Tag Archives: featured

A mare breast feeding a foala

A mare breastfeeding a foal in Chandanbari, Nepal.

तपाईँलाई इमेलमै पछिल्लो ब्लग, लेख र तस्बिर पठाउन पाउनु मेरोलागि खुशीको कुरा हुनेछ । बाकसमा आफ्नो इमेल ठेगाना हाल्नु होला । धन्यवाद 🙂

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Advertisements

‘सोह्रखुट्टे’मुनीको मान्छे

त्यो दिउसो म त्यहाँ पुग्दा सोह्रखुट्टे पाटी ढलिसकेको थिएन । तर त्यसको छानो उडिसकेको थियो । काठमान्डू सहरका सर्वाधिक ख्यातिप्राप्त ल्यान्डमार्करूमध्येको त्यो सत्तल छिट्टै नजिकै स्थानान्तरण हुनेवाला थियो । सडकलाई फराकिलो हुनबाट रोकेको हुनाले तुलनात्मकरुपमा एेतिहासिक त्यो संरचनालाई सार्न लागिएको थियो । त्यो प्रकृया निर्विवाद थिएन । तर मेरो ध्यान त्यसलाई खोतल्नु थिएन । म त यत्तिकै, बरालिँदै, त्यहाँ पुगेको थिएँ ।

सोह्रखुट्टे पाटीको नाङ्गो छानोमुनी केही मानिसहरू केही गर्दैथिए । एउटी महिला केही कपडाहरू अोल्टाईपल्टाई गर्दैथिइन् । शायद त्यो उनको बिछ्यौना थियो । दुइ पुरुषहरू एउटा भाँडोबाट अर्कोमा केही खन्याईरहेका थिए । शायद त्यो कुनै पेय पदार्थ थियो । अनि एकजना अधवैंशे सज्जन पाटीको एउटा कुनामा बसेर घडी मर्मत गरिरहेका थिए । उनी अगाडीको बाकसमा झुन्डेको पातोमा लेखिएको थियो-

“घडी, लाईटर मर्मत सेन्टर ।
यहाँ घडीको ब्याट्री, फित्ता पाईन्छ । साथै लाईटरमा ग्यास भरिन्छ ।”

sorha khutte the 16-legged thing 3

काठमान्डूको सुपरिचित संरचना सोह्रखुट्टे पाटी पूर्णत भत्काइनुभन्दा केही अधि

उनी एउटा घडीमा व्यस्त हुँदा उनी अघिल्तिर दुइ महिलाहरू बडो चासोपूर्वक उनको काम नियालिरहेका थिए । ती दुइ मध्ये अलि कम उमेरकी जस्ती देखिनेले अाफ्नो देब्रे कुहिनो सोकेसमा अड्याएर हत्केलामा मुन्टो अड्याएकी थिइन् । यो सबै दृश्य केहीबेर अवलोकन गरिसकेपछि मलाई ती घडी मर्मतगर्ने मान्छे नजिककै जान मन लाग्यो । विना कुनै कारण । खोटाङतिरका ती दुबै महिला त्यहाँ अा-अाफ्ना घडीहरू मर्मत गराउन पुगेका रहेछन् ।

“यहाँ यो पसल खोल्नुअघि मैले खुबै सोचे,” वरीपरीका ग्राहकहरू गएपछि फुर्सदिला बनेका घडी मर्मत गर्ने भलाद्मीले मेरो एक प्रश्नमा भने, “एक मनले सोचेको थियो, अब म बाँच्न सक्दिन । मरौं जस्तो लाग्यो । साच्चै । मरौं नै जस्तो लाग्यो मलाई । तर फेरी अर्को मनले भन्यो, म त झन्डै मरेको मान्छे । अब झन बाच्नु पर्छ । हरेस चैं खानु हुन्न । अनि मैले यो पसल थापे । अब यहाँ त ग्राहक मकहाँ अाउछन् । मैले उनीहरूकहाँ जान पर्दैन ।”
पढ्नेक्रम जारी राख्नुहोस्

Old Men of Bhaktapur

Old men of bhaktapur 01

I saw a group of elderly men relaxing at a sattal in Bhaktapur in a recent afternoon. They were soft-spoken folks who chatted with each other in Newari/Nepal Bhasha. Some smiled occasionally while others maintained an unchanged facial expression for long. Some frequently moved their bodies and adjusted their sitting positions while others didn’t even move their hands for long– especially the man on the left in the front row. They briefly, but separately, looked at me as I was taking this photo (second and third are cropped versions of the first) but, it appeared to me, all of them lost interest in what I was doing as soon as they looked at me. Which was good and what I wanted. I spent at and around the sattal for about two hours observing these men and trying to understand the overall atmosphere around the sattal.

