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optimism and positivity - people are strange when u r stranger

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Is it hard to trust people? Is the world is as scary as it sounds?

Traveling always been my passion while its alone it’s more fun. After long wait I made up my mind to go for little fun out of my world, Nepal. I took my flight direct to Delhi on 27th February 2007. After I reach there I found Delhi true, furiously developed within a decade. As I talk to the people they said the Gurgaun, IT hub city, has changed its face just like that with in a decade while it was a dingy, village before, likewise the metro, the flyover bridges joining the other city had made Delhi in the hype of development and easiest for commuting.

Every corner of the city is in construction and nevertheless the tall number of buildings, sophisticated shopping mall in the outskirts of Delhi seems it is going to change its face sooner and for better. While I recall my memory I used to think Delhi to be as dirty, crowded as I’ve seen on television. But the moment I reached there I found true Delhi. Clean and sophisticated. Yet when you cross Delhi, Haryana is there holding its true village and same old village life, Guitha( briquette made of animal dung), camel, lakes, small rocky sides and large fields. One thing was to be noted, I saw good roads reaching out into the deep in the village.

I find it confusing still. While I was ready for my flight back in Nepal, my father said be careful unlike foreign its danger. I wonder why my father said so. Isn’t India a foreign land? Or did he say purposely that South Asia is not still safe to travel alone.

No matter how, it is to my eyes still I think as you sow so you reap, as you treat people they treat you likewise. So did happen this time too. I know I’m good at talking people and treating them well and so do people talk to me and treat me well. While I was roaming in around Delhi, I met different people and the memorable time was in a park near Cannaught place. It was moment to remember because I saw people approaching to you with a recommendation letter from people around the world just to clean your ear. Young boys with small cups for tea and coffee while sitting in the park and endless talking to a tribal astrologer from Bangalore who said he had been traveling to the world with his skill in reading peoples fate charging $100 for an hour in U.S.A. With high interest in Nepal, then being only Hindu country he said he couldn’t get out of the shock for days when he heard Royal massacre. He was an interesting man to listen because I felt like watching movie clip since he was from south, he has a unique accent.

It was amazingly bargaining place at PalikaBazar. The underground market was full with fancy clothing wares, shoes to toy shops. It would be too hard to tell what it was like a Rs.2000 Salwar kameez, you could get it for Rs.200 buck. Initially they would tell you high price eventually if you intend to go out and see other shop they would give you tell you the price which would be hard for one to say no I don’t want your piece.

Back in the park, while I was talking to the old man he showed me a vibrating brush which you can brush your hair as well as use it for body massage. Said the guy asked for Rs.400 and he got for Rs.50. I was stunned at his bargain because just half a hr. ago I got that same old thing for Rs. 100. I was not as smart as I must have been. But then I ease by saying to myself anyways I got Salwar kameez for Rs.200 bucks.

Other thing I must put into words which was another feel good thing was I made a call from a mobile cart. I called for which he said Rs.2 for a call. I thought the mobile cart phone service was better than the shop which cost me Rs.5 for the call before. So I made a call but then he said it’s Rs.6. I search my purse for six rupees fetch only two coin of one rupee of Nepalese and Indian currency and Rs.10 note of Nepalese currency. I didn’t have the change so I offer him Rs. 10 Nepalese Rupees he generously said that would be fine. I started moving towards Jantar Mantar, a monument. A young boy with colorful long bead mala approached to me said Rs. 10 each. I said I don’t need it. But the boy followed me so eventually I said can you give me for one rupee each. I got one of the things and gave him one coin I still had Nepalese one rupee coin I put my idea I have one Nepalese rupee can you make it another one for me. He was excited to get Nepalese Rupee and gave me two mala for exactly Rs.1.62.

I found Delhi being Nepalese friendly and quite nice to travel alone because there was not need of an interpreter since I was communicating in English and if needed people would talk in Hindi as in turn I was answering in Nepali which didn’t seems too hard for them to understand. And moreover it was fun when people have wide, warm smile when they ask me where I was from. Most of the people I talk there had little connection with Nepalese and they were quite familiar with Nepal itself. I didn’t miss my place as much as I would if I had been traveling somewhere because Delhi has inhibited large no. of Nepalese. Every corner, shops or on the street I found Nepalese everywhere I go.


My parents didn’t like the idea when I said I want to see India on foot and the transportation system, like the railways. They thought I had hollow in my pocket so they gave me few cash for my airfare on my departure. Later I made my plan to visit Tanakpur and come through Mahendranagar on the bus. I know they would not like the idea me using the bus so far so didn’t correspond with them while I went out. I start my journey back to my place, early morn at 7:00 from Ananda Vihar, Delhi. As I was said the bus would start at 7 and by 3/ 4 in the noon it would reach to Banbasa. And I made my plan to reach by then and have a visit to Tanakpur for a hr. and by 6/7 I would head towards Mahendranagar.And when I reach my country there would be no problem to stay at least I knew the place little well. First it was being my home land and other being that I’ve already spent my days working there 5 years back.

