On a bright monsoon morning right after a week of rain, the air was crisp and the sun was mellow. I decided to walk half of the way to work. My body had been craving for some long-overdue exercise. Ten minutes in and the endorphins kicked in and I felt light, briskly curving about the narrow sidewalks in Tahachal.
Before crossing the bridge from Tahachal towards Paropakar School, I contemplated taking a taxi. But I listened to my body. It wanted to walk over the Vishnumati river and see Basantapur.
Basantapur’s timeless beauty made me wish that all other buildings and paths in the city had retained the architecture of Basantapur. It’s such a joy to walk on the ancient cobbled road and see the temples coming back to life after the rebuilding and restoration from the damage of the 2015 earthquake.
Beyond, the Asan-Indra Chowk area was warming up to a brand new day of business. Vendors were cleaning the streets and showcasing their products. I contemplated buying the shiny copper water jug set. The cool shade of the narrow lane stopped at Jamal and further, I just walked past the Hiti Pokhari near my office. Another old cultural gem.
Office assistant calls out at the office gate, ‘So red-faced!’ Feet were burning but the walk had a wonderful effect on my cooped up body.
The walk also made me look at the little details around me. The workers were perched atop the new bridge of Vishnumati river with the backdrop of green Nagarjun hill and the white sparse clouds. Then some vendors were resting on the sidewalk. A woman was looking for good onions among a sack of rotten vegetables left after a day’s sale the night before. Fresh flowers embellished the door of a newly restored temple at Basantapur. An elderly man fed the flock of pigeons. Maybe there’s a spirit of upcoming festivities among the vendors and passersby alike. The streets were crowded for a Tuesday morning but not too much. All were perfect sightings for a morning stroll through our lively city center!
Kathmandu valley is for walking. I am grateful to be at a job that makes me think critically of our environment and how we interact within it.
Writer of the article, Richa Neupane is the Impact and Sustainability Manager for the Royal Mountain Group.