Nepal, mero maya.

Nepal I have been your lover for eleven years now. We had good and bad times. But somehow talking about you, brings this melancholy to my heart.

My love for you is passionate. I speak of you with fire in my heart. I have experienced some of my happiest moments when I was with you. And I know you love me dearly, tenderly, fiercely, passionately, playfully. Your love just reflects back to me my love for you.

But there have been times of great pain and suffering as well while I was with you. Memories that I am now ready to dust off and let go. I am ready – Nepal – I am ready to love you as you truely are – in all your beauty, imprinted in my soul. Forever growing.

Do you remember when I heard your calling for the first time? I was 18 years old. Fresh out of school. Just happy to have escaped the suffocating climate of my family. Tasting the first glimpses of Freedom – with Beer and the German Ocean around me. And in my lap fell this book, that told the love story between a young Sherpa nun and a Sherpa monk. I didn’t know anything about Nepal. But this book had set the path and only eight months later my plane landed in your airport.

It surely was not love at first sight for me. I was so scared of you. And you came unto me, with full force. I wanted to hide from you. Run from you, back to my mother. I was ill. On the very first day, I fell from the back of a motorbike on the most crowded road of your big Capital: The Durbar Marg. But nothing happened, except some bruises. But for the first week, I walked around in shock.

When did I start to fall in love? After a month, when suddenly I found myself in your arms and realized my newfound freedom. Your embrace made me free. You had just been testing me before – so that when finally those friends that I had been travelling with in the first month, left me all alone with you, I looked around me and I really liked what I saw.

Oh yes, maybe I fell in love when you taught me to sing my first song in Nepali: Kushume Rumal. Oh now all the memories come rolling back from those early days. Those tender innocent days. Young love!

Do you remember how you let me wait for 7 hours, while I constantly got told, that the bus is late? It took me years and several visits to the same bus ticket counter in Kalanki to realize, that the bus had not been late, but that you had just for whatever personal reasons delayed our departure.

Oh so many memories. I could fill books with you … Just from our first time together. Christmas at the river. Drinking rice liquor in the middle of the Jungle. Jogging through the village. My rice paranoia. Rishie’s white clothes. The beer bottles. Teehar. The Rhinos. Lumbini. Me and the kindergarten class. The tiger. …

And I was so heartbroken when fate seperated us earlier than I had planned. The pain was so intense, when I sat in that Taxi that took me to the airport. Back in Germany I was a Zombie – not knowing how to ever walk and interact in this now alien homecountry of mine.

Oh Nepal, tears are dwelling up in my eyes. I kiss you, gently on the green cheeks of your hills and softly touch the white forehead of your mountains and tenderly caress the fertile loins of your plains. Source spoke through you to me in many ways, teaching me about freedom and happiness, teaching me about myself.

Do you remember how proud and happy I was when I introduced you to my younger sister? I was so nervous, but the two of you got along really well right from the start. And how fiercely I protected her from your not always gentle advances?

Nepal, mero Maya! At times I have been also your jealous lover. Wanted to keep you seperate from some people, who I believed would not be capable to perceive your beauty, would spoil your beauty for me. I cried several evenings when I heard that a particular loathed person was planning to romance you.

And I have also been a dependent, confused lover, thinking that the bliss I felt with you – I would not find without you. That I needed you. But I don’t need you and I also don’t have to be jealous, since I have access to the beauty I find in you at any given moment. I only have to remember you as my soul knows you. That is all it takes.

And later on in our relationship when I grew very tired of you, I judged you very harshly. I called you manipulative, dependent, cheap and greedy. And I felt entitled to do so. I thought, I knew you better than anybody else. I had seen you from within and from outside. I was ready to cut the tie forever – not to return in your arms again.

But Nepal, no matter where I am on this earth, in this life. In your arms or elsewhere. My love, my appreciation for you is eternal. I am crying now, not out of sadness, but from love.

My dear One, what is it that I love about you? That is the only single question that is really of importance for me by now. Past is past. Now is Now. And there is no tomorrow. So let us dance.

