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BP Koirala is struggling against boredom, poor health and mental strain in near-solitary confinement at the Police Training Centre in Kathmandu. A letter from his niece, Shailaja, perks up his mood. He goes into a detailed description of a typical day in prison, and the writing of the diary is itself an effort to pass time and he draws it out as long as he can. The arrival of Ganesh Man Singh to prepare his own breakfast is the highlight of the mornings.

13.12.77
I received a letter from Shailaja. I was a little depressed and moody when the letter arrived-and what a transformation it affected in my mood. I am revived, gone is the mood of depression. In her letters she reveals herself at her best, because the circumstance of letter writing impresses a restraint in her otherwise exuberant passion. What is more beautiful, graceful than the spectacle of passion controlled. There is a visible tension that makes for grace, dignity. Dignity is flat, grace is commonplace, beauty lifeless, if there is no evidence of passion in it-passion unallowed, abandoned passion, however vital or elemental is a little tornado lacking specifically the human dimension. Shailaja's letter gave me joy that a child gets in the discovery of a secret treasure. I read it many times.

14-12-77
Altho I am by nature disorganised and there is nothing like a daily routine for me, the jail does impart some kind of regularity in myself. I generally get up in the morning at about four, then after washing my mouth, I prepare tea which takes about 30 minutes. I try to read yesterday's newspaper or some poetry, according to my mood at the time, as I am waiting for the water to boil. I prepare a glass of tea for the sentry who is posted outside my room. The glass of tea, no doubt, gives him supreme pleasure, because I prepare very good tea, and also because a hot glass of tea at that hour when the temperature is hovering near the freezing point gives him some warmth. I open the window just wide enough to put the glass out for him. He comes, stands at attention, salutes and takes the glass. Some of them ask me before they accept the tea whether I have had my tea. "Have you taken your tea, sir?" "I have prepared another glass of tea for myself. After you finish please put the glass on the window sill." Before I take tea I drink a glass of lemon water. Since a few days I have given up taking tea with the lemon water as precaution against diabetes. I take only lemon water, followed by a glass of tea without sugar-the finest Darjeeling Happy Valley special tea. If I could add only two spoonfuls of sugar in my tea, I could feel sufficiently happy, contented, indulged and gratified-as if I have gone through some aesthetic experience. Even without sugar, the gratification is marginally released, this morning's glass is a bliss. Milk, however is not up to the mark. Water, of course, is all right. Till 6:30 I try to read-just try-don't make too much progress, day-dreaming. I feel my mind is also not alert these days. I can't concentrate, and serious ideas baffle me-and sometimes even consecutive narration-a little complicated leaves me panting trying to catch up with the movement of a story. I hope this mental deterioration is temporary, produced by almost solitary condition of the present imprisonment. After 6:30 till the arrival of a host of policemen undergoing training here descend on me to do the cleaning till it is about 7:30-I try to catch BBC, Voice of America for news and if this is any good music I listen to it. Unfortunately one doesn't get good music at this hour. When the police trainees do the sweeping of my room and the compound I do the walking. The tidying process takes about ? hour. The flower pots are watered, the floor of the compound is meticulously swept and sprinkled with water to settle the dust. My room is also very carefully tidied, windows are cleaned-in short they make everything clean and shipshape. The other day, Rosa remarked that I would develop never-to-be-satisfied habit in the matter of the household cleanliness if I have to live long in prison in this condition. She said that we don't have so many men to look after the compound and its maintenance. Niru said that the Chabahil house was also clean, tho it was not so overdone as here. At about 8 GM comes into my room which has a small kitchenette where he prepares his breakfast and boils our milk. He boils drinking water for me also. For breakfast, he takes milk with cornflakes, a glass of milk with coffee, some fruits and cheese. I take a glass of milk. Since yesterday I started taking one boiled egg and two slices of bread. I don't think I can continue this, because I prefer just a glass of milk for my breakfast.


LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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