To dissuade me, the bus stuck into the traffic jam somewhere in Gaziabad. While we reach Banbasa it was already 9:00 at the night.

SCENE: Me alone in the night with 3 young boys who were coming back to their place from Mumbai. While I ask them where were they going? Said they live near by the border of India and Nepal and it is just a matter of crossing the bridge, they reach home. While we were discussing and waiting for a rickshaw a policeman came, exactly at the moment I remember a typical Indian policeman with a danda. As he threat the rickshaw driver if he charges more than 10 rupees each he will be in trouble. As I find him at least an authorized person there in the middle of nowhere. I was stuck and didn’t know how far it was to get to Mahendranagar moreover I was only girl there. I know it is wise to save yourself than be into it and then try to save yourself. I promptly asked him if he was a police man, he said yes and he is on duty.

OH! MY SAVER, Thank God! While I asked him how far it is to Mahendranagar he said it’s far and it’s impossible to reach by this time. He suggested me to stay in a hotel for the night and go by tomorrow morning after the gate opens. I thought it was a wise idea. People said there is a jungle, no lights on the side of Nepal and would be risky to move at this time. Since the boys had given me word after they cross the bridge they would shelter me for that night so I asked their view on staying in the Hotel. But they oppose saying the policeman were trying to scare us while it’s for sure we would be left with nothing if we stayed in Banbasa. Since looting, robbery is very common there. They also assure me of being able to reach their place that night if we cross the bridge. But how on earth would I jump on to their thought while I heard there’s a jungle and we do not have lights on the other side of the bridge. Then I thought, it’s better to be looted by a native than being Raped, Looted and then tortured by someone else like a typical Bollywood movies. However I agree on them and start on my journey with them by then one of the guy had convinced a rickshaw to get us to the bridge and eventually on the way they even convinced him to take us to their place while they would provide him shelter, dinner for the night and could return back in the morn and would even pay Rs.350 for the ride.

It was definitely bloodcurdling situation for me; first I being only girl on the move at that night and other thing the policeman with other three of his colleagues followed on the bike. Like in the typical Bollywood movie, any moment they would attack us and rob us or may be even rape me and then throw me in the river.

Again my brain worked, I took out my hairbrush which vibrates, and I hide it under my shawl. I feel it’s so humorous now. But to that moment it was only weapon which could have scare them for a second or truly help me. The brush itself has a story behind which I already have mentioned. However it was a wise choice at last.

To amuse me it didn’t turn out the way I thought, the policeman talk to the people at the gate and let it open and said till this border line you were on our security now you have to travel on your risk. We thank him for being so kind and professional. We move further now I had no fear yet I didn’t keep my hair brush in my luggage. I still had to get a bed to lie on. And why on earth would I entirely believe I’m safe?

It was 12 in the midnight we were still scrolling on rickshaw on the bumpy road until lastly we reached and we separated since one guy took me to his aunt’s place and heaven’s amusement they were playing loud music and dancing. It was a celebration of holi. The guy introduced me to his aunt and I can remember everyone were crowding me as if I’m an alien. May be they thought the guy brought a girl from Mumbai. The ladies insist me for a little fun. I said I was dead tired can u lend me a space to lie on? She understood how was I feeling and let me her bed. I do not know when the party ended. But All I know is somewhere around 4 in the morning I heard noise, people shouting for help, and then I remember the guy saying it might be possible of an elephant attack in the middle of the night. But I was literally exhausted and so sleepy even I was hungry, I could not accept the meal the lady offered me the other night. I made up my mind even if there is an attack I rather die than run or bulldoze my body.

Yes I was alive; the attack was far in the village. Thank god we were untouched. However as usual early morn I have to go for toilet straight from my bed. So I tried to search in the house but couldn’t find one and that very time one of the daughters of the house came and said: DIDI jungle januhuncha? (Want to go to Jungle)Hell no, I’m in need of a toilet no sightsee this time. Then I was told the exact meaning of Jungle januhuncha?(want to go to Jungle)

The lady offered me a glass of milk and roti. By then the rickshaw driver arrived and we bid goodbye to all of them and I thank everyone for being there on the bizarre night.

The whole trip was so weird that I spend a lot hr. with them I only know two boys name, the guy who lent me his aunt’s place, Vikram, a.k.a Sheru and the rickshaw driver Intejar, Whom I spoke while heading towards his aunt’s place and while returning the next morning, I realize Intejar was good on talking. He had well thought that if you do well, good thing happens to you. In fact, all the other three guys were with that well thought. I’m actually very selfish kind of person. I hardly could believe that all happened to me. But I came to realize that people are strange when you are stranger. There aren’t enough words for thanking them for the thing they did for me. Even in the future we may or may not meet but I have my lesson learned open yourself widely. Everyone is a friend to you. It doesn’t need much to help somebody.


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