NEPAL – NEPAL – नेपाल

Kralj Birendra sa kraljicom i drugim zvanicnicima-King Birendra with the Queen and other officials

Kralj Birendra sa kraljicom i drugim zvanicnicima-King Birendra with the Queen and other officials

Molitva u hramu iznad grada-Monks in a holy ritual in a temple above the city

Molitva u hramu iznad grada-Monks in a holy ritual in a temple above the city

Najsvetiji budisticki tibetanski hram-Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu is the holiest Tibetan Buddhist temple outside Tibet

Najsvetiji budisticki tibetanski hram-Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu is the holiest Tibetan Buddhist temple outside Tibet

Nije stigao da potpuno sagori-It couldn't have been burnt out

Nije stigao da potpuno sagori-It couldn’t have been burnt out

Planinski venac Himalaja - Himalayas mountain range near Dingboche

Planinski venac Himalaja – Himalayas mountain range near Dingboche

Radoznali pogled-A curiuos look

Radoznali pogled-A curiuos look

Svajambunat hram, majmun dr++i Budu za ruku-Swayambhunath Temple-a monkey holding Buddha's hand

Svajambunat hram, majmun dr++i Budu za ruku-Swayambhunath Temple-a monkey holding Buddha’s hand

Sveti covek-A holy man

Sveti covek-A holy man

Trg Darbar u glavnom gradu - Durbar Square in Kathmandu

Trg Darbar u glavnom gradu – Durbar Square in Kathmandu

Trg Darbar u glavnom gradu-Durbar Square in Kathmandu

Trg Darbar u glavnom gradu-Durbar Square in Kathmandu

Trg Darbar u Patanu-Durbar Square in Patan

Trg Darbar u Patanu-Durbar Square in Patan

Dolazak kralja-The King's arrival

Dolazak kralja-The King’s arrival

Drvena vrata-A wooden door in Bakhtapur

Drvena vrata-A wooden door in Bakhtapur

Nepalke-Nepali women

Nepalke-Nepali women

Stara nepalska zastava-Old flag of Nepal

Stara nepalska zastava-Old flag of Nepal

Tradicionalne lutke-The traditional dolls

Tradicionalne lutke-The traditional dolls

Ziva boginja Kumari-Kumari-the living goddess

Ziva boginja Kumari-Kumari-the living goddess

Taj datum neću nikada zaboraviti: 17. septembar 1986. godine bio je sasvim nesvakidašnji u mom životu. Bilo je to prvo veliko putovanje na koje sam krenuo sa svojim bratom Milanom i našim velikim prijateljem Nenadom Pandurovićem, sa kojim su povezana mnoga putovanja opisana u ovoj knjizi. Tog dana je Katmandu, glavni grad Nepala, smešten ispod Himalaja, proslavljao jedan neobičan događaj na svom velikom trgu koji se naziva Darbar. Jedanput godišnje živa boginja Kumari izlazi iz svoje palate koja se nalazi na tom trgu i u visokim zlatnim kočijama prolazi gradom, dok je narod, u laganom zanosu, posmatra sa obožavanjem.
Čitavom događaju prethodio je dolazak kralja Birendre koji se, zajedno sa kraljicom, dovezao u ogromnom starom mercedesu, i potom ceremonijalno ušao u svoju palatu na istom trgu. Za njim su dolazile svite podanika u odeći određenih boja koje su odgovarale njihovom rangu: visoki sveštenici, ministri i diplomatski kor. Svi su se smestili na velikoj kamenoj terasi s pogledom na trg Darbar i njegove glavne hramove, na kojima je u tom času bilo nekoliko hiljada ljudi u radoznalom iščekivanju predstojećih događanja. Sve je praćeno mističnom muzikom drevnih budističkih instrumenata i obavijeno plavičastom izmaglicom dima koji se svuda širio, uz prijatan i omamljujuci miris incensa i jasmina. U jednom trenutku, kao u nekoj bajci ili na filmu, kralj i kraljica su počeli da bacaju metalne novčiće u masu siromaha i dece, koji su ih žurno skupljali sa kamenog pločnika.
Živa boginja Kumari (devica na sanskritu) u stvari je devojčica koju, prema nekim svojstvima, izabere savet sveštenika na određeno vreme i koja potom živi u drvenoj palati nikad ne dotičući tlo. Povremeno se, jarko našminkana, radoznalo pojavi na prozoru, posebno ako se to pojavljivanje plati, a samo jedanput godišnje  izlazi iz svog zlatnog kaveza, odakle, na posebno ukrašenim nosilima, bude prenesena u visoku kočiju kojom prolazi kroz grad. Oduševljena masa ljudi u transu je trčala za njom, dok su na odvojenom tronu stajale bivše boginje, sada već devojke, tužnih pogleda i vidno starijeg izgleda. One prestaju da budu boginje kada navodno dobiju neka ljudska svojstva, koja se ispolje u pubertetu, posle čega se bira nova boginja. Muškarci im, nažalost, pripisuju neka božanska svojstva, zbog čega ih se plaše, tako da većina njih ostaje neudata. Imali smo sreće da se  čitava ceremonija njenog izlaska i prolaska gradom dešavala pred našim očima i trajala do doboko u noć.
Nepal je zemlja božanstava, rituala, starih hramova, ali i zadivljujuće prirode, koju samo predeli Himalaja mogu da pruže. Vodiči naroda Šerpa tradicionalno prate planinarske grupe u njihovim pohodima ka najvišim vrhovima na svetu, kojima je stremio i moj prijatelj Ivan Stanković, dok su Gurke oduvek bili elitni ratnici engleske vojske.
Budizam i hinduizam ovde se prepliću na svakom koraku, kao i njihovi hramovi kroz koje jure stotine “svetih” majmuna. Duž rečice koja protiče između hramova ritualno se spaljuju mrtvi, dok se razdragana deca kupaju u njoj; sveti ljudi premazuju svoja ispošćena tela u belo, fakiri prikazuju svoje veštine, a dreseri kobri, uz tihu muziku svojih frula, magično ih izmamljuju iz torbi.
Nepal, nažalost, nema više svog kralja, koji je sa porodicom tragično stradao, a narod se, potom, izjasnio da više ne želi kraljevinu. Kao da mu oni novčići koje je bacao sa terase nisu bili dovoljni.
Narod uvek traži više.

