It was still wee hours of Friday, March 10. Having woken up at 4:30am, I got ready quickly and was walking briskly towards the microbus and tempo station in Old Baneswore. I had to reach the bus station before 6am to meet my other friends. We were all very excited for this trip to Sailung and could not afford to miss the only bus to our destination.
A few days earlier, there were rumors of a strike. We did not know who was planning the strike or what their motive was. That morning there were no signs of a strike just yet. At the microbus and tempo station, there was a man with his family and a lot of luggage by the side. He approached me and said “There are talking about a strike today. Where are you going? Are you also heading to the bus stop?.” I said “Yes, I am heading to the bus stop.” As we’re talking, a blue microbus turns the corner and stops a few steps from us. I hurriedly get on that microbus not sure whether this is my only chance to reach the bus station. Although this is a 8 seater microbus, there are already more than 11 people inside. The tight space inside with commuters along with their backpacks almost gave me claustrophobia. I sat on the little space between an aged woman and a young commuter. Within 15 minutes, I reach the bus station and am glad to be the first of my friends to arrive. I call some friends and learn that they are on their way to the bus station. Some were on their bike while some were still at their homes. As I await at the bus station, I search for food to fill my empty stomach. There are fruit sellers with their bicycles and small snack vendors around the bus station. I scour the area and decide to buy grapes and water bottle. A friend arrives and now we’re awaiting for 11 others to join us at the bus station. As more of our friends arrive, we search for our bus to Sailung and get on it. All 13 of us are now on the bus, seated and awaiting its departure.
Our bus leaves the station. We leave the beautiful and dusty capital, Kathmandu for a few days. We are on the way to Sailung!!!
Photo by Rupak Shrestha