I concluded that these sattals are a great place for people to hangout. They are very essential to most of these people who live in houses that are so closely attached to each other that there’s no space between them and in the neighborhood that doesn’t have public spaces like parks. Kathmandu is a park-less city, a jungle of concrete fortunately surrounded by green hills mostly full of trees.

This one is a very old Newari settlement of Kathmandu valley. These old settlements have sattals like this that serve as major hangout spots for locals. But many new colonies and residential areas that have sprouted in the Vally in the past couple of decades don’t even have these kind of places where people of the neighborhood can come and mingle with each other. A reason why Kathmandu is a very difficult city to live in.

Here’s the first half of the frame:

Old men of bhaktapur 07

And the remaining half:

Old men of bhaktapur 06

A walk to Mahat, from Thabang

It took us four hours to reach Mahat village from Thabang village. It was mostly a pleasant walk on flat land (just a couple of small uphill and downhill) that followed the Thabang river.

A dog accompanied a photographer at the Annapurna Base Camp viewpoint

At the Base Camps of Annapurna and Machhapuchhre (Fish Tail)

Tourists photographed Mt Machhapuchhre as the last rays of sun hit the summit in a recent evening.

Tourists photographed Mt Machhapuchhre from the Annapurna Base Camp as the last rays of sun hit the summit in a recent evening.

I went to the base camps of two of the best-known mountains– the Annapurna South and the Machhapuchhre (also known as Mt Fish Tail)– for the first time last week (11-17 March). Here’s what I saw and felt.

A Himalayan bowl: At the Annapurna Base Camp (4,130m, ABC) I felt like I was in a huge bowl. There were snowy mountains on all sides- their heights ranging from 8091 m (Annapurna-I) to 5,663 (Tharpu Chuli aka Tent Peak). They didn’t look very far. The 360-degree view of the Himals was spectacular. Mornings and late afternoons offered some of the best and dramatic views of mountains. Around noon was super hot– so much so that I encountered a bare-chested foreign trekker as I was heading up to ABC from MBC (Machhapuchhre Base Camp). It looked as if he and a bare-armed woman in shorts who was walking behind him weren’t worried about being sunburned.

Around mid-day was the time to take nap and rest as the unforgiving sun made it almost impossible to walk around and watch the mountains. Moreover, I wasn’t feeling particularly well. I had a mild headache and caught cold. Fortunately signs of altitude sickness disappeared after a couple of hours of rest. I experienced the difficulties despite spending 22 hours at MBC (3700 m).

First Rays Of the New Rising Sun on the Mighty Annapurna:  Sun caste its first rays of the day over the summit of 8091 m Annapurna I.

First Rays Of the New Rising Sun on the Mighty Annapurna:
Sun caste its first rays of the day over the summit of 8091 m Annapurna I.

Moon rose from the east as the last rays of the sun hit the summit of Mt Machhapuchhre

Moon rose from the east as sun cast its last rays of the day over the summit of Mt Machhapuchhre

Weather conditions determine view in the Himalayas.Weather was fine when I was at ABC. Same was the case in Langtang when I was there in 2003. But lack of rhododendron flowers in the ABC trail was a big disappointment.

पढ्नेक्रम जारी राख्नुहोस्

a trip to ramechhap and dolakha [off-roading, paddling and hiking]

Last year February had begun with a trip to the hills of Ramechhap and an encounter with the water of Sunkoshi.

Wagle Street Journal

Likhu Khola. Ramechhap district on this side of the river, Okhaldhunga district on that side of the river. Likhu Khola. Ramechhap district on this side of the river, Okhaldhunga district on that side of the river.

On way to Sanghutaar from Manthali. The road is recently built and is in operation during winter only On way to Sanghutaar from Manthali. The road is recently built and is in operation during winter only

4-7 February 2013 Peter and I went to two hilly districts east of Kathmandu. Dolakha and Ramechhap. Business trip. One has to cross five rivers- Indrawati, Balephi, Sunkoshi, Tamakoshi (three times) and Khimti Khola- to reach Manthali, the district headquarter of Ramechhap. It Khandichaur, we paddled at Sunkoshi river for about 20 mins.

From Manthali, we drove to a place called Sanghutaar (sanghu= bridge, taar=a chunk of plain land) in a recently built, unpaved, super dusty and winter-only road. Sanghutaar is a 70-year-old small bazaar located right at the bank of Likhu Khola that separates Ramechhap from Okhaldhunga.

I was visiting this place after about 24 years. I was born and grew up in a…

View original post 604 more words

A woman walks past a Maoist mural at the entrance of Thabang village, Rolpa: 1st line: Workers of the world, unite. 2nd line: No election campaign zone!

