The Park Village Resort: Serenity in the Foothills
September 14, 2008 (Kathmandu, Nepal)
A boy with a luggage compartment in a bicycle with an errant tourist in tow - the stone path on which they ply is shaded by a canopy of trees and shrubs. I am writing this a few feet away, safely ensconced under a pavilion of chairs in a pond. Feeding the fish felt like a 'runaway bonus'.
In consonance with the season, I took the opportunity to pay homage to the Gods. "Buddham Sharanam Gachyami." The walk was delightfully enlivening - the city would also feel supported by a few of these lamp posts that gently dot the pathway. The gazebos reminded me of my childhood. But I could not summon the courage to go in and recollect. It was like a visual opera of pines and playfulness.
We do not usually associate calm or tranquility with the sound of gushing water. This, however, is an expression that best fits my senses finding serenity as the pool water splashed into a waterfall in the midst of this 'ecological system.' I use the term 'ecosystem' very liberally.
The Park Village Resort is spread across six acres of land in the foothills of Shivapuri National Park near Kathmandu City. A resort person describes it as a "classic example of the nature-tourism synergy." The resort does strike me as an almost complete universe of green flora. I spotted an eagle flying overhead. The lush hills draped with sinewy clouds seemed a fitting home for this winged protector.
As we ate lunch in the foyer and I absorbed the surroundings, I found myself thinking that this could be a communion with nature a long time in the offing or, at least, a belated return to renewal and calm. I had never seen a life-size oil painting of a tiger before. The slow, sure and languid look captures the tiger's bond with its environment. The birds in the paintings reminded me of stories, anecdotes and clues that I had learnt through the years.
The restaurant at the end of the nature trail comes alive with these paintings - invigorating the mind, the eyes and the ambience. Mesmerized as I was, I stopped and tried to steal a technique or two. Those firm strokes of paint would surely herald a new dawn should we fall prey to a disassociation with nature once again.
The amenities, hospitable service, delicate architectural renderings and spacious greens of the Resort are comfortably inviting.
A shaded and stony path has rarely ever gone unnoticed. The one I strolled along was punctuated and elevated by a feeling of discovery. Why do we suffer lifelessness only to rediscover life once more?
Stemming the tide of weariness with nature, the resort was a trip into surreal sensations of losing and regaining my focus, sense of wellbeing and perception.