“Stop chasing important things in life to give them a chance to catch you.” Those were the final words of his father before he left his home for Kathmandu. He was chasing his dreams. From the confines of his village he started craving for a life in the city. He desired for money, fame and glory. With a knack for writing and an itch for fame, he boarded an old bus that took him to the bowl of dust, filth and people. He came to his dream city. He was in Kathmandu.
As he gazed towards the lifeless blocks of concrete and inhaled the smoke and dust, he knew he was going to succeed. He felt it in his bones. This is where dreams come true, he thought. He waited for his friend, a villager who had promised to give him a roof over his head until he was able to fend for himself. ‘Hari dai’ as he knew him came almost an hour late and took him to the inner city. With every passing vehicle, he thought of his dream of writing for a news outlet or a publishing house. He thought of writing articles in magazines, writing novels. He thought of being rich, being famous. Hari dai took him through narrow alleys and showed him The room. One dark, small room with a kitchen, study and a bed all thrown in together. The smell of wet floor and old socks filled his nostrils. It didn’t bother him. He smelled his dream’s humble beginning, The room.
He started searching for jobs, talked to strangers, crossed off newspaper vacancies, crossed off his writings and had some of his works crossed off by strangers. Months had gone by. He had stopped writing altogether. He couldn’t face his father, not even on the telephone. The old man’s words cut him like a knife. Even the helpless pleas of a loving father to come back home, felt like insults to the egomaniac in him. He started smoking. Cheap cigarette smoke started filling his lungs and his room. The wet floor, the old socks finally started to bother him. He got agitated with himself, his work, his desperation. The walls seemed to close in on him. The ceiling felt like it was coming down to crush him.
He went out. Given up on his dreams, he started seeing the real city, the crushed souls in people’s eyes, the burdens in their gait. He looked into the long lost soul of the once great state and saw nothing but pain and despair. The old city started to tell him its own tales, how its once glorious past was lost under the burden of its people’s hopes and dreams. He looked and thought of his own dreams and his past. How he used to write for himself and how his dreams of writing for others had left him with nothing but pain. Then he thought of his father and what he said. He bought a notebook and a pen. He started writing. He stopped chasing.