• Mamina Shrestha

It has been a little over a year since I first came in to Karkhana. I remember the feeling when I first got here like it was yesterday and let me tell you- I am not really that great with memories. “I generally don’t like people but I actually, really, really like all of you.” That was what I had shared on my first day here and it holds true even now.

Since that day till now, I have met a lot of people here. More than a handful of them have now moved on from here and there is still of list of people who will be transitioning out over the course of time. Maybe there were parts of me that were willing to accept this since the start. Because somewhere along the line, I was already falling for the values that this place holds, it’s walls, artifacts and corners. Thinking about this now, I was looking for a home in those corners since day one and I am not lying when I tell you Karkhana has become a family for me and has sheltered me like a home.

The first few weeks and months, I had found my corner in one of the edges of the hanging table. There were a lot of stories to be shared, things to learn about Karkhana, about our work, about our team, about the songs we liked and about our families. Clinging on to the sturdy ropes of the table, we had somehow grasped hold of one another- Shebu, Saroj Dai, Shweta Dijju and me. We had a lot to learn and we were ready for the unknown that lay ahead of us.

After our roles were set up and there were more meetings to attend than things to talk about, I went on to find my corner at the Content Generation room. I felt safer there, somehow. The unmistakable sound of Dipesh Dai tapping away on the track pad of his laptop, Amrit Dai’s concentration at work and love for chiya, Yogesh blaring acoustic, studio songs from his Chelsea stickered laptop, Prajjwal being Prajjwal and arguing with me for no real reason. Those were the things that felt like a routine to me in that room. Times have changed now but the left corner of that room is still my favorite.

On a few Sunday mornings, I found myself settling in the cushions at KIC. There were a lot of late evening song sessions with Surya. Rounds of KBC with Roshan Dai and Surya in one particular winter afternoon. I spent a lot of time in the balcony upstairs with Irina Dijju and Pragya- asking them this and that about business ideas and work.

There is also one Saturday afternoon that Saroj Dai, Shweta , Shebu, Pragya and I spent in the corners seat at Operations where we talked and giggled and played pranks. It was an afternoon of spontaneity, sprinkled with a dose of photo shoots.

Another corner at Karkhana is in Sakar Dai’s room where I had sat down for hours trying not to stutter while reading out long texts in Nepali. This is also where we held our Focus Group Discussions and I enjoyed being in every single one of them listening to the people talk about issues. I also witnessed the first ever Karkhana podcast from one of the corners here.

Sabhyata has shared a select few favorites from her playlist with me in the corner in the corridor upstairs. Thursday afternoons for Shastraartha (reading group discussions) is building a soft corner for itself in my heart. Sabhyata, thank you for being my mustard yellow sunshine.

The Mural Room provided me more space than corners, actually. Facilitating my first-ever BC class on Automaton for the students of Galaxy Public School, hosting Fukushima and her band, appreciating colleagues for their efforts, facilitating my first ever writing session with Yaman… Rounds of appreciation, sessions, farewell parties, Dashain party have left an echo of mixed emotions in this space. There has been so much that I have got to learn about things, people and even myself from this room.

With time passing by and our family growing and getting stronger everyday, I now have a bigger love and respect for Karkhana- a place that felt like home since day one and it’s people who have and will always feel like family for me- no matter how far we all wander.

And now as I write this from the corner space outside the Mural Room where I once had chiya and doughnut with Rupesh and Amrit in one of the cloudy, drizzly mornings like today, I fall a little more in love with Karkhana and it’s corners. 🙂