It just happens to be that I had to wake up last Saturday as I had a meeting at 7 O'Clock with a dai and friends regarding a project; or else, I'm not quite a morning person. Nights charm me a lot and morning-sleeps are the best comfort for me!
Shouldn't I be thankful to the dai, my friends, and yes, myself as we're all ready to meet early in the morning? This gave me a chance to have a little tête-à-tête with Mr. Ratna Maharjan from Koyna: (Jal Binayak, Chovar) with a Khamu: full of pumpkin vines -- a typical way of selling vegetables in the Newar community of Kathmandu.
I recall as a child it was a common sight that the Jyapus (literally meaning the one who worships his work - farmers: Maharjans/Prajapatis) of the valley so profoundly in love with their agricultural works, or pottery move around in the valley to sell their products carrying in their Khamu: (kharpan).
When I met Mr. Ratna, it reminded me how simple a life could be if only we really loved our work; we could find solace in it. Selling home grown pumpkin vines carrying them in a traditional carrier and moving around walking couldn't be less than a smart and active living. I wonder what could be more eco-friendly than this! There were about 10-12 muthas of pumpkin vines costing only Rs. 10 per mutha when I met Mr. Ratna at Nayabazar, Kirtipur, on the Saturday morning.
As I enquired a bit about his Khamu:, I was awed to hear that it was about 35 years old and was gifted by his father-in-law during his wedding, and he notes that these days, it's almost impossible to find kharpans like that.
Mr. Ratna, 69, seems to be very simple and a content man who is happy and has energy to walk an hour from his home to Kirtipur early in the morning, and walk back after the sales. When I met him again at around 9 am, all the vines were sold and he was walking back home wearing a glorious smile.
Kirtipur as a growing market for daily consumables among many others, selling pumpkin vines as fresh as those for as less as Rs. 10 each mutha is not definitely a free giveaway when the other numerous vegetable vendors in the same market have random pricing.
Mr. Ratna definitely is an exemplary symbol of simplicity and Jyapu, worshipping one's work.
BY: Uden Maharjan