Niranjan Kunwar

When I decided to return to Kathmandu after spending thirteen years in the United States, I didn’t have a clear idea about how my life would be or what I would do. I was driven by only one thought: In Kathmandu, I would write. 

The fire had been lit in America. I took writing courses in Bennington College and often spent hours drafting long emails to friends and families. Post-college, working as a teacher in New York City, I would dabble with emails and articles now and then. But it was impossible to find a voice because I didn’t have a secure sense of self, nor did I feel completely grounded in New York. I was living in fear because I hadn’t come out to my family in Nepal. Never planning to return, I had instead focused all my energies on paperwork and jobs that would pave a path for a green-card. 

It wasn’t meant to be. And I returned in the spring of 2013.

The first few months were rough: renegotiating family relationships, taking steps to establish my identity to my parents, navigating through social and professional circles, getting reacquainted to a city which was drastically different from New York.

A year passed before I moved into my own apartment in Patan, minutes away from the grand, magnificent palace square. The day I moved in, I could feel it in my bones: all the small anxieties and stresses that had accompanied me throughout my twenties had melted away. They were gone. Instead, I had ideas, aspirations and time to write. 

Currently, I write for the Huffington Post covering art and literary events, sharing teaching experiences and related thoughts via Kathmandu Post, and write occasional literary pieces for La.Lit Magazine.