So as we were chatting with Sharada Sharma I saw someone who almost looked like Krishna Dharabasi, the acclaimed writer of, among others, the novel Radha that I had bought an hour or so ago in the book fair in Bhrikutimandap (on Sunday, 11 May) before coming to Narahari Acharya residence. पढ्नेक्रम जारी राख्नुहोस्
Narahari Acharya, while giving me the Nepali Congress manifesto and his book about national restructuring, tries to show me something from the manifesto that was related to our conversation. Pics by Suraj Kunwar
Sharada Sharma, the writer and wife of politician Narahari Acharya, had invited us (Suraj and I) at a small gathering of writers and literary figures in their home on Sunday 11, May. I haven’t stopped wondering how and why I fell into the category of ‘writers’ for her but I saw no harm in attending the program as a reporter though I wasn’t there to report the event. पढ्नेक्रम जारी राख्नुहोस्
For the record, the Election Day Story: Thanks to the bikers, it was a relatively easy day for me.
The Carters face us in a polling station in Pulchowk.
How often do you ask for a lift on the road? I rarely do that in Kathmandu where different forms of public transportation could be found almost everywhere in the city. What about when there is a Nepal Banda (general strike) or ban on vehicles but one brave or a privileged rider is about to pass away by your side? Give him/her a hand? Why not? That’s what I did on the Election Day (10 April) and I was able to go around the city of Kathmandu and Lalitpur in a few hours. पढ्नेक्रम जारी राख्नुहोस्
Self-portrait. Dinesh Wagle
The district of Gorkha, in my mind, was always a very remote place. That was before I went there last month (in the first week of March). I couldn’t go outside the district headquarter and trek in the villages. I found the district headquarters nice and beautiful. I had to trek for about half an hour- climbing all those stairs- to reach the fabled Gorkha palace and the Gorakhnath temple. That is where I took the photo displayed above. Camera isn’t allowed in the temple and palace premise so I did the self-portrait just below the the main entrance gate. पढ्नेक्रम जारी राख्नुहोस्
A sudden trip to the hilltop that is famous for the views of sunrise.
So that is how my day started. I wasn’t prepared when my colleague at Kantipur Girish Giri asked me to join him on a motorcycle trip to Nagarkot in the afternoon while I was calmly browsing web and reading blogs. Plus, batteries in my camera had died, cell phone batteries were dying and there was this story about the screening, the actress and her mother to be written. And Girish’s plan to Nagarkot included a long bike ride in the chilly/windy evening. The only thing that didn’t discourage me of thinking the trip to the hilltop was the down jacket that I was wearing since the morning. That, I thought, will save me from the wind should I decide to take the one-hour-long ride. पढ्नेक्रम जारी राख्नुहोस्
Anjila Mul, 22, and Sujita Amatya, 22, who got Bachelors in Science (Environmental Science) degree from Biswo Niketan College a few days ago, had gone to the “exhibition” hoping to get recruited as volunteer or explore opportunities in volunteering. “The focus is in the UN of course,” said Anjila, left, “because that’s world wide.”
[Here is what I reported in today’s Kantipur about the event]
I was in Basantapur (Kathmandu Durbar Square) yesterday to report about an event organized on the occasion of International Volunteer Day. Many young people from Kathmandu and other parts of Nepal had gathered there responding to advertisements that were published in some newspapers (including Kantipur where I work) that day. The advertisements that featured a statement issued by the UN General Secretary General on the occasion asked the readers to come to Basantapur. “If you want to become a volunteer, visit our exhibition at Basantapur on 5th December at 11:30,” said the adverts. Those who invited the readers were the UN Volunteers, JICA (Japan), KOICA (Korea), MS Nepal (Danish) and other organizations. Majority of the visitors were young and many of them had gone there hoping to get recruited as volunteer or get their CVs seen by the UN Volunteers officials. I met two girls and many other boys who said their main intention was to get enrolled into UNV. पढ्नेक्रम जारी राख्नुहोस्
Continued from previous blog: Wine Party: The Dutch Guy With Helvetas
[Here is my article in Kantipur daily about the Beaujolais Day wine party: फ्रेन्च वाइन कूटनीति]
Behind every handsome ambassador is his beautiful wife: Gilles-Henry Garault, French ambassador in Nepal and his Chinese wife Shen Miao in the wine party on Beaujolais Day in Kathmandu. Pic by Bikas Rauniar
I am still looking some other people to talk to. Someone tells me that the ambassador’s wife is a Chinese and they communicate in German as the lady doesn’t know French and the man can’t speak Chinese. So I want to confirm this from the lady herself. “Excuse me ma’am,” I went to her and introduce myself as a reporter with a Nepali newspaper. “Can I talk to you for a few minutes?”
