Smoke over Pashupatinath, Nepal.

nepal earthquake kathmandu

Out of the few pictures I took during and after the earthquake in Kathmandu, it is this one that stays with me. Pashupatinath Temple in the east of the city is well known for its ceremonial cremations, but following the disaster the temple could not keep up with the growing amount of bodies waiting to be burned. For three full days the air was filled with dense smoke rising from the dead, yet it was only when I went down to the Bagmati river did I really comprehend the weight of the suffering bearing down on the people of Nepal. I took off my shirt to cover my nose and mouth from the fumes, and on the other side of the river I saw a young boy with his head freshly shaved. He was watching what I presume was his mother or father being cremated. He wasn’t crying, just sitting there perfectly still and serene as the flames went up before him. I had witnessed an open cremation before in Indonesia, but I selfishly have to admit that I was disconnected from the event. Looking out over Pashupatinath was an altogether different experience. I could feel the pain of everyone, yet I could do nothing.

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