Category Archives: New Delhi Life

उबरले संसारका थुप्रै शहरहरूमा ट्याक्सी व्यवसायको अनुहारदै बदल्देको छ । उबर र भारतमा उसको प्रतिस्पर्धी अोलाले टेम्पुहरूलाई समेत अाफ्नो एप्पमा ल्याउन खोजिरहेका छन् ।

उबर दिल्ली

त्यो वेलुकी म खान मार्केटको फकिर-चन्द एन्ड सन्सबाट वाकिेङ् द हिमालयज  च्यापेर निस्केको थिएँ । झोलामा द अोसन अफ चर्न  थियो र थिए द टु-इयर माउन्टेन, हाफ लायन  अनि कोर्मा खीर एन्ड किस्मत । अलि ठूलो पसलमा गएपछि अाफ्नो छनोटका किताव मात्रै किनेर पुग्छ र? त्यही दिन त्यो पसलमा टुपुल्किएको ग्यारिसन्ड माइन्ड्स्  लगायतका अरू केही मगाइएका पुस्तक पनि थिए मसँग । सानोतिनो व्यंग्य नै मान्नुपर्छ खातको सबैभन्दा माथि अघि साँझ नेहरू प्लेसमा किनेको पेपरह्वाईटको कालो खोल थियो । अर्थात झोला गह्रौं थियो । पसिना तर्तरी चुहिने त्यो गर्मीमा लगभग दुइसय मिटर पर्तिरको भूमिगत शहरी रेल स्टेशनसम्म पनि हिड्ने मेरो इच्छा थिएन । अाखिर मेट्रो रेलले पनि मलाई मेरो गन्तव्यसम्म पुर्याउदैनथ्यो क्यारे ।

[यो लेखको अघिल्लो भाग अर्थात गुनासो संस्करण यहाँ छ “उबरमान्डू” ]

बाबु र म ।

बाबु र म । फोटोभित्रको फुच्चे फोटोमा हामी अघिल्तिरको सडक । ग्यालेक्सी एस सेभेनको दोहोरो क्यामेरा अवतारमा खिचिएको फोटो ।

यो लेख बाकसपछि निरन्तर छ । तपाईँलाई इमेलमै पछिल्लो ब्लग, लेख र तस्बिर पठाउँदा म खुसी हुनेछु । बाकसमा आफ्नो इमेल ठेगाना हाल्नु होला । यो लेख इमेल इन्बक्समै पढिरहुन भएको छ भने केही गर्न पर्दैन । धन्यवाद🙂

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पाँच बर्षअघि म दिल्लीको अस्थायी बासिन्दा हुँदा त्यस्तो अवस्थामा मैले सडकमा निस्केर हात हल्लाउदै टेम्पु रोक्नुपर्थ्यो । नभए ट्याक्सी खोज्नु पर्थ्यो । अटोमा तातो हावा खादै सात किलोमिटर कुद्न मलाई मन भएन । ट्याक्सी खोज्ने जाँगर पनि लागेन । फेरि वेपत्ताको महंगो ट्याक्सी किन चढ्थ्यें? दिल्ली अोर्लेको पहिलो दिनै मुस्किलले चार किलोमिटर यात्रा गर्दा ट्याक्सीलाई अाठसय रूपैयाँ तिरेकै थिएँ । उसको मिटरमा मलाई विश्वास थिएन तर के झगडा गरिरहनु त्यो गर्मीमा ।

त्यसैले मैले खल्तीबाट मोवाइल फोन निकालें जसमा भोडाफोनको फोरजी सेवा उपलब्ध थियो । फोनमा मैले उबर एप्प खोलें । अनि ‘देखि’मा खान मार्केट र ‘सम्म’मा अाइटीसी मौर्य लेखें । छिनमै मैले जानकारी पाएँ, स्विफ्ट डिजायर चलाउने अरविन्द म भन्दा तीन मिनेट टाढा छन् । हेर्दाहेर्दै उनी एकै मिनेट टाढा भए । जरूरी त थिएन तर उनले मलाई फोन गरे । मैले अाफू उभिएकै विन्दु उल्लेख गरें । केही बेरमै उनको गाडी सडकको अर्कोपट्टी मेरै सामुन्ने उभियो ।

