Writing about Nepal should have been simple. I went on a mountainous trek in the beginning of Autumn, came close to the Himalayas, lived in utter awe for a month, and then left. Nepal after all on the surface of things, seemed like a very simple country.
But writing hasn't been as easy as I thought it would be. I thought I would have regurgitated the experiences of this trip much earlier, but instead I needed space from the memories. Not because I didn't enjoy the trip, but because I needed time to preserve them forever, detail by detail.
There is something about Nepal. It is not just its people, culture or way of life — though those are truly fascinating facets. It is in its history. This is a nation with a 2000 year old history. This is a country that was ruled by kings for centuries. This is a new republic that fought for its independence. This is the birthplace of Siddharta Gautama, the Lord Buddha. For its proximity to India (separated by just a border, really), so little is known about this beautiful place at the foot of the Himalayan Mountains.
I spent two weeks in the mountainous region of Gorkha, west of Nepal. For a woman who was born and bred in a city, the beauty of nature was simply too much to take in (so was the exhaustion of trekking 9 hours a day). But nothing could ever prepare me for the beauty of it all — the people, the villages, the hills and valleys, the waterfalls, the turquoise lakes, the enchanted forests and the vulnerable glaciers. The mountains. Nothing could ever replace what I felt when I saw the peak of Mount Manaslu, the 8th highest mountain in the world.
There is too much to write. All I have in my mind are but moments. Moments frozen in photographs. Emotions frozen in time. People and conversations fossilized into pictures. Landscape images that are bound to change as the years go by. But I finally understood the exact meaning of photographs. They don't lie.