Septembar 1986.
___________________________________________________________________________________

I will never forget this date: 17th September 1986; it was a truly exceptional day in my life. This was my first big journey which I started with my brother Milan and our great friend, Nenad Pandurović, who is linked to many various trips described in this book. On that day Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, nestled South of the Himalayas, was celebrating an unusual event on its main square called Durbar Square. Once a year the living goddess Kumari leaves her palace which is situated on that square, and rides through the city in her tall golden carriages, while the people look at her enraptured, full of adoration.
This event was preceeded by the arrival of King Birendra who, together with his Queen, drove in an old Mercedes and then made a ceremonial entry into his palace, also situated on this square. He was then followed by his subjects, divided into groups and wearing proscribed colours that correspond to their rank: high priests, ministers and diplomats. They all settled down on a big stony balcony with views over Durbar square and its main temples; the square was crowded with several thousand people who waited with excitement and anticipation for the events that ensued. This was all accompanied by mystical music performed with wooden Buddhist instruments and enveloped in bluish smoke that was spreading everywhere, with pleasant, heady scents of jasmine and incense. And then, like in a fairytale or a movie, the King and the Queen started throwing coins to the throngs of poor people and children, who hastily collected them.
The living goddess Kumari (a virgin in Sanskrit), is actually a girl chosen beacuse of her qualities by the High Priest Council for a certain period of time, who then moves to live in the palace, never setting foot on common ground. Occasionally, she appears at the palace window to watch the world with curiosity, her face heavily made-up, especially if her appearance is paid for. However, she leaves her golden cage only once a year from where she is transported in specially decorated litter to her tall carriage which takes her around the town. Delighted masses of people ran after her as if in a trance, while on a separate throne ex-goddesses, now grown girls, sadly looked away, noticeably older. They cease being a goddess once they display some human characteristics, during puberty, and then a new goddess is chosen. Unfortunately, men still ascribe them some divine properties and are afraid of them, so that the majority of them remain unmarried. We were lucky that the entire ceremony  of the goddess exiting the palace and travelling around the city was unfolding in front of our very eyes and it lasted until late at night.
Nepal is a country of deities, rituals, ancient temples, but also fascinating nature that can only be found in the Himalayas region. The Sherpa people are traditional guides accompanying mountaineering expedition groups to the world’s tallest peaks that have attracted my friend Ivan Stanković, while Gurkhas have always been the elite soldiers of the British Army.
Buddhism and Hinduism intertwine here at every step, as well as their temples, surrounded by hundreds of “sacred” monkeys running around their grounds. Along the small river that runs between temples there are ritual cremations of the dead, while children merrily splash about in its water; holy people paint their emaciated bodies in white, fakeers show off their skills, and cobra tamers magically entice cobras out of their bags with the help of the mellow tones of their flutes.
Unfortunately Nepal does not have its King anymore. He perished in a tragic accident together with his family, after which the people declared that they did not want a kingdom anymore. As though the coins the King threw to the masses from that balcony were not enough.
People always want more.

September 1986

Leave a Reply