त्यसरी ११ अगस्टको राती नौ बज्नै लाग्दा म अरविन्दको डिजायरमा छिरेको थिएँ । Continue reading

काठमान्डूको साँखुबाट देखिएको सूर्यास्त

उबरमान्डू

धेरैपछि फेरी एक पटक दिल्लीको गर्मीमा अाफैसँग सिकसिको लाग्नेगरी पसिनाले फतक्कै भिजेको डेढ दिन के भएको थियो मलाई काठमान्डूका कतिपय कुराहरू खड्किन थालेका थिए ।

१४ सय मिटरमा अवस्थित उपत्यकाको प्रशंसा गरेर नथाकिने मुख्य कुरा यहाँको मौसम हो जस्तो लाग्छ मलाई । सजिलै पुगिने र चढ्न सकिने वरिपरीका हरिया डाँडाहरूलाई पनि म यो ठाउँको सवल पक्ष मान्छु । काठमान्डू खाल्डो घेर्ने पहाडहरूको महत्व मेरालागि अाफू कहाँ छु भनि ठम्याउने कुरासँग पनि जोडिएको छ । पहाडमा पलाएका अनि हुर्केकाहरू सबैलाई यस्तै हुन्छ कि मैलाई मात्र हो मैले खुट्याइसकेको छैन । दक्षिण बग्ने लिखु खोलाको दाईने किनारबाट उम्रिएर पश्चिमतर अडेस लागेको रामेछापेली पाखोमा जन्मे-हुर्केको मेरालागि म कुन उचाईंमा या ठ्याक्कै कहाँ छु भन्ने ठम्याउन सबैभन्दा महत्वपूर्ण सन्दर्भ विन्दु हुन्थ्यो, लिखुको द्रेब्रेकिनारबाट अग्लिएर पूर्वतिर लमतन्न फैलिएको अोखलढुङ्गे पाखोको टुप्पो । पूर्वतिर फर्केको घरको अाँगनमा उभिएर त्यो अोखलढुङ्गे भिरालोमा अाँखा सार्दै टुप्पैसम्म पुर्याएर त्यो पानीढलो पछ्याउदै उत्तर बढ्दा पुगिने हिमालमै पुगेर ठोक्किएपछि मात्रै म निश्चित हुन्थे अाफ्नो अवस्थितिप्रति । काठमान्डूमा पनि पहाडी टुप्पाहरूले मलाई “ए, म यहाँनिर छु है” भनि खुट्याउन साह्रै सघाउँछन् ।

पहाडहरूसँगको सामीप्य त्यस्तो बानी परिसकेको छ ।

जब म पहाड नदेखिने ठाउँमा पुग्छु मलाई अाफू ठ्याक्कै कहाँनिर छु भनि पत्तालगाउन कठिन हुन्छ । त्यस्तो बेला अाकाश अलि धुम्म परेको छ भने त उकुसमुकुस हुन बेरलाग्दैन । कुनैबेला म दिल्लीको अस्थायी बासिन्दा हुँदा पनि मलाई पहाडहरूको अभाव खड्केको थियो । घरैमात्र देखिन्छन् जहीं पनि । त्यो पनि सम्झनलायक अाकार, व्यक्तित्व र उचाई भएका त झन् पटक्कै हैनन् ।

