The East Nepal Tour: Flying to Itahari

Tuesday: A call from Charles Haviland, the BBC reporter in Kathmandu, changed my day, and the weekend. The call from Haviland meant I was going to eastern Nepal with him as a translator for his possible radio/television programs. In a few hours time (well, after waiting for about three hours at the airport) I was in a ‘resort’ in Itahari. We landed at Biratnagar airport and then went for a half an hour ride to Itahari. In Kathmandu airport I met Padma Sundar Lawati, a pro-RPP leader who was widely expected to be the new chairman of the faction. I asked him about that the he first tried to downplay the question and a few seconds later said this. “Well, I said that there are only two posts that I haven’t assumed, the Prime Minister and the Party President. People exaggerated and linked that to my desire to head the new party. But I could do that too as I had enough supporters for that. But I chose not to create rift within the new party.”

At the gate of Kathmandu airport, I met Kumar Shrestha, an interesting fellow, who was doing camera work for Haviland. I came to know that he is the representative of APTN (Associated Press Television News) in Nepal.

There are quite a few stories from the travel but Haviland and others have requested that they shouldn’t be mentioned in my blog. Respecting their wishes I avoid writing those pieces here. I also met another journalist Thomas Bell of daily Telegraph. I think he also joined the don’t-mention-me-in-your-blog chorus. So, no comment on him as well except that he seemed too old to his age. Ah.. but I don’t know his age!

[All posts related to east Nepal tour are written after the visit and posted on the appropriate dates]