Ujjwala and I spent the first few days of February in Chitwan for a recci trip for Write to Speak. We visited schools and colleges there, scoured cafes and possible locations to do our poetry event, met educators and made new friends – our brotherly gang who have been helping us get around Chitwan: Bishal, Suzin, Masum and Rudeep.
Rudeep who is a busy engineer took out time to drive us around. Bishal was with us, coordinating and visiting schools and colleges even when he had exams going on. Suzin and Masum followed us on their two-wheelers whenever they could. We also met up with Bhupeen dai and Ishwar dai, local poets based in Chitwan. We were grateful that they were welcoming of us and excited about spoken word poetry.
We discovered a ‘chhapro’ where a couple serve delicious daal-bhat, we relished over varieties of chaat, made a trip to try out the famous taas at Bhetghat and discovered melt-in-the-mouth parathas that our tummies look forward to going back for.
I didn’t go visit the banks of the Narayani River. Ujj did. She saw a three-kilo-weighing fish being pulled out of the water and spent the evening with the boys. I will go to the bank this week.
We have an exciting but hectic scheduled packed with tours and a poetry event at Udhyog Banijya Sangh on Feb 19 (from 3 pm). This will be our last introductory tour for Write to Speak. It is funny how it is time to say this will be the last so-and-so trip. How time flies.
How places become more than a dot on the map. How we meet people who are kind enough to believe in poetry, to give us their time. They make me look forward to going back to this city where I never thought I would have a home or people I can go to.
Elizabeth Brewster in her poem ‘Where I come From’ says that ‘people are made of places’. Places are made of people too.
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