Today was the main day of the festival of Darshain. It is the day for giving each other Tika, the red dot on the forehead made with paste, together with rice shoots and flowers. We were made very welcome at the Brahma Kumari centre in Thamel. With other visitors of all ages, the women and girls dressed in their beautiful saris and prettiest dresses, we were given a Tika on the forehead, a bunch of rice shoots, a spoonful of sweet water in the palm of the hand and some Toli biscuits, offered with a blessing.
Clare sat beside a BK sister with a beautiful smile, who apologized for being uneducated and not knowing much English. Clare apologized for not knowing much Nepali. With the help of notebook, pen, smiles and sign language the sister explained that today they were celebrating that in God we are all one family, are brother, sister, mother and father. And that whatever our nationality, God will help us. Clare asked the sister if she could teach her some Nepali. The sister thought a little on what would be a really good phrase, and decided upon ‘ Ma khusi tu’ which means ‘ I am happy’. ( not too sure of the spelling, that that’s how it sounds ). Then the sister took a pretty red bangle from her wrist and gave it to Clare as a gift. We did not take any photos during our time with the brahma kumaris, since we wanted to share it with them the best we knew how without seeming like photo snapping tourists, so you will have to imagine a Nepali sister in very graceful white sari, and a red Tika. Taking photos here can feel like it creates a bit of a barrier- very different from China where taking photos of and with western visitors seems a national hobby.
We then returned to our guest house to sleep off the jet lag which was catching up with us fast. We are staying in the Pacific Guest House again, in the same room as we had before, which is quiet and cool. The photo shows the view from the guesthouse, which looks down on a paved area where the locals play badminton in the evening which seems very popular here. The photo also shows the electrics for the street, which we don’t think would pass any UK test!