Hāttiban Hike— Passing Through My Memory Lane

This view is one of the things I miss living away from my hometown. We had many memories made on the hill named after an animal ”hāttiban” for its rough shape of an elephant. We used to go hike the hill, at least, once every week, and forage wild berries such as ainselu ‘ऐंसेलु’ [yellow Himalayan raspberry, blackberry], chutro ‘चुत्रो’ [Indian barberry or tree turmeric], ghangāru ‘घंगारू’ [pyracantha or firethorn berry], kattus ‘कट्टुस’ [chestnuts], kāfal ‘काफल’ [berry nut], soap nuts, lapsi ‘लप्सी’ [Choerospondias axillaris (Family Anacardiaceae)], timmur ‘टिम्मुर’ [sichuan pepper], and occasionally pine nuts सल्लाको बिउ, during the spring, summer, and winter breaks. I have not forgotten running or sliding downhill in the woods with friends not much thinking about the possible dangers of jumping off the cliff or hitting a tree. I still remember walking on an enormous pile of dead and rotten leaves that covered greenish earthworms so big never seen before. We made so many memories together but last time I wanted to hike over there, I could find no one willing to walk that ”far.” Now almost every friend of mine owns a motorbike. I would have found a ride easily or could have hitchhiked to get there but finding a fellow hiker, if not impossible, is a Herculean task.

We seem to have forgotten to enjoy nature. All the adventures we did together as young ramblers are becoming faint reminiscence. I cherish our idyllic times together as stressfree teenage years as I walk down memory lane. In my next visit to Nepal, I, however, would like to hike and collect ”ākhtar,” a wild nut with the shape of pistachio, again. I want to know why this nut is highly stimulant or maybe toxic like no other nuts I have had. I miss hearing cuckoo’s rhythmic cooeeing “kāfal pākyo” [berry nut is ripe] in the summer. This time, I want to come out of my comfy cavern and recover the long-lost budding adventurer in me again, of course, a thoughtful, but not a haphazard explorer. I would like to get lost in ear-deafening sound bites of birds chirping, a chorus of cicadas’ and a woodpecker’s constant pecking in the woods.

One thought on “Hāttiban Hike— Passing Through My Memory Lane

  1. Enjoyed this, Satya.

    Hattiban is our favorite, and most frequented spot for a day hike. Hope we can do it with you all sometime!



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