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I don’t know when it all began, but ever since a very good friend of mine suggested we look at the temples of mangalbazar standing tall in front of us in a different way, I became a fan of ‘temples pasted in the sky’.  Whenever we’d hang out in and around mangalbazar, we’d sit back and focus on imagining the temples, specially the Hari Shanker temple, as drawings and paintings in the sky. We’d begin with the gajur and end up having just half of the temple ‘painted’ in our ‘canvas’ because truth be told, our canvas was placed way too high.  Sure, it was a different approach of seeing the beauty of an already flawless structure, but still, we’d be in awe every single time. People walking by probably thought we were talking about the architectural features of the temples, but little did they know, we were creating our own form of art.

The recent massive earthquake, however, came with a bang and along with it came the destruction of our heritages. Among them were our temples too. Our beloved Hari Shanker temple that we loved to trace in the blue sky. Our form of art. All brought down by one strong force of nature.

The very first time I went to the durbar square area after the destruction, I sat there in tears watching the empty canvas staring back at me. I sat there wishing I could trace our temple just one more time so I could embrace its immaculate beauty. I sat there trying to force my imagination skills to at least sketch an outline but it gave up on me. It was then that I knew, we had lost our happy place.

True, the temples we’ve lost may soon be replaced by new ones but they can never be replaced in our hearts. Our empty canvas will forever long for the colors of the lost temples.


Photo credit : National Geographic

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