Thabang: The village that didn’t vote; once hosted Maoist guerrillas

A man in Thabang, Rolpa, face smeared with colored powder, celebrated Maghi festival. On the background is an anti-election slogan-

A man in Thabang, Rolpa, face smeared with colored powder, celebrated Maghi festival. On the background is an anti-election slogan- “the one who asks for vote will get chot (hurt).”

(यो लेखलाई नेपालीमा पढ्न यहाँ क्लिक गर्नुस्)

On November 19, 2013 Nepal held national elections for the second Constituent Assembly. The country witnessed a record turnout. I was among the 9.4 million Nepalis who voted that day. But one entire village in remote mid-west Nepal abstained. Thabang boycotted the elections.

One more reason to go to Thabang, I thought.

My desire to go there predated the village’s post-election “fame”. In 2011, I was just five-hours hike away from Thabang. There was a hill between me and the village. That, after walking for three days. But an unexpected and severe knee pain had forced me to abandon my plan.

Thabang is where, it is said, the Maoist “People’s War” began in 1996. That’s where some of the top leaders of the insurgency found shelter as they planned more attacks against the Nepali state. “The local people would compete among themselves to host party Chairman Prachanda (Pushpa Kamal Dahal),” Durgalal KC writes in the Kathmandu Post.

The Maoists decided to end their 10-year-long janayuddha in late 2005. The conflict actually ended in 2006 following the spectacular success of the peaceful multiparty mass demonstrations in April that year.

During the insurgency, the Maoists had tried to develop Thabang as “a model Maoist village”. After the end of the conflict, the elected Maoist-led government recognized it as one of a few dozen model villages in the country. This ensured more attention and state funding to the village. To cut the long story short, Thabang is not just another sleepy Nepali village (at least in description). It knows how to take risk and grab national attention at the same time.

Smash the ballot box- Boycott the election. Thabang, Rolpa.

Smash the ballot box- Boycott the election. Thabang, Rolpa.

No Election

No Election

In a recent sunny afternoon the people of Thabang, Rolpa gathered to chat under a Maoist anti-election graffiti. 1st line: Don't divide Thabang; 2nd line: Middlemen leaders are not needed.

In a recent sunny afternoon the people of Thabang, Rolpa gathered to chat under a Maoist anti-election graffiti. 1st line: Don’t divide Thabang; 2nd line: Middlemen leaders are not needed.

Former Maoist guerrilla Jeet Bahadur Gharti and his mules pass through a landslide in Rukum

Former Maoist guerrilla Jeet Bahadur Gharti and his mules pass through a landslide in Rukum

On that October day in 2011, I stared at the hill that the locals said I would have to climb to reach Thabang. It looked like a tough climb. My knee was not up for it. So I limped with a mule caravan to reach Rukumkot to catch a jeep. (Limping all day long with a mule caravan to reach Rukumkot).

My wish to see the guerrilla village remained unfulfilled.

But I knew that I would be back. पढ्नेक्रम जारी राख्नुहोस्

Godavari taps and kids

Godawari taps- fill your bottles

12 Aug 2013

tinkune suryabinakay road

Mobile photography: One evening– as I was walking and waiting for a camera to click. This image by Nokia Lumia 820. Sept 20, 2013

Dinesh Wagle

Nepal Votes. And I Also Voted. Again.

Dinesh Wagle

DW: Just before the vote.

As you can see from the excerpt of an old entry below I was super excited about voting and about the election process back in 2008. It was because I believed, as I do now- sort of, those were the ‘historic’ elections for the CA. If same thing happens in exactly about five years, it can’t be as historic as it was the first time, I think. Okay, I am excited today as Nepal votes for a second Constituent Assembly. But I was super excited back in 2008 when the country voted for the first Constituent Assembly.

Read a paragraph from my 2008 Election Day entry:

It was a thrilling experience to vote after so many years. I came to this computer a few minutes ago after casting my vote in the historic elections of Constituent Assembly this morning. I had reached at the polling station in Gandhi Adarsha High School, a minute of walk from my home in Gothataar village of Kathmandu constituency 2, at 6:20 AM. That was 40 minutes ahead of the opening of the voting time at 7 AM. There were already about 50 people in the line! One guy came behind me with his identification card saying: I was eagerly waiting for the morning. My hand is itching. I want to vote! I will be voting after 16 years.

After standing in the queue for 40 minutes I went inside the polling station. There the lines got divided into three sections (six in total for males and females). As a result of this division I found myself standing in the third position! Cool!

Seems like the decline in excitement level was a slow process. It happened over the time- slowly. As things remained the same more or less around my life- as a citizen, politically speaking. For example, In 2011 while registering with the Election Commission I was a bit more excited than I was today and a less excited than I was in 2008. Here’s an entry that I wrote detailing my experience of registering myself with the Election Commission in 2011.

dinesh wagle

Coming out of the polling station.

पढ्नेक्रम जारी राख्नुहोस्