हुम्ला जिल्लाको सदरमुकाम र सबैभन्दा ठुलो जस्तो देखिने बस्ती सिमकोटदेखि त्यो अडिएको अक्करे भीर हुँदै तल कर्णाली नदीसम्म ८ किलोमीटर लामो सडक बनेको छ। यो सडक खण्डमा गुड्ने भारतमा एसेम्बल गरिएका केही फोर व्हिल ड्राइभ गाडी यहाँ कि हेलिकप्टरबाट झारिएका हुन् कि काठमान्डूबाट (ट्रकमा राखेर) तिब्बत हुँदै ल्याइएका हुन् । यी गाडीलाई चाहिने डिजेल खच्चरहरूले ल्याउँछन्, भरिएका जर्किनलाई ढाडमा राखेर । अग्ला पहाडहरूबीचको खोँचबाट बग्ने कर्णालीको तिरैतिरको बाटो काट्न उनीहरूलाई तीन–चार दिन लाग्छ। राष्ट्रिय सडक सञ्जालमा जोडिन बाँकी अन्तिम जिल्लाको पदवीका लागि डोल्पासँग प्रतिस्पर्धारत् हुम्लाको सदरमुकामलाई नेपालतिरको सडकले छुन कर्णाली तीरका भयानक पहराहरूले अझै एकाध वर्ष नदेलान् जस्तो देखिन्छ। अचम्मै लाग्छ, सन् २०१९ को अन्त्यमा पनि थुप्रै हुम्लीहरूले आफ्ना कागजातहरूमा सरकारी अधिकारीहरूको हस्ताक्षर गराउने जस्तो जाबो कामकालागि समेत तीन दिनसम्म हिड्नु पर्छ । जीवनको महत्वपूर्ण समय बेफ्वाँकमा हिंडेरै बित्ने ।
First the credit. This post is inspired by and based on Tajim’s entry on his website. I have copied his post- including the title- and added my own comments and links where I felt appropriate. So this is more of my extended comment to his post than an original entry. He is 25. I am six years older than him so it’s but natural for me to experience/see more things than he has. But hey here’s no booze around me and I am not drinking while saying “yes I have done this one!”
Seen an Ocean – [Yea, until 2006 when I saw the Pacific in California. It was an amazing experience. (photo) To see, feel and, yes, taste the sea water. Then in 2008 I saw the Arabian sea in Kovlam, Kerala before seeing the Indian ocean come together in Kanyakumari (and again in 2009) with the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. In Mumbai the same week, I saw the Arabian sea more closely (and again in 2009). In 2009 I finally saw the Bay of Bengal more closely at Marina Beach, Chennai. Running around on the beach wearing dhoti was quite an experience.]
- Been to a swimming pool– [I have been to two swimming pools to swim. 1st in Balaju while I was in school. 2nd in Dasharath stadium, Tripureshwor. That too while I was in school. I haven’t been to one (to swim) since I left school. And that was more than 15 years ago. That doesn’t mean I haven’t swum in these years. I have crossed Likhu Khola and dived into Khimti Khola! नढाटी भन्नु पर्दा पौडी खेल्न चाहि उति सारो आउदैन है । तर फेरी त्यसो भन्दैमा कुनै पोखरीमा कसैगरी झरीएछ भने हत्तपत्त मरिन्न जस्तो पनि लाग्छ । 🙂 ]
- Flown Overseas– Not since 2006 when I went to the US. No foreign government has invited me for such trip since then. Invitations are welcome!
- Travelled on the roof of a moving bus– PLENTY! While going home in Ramechhap during Dashain holidays in my school years. It was risky as it is now but with risk came with a lot of fun and an opportunity to show how brave you were. Last time I traveled on the roof of a moving bus was, if I remember correctly, in 2008 while going for a trek to Helambu. Very few buses were plying on the road because of Dashain holidays (that was the day of nawami).
In my five-month-long stay in Delhi, I almost missed two things in particular about Kathmandu. 1. Why no bandas here? 2. Why no power cuts?
I was back in Nepal for a week recently and experienced both in ways that were in no way enjoyable.
