The Nepalese people have decided to make Valentine’s Day their official day of love. Despite its Christian origin, it has served to spread love among Hindus mostly. The Hustle and Bustle in the shopping malls and the parallel investments by businessmen on this day has made it the second largest event after Dashain and Tihar.
In my quest to make this day memorable, I decided t climb Dharara. Dharara is a tall historical architecture/tower which is located in the city centre. It has successfully captivated many foreigners over the years.
It served three purposes during an era:
a) It acted as an information centre; people around the valley were informed about any happenings. It probably acted as a loud speaker at the time, when Kathmandu had few houses only, it’s quite convenient to convey something when people at that time, did not have televisions or radios that could distract them and they hardly had any motor vehicles that brought noise pollution.
b) It was used to check the general population’s buildings. The Rana dynasty apparently made a rule at that time; the commoners were prohibited from building houses greater than theirs.
c) It is also said that the government kept an eye on the overall socioeconomic condition of the people by checking the smokes that came from the chimneys. People who failed to produce smoke indicated that they were going through a financial difficulty and food was not available. They then enquired about the difficulty.
d) It was used as a sightseeing tower, must say the view from Dharara is extra ordinary. You can actually visualize the valley from a 360 degree angle. I don’t see why most of the Nepalese people take this monument for granted. Most of the people do not want to make time to visit it once in their life time.
Kathmandu city was filled with couples; the love was in the air. Women were dressed in Red and few men dared to wear the color of love as well. Nepal readily accepts any culture and despite the fact that we have a very low GDP, it seems that we are rich in the Gross National Happiness.
Someone asked me why girls blush when they get a red rose on V- day? The possible explanation: it’s the increase in estrogen that dilates the superficial blood vessels in her face. Doctors will always encourage love but they advise safe sexual practices and responsibility. Recently, the UK Health Protection Agency launched its week long awareness campaign on sexually transmitted infections. If awareness campaigns for STD were coincided with the month of love, it’s actually makes sense and the emerging couples have a very good reason to listen to these message and it make the event worthwhile as well.
Dharara gives you breathlessness for about 3-5 minutes, which is later followed by this extreme excitement to view Kathmandu. It also makes you want to visit that place again and scream as loud as you can to check if it serves the purpose of information centre.
I am quoting a tweet by WHO, please take a time to ponder on what it has to say: “Valentine’s Day is not only for “young” people! Anyone can celebrate it with their parents and grandparents.”