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  • Writer's pictureHaripriya Sridharan

A patchwork of memories - My days in Nepal

An attempt to log memories from a trip I had almost 2 years back. This journey holds dear to me unlike other trips, specially because of two main jackets that accompanied me.

 

Dated: Dec 23, 2022

Landing in Kathmandu with the intention of a regular trip, I booked a week at Zostel, expecting nothing more than a place to sleep, walk around and take work calls. However, I soon realised that this visit would be anything but ordinary, marked by the people I encountered, each with their own unique jacket colour, weaving into the narrative of my journey. This trip also turned special as it marked my transition from an evening tea person to a black coffee aficionado, fuelled by the new friendships and their shared love for caffeine.

Yellow Jacket Journey

I have been a follower of the photographer, Giuli Gartner. She started documenting her travel journeys with a constant jacket color, Yellow. She logs her stories as, The Girl with Yellow Jacket. Ever since, I have a developed a fondness for that vibrant hue.

On my first morning in Kathmandu, I encountered a woman, donning a similar bright yellow coat which spiked my curiosity to explore with. She is the partner of my cousin's friend, a lively spirit who guided me along the city's hidden paths. Our adventure kicked off with coffee at a rooftop cafe—black for me, with milk for her—setting the stage for our friendship.

We explored ancient sites, from ponds to Buddhist temples, pausing at roadside tea shops that embodied local life. She introduced me to local food (what they call buff). We also exchanged stories and shared laughter, budding a natural connection.

In the evening, she helped me in buying an artefact that combined the sun and moon, depicting their unity. It evoked me an episode from StarTrek, Masks—a piece I cherish deeply.

Though our time together lasted only a day, it felt like a prolonged journey. When I had to leave Kathmandu the next day, we parted ways with a heartfelt goodbye.

However, upon my return back to Kathmandu to catch my flight home, I met her again. She invited me to her place for dinner. We transformed her kitchen to a studio, where we photographed moments of cooking and her gleaming smiles. Those memories remain treasured keepsakes of our time together.

Red Jacket Journey

My arrival night on Kathmandu turned memorable not merely because of an urgent late-night work call, but also due to a minor mishap: stepping on the hostel dog's tail. This forged interaction with a grumpy yet forgiving canine marked the beginning of my stay. It also led to my first encounter with a fellow guest who, despite initially casting a displeased glance my way, would soon become a valued friend. Thus, began my journey with the red jacket.

After a day spent with the Yellow Jacket girl, I met this disgruntled guest again. Dressed in a Microsoft jacket, he was looking for a companion for his next adventure. I was initially reluctant to engage as I wanted to steer clear of any tech-related discussions. Nonetheless, we ended up boarding the same flight to Pokhara the next day. He sported a red jacket the entire trip, when I asked why, he said he wanted to pop in every photo that he never gets lost in the crowd.

Later that afternoon, we found ourselves sharing black coffees at the airport café while waiting for our delayed departure. Thus, marking another bond over coffee. As the caffeine kicked in, so did our conversation. He opened up about his struggles with restless leg syndrome and his search for peace within—topics that resonated more than I expected.


Together, we shared meals, faced the chill of early morning treks, and appreciated less-than-perfect sunset views that were made memorable by the warmth of couple of new friendships. We exchanged stories of our childhood and career paths ahead, sitting at the top of World Peace Pagoda. When it came time to part ways, I offered almonds and blueberries as small tokens to bid farewell.

 

Every other new person I met wove another layer into the rich tapestry of my travels. From Chloe, whose stories brought glimpses of her family life in Portugal, to Rohan, a young rider from Kerala who journeyed to Nepal all the way from Mumbai in his Enfield, each interaction enriched my experience.

Though time and distance may have blurred some of these connections, the vivid memories of these encounters continue to linger. 

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