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ISSUE 6 RS. 50

>> Coffee with Anil Chitrakar >> Urban Design

VOICES FROM THE VALLEY >> Inheriting the History >> The New Silk Road >> Fashion Horoscope


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editorial

magazine

Editor

Voices from the valley

Laura McManus

Cities are recognized for their ability to magnify the mutual coexistence of humanity. They are centers of activity that have lives of their own. Whether it is culture, nightlife, greenery or chaos, every center is recognized for it’s own unique characteristic. This month Verse brings to you ‘ Voices from the valley ‘, a mélange of different perspectives and opinions on our very own, the wonderfully eclectic Kathmandu.

Assistant Editor Marina Menuka Lama

Creative Directors Sujin Joshi Ghanashyam Neupane Kishor Maharjan

Photographers

Kathmandu is ever changing. The culture visible in rustic traditions, are a tribute to glory days past and the recent booming high rises are a symbol of the rapid marks of modernity. This issue, we are fortunate to feature precious photographs of the city from the early 1900’s documented by the legendary Chitrakar family. The beauty of the old and the chaos of the new are proof of the living contradiction that Kathmandu has become. We believe it is important to remind ourselves of where we have come from and reevaluate the directions that we have chosen to move forward.

Rajan Shrestha Daphenjo Gurung Sumit Shrestha

Illustrations Michelle Lama

Writers Manjil Shrestha Akriti Shilpakar Rhea Gurung Pratik Shrestha

Infrastructure is a crucial aspect, so another matter of significance is the need to emphasize how social entrepreneurship and individual contributions play such an important role in terms of development and activism. The work that ‘ The Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust’ does is truly commendable and the tremendous effort that goes into building our roads is something that is deservingly highlighted by Prasiit Sthapit. We hope that this issue inspires you to a look around and take notice of the details that slip past us on a day-to-day basis. We are Kathmandu and we are Nepal! The future depends on us.

Marketing Sandila Maharjan Unisha Pradhan Rupashre Niraula

Promotion Kiran Shahi Krisha Awale Kelsang Wangdu Reshma Tuladhar

On a lighter note, a big part of what makes the melee so interesting is the fact that Kathmandu is also home to music, arts and a growing fashion scene. Find out what your style is according to your ‘Fashion Horoscope’ and try out our fun family project ‘Egg boat candles’ this holiday season.

Distribution RB News (Kathmandu) Safal Media House (Pokhara)

Printing Print Point Publishing(3P) Tripureshwor, Kathmandu 4249674/75

The verse team wishes you a very warm and joyous festive season. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Consultant Dr. Bipul Man Singh

Contributors Antee Gurung, Anya Vaverko, Asmita Manandhar, Gokul Atreya,Kiran Man Chitrakar,Liza Weber, Prasiit Sthapit, Preena Shrestha, Roli Mittal Jalan, Samir Mahat, Shiwani Neupane, Suraksha Nepal, Ujwal Thapa, Umes Shrestha, Yuvash Vaidya,Yuki Poudyal, Zoe Lewicki

Publisher: Line Media Pvt. Ltd. Manbhawan, Lalitpur, Nepal. Tel: 01-5546194 Regd. 251/067/068

Like Us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/versemag Follow Us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/verse_mag

info@verse.com.np www.verse.com.np Verse magazine is published 12 times a year by Line Media Pvt. Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the prior permission of the publisher. The publisher will not accept responsibility or any liability for the correctness of information or opinions expressed in the publication. Each Issue: Rs. 50, Annual Subscription: Rs. 500 | Send us your subscription requests to subscribe@verse.com.np

on cover

Ghantaghar (1915 A.D.) PHOTO: Dirgha Man Chitrakar


contents 20 Inheriting the History

32 The New Silk Road


Fix it!!! Infrastructure in Nepal Coffee with Anil Chitrakar Fashion Horoscope The Lover of Bagmati

12 Voices From The Valley

62 Vader

42 16 40 45 82

50 Urban Design


The Nepal Cine Symposium event was held at Gurukul’s “Rimal Theatre” on 18th November 2011. And it wasn’t just any ordinary film festival. The Symposium was actually a concept formed in 2008. It was an idea that gave audiences a glimpse into the reality of Nepali Cinema. It started as a realistic idea and also proved to be fruitful.The symposium encouraged the birth of new independent movies against the age old tradition of monotonous mainstream Nepali movies. The first day of the festival was made special by the presence of some Daphenjo Gurung of the most recognized faces in Nepalese Cinema like Namrata Shrestha, Karma Shakya, Nisha Adhikari, Richa Sharma, Vinay Shrestha and more. The event also presented a short movie “Lalteen” which was a delight to watch. It was 85 minutes long and the theatre was crowded. The four day long fest included presentations of different short movies, theatre pieces and documentaries, in the different theatres of Gurukul and Nepal Tourism Board (Auditorium).The tickets for the films were priced at Rs. 100. However, participation at some of the access discussions and special presentations were available only by invitation and registration. Overall, it was a successful event with a strong base to begin with. It was a big step toward the much-needed improvement of Nepali Cinema’s different sectors.