Likhu Mist Nepal

लिखु खोला माथि कुहिरो

सैलुङ डाँडाबाट देखिएका झन् अग्ला डाँडाहरू ।

सैलुङ डाँडाबाट देखिएका झन् अग्ला डाँडाहरू ।

हो, फोन खोलेर गुगल नक्सामा अमेरिकाले संसारलाई सित्तैमा उपलब्ध गराईरहेको पृथ्वीमा अाफ्नो भौगोलिक/शारीरिक स्थान पहिल्याउने प्रणाली (ग्लोवल पोजिसनिङ् सिस्टम/जीपीएस) मार्फत अाफू कहाँ उभिएको ठम्याउन नसकिने हैन । केही महिना अघि काठमान्डूबाट नेपालका केही ठाउँहरूमा हेलिकप्टरबाट दौडादौड गर्दा मैले फोनकै जीपीएस अनि गुगल नक्साको संयोजनले अाफू अहिले ठ्याक्कै कुन पहाड माथि छु भनि ठम्याउँदा एकखाले रोमाञ्च महशुस नभएको हैन । तैपनि नाङ्गा अाँखाले पहाडको टुप्पो हेरेर अाफूलाई पहिल्याउन बानी परेको र रमाउने मनलाई जीपीएसले पूर्ण सन्तुष्टि नदिंदो रैछ । प्रविधीका कयौं पक्षहरूसँग जीवनले पूर्णरूपेण सहजता महशुस गर्न समय लाग्दो रहेछ । Continue reading

Dry Fruit Sellers of Old Delhi

19th March Satish took me to parts of Old Delhi where I hadn’t gone during my two-year stay in the city. We had gone to the area looking for the shop where we had found best lassi in Delhi in 2010. I liked the effort they have put to decorate these dry fruit shops and the orderly manner in which items were on display. Shopkeepers were surprisingly peaceful and calm (at least looked so) despite the street atmosphere being so chaotic.

Parthasarathy Rocks (and Flowers of JNU)

Dinesh Wagle at Parthasarathy Rocks in JNU. December 2008.

Dinesh Wagle at Parthasarathy Rocks in JNU. December 2008.

17th and 20th March 2013 When I was living in Delhi as a correspondent for Kantipur, PSR was my favorite place in the city. That, according to me, is also the most beautiful place in the whole of Delhi. I would spend hours at the Parthasarathy Rocks, located inside the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus chatting with friends and, when with Satish, strangers. The dhabas in the Uni during late evenings are great place to be. But nothing beats the experience of sitting over one of the main two rocks at PSR in late afternoon and watch planes fly and, if lucky, peacocks dance in the jungle that surrounds the rocks. I went there this time as well to spent a couple of hours along with Satish and Ishwari. Beautiful flowers of JNU campus deserve a separate entry- but for now I’ll limit myself to posting photos only.

One year into my stay in Delhi in 2009 I was full of praise for PSR and the “PSR experience”:

Back in Delhi, I am a grown up man with a responsibility to fulfill. It’s a blessing to me that my work not just involves sitting in front of computer with browsers open but also traveling and meeting new people. Listening to disheartening stories of poor, unfortunate and deprived Nepalis in Delhi is one of the darkest experiences.

Exploring the city, having dahi valla in Chandni Chowk and standing at the Parthasarathi Rocks of JNU have been some of the most fulfilling experiences. I would say being at the top of PSR, seeing peacocks singing and dancing and airplanes flying, is the best thing I have experienced in this city this year. That particular moment when I was photographed (by a camera!) at PSR was the best of all. I cherish that moment.

From  A Year in Delhi, India (6 Nov 2009)

Previous articles/entries on JNU:
1. Happy Holi India! (and JNU Chaat Festival)
2. Winter Flagbearers: Delhi Cold and JNU Food Festival
3. India, Universities and World Ambitions

Dinesh Wagle

March 17, 2013

Back in the city where I lived for two years as a correspondent. Fortunately it’s not that hot today (29c). It’s not expected to be so for the rest of the week except for Wednesday (35c), according to the Weather Channel. The heat of Delhi terrifies me. That’s the reason  why I have written a couple of articles on the Delhi heat (and cold). Expecting to be in a cooler place this weekend.

