Sunday, July 11, 2021

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the Pandemic


What's that one thing you ever regret not doing before the Pandemic hit?

Is it about all work and no play? No travels? Is it not having enough money? Is it about being cold and not being able to extend a hand and give a warm embrace? 

What about your fitness goals? That dream job abroad? Or perhaps your dream house, 
dream car and the dream wedding?

This pandemic brought chaos and bad energy into our lives. It has caused anxiety, fear, apathy, and grief. It killed our dreams and highest hopes. It made a lot of people hopeless and helpless. It made us believe that life is short and that life could suddenly be gone.

However, this pandemic isn't just about the negativity it brings. But it has also unleashed the best in us. It has tested our resilience and faith. It made us be more kind and understanding. It taught us the value of a good relationship. It has made us realize that money is not everything. And it helped us ponder on our existence and life purpose.


What's the ugly side and the bitter truth this pandemic brings? It's our inability to understand the nature of suffering. Our inability to prioritize what's essential versus what's unwanted. Our inability to see other's worth and even our worth.

The saddest truth is when the invisible enemy turns out to be our blind spots. Our inability to spot our weaknesses. Our inability to unleash our hidden powers and energy. That after all these years, we're still stuck with the false beliefs from our society and the influence of the majority. 

The good, the bad, and the ugly are the taste of what we are and what we give out to this world. We may never know when this pandemic will end, but it's not the end yet to make a restart, to make a new beginning, and so we'll have a happy ending. 

©️ 2021 Del Cusay

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Patan Durbar Square and the Royal City

I've never seen such a magnificent old city as Patan Durbar Square, located about eight kilometers south of Kathmandu.

Patan is the old name of the present-day Lalitpur, is considered the third-largest city of Nepal after Kathmandu and Pokhara.

While the old city of Patan offers a nostalgic tour of its royal past, there's one place to visit, learn and appreciate -- the Patan Durbar Square.

I'm lucky to have visited one of the three Durbar Squares in the Kathmandu valley which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The other two Durbar Squares are located in Kathmandu and Bhaktapur, but unluckily I wasn't able to visit.

But then, as I entered Patan Durbar Square, I could feel that it has a rich cultural past and the most magnificent royal palace worth visiting.

It has 155 courtyards and 55 major temples that are significant to Hindus and Buddhists. I was able to get inside one of the main temples and had a great appreciation of the architecture and the arts.

Patan is a city of fine arts. And the marvelous architectures are reminiscent of how arts are ingrained in their culture, preserved, and passed on to the next generations. Their craftsmanship is superb and brilliant as they create wood, stone, and metal carvings. 

Patan has preserved its rich tradition of artistic craftsmanship from the local woodcarvers and handicraft makers. From the time of Royal King Newar, artistic skills still live on. 

I was fortunate to have visited Patan Durbar Square in 2013 before it was hit by a strong earthquake in April 2015. Some of the temples and structures were heavily damaged. The good thing is that it was already reconstructed just like the original structure.

Patan Durbar Square is a truly unforgettable experience. Walking on the tiled red bricks while staring at the red wall bricks was like a teleport back to the old days of fine arts and great craftsmanship.

©️ 2021 Del Cusay