I have never felt so cold before. If it was 4 C in Kathmandu, it would be around 2 C here, in Panauti, a small town located 32 km Southeast of Kathmandu. There was nothing much here, manless farm, lifeless trees amid the valleys. When I reached here yesterday, I stayed in the only hotel in the town. And you know what? I’m the only guest of the hotel. You think it’s cool? Not at all. At night, it was so quiet that I only heard my own breathing. I didn’t even bother to take shower, because I rented a room without a bathroom. Walking out was too much pain. I had a feeling that I was trapped in a ghost town, alone and freezing. I hid under layers and layers of blanket, in a vain attempt trying to fend off the winter chill. I tried to read, but to no avail. Fingers were frozen even they are covered with gloves. It was too cold for me to concentrate on reading. I obviously didn’t bring enough warm cloths.
Coming here was not part of my plan. I never heard of the name of this little small town if not because of him telling me so. He is a photographer, a professional Chinese photographer I bumped into while I was visiting a temple in Bhaktapur, a day before. He said this place is amazing, and so I came. He was right, this place is amazing. Yesterday, at twilight, when I was still sitting on the bus, on the way heading to the bus park, I saw one of the most beautiful landscape ever. I just managed to get a fleeting glimpse of this perfect scenery. I didn’t even have time to pull out my camera. And in fact, for the past few days, I didn’t shoot much photos. I walked and strolled, just walking and thinking of what he has said with so much pride: “I’m a photographer. This (photography) is the only thing I know in my life.” These words still reverberated in my mind. Because it’s so difficult to focus only in doing one thing, let alone doing it continuously for a big part of your life. Most people want to explore as many things as possible in their lives. But only a few of them realize which path is meant for them at the early stage of their lives or careers. And it takes a lot of hard work, courage, sacrifice and dedication to build a craft from what you believe. I like talking with people like him, whose eyes glow when he’s talking. Passion builds and defines a person. I always believe that.