An evening with Mattias IA Eklundh Metal enthusiasts, especially the hardcore guitarists watched the very well known guitarist and vocalist Mattias IA Eklundh, in awe as he took over the stage at an event organized by Silence Entertainment. The Swedish talent has worked with the bands Freak Kitchen, Frozen Eyes, Fate, The Jonas Hellborg Trio, and Art Metal; as well as having released several noted solo albums. The evening started with a clinic session with Eklundh, which lasted for an hour. During the 60 minutes, he entertained the audience with his impeccable guitar skills along with some songs. This was then followed by a 30 minute brainstorming interaction session where he was bombarded with queries from the inquisitive audience. The questions kept coming one after another Daphenjo Gurung regarding instruments, skills, tips and more, and Mattias was always happy to answer. With his very good sense of humour, he kept the crowd in place and left them craving for more useful ideas and tips. While the man of the hour was Mattias and his beautiful work on his instrument, the main objective of the workshop was to promote LANEY AMPLIFIERS. Mattias IA Eklundh endorses and is a grand ambassador for LANEY. Since Silence Entertainment (P) ltd. is the sole distributor of LANEY systems for Nepal, it brought the outstanding musician, and composer here to share his professional knowledge about the system. He, himself has been a loyal, satisfied customer to this system for more than a decade now and he let others know the reason behind it. LANEY has been manufacturing a wide variety of products to tailor to it’s customer’s satisfaction and continues to do so.

Nima Rumba Live at Be There Lounge

Sumit Shrestha

events

Nepal Cine Symposium

Nima Rumba, with the Legend Band, gave a remarkable performance at the grand opening of Be There Lounge at Sanepa, Lalitpur. The event was organized by Just Event Entertainment on the 18th of November. The live performance was followed by DJ session by DJ Knoxx


gadgets

Kindle Fire The Kindle Fire is a tablet computer version of Amazon.com’s Kindle e-book reader. Announced on 28 September 2011, the Kindle Fire is equipped with a 1 GHz Texas Instruments OMAP 4 dual-core processor. The display is a 7” multi-touch color screen with a 600×1024 pixel resolution. Connectivity is through 802.11n Wi-Fi and USB 2.0 (Micro-B connector). The device includes 8 GB of internal storage — said to be enough for 80 applications, plus either 10 movies or 800 songs or 6,000 books. According to Amazon’s list of technical details, the Kindle Fire’s 4400 mAh battery sustains up to 8 hours of consecutive reading and up to 7.5 hours of video playback with wireless off. The Kindle Fire is running a customized Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS. Besides access to Amazon Appstore, the Kindle Fire includes a cloud-accelerated “split browser” called Amazon Silk using Amazon EC2 for off-device cloud computation; including webpage layout and rendering, and Google’s SPDY protocol for faster webpage content transmission. The user’s Amazon digital content is given free storage in the Amazon Cloud’s web-storage platform, and a built-in email application allows webmail (Gmail, Yahoo!, Hotmail, AOL Mail, etc.) to be merged into one inbox.

Introducing Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich Google recently launched the next version of Android OS, nicknamed Ice Cream Sandwich. Better known as Android 4.0, the update offers a massive redesign to the user interface and adds a plethora of new features. Some of the highlights include an NFC-enabled feature called Android Beam, offline search in Gmail, new lock screen features and a fancy unlocking method called “Face Unlock,” which uses facial recognition to ensure strangers can’t use your phone without permission. Ice Cream Sandwich also includes enhancements in almost every native app within Android itself. The SDK is already available for Android 4.0, and the update itself made its first public appearance on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Android 4.0 brings an entirely new look and feel. The lock screen, widgets, notifications, multitasking and everything in between has been rethought and refined to make Android simple, beautiful, and beyond smart.

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Ultra Responsive. Ultra Sleek. Ultrabook An Ultrabook is a computer in a category of thin and lightweight ultraportable laptops, defined by a specification from Intel. The name Ultrabook is an Intel trademark. Incorporating new CULV Intel processors with integrated graphics, and flash-based SSDs, Intel claims that Ultrabooks will have 5 hours of battery life, mainstream performance, and ultra-fast start up. Announced at Computex 2011, Intel estimates that by the end of 2012, 40% of the consumer laptop market segment will be Ultrabooks. Some of the remarkable ultrabooks already in the market include Apple MacBook Air, HP Folio 13, Lenovo IdeaPad U300S, Samsung Series 9, Acer Aspire 3951, Asus Zenbook UX21, Toshiba Portege Z830.

BlackBerry Torch 9860 and Bold 9900 TeleTalk Pvt. Ltd. recently launched BlackBerry Torch 9860 which has been designed as all touch screen phone. It allows smooth and swift navigation with ultimate browsing experience. BlackBerry 9860 has an onscreen keyboard and has optical keypad located in front of the device. The QWERTY keypads have dedicated keys namely- send, end menu, escape volume up down, mute and lock etc. TeleTalk also introduced BlackBerry Bold 9900, the thinnest phone ever from RIM. As introductory offer Teletalk, after joining hands with Ncell, has announced “Two months Ncell BlackBerry Unlimited Monthly Service” on every purchase of all these BlackBerry smartphones. The customers will get BIS vouchers upon its membership they will get BlackBerry internet service for two months unlimited.

