I always had a suspicion that my focal person for Fulbright in Gorkha, Bom Sir, was some type of G (I mean you sort of have to if you have a gold ring with your initial on it), but a night a few weeks ago solidified it for me.
I was in Kathmandu when I received a call from Bom Sir inviting me to his son’s post wedding party/dinner. Stoked, I rushed across town only midway through to realize the reason for me being in Kathmandu and what that dictated about my appearance. If it hadn’t been for a pesky ear infection that day, I would have been somewhere in the middle of a whitewater kayaking trip. To put it bluntly, you don’t really pack pinstriped suits for such trips (although you do for school). I arrived at the ‘Party Palace’, a circus tent with a mix of AstroTurf and shag rug laid down, walking past several police in riot gear with my cleanest articles of clothing being my down jacket and chacos.
Bom Sir was looking as good as ever and as I approached he said, “The Prime Minister is arriving." I laughed at his obvious jest at my appearance giving him the Queen’s wave and in my most grandiose voice saying “Thank you, thank you.” To which Bom Sir said “No look!” I turned around, thinking that it was some nickname for his son, only to see four Armed Police Force trucks pull up, their guards unload and out of a white SUV climbed a man whose face is on the front page of the paper nearly every day, Baburam Bhattarai, The Nepalese Prime Minister.
Now here is a photo of a Bom Sir and the man in the black hat (referred to as a topi) who is the PM of Nepal:
Turns out the PM is from Gorkha and he and Bom went to school together, throw in the fact that Bom’s son is a high ranking police official (with less-than-secret-service milling about) and the PM had to come.
It quickly became clear that I was the only one in attendance who possessed a camera that also didn’t make phone calls and was thus given the task of documenting the PM’s 15 minute visit. I followed him and his entourage around as their personal photographer, capturing the moments as they greeted the wedding party and presented gifts before leaving just as quickly as they came.
As the military procession drove away and I snapped my last few photos, it left this soon to be unemployed college graduate wondering, can I put this on my resume?
Bom, his family, and me (can you spot me? Hint: I'm the one smiling)