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24th July 2017; the team of Alpine Exodus headed to Sundarijal where we had plan of having a small picnic and also get our equipment for trekking/mountaineering are washed in the river by the bazaar. As we thought being summer season there would be a big volume of water that would be good for what we were going to do. Invited all the possible staffs including Yuba Ram, Harka, Rakesh, Madan and so on.

I started from home at 6:30 in the morning but we could only leave Kathmandu after 7:50, arranging everybody to arrive on the van, purchased all necessary things and packed all the stuffs that are required to wash & dry.

In the morning by the time we left Kathmandu wasn’t very clear and even a bit drizzling. It was Monday of the Sharvan month, special for God Shiva’s followers in Hinduism. Chabahil, by the Pashupatinath temple area was fairly busy. The road was no good and Gokarn (Shiva) temple was quite full of the pilgrimages. We drove further and gradually the air started to be much fresher, views were getting clearer. The sky became clearer too and even we could see sun rise in Sharvan (July) the heavily summer month. We enjoyed talking randomly as well as the views of the paddy fields, busy people there, vegetable markets, forests, rivers, hills etc.

Having arrived at the Sundarijal bazaar, I ordered 10 cup of milk tea. The lady owner bringing our tea said that the river had been a bit dangerous; youngsters who would come from Kathmandu couldn’t really understand the slippery mucus piled on the rocks; for us to be careful after she knew that we were for washing + picnicking by the river. “A boy died two days ago and the body was found yesterday”, she told in one breath. I started feeling no good – did we make a bad decision coming here? I asked myself.

We had come anyway, so I had to inform everyone once again about the recent thing. I strictly ordered everyone for not to running or jumping here and there. We would check that out and if found difficult, we would just go back without doing anything.  We everyone okyed on it and walked to the river side. We scanned things in quite detail. The water volume was considerably higher, but that was not looking any dangerous or something for us. For us it was not very new thing. In my village when we were quite young, we would go rearing lot of goats or cows & calves. We would pull the goats out of the water from a ragging summer river incase swept. We found pretty similar here. But still we did strictly keep remembering the thing that the lady said. We selected a place and started to do our washing job. Shom got busy for cooking by a boulder.

In two hours strenuous job, we washed some 35 duffel bags, 8 tents and cleaned 20 mattresses. There was sunny everywhere in that lush green area. Villagers were passing by us, nice chicken curry giving good smell off all the way from Some’s kitchen.  Later the river area started to be much busier from the youngsters coming from Kathmandu – it was not difficult for us to know who from Kathmandu and who from the local villages. Soon Some called us for eat. He cooked chicken curry, some other vegetables and prepared Chiura (bitten rice) with green salad.

While eating we left our stuffs to dry more. It was nice afternoon, no rain but finely sunny. Because of our stuffs sprayed on the rocks for drying, many people did not come near us. They had no place for sit in or kind of privacy. But sometime later a flock of local children rushed nearby us in who cares. They stepped on our washed but not fully dried up stuffs too. We asked them “hey, be careful!” Not sure if they heard us. They got all their clothes out and jumped into the river. Many of them were quite good swimmers. They kept playing for sometime chilling themselves into this pleasant temperature water. A smaller boy of the team tried to cross the river from the other side. He was a good swimmer too, but the distance he had was a bit longer. Around the middle of the river he must have been tired or something, he looked like not moving hands. By then there was a speedy bunch of water part. He was seemed like pushed a bit by the water, but somehow he was able to reach one of his hand on the rock and he got out of the river. His friends didn’t notice it, but I felt his terrifying. The boy was standing on the rock, we rushed there and asked if he was all OK. He jokingly said “almost plunged mashala”. He was somewhat trembling and that was not from the cold, but the fear inside he just escaped from. He did not look towards the river again and ran to the place where he had his dry clothes. He put on them quickly and without looking back or waiting to his friends to see him, he ran – may be to home! I felt like we had a very good day and therefore there was nothing wrong to anyone!

Around 3pm, we drove back too, Office packing all stuffs. And until today, Udaya is taking care those bags, tents, etc bringing to the sun – making sure all dried up thoroughly and pack them once everything thing is fully dried up.  

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