A conversation between Singh and B P Koirala

After completing their years’ long ritual of greeting each other, Singh and B P Koirala sat down in the courtyard for a cup of tea.

“Has there been any development? Why have you called me so urgently?” Singh asked Koirala. “There was a deep sense of urgency in the messenger’s request – therefore I left immediately”, Singh added.

“Yes, Ganesh Man Ji. I wanted to discuss something with you of importance therefore requested your presence”, Koirala answers. “However, let us discuss it over dinner. Today, it will only be you and me who will be dining – let’s do so in the terrace. We can discuss the issue then”, Koirala answered.

Singh agreed. He assessed Koirala’s body language and voice for signs of stress or urgency, however could not find any. One thing bothered him though:

“Prior to this day, I hadn’t seen such a quiet environment within the Koirala home. His home was a hub of activity – there always used to be people going in and out. Plus, he had a very large family of his own. However, this time, there weren’t many people. I wondered why. Additionally, Koirala family used to always dine together – even when they had guests eating with them, the guests would dine with the family. This would leave a very familial imprint on the guests’ minds. This time was different”.

Nevertheless, Singh went to his room to rest for a while before dinner.

Singh and Koirala dine at the terrace:

Once night fell, Singh and Koirala went up to the terrace. With only one room in the terrace which would serve as Koirala’s study, the remaining area of Koirala’s terrace was free and spacious. Many a times, Koirala, Singh and their friends in exile in India would enjoy their meals on the terrace – the breeze making the summer heat tolerable.

Both of them sat down in one corner, and the attendants started serving them their meal. They hadn’t been halfway through their meal when Koirala paused and said to Singh:

“Ganesh Man Ji, these days different kinds of thoughts are entering my mind. Thoughts, which if I share with the public, will think that I perhaps have become senile with stress and age”.

Singh wasn’t amused. He was used to Koirala’s way of speech. He would always generate curiosity, and in the process generate a strong argument to make his case.

“You will have to tell me what is going on in your mind Koirala Ji. Only if you share with me, will I be able to contribute my thoughts and views to you”, Singh responds.

Koirala continues to beat around the bush. “You know Ganesh Man Ji, you are a very trusted friend of mine, and I always confide in you my plans and ideas. Will you be able to understand me today as well?” Koirala adds.

“You will have to tell me exactly what is going on in your mind Koirala Ji. Only then will I be able to understand”.

There is a long pause – both their plates are almost empty.

Koirala expresses his wish to return to Nepal:

“You might think I am mad. I am sure our political friends will think I am mad Ganesh Man Ji. As I said, different kinds of thoughts have been entering my mind. I have been trying to formulate a summary of the thoughts – however, the thoughts are yet to crystallize in my mind. I am not sure if you will understand. I am sure our political friends will not understand. Ah! This man has become senile with stress of the political revolution, they will say”.

By this time, Singh was running out of patience. “Considering his hesitation, I had understood that the dilemma must be huge”.

“Please tell me exactly what is in your mind Koirala Ji”, Singh said.

“I am thinking of leaving India and returning to Nepal”, Koirala finally shared what was in his mind.

This time he didn’t beat around the bush. It was a single line statement, and a long moment of stunned silence.

Finally Singh spoke:

“Koirala Ji, did I hear right? Did you say you are thinking of returning to Nepal?  Ihaven’t had a drink before my meal today; therefore I cannot be drunk for sure. But I feel like I heard you say that you wished to return to Nepal? I think the connection between my ears, heart and mind must be missing.”

“No, Ganesh Man Ji. You heard right. I want to return to Nepal”, B P Koirala replied.

The silence continued.