Chautara is a small city built precariously atop a ridge; on either side lie hundreds of narrow terraces of rice paddies, which prevent the ridge from sliding into the rivers far below. “Chautara” is the name for any resting place after a climb. They usually haveĀ a stone or concrete sitting bench at the base a papal or tulsi tree – the trees that provide most oxygen to tired travelers. The city Chautara provides resting places in the form of tin-roof tea shops that hover over steep slopes with lanky wooden legs, inviting the breeze through guests’ hair. When the eye doctor comes to town, dozens of people walk around with patches over their right eyes; the right eye is considered more important than the left, and thus is treated first. At night, when a full moon illuminates the landscape and three-quarters of the sky sparkles with stars, a bulbous mass of clouds broods tauntingly in the south, pulsing with electric collisions – a crystal ball filled with lightning. From my family’s roof, my brother and I sat and watched in awe. When he was little, he told me, he thought the flashes were from people in airplanes taking photographs of the night.