(This trip interrupts my UK entries though I will post one this evening (about revised impression of the Speakers’ Corner at Hyde Park) and the rest after I am back in Kathmandu next week.)

1.Heat and Dust of Delhi (talks about the curfew)
2. Delhi is getting hotter (around this time 3 years ago)
3. Dinesh Wagle Has Moved to New Delhi, India (announcement)
4. Reasons to Come Home (announcement and impression of India)
5. दिल्लीबाट काठमान्डु (for Kantipur)

And on Cold
6. Winter Flagbearers: Delhi Cold and JNU Food Festival (winter cold gets as bad as the summer heat)

The iPhone story

Yesterday I read a very interesting article in the NY Times about iPhone theft in New York. This particular iPhone was restolen & the first thief went to police to complain! Fascinating story! Reminded me of the day my iPhone was stolen in New Delhi’s Old Fort in 2011. Had gone there to meet managers of Nepathya (The band was performing there.) I ordered a plate of chowmin, paid for the same at the counter where I left my iPhone and went to the delivery counter. In less than five minutes I realized my phone was not with me. Went back to the pay counter. The guy behind the desk said he never saw any iPhone. I didn’t trust him. But what could I do? Somebody suggested me to file a FIR to a police station about 2 kilometers away. Without my phone, I couldn’t contact the Nepathya managers. I went back to my apartment and quickly changed passwords of my email and social network accounts. After reading the NYT piece I thought may be I should have trusted the police and filed a complaint that day. Hmmm. That’s the story of me being a victim of “Apple Picking” in the Indian capital.

Unfriendly Monkeys of Delhi

monkeys of delhi

“We are at their mercy,’’ lamented Rajesh Sehgal, a resident of Mayur Vihar Phase II neighbourhood in east Delhi. “The number of monkeys in the locality has increased beyond control in the past couple of years.” Pic by AFP in 2006, Rajpath, New Delhi.

Humans and monkeys struggle for space in the Indian capital

Going ape in delhi. Kathmandu Post 15.08.10

TKP. Click to enlarge

By Dinesh Wagle

It took me a week and three incidents to identify the culprit. I had kept a bucket of household waste just outside the main entrance of my third-floor apartment so that the collector could take it away. One recent afternoon, the collector knocked on my door to show me something. I was horrified. The waste materials were scattered all over the stairs as if it had been done by a monkey. Or could it be the work of the dog that always sleeps at the main entrance three stories below? I wasn’t sure. But last week, I saw him live in action, playing with my kitchen waste, scattering it all over—like a monkey. The culprit was indeed a monkey.

For the first time in 20 months, I got the taste of living in Delhi. A bad taste it was, but perhaps not so bad compared to what residents of many other neighborhoods in Delhi are experiencing. Monkeys are creating havoc in their daily lives. “We are at their mercy,’’ lamented Rajesh Sehgal, a resident of Mayur Vihar Phase II neighbourhood in east Delhi. Sehgal is also vice president of the area’s Residents Welfare Association. “The number of monkeys in the locality has increased beyond control in the past couple of years,” he told The Times of India last week.

In June, a monkey entered a high security Metro train in Northwest Delhi and delayed the service by 15 minutes. No one was harmed, but members of the Central Industrial Security Force had to intervene to get the monkey out of the train. A cell phone captured the simian’s antics that were fun to watch later on TV, but Metro officials were not amused. “The animal caused a flutter among passengers with everybody running helter-skelter,” NDTV quoted an anonymous Metro official as saying. Continue reading

Nepal should help Indians understand our society and people better

promoting nepal in india kathmandu post 8aug10

click to enlarge

Excerpts of an article published in the Kathmandu Post today:

Despite being so close and sharing a border there is an unimaginably high level of misunderstanding about Nepal among Indians. Some of those misunderstandings are based on rumours and hearsay (all Nepalis smoke pot) while others are created by the Indian mainstream media that is most of the times frighteningly immature and trivial when it comes to covering Nepal.

