Photo By: Aalutamaa
I grew up in a house where walking has been regarded as the best form of exercise. Be it post lunch, dinner or a midday nap on a sunny Saturday, we have always managed to scrape out time from our busy schedules for a walk. This is how I learned to love Kathmandu amidst the walks with my father- which is hard to keep up with-, a stroll with my grandfather- who walks as slow as a turtle- or a one by myself.
I prefer walking to using any form of transports. With earphones plugged in deep, playing music and keeping me company as my footsteps match the beat of the song. When my shoes barely last a month, my mother often asks me, ‘Why walk so much?’ The answer to this is very simple- with walking, it is the journey that is the destination- and for someone who is best defined as a wanderer, nothing can be compared to the walk.
Have you ever walked around Kathmandu and almost bumped onto a cow because you were too busy admiring the artefacts and the people all around you? I have, several times. I have almost been run down by speeding vehicles that explode past the zebra crossing like Olympic runners! Walking forcefully slows you down and lets you admire the beauty that a place holds- as of now, Kathmandu. It lets you notice the puppy chasing every bird in sight, the old cobbler sitting across the street with glasses shoved up high on his head, the flock of birds flying above you, the marvellous and detailed street art and other people walking down the street- close to a theatrical drama.
Had I driven through the city, where walking would take you from point A to B much more conveniently than being stuck in a traffic, I would have missed 90 % of what I found: the swarming life of the city’s backstreets, its parks and playgrounds, its outdoor and indoor eateries — all this would have remained invisible to me.
A quick question- how well do you know Kathmandu? If your only experience of crossing the city is a hectic commute, you’re missing out.
Put on your fancy shoes and go out for a walk!