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“This is what separates passion from pure business” said a visibly euphoric Subuna. I would not be exaggerating if I say the rest of our team also shared the same view. The trip to Yala Mandala, along with the master himself, made for a lot of wow moments. From the work place to the show room to the refreshment at the interiors of Patan, the trip kept on amazing us, surprising even to our local boy Shaswot.

The program for Friday was set after rendezvous with Mr. Pravin Chitrakar at “Breakfast @ Biruwa.” Even during his talk we could feel his vibes and passion for art and craft so we kind of knew what to expect. And we were not even slightly disappointed. We started with lunch with Mr. Chitrakar at Café’ De Patan. A delightful lunch was accompanied by some mythological stories about Patan. The talk about our culture, tradition and our ethos was so inspiring that some of our team members planned to do something serious on documenting it, then and there.  The mysterious tree near the Yala mandala, the origin and characteristics of Chyasal, the talk of spirits were the highlights of the talk with Mr. Chitrakar.

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From the “gastro-delight”, the team eagerly moved to artisans at work. The place was disturbed by the quake and Mr. Chitrakar said that it could take almost 2 months for recovery. While he was saying this, we were imagining, this is already so managed and how would it be after it is “Cleaned”. The artisans were doing various sorts of things. Some were busy making buttons, some were weaving, some polishing and some engaged with the buyers. Mr. Chitrakar said that all the workers were recruited on communal approach and that they learned the art through apprenticeship.

We climbed a few stairs and reached to a room which seemed to be taken straight out of a museum. There were buttons in infinite numbers and designs; there were vintage pencils and numerous designs of accessories. There were self designed furniture, wonderfully crafted metal statutes and show pieces which would have taken a normal person like me eternity to even imagine. But amidst all that the highlights were two wonderfully crafted iron structures which would straight away fit into either “Game of Thrones” or “Lord of the ring” series.

Each and every piece of art was deftly sculpted, polished and presented. They were all the result of creative sojourn of the maestro. The passion was even more eminent when we visited Yala Mandala, its one of a kind showroom. What looked like a small space at the entrance turned into large and exquisite space as we explored inside. The traditional setting, the wooden steps, hanging chilies and garlic, the colour and roofing everything made the place everything added to the grandeur. The 300-year-old place was, to say at very least, stunning. We were also lucky to see the remains of the exhibition, “The doors of perception”. There were almost 15 photos wonderfully hung and decorated which added a sugar coating to our already sweetened memory. Our cameras must have been exhausted by then as the clicks were taken like an AK-47 at full flow.

An overwhelming experience with art and craft called for the refreshment. We went to a place in Swotha, called “The Inn”. Just like Yala, The Inn was more beautiful inside than one would have thought from the outside. We got to rejoice yet another glimpse of wonderful Yala (“Patan” in Newari).

Saying that trip was fulfilling would be an understatement. We got to know so much of our own history, our own elegance and our own strengths. Seeing the art and passion of Mr. Chitrakar, one is bound to say why passion is different from profession.

We have a strong legacy and tradition. If we only know how fortunate we are, our future is going to be much better than our present. It is said that we are the sum total of what we experience and we can all agree that we have certainly added to the sum.

A big “Thank-you” to Mr. Pravin Chitrakar, who made all of this possible.