Ubuntu coming to tablets, phones, cars and smart TVs by 2014 We’ve already seen Ubuntu running on tablets and smartphones, but not in any official capacity. Rumors had it that Canonical would be making a serious push into the tablet space in early 2011, but that effort never materialized, or at least was never acknowledged. Still, Unity has some finger-friendly streaks and Oneiric added ARM support — so it’s not much of a stretch to see the popular Linux distro on your mobile devices. Well, at the Ubuntu Developer Summit, Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth made that move official by issuing a challenge to the Ubuntu community to start pushing beyond the traditional PC form factor. Few details were given, but Shuttleworth did say that he believes the time is right for the OS to start making moves into the tablet, phone, in-dash infotainment and smart TV spaces. There were no products to announce, but Shuttleworth was confident the OS would be ready and in shipping consumer electronics by the time version 14.04 arrived in April of 2014. Though, we’re sure some prototypes will start showing up sooner rather than later.

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VOICES FROM THE VALLEY

Kiran Man Chitrakar

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As a Kathmandu citizen, it is very easy to blame others for the problems that we face. Whether it is the government, the city authority, the donors, the gulf between the rich and the poor, the remoteness, and the insecurity being one of many plagues. But the primary problem in my opinion is our lack of civic sense and lack of responsibility to our environment. As citizens we have failed Kathmandu. This is a country where citizens actually bribe officials so they can build unsafe houses for themselves and their families. So how do we turn back the clock? I believe Kathmandu can still be turned around. All we need is to just take care of some of our immediate problems that we see around us. Here are a few ideas and suggestions.

Rajan Shrestha

just came back to kathmandu after traveling to a few other cities in Nepal which included Butwal, Bhairawaha, Narayanghat, Tandi etc. And Guess what? Kathmandu looked just like an overgrown version of these towns. As we entered Thankot I felt like I was entering a town that was chaotic, dirt filled, dusty, and what looked like a partially finished city with much to go before it became complete. It didn’t look like the city renowned for being one of the most beautiful in the world 500 years ago. Chaos is the ultimate and only organizing force here. I attribute this to one thing - us Kathmandu citizens and our attitude to our lives. We have stopped asking ourselves, what the purpose of our existence is. The collective view seems to have become that of mindless sheep.

Kathmandu, a heritage valley. How have we failed as inhabitants of this beautiful valley? Maybe, partly it is because we have forgotten our heritage. Our heritage has been the accumulation of our past, our culture, which was based on simplicity, creativity and communal living and our obsession with ‘creating’. With time, we have simply become lazy copy-cats who have lost faith and insight in a far-sighted vision, building concrete boxes instead of beautiful homes and destroying what little of value we have left. Simple examples of how stupid we have become include building houses that are colder in the winter, and warmer in the summer by using marble or tiled floors and cemented walls. Also,

in the past few years, the sky rocketing high-rises being built without proper construction consultations and the lack of homework being done on massive earthquake resistance are very worrisome thoughts. Despite this, every one of the millions living here knows ‘Kathmandu is the number one earthquake vulnerable city in the world.’ There is a very notable lack of developers talking prominently about earthquake proofing when they advertise for the sale of their high-rise apartments, but there is unceasing talk about the superficial beauty aspect and how beautiful the interior of the houses look. Such blatant displays of foolishness! Don’t you wonder? How we have failed from being creative Nepalese to being lazy boring Nepalese? Just look at the Krishna Mandir and the Patan Durbar


square. Built 500 years ago by our very own forefathers, they are by far more beautiful than the houses we have built in the years since. It is hard to swallow that our generation has nothing to show in terms of aesthetics of building. In the span of each generation, we have turned from creators, builders, innovators, and concerned citizens to copiers, followers, and apathetic citizens prone to a passive tendency to be dependant.

Kathmandu, a trash free city. 20 years ago, I don’t recall people dumping their trash out on their street. I would see many of them turn it into waste to put it in their small gardens where they would dispose of these wastes. 20 years ago, there was also enough space for us to plan around. Now people are content cramping around in houses that get smaller and smaller stretching thinly to the sky. What’s more, they throw trash right in front of doorsteps on the street, because they know someone will pick it up. They do this because they think they can get by. With no knowledgeable authority including the municipality or appropriate government body sitting silently actually helping to worsen the situation in many cases. It is time for us citizens to own up, be responsible and act upon our fellow citizen’s lack of civic sense and responsibility. Partner with local governmental bodies to make sure trash gets separated into bio-degradable.,non bio-degradable, plastics and non plastics. Work with your community and make it easier and thus profitable for trash companies to come in and actually profit from our waste.

someone growls back with a stick, they will stop being brats. We can easily clean the now toxic Bagmati River, if we just organize ourselves better as neighbors and use the huge advances in waste technology to treat our own waste better. The key word here is for neighborhoods to unite with themselves and with local governments. Lets do our part towards being responsible. Lets stop just demanding our rights, for a change. Open up routes .