Tens of thousands of Nepali students study in India—right across the country. They are more likely to meet educated and influential Indians (some with misinformation about Nepal) all over the country. That is why these students, not the diplomats, are the real ambassadors of the Himalayan republic in the world’s largest democracy.

Sometime the arguments turn into unreasonable blabber. “When they have nothing to support their argument, they just try to bring in nationality and say ‘you Nepalon, keep quiet’,” said a student who studies in Delhi University. “In such cases when they just argue nothing but keep repeating about the size of their democracy, we also say: if you are the largest democracy, don’t forget, we are also the highest democracy,” said another student at Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Lesser known or politically and economically less powerful countries try to promote their interests in important foreign societies and markets through various means. But Nepal hasn’t found ways to promote itself among the Indian public.

[Here’s the full version of the article. Or, click on the photo above.]

Related links:

1. Face Value: Being a Nepali in India

Only a person with a flat nose and, I hate to use the word here but I must, “chinky” eyes, passes as a Nepali for many Indians…..Going by their reactions and comments, I have come to the conclusion that only those with Mongolian features are considered Nepali in India.

When I hear the same from educated Indians like journalists, software professionals, bank employees and university students, I seriously try to explain to them the diverse nature of Nepali society that lives at different altitudes, eats varieties of foods, speaks many languages and sport different looks.

2. Chance Encounters (with Nepalis) In India

It was the lunch hour and the concrete shade, not very far from the showroom, was his favorite spot to eat. Not that they didn’t let him eat in a corner of the showroom itself; but, he said, he found peace here. “And some time to rest,” he added. Hundreds of thousands of uneducated, unskilled and unemployed men (and women) from Nepal come to several Indian cities to take up low-wage, laborious and sometimes humiliating jobs. One can find such Nepalis almost everywhere in India.

Cuppa

a cup of tea

A cup of tea. Hot, sweet and satisfying.

The day before yesterday I went to Khanna Market (which is not very far from Khan Market that, unlike Khanna, targets rich customers) to eat at a south Indian restaurant. I had been hearing about this restaurant for long. Several people had sworn that the eatery serves excellent south Indian food at reasonable prices. (“AC and cheap menu.”) It took Satish and me no time to find Chidambaram’s New Madras restaurant.

We went upstairs- in a windowless hall with plain and clean tables. There were four tables on one side, two on the other (our side). Three of those four tables were occupied by three couples. Three men- perhaps in their mid-40s- were furiously eating on the fourth. There was another couple just behind me. Initially I felt little bit odd as I was with a man. That oddness disappeared as we ordered food. I decided to eat Masala Dosa while Satish wanted to taste Onion Idly. Food was not the only reason for me to visit there. I wanted to see the restaurant and the market- Khanna Market. You don’t get out of a restaurant without eating something unless you are deeply dissatisfied with the menu, no? Moreover, I was hungry. Continue reading

Khan Market Magazine Stall

I am posting a photo that I tweeted a few days back. A man walks past a magazine store in Delhi’s Khan Market. khan market magazine stall

This post is a part of my continued effort to give the site a Twitteresque feel. Recently I reactivated the P2 theme that its creators- Automatic- think will be useful for short updates like this one.

Whenever I go to Khan Market I make it a point to visit this and other magazine stalls. You can spend awhile browsing magazines of all kinds at these stalls. A few months ago I was surprised to see a magazine called Blogger’s Park (third issue, I think), collection of blog posts from a certain blogsite- printed in the magazine format. I always wanted to do that- once upon a time- when I used to blog almost full-time. No Nepali magazines is available at these stalls though. Nepali newspapers also don’t come to Delhi and other Indian cities where as Indian newspapers are circulated everywhere in Nepal. But a south Asian magazine that is published from Kathmandu is available here. I had bought the July issue of Himal Southasian from this stall last month. The magazine had carried an article that I wrote.

Related posts:
1. Oh Jangpura!
2. Hustle and Bustle of Chawri Bazaar, Old Delhi