SILENCE.HUNGER

July 29, 2009

It’s pitch black dark on the road. Must be because of the power cut. The head light of my bike has been dimmer for some months now. Can’t see clearly what’s ahead. It is around 8 in this cold winter evening and my stomach makes horrible gurgles. I haven’t eaten for several hours. No lunch break.

I am about to turn left to the main street. I see a cop, frantically gesturing me to stop. He’s carrying a little stick – points towards me. He yells on the top of his lungs, “oii bike, stop it over, right there”.

Oii bike, huh. That’s the way they speak to the commoners. Oii cycle, oii bike, oii black shirt, oii white pant. Oii taxi. Oii kukkur. Cops. Pigs.

I’m annoyed. With calmness I inquire –
“What’s the matter, police dai?”
Fuck, I “Police dai” him.

“Didn’t I say to stop the bike immediately?”

 “Yes you did. And I did comply. What’s the matter?”

“Don’t you see? It is a Sawaari”.

Shit.

The main street, which leads out to the big entrance of Singha Durbar, has been emptied out. I now see, on both sides of the street, there are blue-shirts every 10 meters or so apart. Some big fuss. Blue-shits.

The lone statue of Prithivi Narayan Shah must have heard me and scoffed. Oii bike. Police dai.

Oh yeah, I remember. UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has just landed Kathmandu on his special jet. And he is to attend a dinner with the prime minister in Singha Durbar.

Hunger creeps in.

The blue-shirt is just doing what he has been told to do. But, Oii bike, seems rude and insulting to me. I am merely a bike. A thing. His voice – still echoing in my head. Oii bike. Cops treat shit. I hate pigs.

I look around and see a couple of cart-vendors. They too are waiting for Mr Ban. That pig must have said “oii gaadaa”.

“Hello, how much longer do we have to wait here?” I ask.
“Don’t know. 5. 10. 15 minutes.”
Damn.

I know it’s the Mr. Ban Ki Moon’s “sawaari” coming but I just want to get home asap and eat like a pig.

The cop paces around. Loiters. Lurks. His stick dangling on his right hand. There’s no sign of any revolving light yet. No siren. No sign of long line of shiny black cars.
Shit.
Silence.
Only hunger.

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