Sure, why not?
Yes, that’s true that the lingua franca in the family is German. “First we talked in German,” she says. “Later I tried in English. He can’t speak Chinese, I can’t speak French.” They are learning each other’s language but the lady says that the busy schedule of the ambassador is keeping him from improving quickly. “Sometime I teach him but he is busy,” she beams. पढ्नेक्रम जारी राख्नुहोस्
Continued from previous blog: Beaujolais Day in Nepal: Wine Talk With a French Teacher
How about this bearded man? I am not sure about his nationality but that’s fine. He must be a European. Yes, he is: a Dutch, married to a Swiss and working for a Swiss agency in Kathmandu. “How old are you?” I ask him. By his facial expression, I conclude that that wasn’t the question he wanted to hear this evening though he had happily agreed to participate in the interview for the Nepali edition of the Kathmandu Post. “You guess,” he files the usual reply. I certainly do not want to disappoint him. He is a nice guy, I like his beard. They are white like of some Hindu rishi. He has spent 25 years in Africa before coming here in Nepal to work at Helvetas. I calculate and come up with this modest number: 45? “No, I am sixty,” Jon Roukema says, and smiles. “Not that old,” I assure him. He lives in Chovar, “a very beautiful place with friendly neighborhood”. पढ्नेक्रम जारी राख्नुहोस्
Continued from previous blog: Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!: French Ambassador’s Wine Party in Kathmandu
I am basically an introvert (except on the web of course), and I find it quite difficult to sustain with phony smiles and extra courteous talks in many social gatherings. But then there is another person in me who is a reporter (journalist, you know, newspaper guy? I work for a newspaper and am trying to write something out of this gathering this evening. Would you like to talk to me for a few minutes? Hell yes, why not? Kantipur? What’s that? Oh, I read Kathmandu Post. That comes on my desk every morning. Oh.. yea? Then just keep this in your mind that Kantipur is the Nepali edition of the Kathmandu Post -which is not entirely correct but then what the hell, you are already drinking wine and I have already finished first glass in my life.) Yes, many a times, a reporter has to start conversations to make a story out of an occasion. Some people get frightened by just hearing the word journalist and run away, some try to avoid very politely some talk a little bit hesitantly and some become really glad that a reporter is talking to them. These people make me really happy. पढ्नेक्रम जारी राख्नुहोस्
The New Beaujolais has arrived!: Chief Election Commissioner Bhojraj Pokharel and the French Ambassador Gilles-Henry Garault in the “Beaujolais Day” party. Pic by Bikas Rauniar
15 November: I am not a wine connoisseur but the nearest thing that fascinates me after beautiful girls is a glass of wine. Did you believe that? Fine, don’t believe because I am just making that up (Or, believe at your own risk, what can I do?) as I am writing a blog about WINE and women. While I am typing these lines my status line on the IM says “2 glasses of WINE and I am DRUNK!!!!” One of my contacts on the IM screaming: “Just Stay Sane.” And the chattier creature thinks that it’s difficult to believe that I am drunk. (I am here in office waiting for the vehicle that will take me home at 11 PM along with night desk staffs at the paper. I don’t have motorbike or car so I have to rely on office vehicle to go home in late night.) Anyway, let me come to the point because I am sane enough to come to the point: It is 10:45 PM, I am just back to office from a wine party in the residence of the French Ambassador in Kathmandu hosted by ambassador Gilles-Henry Garault and Alliance Francaise. पढ्नेक्रम जारी राख्नुहोस्