I love the green-ness of your rice fields. The curvy shifting forms. It’s poetry.
I love the sound of your language. The sweetness of it.
I love your love for dance. Your willingness to dance at any occasion that you can make up. And you are very inventive.
I love your knowing that the name of the God doesn’t matter, but that the belief in God does.
I love how you burn your dead Ones. And that their souls free.
I love how you turn around in circles around Bouddhanath as if you are on an eternal journey – never arriving, but always walking.
I love how you playfully tease me when I walk on your streets. Always ready to fall in love with me.
I love how you always support and protect me, when I go off on one of my risky adventures.
I love how you taught me to accept the inevitability of death and make my peace with it, be happy about it.
I love the joy I feel riding on top of your busses and tuk-tuks. The wind in my face. Laughter. Singing songs.
I love how you get so excited and playful when I tease you and flirt with you.
I love the speed and strength of your rivers.
I love your stamina when walking – almost running – up and down your steep hills.
I love your self-love, your desire for freedom and respect.
I love your voice of the mountain crows. When you are so calm and speak with this clear, powerful voice.
I love the beautiful, loving eyes you turned to me in the mountains of Manang. I was struck there in the middle of the mountain path by the intensity of my love for you.
I love that I will never know you. And that every time I turn my attention towards you, you expand with my knowledge of you.
I love that I can be with you in my soul, no matter if I am far or close.

Mero maya.

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10 Comments

  1. afnan khan
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    A nice rescript of John Keats “a thing of beauty is joy forever”. I dont know why this monologue makes me feel really sad. may be because this love story lacks a happy ending but the idea of making peace with life and it’s powerful blows, shows you light at the same time.
    I am also curious to know what death the writer had to see there and I also feel very sorry for this bus delaying thing. I feel pity on people in general and specifically my people in South Asia for many a times lacking the moral courage to speak the truth and use the deceptive methods to achieve their goals.
    I see cowardice more than anything else in the heart of this trait. Although we, weak, feeble and mortal, human beings sometimes make mistakes and then use lies to avoid hurting others. This situation also attracts some sympathy towards the subject but what can justify a lie, as a lie is a lie no matter how noble it is!
    Nerve wrecking emotional pain remains resulting product of such matters in most of the cases. But then what else is life? pain? “Son of man you cannot say or guess; for you know only a heap of broken images where the sun beats”.
    A vivid depiction of Nepali landscape and culture is also a loud product of this script and I am impressed with the writers use of imagination by personifying the mountains, rivers and lush green fields of South Asia.

    Let’s close it here with an Urdu verse dedicated to Hanna.

    Kahan aa kay rukay thay rastay, kahan mord tha ussay bhol ja
    Woh jo mill gaya ussay yad rakh, jo nahi milla ussay bhol ja
    Main tu gum tha teray dhayan main, teri aas, teray guman main
    saba keh gai meray kaan main, meray saath chal ussay bhol ja

    Forget where the ways were ended and where there were turns
    Just remember what you have got and forget what you couldn’t
    I was completely lost in your thought, your hope and your desire
    The breeze whispered in my ear, forget her and come with me

    voila, afnan

    • Hanna
      Posted July 29, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Afnan Jee for these beautiful Urdu Verses. Who wrote them? I am curious.
      Nepal and me is a long story. I understand why you feel sad reading it, since that was the mood I started out writing it. And of course it has a happy ending. All love story’s do. The seperation is always only temporary. In the worst case it lasts till both re-emerge into non-physical. Relationships are eternal. Love is eternal.

      Let me quote Rabindranath’s words, that I stumbled open just earlier:

      Maut prakaash ko khatm karna nahi hai; ye sirph deepak ko bujhaanaa hai kyonki subah ho gayi hai.
      Death doesn’t mean to extinguish the light – it only means putting out the lamp because dawn has arrived.

      Much Love!

