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Begnas Lake, Pokhara, Nepal

After hours of a relentless ride in the deluxe, it finally cuts its route from the Highway and stalls near the road. The bus shudders and finally halts after neatly lining along a gravelled road and I sigh in utter relief at finally being able to stretch my travel cramped limbs. I had placed myself near the window so the wandering breeze kisses cool breeze in my face. Suddenly the repressed thirst in my throat arouses as the calling songs of rippling water caresses my ears.

We all roll out of the bus gathering in groups and saunter along the way chattering loudly, laughing and relishing the presence of the cloudy yet serene weather. Walking an elevated path a construction site appears at our left while all sorts of hotel and restaurants reside at our right.

My sweat-soaked jacket is zipped close again as the chilling breeze tickles through my light clothes though it doesn’t rival the ineffable gush of solidarity that infects my heart first, slowly permeating at the very end of my finger-tips as my eyes drink the scene in front, bestowed upon the earth by mother nature.

The cloud lumbers in the pace of a snail as the sun veils behind them, probably too shy for advancing a daunting look towards the simmering beautiful face of the lake who seems to have conquered the heaven and the angels dance along with the mellifluous clapping of mobile waves while the immortal spirits of Begnas ebb and flow with the waltzing breeze that descended from the heaven itself.

I take my time to quench the burning thirst lingering in my throat through the aroma of freshwater slowly spreading in my senses as it untangles the need and satiates my crave. Among the teeming atmosphere created around me, I channel away from my friends and linger near the bank, too close than the permission allowed, but I doubt I can return here soon so I step further down to meet Begnas’s inviting body. The boats and canoes parked at the side don’t harm her body yet they are jerked away by the waves time to time, reminding humans that even if they may have persecuted her body but she still is unconquerable and her chaste is not to be mocked with.

The wild weeds and grass surviving along the banks sway wistfully, maybe relishing another day to live before perishing away in uncalled weather. The frequent cool breaths of heaven slowly drive away from my exhaust and I smile at Begnas. She too must have overcome her wary approach of greeting the strangers so she tries to reach out, spreading herself as farther as she could, swallowing the mud and stones in her reach and as quick as she approached she closes back again drawing in the waves of her body. Whilst her gracious effort of welcoming surpassed our human etiquette at its best level, I could only gaze at her and soon enough my sight treks along the curves of the patched green hills. Though the browns and greys of deforestation stand out the most, I only appreciate the leftover greens in the mound.

Much farther from the crowd of the hills a lone ice mount towers them in picturesque grace and converses with the passing clouds in the most silent yet commanding ease. Her feet braces the land in a mighty strength but her shoulders are held so high that it intimidates the gates of heaven dwelling in the endless sky. Her white cloak is not dressed but sewn itself in her body and she breaths in an irregular pace alike the seasons itself, subtle yet in ominous predictions.

Each formidable body lived separately when I buried them back in my inner eye but as they engrave into my memory they trace only as one of the many unforgettable scenes I can recall so far, not as living giants who are enslaved by humans for fulfilling their selfishness, not as the silent creature who can backlash at any moment wiping the ungrateful creature off the face of the earth.

A distant shout jolts me back to consciousness and the self-repressed disturbance around me is registered with cringing loudness. I make my way back to my group and enjoy taking pictures with them for the coming minutes. The shout is heard again and we all start retreating from the area. Even if I engage in trifle topics with my friends I wondered and still am wondering how enthralling would it be to just understand a phrase that I can catch from the wind messaging the nature’s words continually back and forth around us.

Quicker than reaching here we reach our respective buses and slide in our seats. Through the open window, I strain my ears hoping to hear the incomprehensible mummer between the lake and the wind. The bus roars to life and we roll all out in unison. The smell and vision of Begnas latch with me as farther we drive away from the place.

— Yukta Sunuwar


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