Kathmandu, a green city. If you have been to New York, they have a beautiful park right in the middle of the city. They call it Central Park. This is true in the most developed and beautiful cities of the world. They have a lot of open green breathable space. In Kathmandu, many of us complain about the lack of it, yet if you look closely you will find there is a lot of space here being misused or un-used. We have our central park right here in the city. Imagine the public space if you joined Tudikhel, Ratnapark, Rani Pokhari and link it to the former Royal Palace.You could have a huge Park that serves as a beautiful open space where Kathmandites can relax, enjoy, meet, run, and take their children. This is possible to do today, and the parks existing but barred from entry are already there. If Garden of Dreams was possible, this is definitely possible. There are also plenty of religious spaces

like Pashupatinath, Syambhunath, and many others, which could easily be used as clean space used to rejuvenate our inner self. Just like how we turned the northern Shivapuri hills into a national park, let us turn all the hills around into places to hike and wander in nature’s beauty. We can conserve the water supply to this ever-increasing city. If we take action and we harvest rain water we may not need donor injected projects like Melamchi, which divides us Nepalis, and makes our elites greedier, narrower, and lazier. Lets open more public land for citizens. If we already pay for this, we deserve to use it, don’t we? As a Nepali, I want to be able to freely access Singha-durbar and walk around. This access reinforces my trust as the government being servant of the citizens, and not the other way around. It’s something I feel as I pass by its huge restrictive outer walls these days.

Kathmandu, a breathable city. Kathmandu could easily become a leader in alternative energy vehicles. Primarily solar is a good option or use hybrids wherever possible. The issue of dust can be easily handled by holding builders accountable to the effects they cause. You just have to tell them to their face. Kathmandu citizens need discipline. If

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Rajan Shrestha

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Kathmandu is even more beautiful during the night. It is small, and you can reach corners of the city within a half an hour in most places. Did you know that our weather is perfect most days of the year? Why don’t we open, ‘Saajha Bus’ and other public transportation systems to operate in the evenings so that we diffuse traffic, which would be great for tourists and thereby businesses. As we interact more with each other, more ideas, more innovation starts creeping into our culture and we might just have a place people love to come and hang around 24 hours a day. It also becomes a statement of how we slowly can become a friendly, trust-worthy, safe city. These attributes are what most world citizens are attracted to, on any given day, when they feel like visiting a place.

Kathmandu, an energy filled city. Don’t laugh. If you think we are energy starved, then yes you are right, but we are

because of our own choice. We choose to be energy starved. We never realize that we have clear sunshine most days of the year, But instead of harnessing the solar energy, we are on a spree to buy gas-heaters. We complain of loadshedding, yet the alternative, the sun, shines upon us almost 12 hours a day every day. Instead of using efficient light savers, we use energy wasting ones, we steal electricity, we abuse it. So, rightfully we get what we deserve. It is time to change our ways and harness the power of the sun. If the government works with citizens on this one, we can get to the holy grail of becoming energy independent in this generation, not in the next.

Kathmandu, a wanderlust city. A few weeks ago I walked from Patan to Maharajgunj. It took me less than 2 hours. So I realized Kathmandu valley is not all that big. In-fact with its exciting alleys, and back streets we have a perfect place to walk or bike around. We can

sort out the honking horns and traffic violations by just being stricter on violators and educating them harder. We can brand our city as a walking city. A lot of tourists would love to wander amidst our peculiar, rich wonderful culture. Wandering around Kathmandu maybe the best way to explore, if we can just manage to cut out the honking horns and irresponsible driving. In summary, Kathmandu valley can be changed, and changed back fast. I believe we can bring it to the glory of 500 years ago, when it was one of the most beautiful cities of the world. It is our moral duty to restore Kathmandu’s glory. And this will only happen, if we, Kathmandu’s citizens unite and work hand in hand. Let this be the gift of our generation back to our generous benefactor the environment. Up until now, we haven’t given much back yet, have we? Lets take up this challenge, demand for local governance, and start off! Let us bring Kathmandu to its rightful place as one of the most beautiful cities of the world.Yes we can! It’s upto you!

TEXT: Ujjwal Thapa

Rajan Shrestha

Kathmandu, a 24 hour city.

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INFRASTRUCTURE IN NEPAL

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e all wonder about the future of our countries, if they will prosper or fail, succeed or not, especially now, when we hear reports of political upheaval, natural disasters, and crumbling economies. I am pretty new to Nepal. I have only lived here for a total of about eight months, but I too wonder about its future, how it will be successful and sustainable, maintain peace and economic prosperity. One of the things that many Nepalis worry about, especially in the wake of October’s earthquake, is infrastructure. In rural areas, in particular, much of the infrastructure present in Kathmandu, like good schools and effective hospitals, just does not exist. However, Kathmandu also struggles to maintain its infrastructure and faces certain challenges unique to urban areas. As a foreigner, I came to Nepal with little knowledge of the infrastructure here. However, while living in Kathmandu and travelling around the country I have learned a lot more about the matter partly through dealing with the consequences of lagging infrastructure first hand.

