I am back in Kathmandu. I came here on the last day of February flying from Jumla to Nepalgunj and from there to Kathmandu. I was in Karnali for a month (February). I did travel the Karnali Highway (Jumla-Surkhet) twice this time. From Jumla to Surkhet and from Surkhet to Jumla. I also went to a village in Achham following young boys who were returning from India after working at a cricket stadium constructing site in Nainital.
I had traveled the highway (from Jumla to Surkhet) six months ago.
It’s 10:22 PM now and I spent most of my last three hours with the Nehru autobiography that I started reading yesterday. The winter has arrived in Kathmandu for I find it very difficult to wake up early in the morning. Like yesterday, I slept today till 12 AM and I have decided to wake up early from tomorrow.
One thing that I feel good about today was reading a report in New York Times about the new New York Times building (see pic by Vincent Laforet via the Times) in New York. I found the story written by Nicolai Ouroussoff and titled ‘Pride and Nostalgia Mix in The Times’s New Home‘ very interesting. The story provides lots of insights about the building and is an example (for me personally) of how stories on a building could be done. A building is not just the block of bricks and cement (and the Times Tower is certainly not!), it’s more than that. It has to be lively and some sort of distinct personality and aroma. I have never thought that a story like that could be written. Nicolai has considered the building almost as a living person (with some star attractions) and has done wonderful analysis of the personality of that man/or woman. He has pointed out the good sides and lacking aspects of the building. My impression is that the building is really beautiful and a cool place to wrok. Continue reading
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I woke up at 1:30 PM today. I am surprised. Not because I raised from the bed so late but because I got so early. I had planned to sleep for straight 24 hours. I was that much tired because of the workload in the past two days. I am not complaining about the workload. I am proud to do what I did in the past two days. I always wanted to work like that. I wanted to work to the end where I am unable to move myself. And that nearly happened yesterday night. I was barely moving when my brother Email opened the gate for me at 1:30 AM yesterday and asked jokingly: “Well, are there any raids in other FMs?” He was referring to my late coming the night before when I was busy covering the police raid in Sagarmatha FM. I arrived home 2 AM that day and went to bed at 3:15.
That meant I should have slept until at least 12 AM. No, I could not because of my commitments made a week ago. I had to go to Maharajgung to see a woman in action with her beautiful and command obeying dogs. That was part of my reporting to be published in Kantipur in the next few days. I arrived in office at 1 PM. Stories and other duties were waiting for me. There was a rally organized by the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) and how could I miss that? I hade to do a follow up story on the Radio Sagarmatha raid. Along with Deepak Raj Pandey, the man who was arrested on the Sunday raid along with four others, was there in Maitighar. I went to Radio Sagarmatha’s office along with Deepak Raj Pandey and my colleague at Nepal Magazine Deepak Adhikari. We talked with RS guys including Acting Station Manager Ghamaraj Luitel till 6 PM. Walking up to Thapathali from Bakhundole was Deepak’s choice and that was strongly supported by the unavailability of three-wheelers.
“This driver must be a great listeners of songs,” commented Deepak after the driver played some beautiful numbers in the bus. That was a good trip from Thapathali to Tinkune. But the stressful routine started once we arrived in Kantipur complex. I had to write the RS story, hunt down sources, and collect info for the other one: The BBC story in Kathmandu. Thank god, Devendra helped me to find the appropriate Radio Nepal guy (Rabin Sharma, the acting executive director of Radio Nepal) to have quote for the story. Khagendra Nepali, the head of BBC Nepali Service, responded my call to London favorably. When sources give quotable quotes, you can make a good story. I think same applied with my story here. As I was writing the story, Post Bahadur Basnet (Vishnu) translated the BBC story for the Kathmandu Post. After finishing my reporting commitments/assignments, I give some time to UWB. That is my passion.
One thing that I have been repeatedly saying in these pages about my profession: Journalism. It demands time at odd hours and yes you don’t necessarily have to be in your office all the time but you have to be with your sources at their time. In addition to that, in some cases you have to be at work even if you don’t really like. I fell into such compulsion this week.
I was planning to write a story about Saraha Giri’s interview but my plan was altered as I as assigned to interview Krishna Pahadi. I did that. No problem. I can do two (or three) works simultaneously. Like, for instance, chatting and writing stories and browsing Internet and talking to persons on phone. And that’s what I did.
As I was about to leave the office finishing the Pahadi story, the news of raid in Radio Sagarmatha came into our newsroom. I have already written more about this incident in a UWB post.
I am wondering how my week passed away. I didn’t actually realize it. Only two things I remember is that I worked a lot and I wasn’t feeling very well throughout the week. Did that sound contradictory? Okay, then that’s what is the truth. It’s an old tradition for me that I suffer from cold on a regular basis. Winter has arrived in Kathmandu with a big bang. So, it is not unusual for me to get caught up by the Hurricane Winter. I am trying to defy this. Yes, because I feel I should defy. And I am feeling like being successful in this crusade.
I always wanted to be damn busy- busy with my works. That’s what I am having now- busy days. Sometime I feel too tired but then I feel I wanted this. Sometime I want more hours to work but that is beyond my control.
While doing a story about pet keeping in Kathmandu I met a couple of interesting people this week. They are people associated with AnimalNepal.org, an NGO that has made its mission of creating awareness in Nepal about respectable pet keeping. We have too many problems in our society. Political problem is the biggest. Some people might question the work of AnimalNepal saying that we have much bigger problem than that. But I think we should not bear such cynical attitude while commenting on such people. What I think is that at least they are doing something in a country where very few positive works are being done.
Resignation of Judith Miller from New York Times came as big news for me. Going through Washington Post and the Times about her ’scandal’ was quite an experience. The Post’s analysis about Miller was superb. I tried to translate parts of that report and news published in the Times for my paper. I also recommended the Post article to some of my colleagues. That is a must read because that gives the inside knowledge about how American journalism works. By the way, I liked Judy’s web site as well. I knew about that from her letter to the Times.