Nepali Times Asian Paints
Back at Sundarijal >55

BP Koirala, imprisoned at the Police Training Centre in Kathmandu, describes the tediousness of his near-solitary confinement. He describes in excruciating detail his daily routine from the time he gets up in his cell to the time he goes to bed. It is a life he leads from hour to hour, being able to pass 60 minutes is itself an achievement. Life is slightly better than at Sundarijal, where he was in solitary confinement and didn't have access to newspapers, radio and meetings with relatives. BP also can't find the energy to do anything that taxes the mind too much.

14-12-77 [continued]
After breakfast I want to read + write, I haven't been able to do it-total disinclination for any serious mental work. I sit on the table all right + there is always a book open before me on the table or writing materials-pen + paper. That is all that happens by way of my literary work. I just sit quietly at the table waiting for some moments of inspiration. I become tired of sitting and waiting very soon. Then I start rearranging things in the trunk and boxes in the almirah, or the table + on the shelf.

Then by 10AM, when the sun falls slantingly on the southern wall of my room from one of the eastern windows, I open the windows and I ask for the chawki to be brought into my campus on which I spread a bedsheet and try to bask in the sun. The presence of three sentries (there are two on the roof) looking down on me when I take the sun doesn't encourage me to stay out. I go back to the room and wait for the lunch. GM [Ganesh Man Singh] comes from his camp at about 10:30 + we take lunch. GM comes from his camp at about 10:30 + we take our lunch together. GM's lunch consists of rice, dal vegetables, + if there is meat, a portion of it. I take dal, vegetables, meat (optional). After lunch, which is over at about 11AM, GM goes back to his room + I go to my bed for some rest and sleep. I rest for an hour. Then I do sunbath, massaging my body with mustard oil all the time. It takes about ? hour. About that time I get Rising Nepal + Gorkhapatra + by 12:30 I finish reading them. Again, I attempt to read till 2PM, when GM comes to my room for an hour's joint reading of a voluminous book 'Mahakali dekhi Mechi samma'. It is a worthless book giving a very superficial information about the kingdom, but since it helps me to pass, however boringly, 60 minutes of the day I listen to the reading of the book by GM. Exactly at 3PM GM puts the kettle of water to boil for tea. In the meantime we take some cheese + biscuits GM takes a glass of tea followed by a glass of milk with coffee. At about 4PM, he returns to his room and I start pottering about in the room to make it ready for the evening and the night, ie, I tidy the bed, pull down the mosquito net (there are still a few mosquitoes in the room, more than the protection, the net provides against them, it is a protection against the severe cold of the night). Close the curtains + draw the blinds and put on the room heater with a pan of water for the evaporation and humidity. Then I put on heavy clothes + go out for the evening constitutional, taking a brisk walk for ? hour. I return to my room + begin to spend the evening waiting for the dinner to be served. This is the time I turn into various stations of radio for a good programme. I don't find them but the process occupies me for more than an hour. Sometimes I get good music. GM comes into my room from the kitchen where he goes straight from his room to announce that dinner is about to be served. I go to the bathroom, wash my hands, peep into the kitchen + ask the boys is the dinner ready, and go to the table for the food. The dinner for me consists of some meat (optional) some dal, vegetables and some pop corn. GM takes dinner with a glass of milk with coffee. Then retires to his room after listening to broadcasts from BBC + All India. I try both books and radio to find out which of them would interest me. This keep me occupied for an hour. Sometimes I get good music, sometimes, not very frequently of course, a book excites interest. I finally go to bed at about 10PM, This has been a healthy change in my daily routine, otherwise I used to go to bed immediately after dinner. The day ends. I put off the heater, shut the radio, take off the heavy clothing and get into bed with the Times of India that has just arrived. But the moment my head hits the pillow, I become drowsy. I throw out the paper put on the night cap and put the table lamp out + go to sleep. Most of the time I get sleep promptly when I close my eyes. On some occasions I also seem to suffer, like others, from insomnia. When I feel that I wouldn't get sleep, I debate in my mind whether I should take valium or sedative-decide against it. How did I spend the day?

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)