Thu, 28 May, 2020

How Public Vehicles Have Made Us Culturally Rich

By Amun Kharel

Photo Courtesy: http://www.ekantipur.com/ I travel through public vehicles every day. I have been doing so for a long period of time like rest of the average Nepalese people. There are many people traveling along with me every day. Every day the experience is new, sometimes exhausting getting squeezed among people and overwhelming seeing varieties of people chattering all the time. But I have to do it on daily basis even if I like it or not so why see the glass half empty. I have embraced being in the public vehicle and now enjoy several courtesies offered by the people during the short travel. I love how people ask to carry my heavy bag which consists of my precious laptop, notes and other study materials when the sits are occupied and I would have had miserable time throwing my back out while standing if it were not for the lovely people I travel with . I have grown into trusting people to give my bags which consists all of my valuable possessions. After all, the world is balanced with the word ‘trust’. I feel fresh and positive starting my day off in the college jumping from the public vehicle and I feel productive although I feel tired while going back home. People in western countries seem to be rushing all the time with no people having time to even look at each other. Maybe they get stressed out of that particular reason too. But starting the work and college life when somebody makes you feel special calms your nerves and makes you realize how infinitely small we people are in the universe. I get the feeling that we are here to help each other and have each other’s back rather than winning the completion which is indefinable that we aim for. Being the best and making it for ourselves, how lame it sounds. This definitely makes us more socially rich than the people of western countries. I adore how we value elderly people, a woman carrying an infant, disabled and people with all sorts of abnormalities. People don’t stare at them like an alien and make them feel uncomfortable, rather they move out to help them stay or carry the infant and even sing a lullaby or two to soothe them. I have started a new sense of appreciation for those people. Old people going to suburbs carrying the grains and necessary items are really friendly. They interact with strangers, share banters and instantly make connections with people. People from western culture dread the companionship of people during their solitary old age which Nepalese people are getting at everyday basis. That doesn’t make us stupid or over smart; It makes us human. We want companionship and somebody to care for us but some of us are too ignorant to see the beauty in that. Buses which are driving towards the hill playing 'lok dohari' (Nepali folk songs) makes our heart go 'lai bari lai'. It makes us so much Nepali after getting out the bus that we forget we are poor economically. It makes us feel “We are not poor, we are happy.” In fact we are rich if we count every ounce of joy, excitement and thrill with every bump in the road instead of dollar, assets and property. 'Guru Ji' (Drivers), who have to do this task repeatedly to earn their living enjoy their shift with every folk song played. They feel they are making people happy and helping people reach their destination. The true sense of satisfaction human can get is through helping people. Not every people get to help others every day. Just imagine the satisfaction they get before going to bed every night. It is just a matter of a few rupees to reach a particular destination but these experiences are precious seeing so many varieties of people traveling with you every day. Thinking of their struggles in life makes us buckle up to face ours. Life is short but not small. Not a lot of people can say that except for us because we are rich people.