Nepal – Dawn to Dusk

We have just arrived at Nagarkot escaping the dust, heat and diesel fumes of Kathmandu. Nepal seems like a parallel universe to India – this is how India would have been, but by some stroke of luck it managed to stumble ahead economically. Indian TV channels dominate the cultural narrative here, but Nepali are protective of their identity.

We prepare for the big event of  Nagarkot… the magnificent sunrise.

6.13am and the crowd is hanging onto every ledge and vantage point, eager and excited.  Beyond the wall of 6000m mighty Himalayas the sun is about to make its appearance. The horizon looks cloudy and takes me a while to realise that I am seeing the outline of the Himalayas, their height seeming unreal.

And then it appears, the first few gentle rays. Smoke starts to rise from the villages in the valley, coinciding with meal times following the suns cycle.


The fiery ball explodes in its full glory. The brilliance of it too much for any camera to handle.

The fields in the valley catch the rays of the sun, and in that surreal moment it seems as if the light is come out of the earth and the sky at the same time.

I sit by the window overlooking the valley and the mountain ranges, reading ‘The joy of living‘, written by the 7th reincarnation of Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, and how Himalayas inspired him get the big breakthroughs in this understanding of human mind. He describes the Buddhist conception of the mind, and how it has infinite potential, and how the limiting beliefs we hold onto in our lives are just a reflection of that infinite potential to create any reality we want. He is writes about the big breakthrough he had in the understanding of his own mind, which he had been struggling with because of the extreme anxiety attacks as a child, while he was sitting in a cramped class looking out of the window at the beautiful mountains. I pause and look out from the coffee shop window, the mountains are as pretty but my realizations dont match up yet.

The second part of the celestial drama plays out on the other side of the hill as evening approaches. I rush to catch the sunset passing a Sunset cafe. The owner points to the best location to view the sunset from, not really worrying about the lost business as I walk away from his cafe. The  kindness and honesty of Nepali’s touches your heart wherever you go.

The sun looks more peaceful now, as it starts to disappear into the haze. I am joined by a couple of Marajuana smoking tourists, who apologise and continue smoking. Not sure they caught the sunset through their haze. I sit there watching the brilliance of the sun fade away.

The sun sets, but a peak in the distance catches the last rays of the dying sun.

Nepal has been a revelation. It seems to have lost its way on economic growth, but it people haven’t lost touch with their humanity.

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