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Over the Nepali festival of Tihar, I went on a trip to Butwal, Palpa, and Lumbini with my family. All of these places are pretty highly populated, easy to reach by car, and Lumbini, in particular, is often frequented by tourists. However, even there, much of the infrastructure apparent and present in Kathmandu is missing. Butwal was a bustling city, a crossroads for business, and only about six hours from Kathmandu. That is why when we had to make a trip to the emergency room, I was shocked by its crumbing walls and crowded rooms. While my husband and I were traveling to Butwal, we stopped for lunch at a road-side restaurant. The food was tasty, and we had eaten there before with no problems. However, on our second day in Butwal, my husband fell sick with a stomach bug, most likely from our meal on the road. We tried to treat his symptoms with Digene to calm his stomach and Cetamol for the pain, but he just was not feeling any better. On Tuesday night at about 10pm, my father-in-law decided we needed to go to the emergency room. I was expecting something like the major hospitals in Kathmandu, with clean enough rooms, ample hospital beds, or at least a place to sit down, but I was in for a shock. Even though Butwal is a busy, highly populated city, their emergency room was very minimal. When we walked in, I immediately noticed the crumbling, dirty walls whose corners were filled with cobwebs. Patients were lying on the floors in the crowded waiting room. Inside the main treatment room, even though hospital beds lined the walls, there was no room for my husband. After standing around for a bit, the nurse suggested he double up with another patient in one of the thin beds. Family members of the sick also had little room to wait. One family of four had gathered on their relative’s hospital bed to eat dinner. Although the doctors and nurses were obviously overwhelmed with the load of patients, we were lucky to be seen quickly. After describing his symptoms, my husband was immediately diagnosed with food poisoning, given a shot of pain killer, and sent home. I have often dreamt about living outside of

Kathmandu’s hustle and bustle, crowded streets, and pollution. However, poor infrastructure keeps us from moving into a cleaner city. The health care in Kathmandu is simply the best in Nepal, and that is one of the primary reasons we choose to stay here. Besides hospitals, schools are another piece of infrastructure that are lacking in many areas outside of Kathmandu. When I lived in Nepal as a study abroad student, I went on a trip with my program to Bandipur, a beautiful hill town on the way to Pokhara. It is known for its private school, Japanese Notre Dame School, founded and run by Japanese nuns. This school is one of the few outside of Kathmandu that sends its students to colleges and universities abroad. Although I knew that schools like this one are few and far between, I did not realize just how poorly funded and inaccessible schools in more remote and rural areas can be. A few months after traveling to Bandipur, my program went to a much more rural village called Simigaau in the Dolakha District of Nepal. It takes about two days to reach Simigaau, one day by bus and one by foot. The village there has a very minimal school up to grade 5. Although the students living in Simigaau can only attend elementary school, they are lucky to have a school so close. Some of the students who live outside of the village walk up to two hours to class in the morning because their own villages do not have schools. If students in Simigaau and the surrounding areas want to continue on into middle and high school, they have to trek for several hours on Sundays to reach the closest one. During the week, they live and cook on their own at the school location and travel back home on Saturdays. Simigaau is not nearly as remote as some other areas of Nepal. They receive some aid from nongovernmental organizations and they get a number of trekkers traveling to the lake Cho Rolpa and study abroad students like me. All of these sources bring in some form of money or assistance to the area. People living in more remote villages that receive less assistance must face worse infrastructure and weaker schools. www.verse.com.np

Schools in Kathmandu are ubiquitous, easier to get to, and many consider them to be better. While in Butwal last week, I talked with one of the 16-year-old grand daughters of our hosts. She was home for Tihar but usually lives in Kathmandu. Although she studied up to middle school in Butwal, she now attends a high school in Kathmandu because her parents felt the one in Butwal was not good enough. Sending children to boarding school in search of a better education is common among Nepali families who can afford it. A number of the students studying in Kathmandu come from outside of the valley because the schools in their home towns are not as good. One of the best schools in Kathmandu, Budhanilkantha, is a boarding school that reserves half of its spots for students from outside of the valley. Although Kathmandu has many more facilities than other areas of Nepal, it too struggles with infrastructure. Anyone who has visited knows the roads have a plethora of potholes that are never fixed. Those who have visited or lived here in the winter know that 16 hours of loadshedding is not uncommon. Because the city has become so crowded, and because the government cannot provide the time and money to replace some of the lagging infrastructure, things in Kathmandu are sometimes worse than in other places, and the consequences of lagging infrastructure are higher. Last month, we had one of the biggest earthquakes in Kathmandu in decades. I was born and raised in the Northeastern United States, an area that just recently saw its first earthquake in my lifetime. Although my husband, a Kathmandu native, grew up with them, this earthquake in October was quite a shock for me. After the quake, everyone started talking about the bad infrastructure in the valley. The houses are close together and made of bricks and cement, heavy materials that could kill many if a more serious earthquake hits. Earthquakes can have terribly damaging effects on rural areas, but in highly populated, densely packed places like Kathmandu, an equivalent earthquake produces much greater damage.

