kupondole galli

Kupondole has been under construction for nine

whole years now.

It has heard King Gyanendra’s exit speech on the radio, blaring from the doughnut shop.

It has watched slum women sit on the edge of the bank looking at those half-naked slum boys bringing sand from the dirty Bagmati.

It has eavesdropped on my friend telling me that she likes the smell of burning corpse because the air smells like roasted pig.

On rainy mornings, it has watched me cry on my way to school.

It has heard me giggle at the long high-pitched “Machho! Machho!” calling of the moving roadside fish seller break the silence of assembly prayer.

It has seen EPH Mam’s visible tummy, and then suddenly one day looking all slim!

That day, she taught us with puffy eyes, a choke trapped in her voice and a red nose.

It has squinted to see my friends playing pranks on a junior in the dormitory; they set her alarm clock earlier, so she woke up at 12, started to get dressed and we all laughed.

It has empathized with me when I made up excuses of stomach aches just to skip school because the school made me feel like I was in a cage and the teachers were cruel police.

It has quietly agreed with my dance teacher when he/she told me that “I was contradicting”.

It hovered by my shoulder when I Googled to find out what psychologists have to say about my recurring dream of drowning.

It may have felt some form of agony when a beggar snapped at her child telling her not to beg when all she was doing was spreading her little palm imitating her mother.

It has become brittle when a five-year-old girl cried in the study room of our hostel as it was raining outside. Principal  mam told us: “Her parents died in a landslide, so she cries every time it rains.”

It was there when my close friend from the Thoksila, Udayapur called me crying on phone, telling me that she was being forced to marry at 14 She reasoned,“Mom says that the cost of vegetables would increase later!”

Poonam Rauniyar