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Photo by Kendall Marianacci, Nepal Semester.

In the Chaos

In the chaos of Patan sits a building

red brick and wood windows climb four stories off the street

hundreds pass by without a second look

honking cars and motorbikes,

women clad in saris and kurtas carrying food home.

It is not a building of distinction,

perhaps easily forgotten

but with just a few glances, the stories come pouring out.


The bottom floor greets the street

a woman selling pots and pans gazes tiredly outside

students rush by in school uniforms

a shop that fixes motorbikes,

the owner diligently cleaning headlights.


Up the central stairs to the second floor

a stray dog bathes in the sunlight

Nepali words carved into the railing

a small restaurant dominated by Coca-Cola ads

several shops selling clothes and toys.


Up again,

and again

the third and fourth floors

quieter spaces called home

windows blocked by a variety of floral curtains

clothes draped from every inch of railing

seeking midday sunlight.


In the chaos of Patan sits a building

unseen by many

but home to a few

home to pots and pans and broken motorbikes

home to retail stores and a family restaurant

home to the quiet apartments above

a building full of love and life

contained inside those old brick walls.