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Infrastructure allows a city to run smoothly. Reliable sources of electricity and usable roads make it possible for businesses to open and operate and for people to commute to work. Certain infrastructure like schools and hospitals ensure the long-term sustainability of a community. Having good schools produces students who can go on to join the workforce, and having good hospitals keeps a city’s citizens healthy and able to go about their daily lives. Not only does reliable infrastructure make it possible for things to run smoothly, it also attracts those with money. This brings in more resources that can further be funneled into schools and hospitals and into improving the roads, electricity sources, and other infrastructure. However, it is important to note that more infrastructure is not always necessary. In villages where subsistence farming is the common profession, people do not necessarily need roads for their communities to run smoothly and sustainably. There are some aspects of infrastructure that can benefit everyone, like water pumps with clean water or hospitals, but not every community needs the infrastructure that cities require to be successful. Kathmandu struggles with certain aspects of lacking infrastructure, like poor roads, and load-shedding partly because of its high population. The increased use brought on by so many people wears on the resources. Other areas, because they do not struggle with high population, do not face the same challenges that Kathmandu does. Some communities are also actively working to improve their infrastructure, sometimes with the help of outsiders. The Japanese Notre Dame school in Bandipur is a prime example. Although the nuns started it, it could not run without the help and support of the Bandipur community. Another example comes from Simigaau. People there have also striven to bring better infrastructure to their community. They have their own hydro-electric generator, and many families there have running water, a luxury that some households in Kathmandu do not have. They use the slope of the hills they are living on to bring running water to their houses.

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As infrastructure outside of the valley gets better, there will be fewer people coming to Kathmandu in search of better resources. This will reduce the strain on infrastructure here. Maybe one of the best ways to improve infrastructure in Kathmandu is to start by improving it elsewhere. It is unquestionable that those living in areas outside of Kathmandu, especially rural areas, have less access to some very important infrastructure, including good hospitals and schools. However, www.verse.com.np

Kathmandu lacks in certain areas of infrastructure as well, including safe roads and reliable sources of electricity. What is the future of infrastructure in Nepal? There are plenty of NGO and INGO’s fighting to building better water resources, electricity sources, schools, hospitals. Some of the change is fueled by foreigner individuals like Maggie Doyne who founded the Kopila Valley Children’s Home and School. Other change has come about through larger organizations like USAID and Habitat for Humanity. However, infrastructure does not always improve through individuals and organizations with a social service bent. Many Nepalis have improved their own access to electricity through the installation of solar panels in their homes, and some Nepali businesses are building hydo-electric generators to produce electricity that they will sell to the government. Lack of infrastructure often affects the poorest people, who cannot afford to send their children to better schools, travel to Kathmandu for health care, or put solar panels on their houses, but I feel that change is coming. Nepalis and foreigners have both started to enact change that will lead to better infrastructure.

TEXT: Zoe Lewicki PHOTO: Rajan Shrestha


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Ganesh Man Chitrakar

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Inheriting the history

Dirgha Man Chitrakar

Ganesh Man Chitrakar

W

Pulchowk (1965 A.D.)

Painting by Dirgha Man Chitrakar

hile the unplanned urbanization has diminished the beauty of Kathmandu city, the once beautiful city lives only in the memories of our grandfathers and grandmothers. Many of us listen to the stories of yesteryears before the unplanned urbanization turned the city into a “concrete jungle” bearing the population beyond its capacity. But Kiran Man Chitrakar is one such lucky person whose grandfather not only left him with the stories of the heavenly city but also the vivid pictures.

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Kiran Chitrakar’s grandfather Dirgha Man Chitrakar and father Ganesh Man Chitrakar captured Kathmandu city from 19011965. Their pictures tell the story of architectural touchstones of the city and the changes they underwent as well as showing the modern city in the making. Inheriting photography as a profession, Kiran Man Chitrakar works for Nepal Television (Chief Cameramam) and is looking after Ganesh Photo Labs, founded by his father. Kiran Man Chitrakar is also handling the photographic treasures left behind by his grandfather and father including the first aerial photographs of the Kathmandu Valley taken by his father. “Can you imagine, this used to be the same Kathmandu,” says Kiran as he flips through the old photos adding, “There is no space now, except Tudikhel.” Kiran sees little possibility of managing the crammed houses and congested roads. He argues that the photographs by his father and grandfather could have been used as a reference by the city planning and management. “The government officials do not know the value of these photographs, let alone use this for the city’s benefit,” Kiran expresses his nuisance. www.verse.com.np


