later today, i will be picking up my passport. the naya MRP walla. in an effort to be inspired, to be responsive, to no longer trudge through life listlessly, i’ve decided my passport in a worthy topic to jot down a few thoughts about.

i find it slightly surprising, but there is so much i want to say.

for most of my life i’ve never really thought about my passport as my identity. it isn’t me. my passport doesn’t determine my personality, it doesn’t influence my sense of humor, it doesn’t contribute to my likes or dislikes or hobbies or passions….or does it?

on more than one occasion others have assumed i have a passport from another country and i always wonder why i feel like i must defend my claim to have a passport that is this particular shade of green.(“i may have grown up around the world, but my heart and blood is nepali!”) what does this little booklet really say about me? why is it that having one country over other changes the way people perceive me?

what really is the worth of having paper and ink (and a photo) to offer me legitimacy in saying, ma Nepali hu. sometimes my mind has difficulty understanding life through official documents and systems. am i not who i am simply because i am? isn’t my being here enough evidence of my existence? the bureaucratic world thinks not.

and so my thoughts wander along… just how valuable is my passport? i ache to see the whole world and i know my passport is how i will venture to many places, yet, yet, yet, it’s having this passport that limits me so. there are few things in the world i dread as much as visa applications. i know just about every country i can travel to without a visa (or where i can get a visa on arrival) and it leaves much to envy of Canadians and Finns.

does this in turn mean my passport in worth less? (even though i probably end up paying far more in visa fees?) and if my passport is how i am identified, am i worth less? a quick look at the world, the rights of Nepali people, and the abuse they suffer would suggest that anyone with claim to this particular passport is not given the same value.

how tragic. how especially tragic because all it is is paper and ink, ink and paper. in and of itself, isn’t it actually worthless? unless, of course, you consider sentimentality. my old passports have all been hand written there was one where the guy made a mistake and used the edge of a blade to scratch out the error. true story. i used it for five years. my last passport shows a shy 18-year-old me (but i look like i’m 12), and the pages are filled with stamps, stickers, and print out showing my prized possession: the trips i have taken. i will be sorry to let this passport go.

and i will always feel guilty about the passport that will claim me for the next 10 years. i should have applied months ago. i made a few attempts. but one thing or another caused delay, and with less than 6 months validity, my father decided the time had come. he made a phone call to a friend, i sat in an office while everything was put together for me, drinking tea, making polite conversation and i was told to come back in 3 days. source force, you see.

outside people by the 100s scuttered around trying to fill out forms, get signatures, obtain slips, trying to ask for consideration, being confused, being ripped off, and spending hours, days, most likely weeks before getting their passport. but with one connection thereby passing as an elite in this particular instance, i was spared all that. i can’t even pretend to see any justice in it. i couldn’t look straight at young eager faces standing in line, those long long long lines.

i went this morning to pick up my passport, the date had been preponed by a signature, i was allowed to enter without a pass, and at the window i kindly stated “tara waha-le ahile aunu bhannu bhayeko thiyo?” because even though i don’t like it, i know referring to the person behind an important signature is worth more than the due process i should have underwent. her reply has left me with many questions, “yesto khalko case 3pm paachi matrai hunncha“. i fit into a category “this type of case”, a much nicer way of saying “those who have and use connections”.  i am amused, using a method outside the system had caused the system to adapt-there is a system for those outside the system. considering i’d have a new passport in hand within 4 days of submitting my application, i felt no need to argue over a few hours. “hunnca, thank you, ma 3pm paachi aunnchu“.

and that’s what i’ll do. i’ll head back at 3, i will feel more guilt, and when i apply for my next visa, as i always do,i will feel worth slightly less.  i will feel embarrassed at the way my nationality is treated, i will be angered by  how humanity erodes because of documents, and i will look back and wonder if this moment of using a connection will be the line from which i can say i too was a part of corruption.

for a book so little, there’s so much packed into it.  and for this hue of green, my struggle with a Nepali/cross cultural identity continues.

there are many topics i hesitate to write about these days. topics that are cliche, overdone, over-said, trivial, and in the end result in a pile of meaningless words. how tragic for words to be used and to amount to so little. so i’ve been avoiding it, i suppose. or that’s one (of countless) reasons i’ve given myself for why i don’t write anymore.

maybe i’m just lazy. maybe i’m not inspired. maybe i need to start somewhere.

this is somewhere. even if that place is here…again…at heartbreak.

there’s an old familiar to this. the knowledge of having been here already. the understanding of how things go. a few years ago i wouldn’t have believed heartbreak could be so…routine…and yet, there is a pattern: the period of daily crying, the weight in my heart that leaves me drowning, the determination to look damn-fine (who says you can’t be heartbroken AND hot?), and then again wanting to hide from the world, the faking of being glad to be single, acceptance, anger at love with an expiration date, rebounding, the hurt of unfulfilled promises, the pain that persists…and through all these phases, the miracle of recovery.

perhaps in some way i’ve wised up with each relationship, even if it’s only to grow in knowing that i will be okay. that love, well, it doesn’t work out the way you want it to, but that doesn’t make the love you shared a waste. i’ll be fine, i know i will. in some ways, having done this several times i can skip phases and heal quicker maybe. or maybe certain disappointments grow deeper. or maybe there’s less room to give a shit.

in any case, here i am, this again. so so weary.  i’m at the point where i’m making conscious decisions: no i will not let him take me for granted. no i will not cry anymore. no, i will not choose to harbor anger. no, i will not choose bitterness. i will choose better things.once again, i will be better than all of this.maybe i’ll just choose to laugh it all off. there is much that is laughable about I will permit a little leniency on topics i consider worthy of publishing. as it is, not many readers come by here anymore which is just as well, this is my little space. here, in words (dashed with a sprinkle of tears) i’ll find my peace, i’ll find my place. i’ll get over him, just like always.

if i were to write a book of sorts that reflect on the journey we’re all on, i’d title it ‘the great learning’. for in essence, isn’t that all we’re here to do? to learn, to err, to ideally grow, and maybe along the way we make an attempt to contribute. and then, we learn some more.

i do not really know.

and as these dreams of The Great Learning floats in my head, i must confess the sever drought i have been in when it comes to the actual text. they require words. and for the time being, i have none.

these past few months i’ve been on a grand learning of my own. more to know about this country my passport claims me to be from, more to know about myself, about the world, about love, about life, about work. and best (and worst) of all, the possibility of a foreseeable future. how terrifying indeed.

and in this highly educational experience i find myself unable to put together the big plan. unable to give shape to what is to come. unsure about how to sew together these various components i have been bestowed. so much has occurred over so much and so little time. i am at a loss of how to put it together.

for now, i continue, as i have been doing for years, in fragments. still hoping, always hoping, that the words will come.

i once heard, maybe in a song, that the opposite of love isn’t hate. it’s apathy.

perhaps along the same lines, the opposite of motivation is lack of inspiration.

as it stands. right now. i suffer from both.

and a crippling inability to write anything worth a damn to anyone.

the weight of a crippled heart
and the sting of eyes that cried into the night
persist over the tasks at hand

thirty years of a love lost
three decades of a love fumbled (not found)
dissipate into bitters

two days of silence
two months of distance
and perhaps the danger

of history starting again
from Act I

the impossibility of lovers.

i’d like to watch you dance
to beats of jazz
to see the way you’d move those feet
and the rest of you too
to see your movements blend in with the beat

you said you were a good lead,
i’m willing to let you try

i’d like to dance with you


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