You’re back in Nepal. You know there’s been momentous change. But everything feels the same. The king is no more in the palace, says the cab driver. Gone. We are a Republic now.

The Maoists in power. Elections planned for, postponed, postponed again, and now, over. But everything feels the same. You ask the driver what’s different for him. Not much he says. Look out the window. See, long queue for petrol. Same like before.

In Maitighar, members of the Blue Diamond Society rally for equal rights. Dogs rummage through garbage strewn all over the road nearby. And you wonder if they’ve renewed the rubbish-collectors’ strike. It’s a clear-ish day. Oh, look – the snowy peak of a mountain peeping out from behind a cloud of what is it? Smoke? Dust? Smog?

Mangoes are in season again. They were in season when you first arrived. Gosh, was that a year ago? A landmark year, some say. You know that this country is on the cusp… of… what? No one can say.

Maybe that’s why everything feels the same. The dramatic, the mundane, the inexplicable. All still here. Your driver says he’s waiting. And seeing. No one expected the elections to happen. But they did, no? Finally. Things are still playing out. And after so many years of strife, who knows? He is hopeful. Maybe life will be better.