A colleague at Kantipur told me about the banda the next day as I reached the office in the evening after booking a nonrefundable ticket with Buddha Air. I was destined to get stranded in Biratnagar (from where I planned to reach Delhi via Darjeeling). I thought, okay, a day of banda has become a non-issue for many of us these days, so I’ll take it. It’s like only a couple of hours of power outage a day. But eastern Nepal has become a hotbed of protests of all kinds. So my sixth sense and my colleagues at the Biratnagar office were saying that there might be another sudden banda or disturbance on the East-West Highway the next day as well. Continue reading
3 and 0. That is, 30. A life that is THIRTY-year-old (or young?). Whatever. Thank you for encouraging me to post this entry.
भगवान नदेखेपनि थुप्रै नेपाली मन्दिर जाँदा मनमा शान्ति महसुस गर्छन् । किन ?
दिनेश वाग्ले/ सुरज कुँवर
यो लेख आजको कान्तिपुरमा प्रकाशित भएको हो ।
रातको ११ बज्नै लाग्दा र अघिल्लो युगमा कृष्ण जन्मिएको पल नजिकिँदै गर्दा गतसाता पाटन कृष्ण मन्दिर परिसरमा राता सारी, हरिया पोते र नङपालिस लाएका महिला झुरुप्प बसेर गाउँदै, ताली बजाउँदै, हाँस्दै र नाच्दै थिए।
तिम्रो–हाम्रो भेट भा’को आजै हो
पहिलो पाला बोल्नलाई लाजै भो
छेवैमा उभिएका र जन्माष्टमी मनाउन त्यो रात त्यहाँ भेला भएका एकहुल अधबैंसेहरू तत्कालै महिलाका समस्या समाधान गर्ने मुढमा प्रस्तुत भए–
लाज मानेर नसोच्नु अर्को
हजुरजस्तै म पनि यो घरको
द्वापर युगको यमुना किनारमा भए दोहोरीले बिहानसम्म निरन्तरता पाउँथ्यो होला। तर यो कलिमा माहोल बिग्रने चिन्ताले पिल्सिएका प्रहरीले पुरुषलाई विनम्रतापूर्वक त्यहाँबाट धकेलेपछि महिला गफमा फर्किए। ललितपुरको सैंबु गाउँका १७ जनाजति ती श्रद्धालुले कृष्णका नाममा बत्ती बालेर, भजन गाएर र जाग्राम बसेर जन्माष्टमीको रात मन्दिर परिसरमै बिताउने योजना बनाएका थिए। बेलुका पाँच बजे पुगेका र बिहान चार बजे घर फर्किने उनीहरू एउटीको शब्दमा ‘भगवानको बड्डे खान’ त्यहाँ पुगेका थिए। ‘मान्छेको बड्डे केक काटेर मनाउँछन्’, उनले जन्मदिन अर्थ दिने अंग्रेजी शब्दावली ‘बर्थडे’को उच्चारण गर्दै भनिन्– ‘भगवानको बत्ती बालेर।’ बड्डे त फगत बहाना हो। शंकै छैन, धर्म गर्न मन्दिर पुगेका उनीहरू भगवानलाई भरपुर खुसी पार्न चाहन्थे, ताकि ‘केही होस्’! Continue reading
Clicking some (or all) photos will take the clicker to my Flickr page.
In the morning, in Chandanpur village of Lalitpur district, we decided to take a walk for a while. We wanted to see how people were living in their homes and what they were doing in their fields. We walked uphill for about 10 minutes and reached at a house. Inside, a lady was apparently preparing food along with her son. She turned out to be a MaSiKa (Matri Sishu Karyakarta: health worker on safe motherhood) who talked about her wrok in the village. “The Tamang women are less enthuasistic about getting expert advise and involvement during pregnancy than those of Brahnim-Chhetri caste,” she said. She is a Newar who attended highschool and is from the area of Lalitpur that is nearer to the capital city. “Initially it was so boring to come here in this type of village,” said the woman. “Now I am used to with the life here.” The woman also talked about the disease that was causing serious harm to the corn production in the village. She said many farmers in the village, including herself, have started planting cabbage instead of corn this year. [More about this has been mentioned in my Nepali article titled Motorcycle Diary that appeared in 26 July’s Koseli.] Continue reading
Recently I went to some “remote” areas of Lalitpur district pillion riding on my reporter colleague Suraj Kunwar’s Honda Shine. During the overnight trip we rode over the bumpy roads, stopped for tea and snack in small tea-shops and stayed in a dirty lodge. But the food was good. The village was beautiful and we went around the village, sneaked into the residential compounds, and talked to the locals.
