05 December 2011

techno temples

In the morning dark, the Ganesh temple across from my room is bathed in oil lamps, incense, flower petals, soft footsteps and hands moving about the tiny old temple. By night a wall of blankets circles the temple, floodlights are strung between buildings and a DJ moves in.

It is Wedding Season here in Nepal. As I sit typing, my little dark apartment is flooded with the vibrations of techno from the temple square across the street. Most nights I am put to sleep by the cadence of the Newari men who gather with drums and harmonium in the Mandir (little covered sitting structure) at dark, sitting cross- legged, leaning to share the huka, and continuously chanting from piles of leaf-like papers, with the onset of Wedding Season that has all changed. It is time for Katie Perry to have her turn in the Mandir, along with re-mixed Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake and his boys, this square is getting turned up… so I have developed the skill of falling asleep to the consistency BEAT.

In the morning all the flags and blanket walls will be gone and the women will be carrying their brass plates with burning pools of oil, pressing petals to their wispy hairbuns, tossing water and rice, ringing bells.

All over the city, Nepali style brass marching bands process with the newlyweds. A procession, a personal parade, and all traffic jammed and waiting and listening. The sound is so loud and joyful I forget that I am stuck on my bike in a column of chugg-chugg- chugging exhaust. All the women wear these impossibly lovely sequined saris and at night it looks like little human shaped galaxies bumping along on the back of motorbikes, each bead and sequin flashing, burning in the erratic lights of the street.

No comments:

Post a Comment