Palika Bazaar is an underground market in central Delhi that is popular among the people who can’t afford to go to fancy malls and nearby branded outlets in Connaught Place. Above the bustling market is a peaceful and not so well maintained park where shoppers and other people come to take rest. Some play chess and enjoy cuppas while others talk to each other or just try be with themselves. All need a few moments of peace in this crazy city. Continue reading
Sunrise on Poon Hill, with a view of 26,795-foot Dhaulagiri. Pic: Ethan-Todras Whitehill for NYT
The New York Times and Time magazine are working closely, so to speak, to cover Nepal in the past couple of weeks. First came Jim Yardley, former Beijing bureau chief of the Times now posted in New Delhi, with an analysis titled “China Intensifies Tug of War With India on Nepal.” That was in mid-February. Two weeks later Jyoti Thottam, Time‘s woman in New Delhi, saw, from Delhi, Nepal “Caught Between China and India.” [Prithvi Narayan Shah, the king who unified Nepal some 250 years ago, had realized that long time back when he said, "नेपाल दुई ढुङ्गाबीचको तरुल हो । [Nepal is a yam between two boulders.]“
Both stories are worth reading but they are not something that we can cheer about. This week NYT and Time came out with two travel reports that are certainly helpful to promote Nepali travel and tourism industry. The Times publishes an excellent travelogue from Annapurna Circuit while Time highlights Kathmandu Valley as a weekend destination. I was particularly interested in the Times story, by Ethan Todras-Whitehill, because I have done parts of the Circuit- Ghandruk Ghorepani (which counts as separate route that passes via Poon Hill) and Nar Phu trek (that touches many parts of the Circuit including Dharapani and crosses via Kang-la Pass that is only a few meters shorter than Thorang-la). The main photo- brilliant- published alongside the story- people enjoying the view of Dhaulagiri range and the sunrise- reminded me of my own moment at Poon Hill three years ago. Continue reading
Nepal’s top leader dies. Nepalis all over the world react hysterically on the Web.
This blog entry is a supplement to a news report that I wrote in today’s Kantipur titled: निधनको खबरले भरियो फेसबुक [Facebook filled with the news of death (of GPK)]
click to enlarge ठुलो पार्नेभए क्लिके हुन्छ
When Girija Prasad Koirala was born in 1925 Nepal was a closed society under autocratic oligarchy and secluded from rest of the world. There were no Twitterers and Facebookers in Nepal.
After 86 years, Nepal is now a Federal Democratic Republic with a vibrant and open society that is so much connected to the world that the news of deteriorating health and death of Koirala spread all over the world in an instant via the Internet on Saturday (20 March).
Messages like “Rest in Peace, Girija Prasad Koirala” or its shorter form “RIP GPK” and similar messages in Nepali spread like wildfire all over the web via numerous tweets and Facebook statuses. Some of those messages might have appeared slightly before the iconic leader’s death and certainly a couple of hours ahead of the official announcement by the Nepali Congress party in Kathmandu. That, in a way, reflected the aam janata (common man’s) concern and interest in Koirala’s health and life in general. Koirala died at 12:11 Nepal Standard Time yesterday. Here’s a sample of conversations that took place on Facebook walls (Sanjivan Gautam is a Nepali scholar who is now in Germany): Continue reading
Chirag Delhi, a congested neighborhood in South Delhi, is where many Nepali Momowallahs live. They make the momo, half cook and take to different parts of the city to sell.
Two days ago a woman identifying herself as a reporter with Time Out Delhi called me at my apartment number. It was not unusual though. Many Indian reporters call me to satisfy their queries: What are the Maoists doing in Kathmandu? Who is this General Gurung? Dinesh, do you know where the [visiting] President is staying in Delhi? What is Nepal’s expectation from India? This woman didn’t talk about politics. She wasn’t interested in Maoists or the Army. She asked me if I knew any Nepali restaurant in Delhi that served Nepali cuisine. Not entirely an unexpected question from a reporter of TOD but I didn’t have a quick and short answer. There is no Nepali restaurant in Delhi that serves Nepali food. At least I don’t know of any. Today I called up a Nepali national who has been living in Delhi for the last 12 years and works at an electronic equipment company to ask if he knew any. He didn’t know of a Nepali restaurant in Delhi either. The ‘fact’ could be astonishing given some other figures like these: Delhi is a city of 15 million people where, according to one estimate, 5,00,000 Nepalis live. So, the question is, do Nepalis go hungry in Delhi? Continue reading
A day after watching on TV the drama of anti-bill MPs in the Indian parliament disrupting the proceedings by snatching the Women’s Reservation Bill from the house chair and tearing it into pieces on International Women’s Day, I watched a drama, as in a theatre, in an auditorium not very far from Parliament House in Delhi. (More about this here.) In the drama Putaliko Ghar (Doll’s House), director Sunil Pokharel’s Nepali adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s creation, the protagonist finally discovers herself and walks out of the home stunning her man. A piercing message that women are no more men’s dolls, and that they have to live for themselves rather than for their men, comes out from the drama. Continue reading