  2. afnan khan
    Posted July 31, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Dear Hanna,
    Thank you for your sweet words. Well the poet is Amjad Islam Amjad. But when i want to go deep into mysticism I read Punjabi or Persian poetry because it’s far far deeper than Urdu or Hindi literature.
    For example.
    “This wild love doesn’t let me sleep, it keeps me awake all night. When it takes hold of somebody it puts him on the cross infinitely. By firing fatal arrows through her beautiful eyes, she gives me pleasing injuries. O God, bless this archer for keeping my wounds alive.”
    This is Bulleh Shah, one of the greatest mystics of India and the original verse is in Punjabi. But the problem with both persian and punjabi is that their terminology is so conventional that its almost impossible to convey the original thought through translation.
    In words of one of the greatest German mystics of modern times Dr Annemarie Schimmel difference between classic persian text and its translation is difference of a fly and an eagle.
    I love your concept of being non-physical in physical but the process for this is too painful to endure. I know this is a journey towards purity and that makes you one with the One. That makes you god but that also puts you on the cross. I know being sun means giving light to the whole world but it’s only sun knows what inferno has surrounded it to make it so giving to the others. Love is the most powerful emotion but it also blurs the definition of pain and joy, at least for me it always works this way. I feel pain in joy and joy in pain and that’s how the life life goes on. This is what i call love and this is what I love.

    I dedicate this John Keats poem to love and to those who deal with whatever comes in between.

    When I have fears that I may cease to be.
    Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain,

    Before high-piled books, in charactery, Hold like rich garners the full ripen’d grain;

    When I behold, upon the night’s starr’d face, Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,

    And think that I may never live to trace
    Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;

    And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
    That I shall never look upon thee more,

    Never have relish in the faery power of unreflecting love;–then on the shore of the wide world I stand alone,

    and think

    till love and fame to nothingness do sink.

    take care Hanna,
    Ciao,
    afnan

  3. afnan khan
    Posted July 31, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Hi Hanna,
    I forgot to mention one more thing. I always used to say that Germany is the land of thinkers and philosophers but my Deutsch friend would always laugh and say no more, now its a land of engineers. But reading your stuff makes me feel that i am write and the thinkers are still here.
    best of luck,
    afnan

  4. Riwaj Sapkota
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Nepal was my first love. Unlike you, it was not my volition to know her. But, as time passed by, I realized the unfathomable qualities my love has. The bliss that covers you every morning when you open your eyes and watch the sun rise through the himalayas is unparalleled. The bucolic roads in manang with hair-pin turns have a certain charm in them. I miss the hot tea served by households when you enter their house, I miss the lazy elegance of Nepalese people, I miss the ‘eating peanuts in sunshine’, I miss the saturday noon ‘movie-mania’ across the nation, I miss the incessant monsoon rain in Kathmandu, I miss the fragrance of Mo:mo in the streets on Kathmandu, I miss ‘ogling’ at beautiful girls in Basantapur. I miss it all!!

  5. kapil
    Posted September 13, 2012 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Great!! artistic , poetic. loved the way u wrote. loved reading the way u expressed. keep writing. keep loving nepal.

  6. Sophie
    Posted September 19, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Hey what is the title of the book that you mention on this blog post ? is there any link i can get to read it ? Thank you.

    • Hanna
      Posted October 27, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      Hallo Sophie – sorry for the late reply. I dont remember the name of the book. Otherwise I would have re-read it myself. I keep remembering it from time to time. But unfortunately I don’t know either.
      Love, Hanna

      ———-

      Now you got me thinking and I made another attempt at googling for this book. And alas I have found it. But bad news is: It is probably in German only. The author’s name is Ulli Olvedi and the title is “Wie in einem Traum” (which in English translates into something like: “Like in a dream”). Thank you for inspiring me to go search for it. It has been 12 years now since I have read it. And maybe I will re-read it. Yes, maybe I will do that …

  7. Posted August 4, 2013 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    I am so happy with your words Ms. Hanna. How u talking with Nepal with sweet words. I am Nepali and love to these words “Do you remember when I heard your calling for the first time? I was 18 years old. Fresh out of school. Just happy to have escaped the suffocating climate of my family. Tasting the first glimpses of Freedom – with Beer and the German Ocean around me. And in my lap fell this book, that told the love story between a young Sherpa nun and a Sherpa monk. I didn’t know anything about Nepal. But this book had set the path and only eight months later my plane landed in your airport.” which are u posted with your cute blog. Thank you ♥♥

  8. Zhanna
    Posted January 5, 2015 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for this text nd your emotions. I am in love with a Nepali and started watching your youtube lessons to be a little bit closer to him. Your videos are great and you being so shy is also great. He is far away but I want to surprise him when we talk in skype next time :)

    Zhanna

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