According to Kiran, the core durbar areas in both Kathmandu and Patan have been the major disappointment over the years. Also, he expresses astonishment as well as frustration over the idea of narrowing down the city’s rivers rather than campaigning for cleaning and restoring them. “It is not that these structures and resources cannot be renewed,” states Kiran, “some of the places and buildings such as Garden of Dreams and Dharahara prove that these can be maintained and preserved.” Kiran believes that blaming only the government will not help at all. The people are themselves not aware. He thinks that the people do not support any programs introduced by the government and thus the many planning programs have failed in the Kathmandu Valley. The photographs of Kathmandu before the 1934 earthquake and Sighadurbar before it was burnt down are of historical importance for scholars, students and general people as well. Kiran wants to compile these photographs along with others in a book to document them and make it viable even for the

general public. Kiran hopes that the book will make people compare what Kathmandu was then and what is left now, and help make them aware of their mistakes. The book will also be a step towards documenting history and preserving the old photographs. Kiran still owns the glass slides negatives of the photographs but their archiving has now become a huge problem. “This is an earthquake zone and these fragile glass plates can be easily destroyed,” says Kiran. He ultimately is looking forward to open a museum, also showcasing the cameras used by Dirgha Man Chitrakar and Ganesh Man Chitrakar. But there are a lot of financial difficulties to overcome. He has approached the government but does not have their nod, thus he is looking for other donors. Meanwhile, he is also open to working with academic institutions. The colleges and libraries wish to print them and frame them for the walls of their libraries and halls. “I don’t need the money, I just want these photographs preserved and open to public view, as long as they are rightfully accredited.” declares Kiran Man Chitrakar.

TEXT: Ashmita Manandhar

Kiran Man Chitrakar (NOW)

Kiran Man Chitrakar (THEN)

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Š Ganesh Photo Lab, Bhimsensthan. Photo by Dirgha Man Chitrakar, 1915.

Tundikhel, in Kathmandu. It was the biggest ground in Asia in the 19th century.

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Š Ganesh Photo Lab, Bhimsensthan. Photo by Kiran Man Chitrakar, 2008.

Tundikhel today.

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Š Ganesh Photo Lab, Bhimsensthan. Photo by Dirgha Man Chitrakar, 1915.

Ghantaghar, the Clock Tower, built by Prime Minister Bir Shamsher Rana during his regime. It was destroyed in the 1934 earthquake and is now replace by the new clock. 24

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Š Ganesh Photo Lab, Bhimsensthan. Photo by Kiran Man Chitrakar, 2011.

Ghantaghar, the new clock tower.

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Š Ganesh Photo Lab, Photo by Dirgha Man Chitrakar, 1928.

A sweeping view of the Bagmati river with Kalamochan Tirtha and Ghat with the dome-shaped Hiranya Narayan temple on its shore.

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Š Ganesh Photo Lab, Photo by Kiran Man Chitrakar, Nov 11,2011.

The Bagmati River today.

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Š Ganesh Photo Lab, Bhimsensthan. Photo by Dirgha Man Chitrakar, 1905.

Dharahara, also called Bhimsen Tower built by Prime Minister Bhimsen Thapa. 28

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Š Ganesh Photo Lab, Bhimsensthan. Photo by Kiran Man Chitrakar, 2011.

Dharahara, Bhimsen Tower, today. www.verse.com.np

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Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust

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athmandu Valley Preservation Trust (KVPT) – is a name that won’t ring a bell to most of us and yet its contribution to our culture is beyond appraisal. The KVPT team and it’s outsourcing has lended its contribution to rescue more than three-dozen significant monuments that otherwise wouldn’t have out lived the generations to come. The cultural heritage of Nepal reflects the

World Heritage Sites were included on the endangered list by UNESCO. Thousands of sacred structures, temples, stupas, shrines, fountains, water spouts, wells and monasteries would have been on the verge of extinction if it hadn’t been for KVPT’s restoration campaigns.

rich culture, art and tradition upheld by Nepali people. They represent our identity and uniqueness. But with multiplying development pressures, people’s negligence and natural disasters over the years, our heritage has been prone to depletion. This battle between urbanization and cultural heritage can be a concrete example reflecting the ongoing debate between progress and preservation. In 2003, the Kathmandu Valley

preservation in Kathmandu Valley and it works in cooperation with Nepal’s Department of Archaeology. Eduard Sekler, a Harvard professor emeritus of architecture along with American architect Erich Theophile founded KVPT in 1991. “‘The towns of the Kathmandu Valley with their intriguing parallels to the medieval cities of Europe are both an ideal field of study for the urban historian and a dramatic field of battle for the urban planner, designer and conservator.” Remarked

Located in Patan Durbar Square, KVPT is the only International organization exclusively dedicated to architectural

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Professor Sekler in one of his articles published in Momentum. The first project of KVPT took place in 1991 and began with the Uma Maheswor temple in Kwalkhu, followed by the restoration of the Mani Gufa in Patan Durbar Square. The latter was relatively small but was in urgent need of repair.

The towns of the Kathmandu Valley with their intriguing parallels to the medieval cities of Europe are both an ideal field of study for the urban historian and a dramatic field of battle for the urban planner, designer and conservator.’ Various organizations from Germany and the United States have been regularly donating for the noble cause of KVPT. Minor repair and restoration projects, which are part of the ongoing Patan Palace project, illustrate how significant projects can be undertaken for relatively modest amounts of money. Sponsoring such “architectural jewels” not only saves an important monument, but also will be commemorated by a stone inscription to be designed and installed on-site by KVPT. KVPT’s Patan Royal Palace Project received donations of around $ 90,000 from the U.S. Ambassadors’ Fund for Cultural Preservation, The Federal Republic of Germany, Robert W. Wilson Challenge to Conserve our heritage Under the auspices of World Monuments Fund(USA), Ludwig Kuttner & Beatrix OST, The Princes Charities, Nepal Investment Bank Ltd (Mr. & Mrs. Prithivi B. Pandey), Sumitomo Foundation(Japan) and UNESCO World Heritage Centre, among others.