The first day of the two-day journey occurred under heavy rain. We continued riding even as the pouring continued as if that would sweep away the hills from where the road went through. The raincoat wasn’t able to save us from the water. That was fun. The leeches were at times scary especially when you found them sucking blood just above the middle of your thigh! There was couple of moments of cultural shock. One included the tea-house lady offering me a glass of local liquor instead of tea because the locals understand that you are asking for the raksi (liquor) when you ask for tea! Continue reading
It wasn’t predicted. It wasn’t on my schedule. In a way it was like any other unpredictable day in my professional life. As I was heading towards office thinking about what I might do in the newsroom, the cell rang- GSM I must mention, not the CDMA, as I have started carrying two if I am to exclude the third, data only CDMA phone that I put inside my backpack, over the past several days.
Presidential Complex was decorated with Moon and Sun on the presidential oath taking day
There is a convincing background for this, I must clarify. One of the numbers was published in the newspaper, at the end of one of my articles, and the text messages and miscalls (that’s right, not Missed Calls in Nepali usage!) kept flooding in. In addition to that, there are some benefits of carrying two different phones that are enabled by two different technologies albeit their service is provided by the same company Nepal Telecom. The reception of CDMA phone is very good in Kathmandu where the service of GSM is, to put it mildly, unbearable. Plus, if you go to remote places like Chandanpur village of Lalitpur district where I went last week, you won’t see signals for GSM while CDMA works perfectly fine. But, on the other hand, the GSM postpaid that I have is cheap to make calls compared to CDMA/GSM prepaid. So make calls from GSM whenever possible and receive on CDMA! Continue reading
Though I have been hearing about the Kumari tradition of Nepal (all these cute girls who are considered living goddesses and are almost always clad in dark gajal and red outfits) I hadn’t seen them directly until recently. A few days ago a Chinese reporter freelancing to an American publication for stories about Nepal hired me as his translator and fixer. Thus a few visits to Kumari Ghars (houses of Kumaris) of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. The Kathmandu Kumari, virgin girl who is considered the living goddess by believers, was inaccessible to the general public except that tourists and curios onlookers get to see her at a certain time of the day from the ground floor when she appears on a window of the Ghar). Continue reading
Media Watch: Nepali reporters and news outlets sometime make jokes out of themselves. While reporting news, they hardly care about facts, those facts that are usually the backbone of the story itself. Rookie reporters and careless editors are often to be blamed for such inaccuracies.
I am talking about the coverage of latest development from Washington DC on the compensation awarded to the families of nine of the 12 Nepalis killed in Iraq in 2004.
Someone called Rajendra Thakuri, “an entrepreneur” based in Washington DC, sent an email to a few media outlets, including to Kantipur where I work, detailing how his neighbor, Matthew Handley and Matthew’s law firm successfully fought on behalf of the Nepalis killed in Iraq. Rajendra doesn’t categorically mention that the court ruling was for only 9 of the 12 Nepalis though he says in his email to the media that “there is better news for some of these families.” But the title of his article in Nepalnews, presumably put by Nepalnews, is misleading and wrong.
Instead of trying to verify the information, which is so easy thanks to the Internet and cheap phone calls to the US, reporters blindly report in many newspapers and web sites today that families of ALL 12 will get the compensation.
Only Kantipur and the Kathmandu Post (not even our own ekantipur) got it right because they reported that the families of only 9 out of 12 will get the compensation [See the screen print version of some outlets via the links at the end of this post.] I shared all the documents that I downloaded from the web site of Cohen Milstein, the firm that represented 11 Nepalis, with Prabhakar Ghimire, who wrote the news for the Kathmandu Post. Both the Post’s and Kantipur’s reporting also includes interview of Matt that I conducted in which he talks about the case and his involvement in it.
The moral lesson: Of course, mistakes do happen because we are all human being [My own mistake, as one reader pointed out, is that it should have been Chicago Tribune, not Chicago Times as I wrote in the report]. But the grand question is: are we trying to avoid them? Reporters, please check facts before writing the story. There is something called Google. Just google it!!
Click on the following names to see the screen print of their respective coverage of each of the news outlets:
[Nepal Samacharpatra and Rajdhani dailies have also published wrong reporting.]