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Photo by Kendall Marianacci, Nepal Semester.

A Nepali Symphony

Music and theater have always been an undeniable part of what makes me who I am. It’s an outlet for stress, an inlet for new friends and something I just enjoy doing. However, I hadn’t intended for music to be such an integral part of my Nepal experience. In fact, I expected to leave my music/theater interests back at home and to instead cultivate my interests in travel, different cultures, environmental science and philosophy. Nevertheless, this musical part of my life has actually been promoted during my time here.

There is a song that can be composed to the tune of Patan. A melody that begins with the early morning chirping of birds and bugs. A soft rhythm established with a child running down the street. Its like an aria on the brink of awakening; there is an energy in the air begging to unfold into undulating chords. Ever so carefully, honking cars and motorcycles creep into the composition, dominating the harmonic landscape. Bells jingling. People talking. Laughing. Loving. The gentle scraping sound of feet on dusty roads. A golden warmth infused into every phrase — every note, even. A cool, refreshing chime reverberates off the mountains, muffling the commotion. A song of light and color: red, yellow, blue, green, pink, gold. Each color a note on an ascending scale that only leads up until night fall. The music fades but never does it diminish. The joy of family expressed by a melodic coupling. Bugs again, whispering in staccato 7th’s plucked by a Nepali saronga. A dog barks in the distance, his voice echoing into the glimmering sonata.

To the symphony, I add only the sounds of my endless admiration, gratitude, and unequaled amazement.