work to- the instrumental version of Gene Wilder’s Pure Imagination. And I have found it especially complements rainy mornings! 

~Utkarsh Chawla

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