One day, I was wandering aimlessly on the road above Kalika Iskul when I noticed a woman I recognized from the area of the passals. I asked where she was going, she told me Maitighar, and invited me to come along. I asked how long it would take. An hour, she told me. I had a few, and I’d never been to Maitighar, so I agreed to tag along.
Twenty minutes later, I found myself in Maitighar. The houses in the area were much nicer than the ones I recognized from the Thami village in which I lived; I quickly realized that I was in an area populated by Brahmins. I stayed at the woman’s house while we waited out a rainstorm, hung out a bit with the headmaster of Jagaran Iskul in a nearby house, and finally headed for home.
That evening, Upama asked where I had gone. Maitighar, I told her, proud of my memory. A place called Maitighar? she asked. Yes, I assured her, confident I was getting the name right. She started laughing: Turns out, Maitighar is the Nepali word for the house in which a woman grows up. Yes, I had been to the woman’s Maitighar. But really, I had been in Sundrawoti, Ward 5, which is somewhat less exciting than a place that has a name.
Had I not learned the word Maitighar at that time, I might have been a bit confused when Rajkumari picked a song about a collection of a few houses near Sundrawoti as the second one her girls performed as part of their ECA: