Five Years Old

What did you think of dreams
when you were five years old?
The first time you could count all
your fingers on one hand,
because thats how old you were.

Did you think about Ali baba and the treasures of gold
or the Knight that marched down the road?
Did you see the mountains that surrounded you,
one thousand years old.

What did you think of dreams back then?
Perhaps it was a parrot’s cage or a lion’s den,
or that blue inked pen
now completely broken.

Tell me my friend,
what did you think of dreams
when you were five years old?
The first time you could count all
your fingers on one hand.
Legs too short, hands too tiny
and yet dreams so bold.

Did you not want to be the hero?
A cape across your back
jumping into life straight from your bookrack,
colorful pages scribbled across,
some things that did not belong to you
like that little pink frock.

Stupid was I
when I was five years old,
unknown to the idea that papers when once fold,
draw scars over them like stories untold.

What did I think of dreams
when I was five years old?
The last story before the silence of the night,
the new shoes because the old ones got too tight.

May be I am still five years old,
even when my age does not fit into my hand, finger or toes,
and I still think of Ali baba and the treasure of gold,
the mountains that surrounded me
one thousand years old.

When I was five years old,
dreams were what I saw at nights,
when the owls opened their eyes and the cats danced,
the dogs slept and the mouse ran.

When I was five years old,
dreams were what I saw at nights,
with eyes closed
and lips tied.

Dreams were what we saw at nights,
with eyes closed
and lips tied.

Two Parallel Lines

Our minds are two parallel lines drawn from left to right,
right to left, any deviation
makes the blood under our thin skins boil.
We havent thought of the triangles, and the circles,
the rectangles and the vast sky with no lines.
Our minds have become two parallel lines, any deviation
making our blood under our thin skins boil.

The circles that make up the chains we see not,
because criminals we are each of us,
hard not to be one
to keep the lines from the minds we have,
the words we speak
and the unknown we cannot touch.

These lines creeping in our
windows and doors,
curtains and clothes,
eyes and ears,
hearts and souls.
Demons we have each of us,
to let go must look at it first,
eye to eye
word to word,
and say goodbye.

Patience it takes to convert these parallel lines
into sharp triangles, and smooth circles.
Courage it takes to look at them,
to admit their existence.
Our minds are two parallel lines,
running from left to right and right to left,
any deviation makes the blood under these thin skins boil.

Two parallel lines, thats what we’ve become,
wont you stretch a little side by side?

Think think think. About these parallel lines.

30 Minutes of Traveling: The Shoemaker Under The Big Purple Umbrella

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There’s a shoemaker by the road, who sits under a big purple umbrella. I take my broken shoes to him, when I want to prolong their life. His set of tools captures my mind. They are his arsenals. He pastes thin layers of shoe shaped tyres over the outer sole of my shoe.

His sturdy hands are smudged with shoe polish, dendrite and dust. But they are artistic, indeed. They repair things.

If they created new ones instead of repairing broken ones, what would they be called? Hands of the designer. If they made strange looking designs what would they become? Labels flashing all over glossy magazines. But they are just a pair of hands, of a shoemaker under the big purple umbrella.

He always brushes the dust off my shoes that I take. He doesn’t have to. But he does. The pair of hands that repair things we do not know how to. Does he know that?


What’s 30 Minutes of Traveling? It’s a lot of things. A writing prompt, a journal, a reflection point. Something I want to write about the streets of the tiny little city I live in. 

30 Minutes of Traveling: The Man With The Black Goggles

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The dust has become an indispensable ingredient of the road. I hear it is more horrifying on the other edge. A scarf over the head, a big mask covering half the face will do for now. It has worked for years down this route.

I was far ahead of the rush hour, so there was no need to hurry for the tempo. It would be waiting under the brazing sun. I get in and take the first seat on the right. There’s leg space beneath. Suddenly a man with big black goggles gets in. His hands confusingly ramble around the legs of those seated. He carries a folded stick. He takes the corner diagonally opposite to where I am seated.

The tempo gains momentum and we head out, back home. The traffic’s moderate so there’s no stopping in between.

Yeta ko bazar pani Ratna park ko jastai rahecha,” the man says when the vehicle reached by the side of Lagankhel. He seems to be enjoying the sound of the place, unique to its origin while comparing it to the other bazaar at the other side of the city.

“Hmm,” “Uh..” the other passengers inside show their agreement.

A few meters ahead, the man searches for something inside his pocket. He pulls out a few notes.

Yo pachas ko note ho?” he asks to the person seated in front of him showing the note in his hand.

“Ho,” the other replies nodding.

Yo bish ko ho?” he asks again holding another note.

“Ho,” the other replies nodding, again.

The man puts the fifty rupee note back into his pocket and holds the twenty in his hand. He holds his head high every time he talks. He doesn’t struggle. He doesn’t hide.

I get down. The tempo moves ahead, so do the people inside it.


This December, let me take you through the streets of Kathmandu one more time through my everyday travel routes which last for about 30 Minutes. If you look at the dust settling over the surface of the window you’re seated next to, you’ll find a story. If you look at the children dressed in school uniforms, you’ll find a story. If you close your eyes and listen to the horns of the big vehicles, you’ll find a story there too. What are we but the stories we tell each other.