A Contagious Energy 

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Swechya Banskota

This summer I met somebody with an infectious smile and a soul full of pure bliss, creativity, and kindness at Ann Arbor in Michigan. Her name is Anita Adhikary.

The first time I met her in person was at a really nice restaurant called Cardamom. After lunch, I was supposed to rush over to a presentation for my internship, so I was a nervous wreck going to lunch with her. However, as soon as we started talking, my nervousness and anxiety disappeared. It was like I was talking to an old friend. I watched—almost stared—as she described her travel experiences and the ways she has found to give back to Nepal. I was also amazed by the crisp, original thoughts she had about life and what it is to be a Nepali in a western world. When the waiter came with the bill, she told him to tell the owner “Anita said hello, and the food was delicious.” A few minutes later the owner—who is a Nepali—himself came out to greet her. Just with that, and with the impression she made on me, I knew that her charming personality and energy attracted almost everyone she met.

A couple of days later she invited me to her place, and I found that her family is equally amazing like her. I was touched by their hospitality—I felt like I was part of the family in such a short period of time. The next day I was eating breakfast with the whole family, including her “stinking cute” (as Anita Aunty likes to say, and yes, I can attest to that. She. Is. Adorable.) granddaughter. Anita Aunty put on some Nepali music that accentuated the relaxing and cheerful ambiance, and we all sat around a table full of food, so much food that I am surprised we were able to finish it all. Later she gave me a tour of the house, and here I will support my earlier claim about her creativity by a full force. The whole house was her can- vas. Well, I am sure that husband also took a part in the creativity, but as she showed me around, I was stunned by the myriad of photographs taken by her during her travel experiences, the sculptors and vases she had made in the art classes she had taken, her cute garden, and… And her BASEMENT!! Her basement embodied her gregarious nature! A disco ball? Check. A ton of table and chairs totally fit for a big party? Check. A bunch of decorations for different themes? Check. An area designated for a person to play a madal? Check! Check. Check. Check. You could find everything for a party there.

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Have I mentioned that she is also an author? (How can anybody be SO amazing?!) She writes children books that feature the Nepali culture. Why? She eloquently said: “You know; I have lived in the U.S. for 25 years. I raised my kids here. And now I have three lovely granddaughters. I have tried very hard to find a Nepali book for children, so they can read about the Nepali culture. I could not. So I decided to write some books myself. Not only will our kids feel represented, but now the non-Nepalese people can also teach their kids about the Nepali culture.” She has written 4 books: N is for Nepal, Dashain Aayo! Tihar Aayo!, Y is for Yoga, and My Daughters are Smart! I read one of the books with her “stinking cute” granddaughter, and it is really witty and cute.

Her energy is such that I have been greatly in- spired to live my life fully by being creative and putting wholesome energy into every aspect of my life. I am also grateful to have found a great friend and a mentor in her, for we share similar ideology about life and I hope to live a rich life like her. Now I only hope that I will be able to go back to Ann Ar- bor, Michigan to go to one of her famous parties!

You can learn more about Anita and her books by going to Anita’s Alphabet Adventure on Facebook where you can directly contact her and also place an order on her books.