Cultural Hike with Spiny Babbler
by Pukar Gautam
Today we went on a cultural hike. We went to Patan for the trip. Vidheha forgot her helmet so Abin and Nitya ran to get it. When we returned, we saw garbage thrown all over the side of the street. Bhawana maam took photo of Nitya and the garbage as Pallav sir asked him to compose next week’s music based on pollution.
After walking for 15-20 minutes we reached a small hill. There were many temples there. But first, we had some climbing to do. Nitya dada went first. Abin was fast. Aarshiya was a bit afraid because she has not been on trips like this since last spring sensations but she did well.
We chose a shrine each to make artwork of. There were many beautiful shrines and I drew a small temple with lions in front of it. Pallav sir teased me by saying that the lions I made looked like frogs. But he also said that they were really good. He took photos to place on the internet of my work.
While I was doing artwork Pallav sir also took video of Abin dada playing his beautiful composition “Making a fireplace” next to a statue to a couple doing Namaste. Then, as we always do, we cleaned the place. It was sad that such a wonderful place had so much plastic, bottles, paper, and garbage. Terry had asked us what we could do to lessen the pollution in Kathmandu and this is one thing we can continue doing, cleaning up the places we go to.
Then we went to Bagmati River. We saw the river was dirty but construction was being made to keep it clean. Unfortunately, the river was also being made narrow. We saw a group of engineers surveying the bridge. Nitya dada and Shaswat dada interviewed a man. His name was Binod. He was surveying the land to make a new and big bridge. They said that the old bridge would be only used to walk after the big bridge would be made as vehicles would travel through the big bridge. While we were walking, we saw the place where dead people are put into the fire.
We went to a temple complex where the Jagat Narayan temple had fallen during the earthquake. We saw wells, we saw very old Shiva temples, and there were old people sitting in the sun and a gong, which is rare in Nepalese temples. Pallav sir said, he and his friend had taken a photo of a Bhairab more than twenty years ago which was stolen.
While we were walking we saw an old man making a star shaped thing. The old man said it was a Yantra that had heaven and earth and stars and the ground below. He wanted to share what he had made with everyone in the valley.
Pallav sir called us to a place where there were trees, a temple which had a big garden. Some of my friends recorded their music compositions in that place. We learned that local musicians made music for the gods there and there were two musicians who were very kind and shared their music with us, listened to our music, and sang notes with us. They sat in a small pati, played the harmonium and tabala. They were happy we played our flute and others also listened and were happy with us. The musician’s name was Ratna Maharjan. He has been playing music instruments for more than 6 years and his specialty is tabala.
After that we went to a local hotel and ate samosa and nimki. They were very tasty, especially the sauce of imli which the hotel keeper made himself. We went to a small temple which had ancient stone taps. The stone taps had gone dry. Then we went along dark narrow alleys. We went to the Banglamukhi temple. We saw a street drama at the Banglamukhi temple. I liked the street drama very much. We reached Children’s Park and played on the slide. We could not play more because Aarshiya had to go home early. After playing for a while we returned to Spiny Babbler.