After our little adventure, I went back to Kathmandu with no intention of returning back to Gorkha. I had to continue with my studies and I didn’t think twice of staying back to get a position in the wormhole to supposedly help the earthquake survivors. I was qualified enough and could demand a hefty salary. But it was bullocks, I thought. Why do something half-heartedly when I could go back home and lounge in middle-aged rigmarole of gossips in the cafes. It was an easy decision. So one fine sunny day, as I and my precious little Sherpa was dawdling in a café, the earth shook like mother earth was having sex with a couple of Nepali gigolos. In a paroxysm of fear, we ran into the streets and stooped ourselves in the middle of the poorly done asphalt for safety. After the quake subsided, I knew that Kathmandu would again go on vacation for another month or so. I sighed at my misery. I was ready for college and here was fate, trying to knock me down with boredom in this godly city. The ennui was unbearable and I signed up for Gorkha again.
This time, I landed into another wormhole with the possibility of great payroll. By some chance or rather mischance, I was to work with Harka who had managed to sell himself as a beauty product to this wormhole. He had done well and was pocketing an extra grand a day through procurement systems. I was lodged in the same hotel where I had previously stayed. Reunion called for celebration and we gulped a dozen of brown bombers. There was a scene. Harka caressed a Kuireni and she slapped the drunkenness out of him. I laughed my ass out.
The next day, I given orientation about the project and did some paperwork. I met Amy from Ireland but she didn’t do booze. She was my boss and I was to be her loyal subordinate. She was easygoing and I was a perfect addition to her entourage. I was interview some key officials and her team was to do a FGD in every village the wormhole had crawled into. For this, I was getting paid handsomely and had been provided a room in the lodge, free food and a four wheeler.
“So, how were the excrements” I questioned.
“It has matured our children” the village chairperson exclaimed.
“Should the wormhole still exist in your village” I enquired.
“They should dig deeper” a social mobilizer replied.
Our travel was near impossible. Our driver was a war veteran. He didn’t care about the damn landslides and muddy roads. Well, he didn’t care for us either. I doubted he even cared for himself. He had a lot of inner demons and going to kill them all would take a lot, I figured. Amy was a stout looking woman and she held her head upright. She had some Irish freckles and her countenance was boiled and she always attired herself in Kurtha to depict her proximity with the locals. She would frequently debrief us in the Bolero and the driver, who didn’t want to be any part of our conversation always turned up the volume to Hindi songs. The mood inside the four wheeler was usually tense. Harka humored and was promiscuous towards underage volunteers. Our camaraderie would frequently make us crispy drunk in the evening.
The rain had the road sloppy and ruts along the narrow passages made our travelling uneasy. The hills provided us cover for any misfortunes yet, it could easily engulf us into itself as the landslides were numerous. The rain, unabated and ruthless made the earthquake survivors shiver with cold and haplessness. All forms of relief ceased to flow to the villages and food was getting scant while alcohol was aplenty. Sometimes the whole village appeared drunk and we caroused in their indifference to sorrows that nature had thrown at them. There was little work from the team but I had managed to interview and gather information for the wormhole as much as I could. My smoking habit and drunkenness facilitated this information gathering. Offering cigarettes to old women usually did the trick. Offering men cheap barleys’ and making scenes made best of friends for the day. I applied no ceremonial way to gather information. It was brutal and effective. Men of information should be befriended whatever they reek from.
Harka transcribed, subscribed and sexually harassed the underage volunteers. Amy warned him of reliving him of his duties but she had no choice. Nepalese youths were abroad. The villages were full of venerable patriarchs who were illiterate. Other younglings chanced their fortune in driving and conducting bus and tractors. The youths of Kathmandu were hustling and clowning as paparazzi along with new foreign friends from the West. The Center was reveling under the influence of new-fangled and exotic creatures with their Bourbons and diet colas.
Meanwhile, the mountains in the North cried foul as the incessant monsoon showered upon them, wringing all forms of life, cleansing the sins of Mother Nature. A purgatory had commenced.
To be continued…