Every week day 5pm comes in with mixed feelings. Firstly it's the liberation from the drone duty you have to be part of in order to sustain a livelihood, then it turns into the uncertainty of traffic on the way back home. The commute back home ranges from 45 minutes to 2 hours and it does not depend on anything that you can avoid so just like any otherday I am driving in the highway with sporadic patches of traffic that one tries to swerve in and out of, at the end of which one firmly believes Murphy's Law of lines which states whichever line you choose to stay in moves slower and the moment you skip to the other line, that line starts to move slower.
Today my drive will be short because, I have many things to think about. I am going to Nepal this weekend after 10 years of struggle with college, work, visa and what not. It is very exciting. I want to get some gift for my maternal and paternal grandparents. My uncles and aunts, nephews and nieces. Gonna go to the mall on Friday for the last minute shopping. As advised by friends, I did most of my shopping online so most of the things are ready to go. I have to unpack everything to put in the suitcase otherwise it will not fit with the original packaging.
I will be meeting Manisha for the first time after all these years. This is such a timely visit because her parents were ready to get her married off to someone else if I was not able to make it this time. We had lot of online quarrels about the topic of marriage. Her parents had warned her that if I did not make it this time, they would get her married to one of their family friend's son. I was just not able to go back sooner and her parents just had to get her married. It did not matter to them who she married. They wanted to get done with their duty to get her married. Thank god everything worked out at my work and I could go this weekend. My green card had just come few months back so now I was in a good form to travel. The wedding date has been fixed. We are getting married two weeks after I land in Kathmandu. My god I can't wait for the honeymoon. I have been saving my virginity for her all this time. I really want her to be my first and last.
It will be nice to see my parents, my brother and sister. My sister was 8 year old and my brother was 15 years old when I left Nepal. Although we have kept in touch over viber and skype, it will be interesting to meet them all grown up. I wonder if I will be sharing my room with my brother like before.
What I really hate is traffic in the last leg of my commute. In the weekend it would take me 2 minutes to get home after taking the last exist, but on week days the city streets are unbelievably slow. Sometimes these emergency vehicles really annoy the hell out of me. Why do fire trucks, ambulance and police cars all of them have to be there to check out a false alarm? It always sends the traffic crawling whenever that happens. I have been stuck in the same position for past 10 minutes now. I am getting hungry. Can't wait to get home and heat up some leftover momos and dinner from yesterday. I flip the radio stations but cannot make up my mind. Too many things going on. I need to make sure I confirm my ticket. I need to give my apartment keys to a friend to go check things every weekend since I will be gone for 6 weeks. I need to make parking arrangement with my landlord. It will be fun to reconnect with my friends in Kathmandu. We used to have a tight group of friends who did everything together. We had some favorite hang out places we used to hang out but it will probably be a little different now that most of my friends are married and some even have kids. Whatever it is, it's bound to be a lot of fun. Can't wait. Can't wait. The traffic still hasn't moved a bit. Over at the distance I can see the fire engines, ambulances and police cars with their rotating lights. 20 whole minutes and traffic is still at a standstill. If I walk from here, my apartment is only 2 minutes walk. I see a parking spot on the street right in front of me so I decide to just park there and walk. I will come back later to get the car. I need some exercise LOL I laugh at myself.
I park the car and start walking. It's a brisk cool air of fall. Summer was so short lived but it's fine since it's going to be warm or even hot in Nepal when I get there. I am walking towards my apartment but there is a police blockade preventing people from going across the street. Oh comon I'm getting a little annoyed. I look up further to my apartment and I see flames coming out of my apartment building. The fire engines, ambulances were all there because of the fire in my apartment. The fire men are trying to extinguish the fire. The apartment looks burnt down.
OH NO! I exclaim at myself. All my stuff is in there, I shout at the police. The police says I can't go in there. Obviously. I am stressed and frantic. My passport, my green card, my tickets, everything is out there.
How would I be able to go to Nepal this weekend? It would take anywhere from 4 to 8 months to get a new passport specially now that we need to get the Machine Readable Passport and people have been saying it's a nightmare to get it. I don't even know how long it will take to get my green card. I had got a really good deal with the Travel Agency because it was a non-refundable ticket. Oh god what am I gonna do! I felt a knot appearing in my chest. If I can't make it this time, Manisha's parents are going to marry her to someone else. They specifically warned me that people in US always come up with excuses to not come to Nepal. Oh my god!!!!!
Just then, I felt someone push me and I felt myself falling down. It was Shrinivas Das from work. "Bhai stop napping at work!! You need to finish your project before you leave for Nepal this weekend."
Thank god it was just a nightmare otherwise I would have been screwed! It was almost 5 so I said I will finish it tomorrow and got in my car.
The fire engines, ambulances and police cars were there when I reached my apartment.