Nepali Times Asian Paints
Back at Sundarijal >36

BP Koirala is obsessed with his health, and every little ailment worries him. He is also travelling down memory lane, remembering his mother fondly and chanting the mantra that she gave him before she died. BP also confesses that he is homesick for the company of his wife and niece Shailaja. Reading the Rising Nepal's coverage of King Birendra's return from India, he hopes the monarch is not swayed by the flattery of his courtiers.

3 April, 1977

Perhaps there is a great mental strain of which I am not aware, but which is insidiously affecting my mental and physical capabilities. Today at about 2PM the vision in my left eye became suddenly dimmed at its upper left corner. It lasted for about 10 minutes and I became very, very anxious. My anxiety is all the greater because can't get the help of a doctor at short notice-moreover the officer in charge of the camp enters the jail only 3 times a day-8AM, 12 noon and 7PM. If anything happens during the intervening hours or at night there is no help. When GM was here I had some confidence and we have mutually arranged that our rooms at night wouldn't be bolted from inside in case of need. Perhaps I need to change my spectacles because the ones that I am using aren't giving me efficient service. But this sudden clouding of my vision in the portion of the left eye which lasted for some minutes only couldn't be due to deterioration of my eyesight. The symptoms may also have been induced by Isopterin, the medicine to correct my heart beat-extra systole or whatever it is.

I did some reading in the morning and did some writing also-ie did some useful work. But I am mentally unsettled, fidgety, alternating between buoyancy and depression. I read the papers minutely-4 issues, 2 each of Gorkhapatra and Rising Nepal-nothing of importance. My mind is not very active-perhaps this is how nature helps, a kind of survival strategy to put your energy to the minimum use, to keep you alive by slowing down your tempo. I have become very forgetful also. But I feel there are temporary disabilities produced by the unnatural conditions of detention. No serious damage is occurring either to my physical or mental health-the damage temporarily sustained could be correction in normal conditions.

Since four days we got rain almost every day, hence the weather has become cool. The sky is cloudy. I have put all my warm clothes away in mothballs. I need a light quilt at night, having discarded the second one. In the day I use a khasto given to me by Santosh. It is a beautiful khasto and it is giving me a very necessary service. I am usually in khasto pajama and kurta, which was.for me by Sushila in December 1968 in B'bay. Sometime I don dhaka cap-a concession to the spirit of Nepalism.

4 April

Peculiar unusual weather has developed for the last one week, the weather is like that of a rainy season. It has been raining intermittently accompanied by strong wind and occasional bouts of sunshine. The sky is mostly cloudy and the mornings are foggy. Such weather is not propitious for mental tranquility. Clouds are mentally very exciting and emotionally disturbing. I can now understand the banished . homesickness at the sight of the first cloud of rains. Kalidas has composed what I think to be his best piece of poetry incorporating a lover's sentiment at the sight of a moving cloud. I am homesick again. But the homesickness is not as anguishing as it used to be in the beginning-but it is homesickness alright-a mild sadness, a desire to look at Sushila's picture again and again, revival of the memory of Shailaja's and other dear ones again and again-a pang, sense of deprivation, a poignant need for emotional company. Dil dhundhata hai phir wahi phursat ke raat din, baithe rahe to sabse jawa kiye huye.

Did a spot of writing on the history of the Nepali Congress. I am currently at the period of 1947 when mother used to be very active in politics, which resulted in her arrest during the mill women's strike. I am full of mother today. Tarini was one of us to be arrested during that struggle. As a matter of fact, he was the first one to be arrested on that date. He is also no more. We have travelled a long way from those days. As I write about that period I remember mother and Tarini's role during the initial days of our struggle vividly. Others are living but they are no more. Bal Chandra Sharma was also active in those days, but he became a treacherous renegade to the cause, hence his memory doesn't evoke any emotion in me. In the evening when I am alone I think of mother. I gaze at the darkening shadows of the kapur tree and foolishly-superstitiously-fervently hope that mother would emerge from darkness. She had whispered a diksha mantra into my ears when I was a child. I suddenly remember that mantra and repeat it many times over, holding a lock of her hair, which I have brought with me, in my hand expecting ardently that she would listen wherever she is and make if only fleeting appearance before me. It is all foolishness but I am assailed by her memory deeply, profoundly.

Today's Gorkhapatra and Rising Nepal is full of the king's return to Kathmandu from India yesterday and of his
great doings in India. He is depicted as a great emperor to whom the leaders of India pay homage. I hope the king, impressionable as he is, will keep his balance and will not equate courtiers' flattery with truth.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)