The Discovery of the High Lama Essay

6342 WordsJul 28, 201226 Pages
The older I get, the more I am astonished by this trickster hand of time. Look at all the boys we thought would go on to become doctors and engineers. They became lafanka men playing guitar in Thamel. And all the lafanka ones went on to become stars in unexpected places. One boy who came last in class throughout his school days won a scholarship to study fashion design in New York. Another boy, who was the top student of our batch, became so disheartened after Harvard rejected his application he spent the next decade drinking in the Bamboo café, talking sadly about his plans to be a chemical engineer. But the most surprising story of all was Bigyan's. Did you ever meet him? He was one of the boys who played in the Dead Rose Tigerbalm band in the Insight Bar. Yes, that's right - the guitarist. He had that curly hair always slick with gel, and the dreadful pair of sunglasses. He wore that Pakistani imported leather jacket with a big white yin-yang patch on the back. "What's up with the yin-yang, Bigyan?" I said, slapping him on the back as he sat there on a high chair at the Maya Bar. He was drinking Mr. Everest whiskey. I had recently returned to Kathmandu for the winter vacations. A scholarship to study environmental science had taken me to Boston, where I had acquired a taste for pizza and a penchant for long-haired hippie girls with liberal tendencies. Now, sitting down in the chair next to Bigyan, I felt myself so much more hip, elevated and distant from this backwater than I could ever have imagined. He grinned that lop-sided grin, strummed a few chords on the guitar, and then looked up. "I thought it looked cool," he said, without apparent irony. I wanted to give him a lecture on the meaning of the two signs, their gendered implications, the way Eastern spirituality was being exoticized, appropriated and marketed by the West to

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