Nepal, we rendezvoused yet again, and this time I brought my daughter to you. You tested me with your customs, your sentiments, your pathogens, and your wild ways. You made me question my sanity in coming here, and yet I cannot bear to leave you again. With your towering white peaks you lure me, again and again, into your clutches, only to double me over with pain. But when i stand again, oh god, I can barely breathe for love of you.
Nepal, on this fifth visit of mine, you showed me what it means to be a bideshi (foreigner), and you taught me to love my foreign ideas, my innate feminism, and my own power. You threatened my notions of motherhood, and then reaffirmed them. You gave me bliss and laughter, a glimpse of my younger self, and then ripped it away. I sat overlooking your sprawling city with my happiest self, I poured over your Himalayan crown with all the longing of my heart, and I ache with desire when I think of being far from you again.
Nepal, every time I come to you I am ripped to shreds, and then I offer the blood of my wounds to your gods. I kneel before you and you push me flat onto my face. You are cruel and mysterious. You nurture my craving for wonder, you ease my wanderlust, you soothe my soul. Your temples sing my lullabies, your people fuel my smile, your mountains lift me to new heights. the whisper of your prayer flags, the rustle of your kurtaas, the ringing of your bells at dusk… they create me anew.
Nepal, you give me more love than I can hold, and then you take more of me than I have to spare. You consume me and then spit me out. So much of me is left behind each time I go that I can hardly call myself the same person.
Nepal, our love is deep and complicated. You are my two-faced god. I am your hungry ghost.