from Nepal, Europe and the U.S. frequently join the Trust’s team to participate in restoration measures, documentation and research. Intercultural exchange of knowhow in a vivid, colorful culture enriches Eastern and Western professionals. Likewise, one can see the pride in the faces of the people who work here. After all it’s not just a salary that they earn here; their service preserves a dominant aspect of what Kathmandu Valley stands for. Sukra Sagar Shrestha, a retired employee of the Nepal Archeology Department, has been regularly lending his expertise and experience to the restoration projects. And his contribution, which he naively does not prefer to be talked about, is indeed praise worthy and requires recognition. Numerous Experts as well as the UNESCO Mission to Nepal have been praising these efforts of restoration ‘Since everyone’s seeking employment abroad, we lack manpower at times.’ explained Suresh Shrestha, proud to be on board with the team. Currently, renovation of the Patan Palace Complex is in progress and KVPT is lending its technical support for reconstruction of the Bhaidegal Mandir. This trust very well deserves to be named as the guardian angel that looks after this city of temples, which in turn looks after its devotees.

TEXT: Manjil Shrestha PHOTO: KVPT

The trust head quarter gives training to interested enthusiasts and it frequently helps students who drop by for information and references in the trust’s library. The trust has also established the Nepal Architecture Archive at Harvard University’s Frances Loeb Library, to further facilitate the study of Kathmandu Valley’s architecture. Students, junior professionals and scholars

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TEXT & PHOTOS: Prasiit Sthapit “Don’t take pictures facing the Chinese side,” a Nepali policeman stationed at the border village of Rasuwagadhi insists. “They don’t allow that. We’ll get into trouble.” Amid such displays of nervous tension, the Chinese are in the process of restoring the ancient trade route to Kerung, Tibet, once a southern extension of the old Silk Road. Traditionally used by yak caravans bartering salt for rice, the route will now be upgraded to an 18-kilometre stretch of highway connecting Syabrubesi to Rasuwagadhi. On completion, it will connect Kathmandu to Kerung, further facilitating border trade between Nepal and China. The locals, however, have a different take on the development. Although the majority of the villagers here are of Tamang and Ghale ethnicity, they are heavily influenced by Tibetan culture and speak the language. Whatever promises the highway offers in terms of easing travel and trade, the proximity of Tibet means that doubts persist regarding Chinese intentions, among other things.

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“It has made things easier,” says Nima Ghale of Timure. “The journey to Syabrubesi used to take five to six hours, but doesn’t take more than two now, even by foot.” Transporting goods is also more convenient. But there are concerns about long-term consequences. “All the land is being bought up by people from Trishuli and further south. Soon, the whole village will be owned by them, and we’ll have to resort to collecting firewood and fodder for money,” she says. “The poor will just get poorer.” Caught between elation and apprehension, the residents of the area look to an uncertain future. This landscape series attempts to highlight all aspects of ‘development’ as both a blessing and--as is often the case--a destructive force.

This story was produced during a Masterclass with Mads Nissen organized by photo.circle. It has been published in a book “The Constant Change - 12 photo stories from Nepal”.

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THE NEW SILK ROAD

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profile

Coffee with Anil Chitrakar Anil Chitrakar is a successful social entrepreneur, a cultural historian, a social activist, and the list goes on. I was told that he was intelligent, knowledgeable and intellectual, what I didn’t know was, apart from all his wonderful traits, he is also a very warm, humble, and approachable person. For many years he has been working diligently for the development of the country, and has inspired many with his vision of change. As he sits next to me I feel there is so much to learn from him. His wife smiles quietly from the other side of the table, ready for us to begin.

As our conversation continues, he talks about the importance of Nepal in the Geo-political paradigm, and sustainability. Our ‘location’ is of prime importance; and we need to capitalize on this magnificent advantage. “Give incentives to help conserve and it will happen” he remarks. He recalls the time when he worked with policy makers to conserve the national parks of Nepal. After making amendments to the law, fifty percent of Chitwan National park’s revenue was allocated to the local community. Thanks to wise visionaries like Anil Chitrakar, our

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Daphenjo Gurung

At the young age of 28, Anil became one of the few Nepali Ashoka fellows determined to bring positive change to the rural Nepalese community through technology. After having received his graduate education from one of the best universities in the world, The University of Pennsylvania, I couldn’t help but wonder what brought him back to Nepal, when he could have easily had a fine paying job anywhere in the world. With a soft smile, he says that he returned to Nepal because he believed that he could do so much here compared to just having a comfortable life in the States. “We live in a globalized world now, you can fly from Nepal in the evening to have breakfast in the States, so it’s not very difficult to travel when you need to. But when you decide to come to a developing country like ours, you need to be prepared for the challenging environment. In fact, I came back for the challenge. You need to figure out whether you want to be a small fish in a big pond or a big fish in a smaller one.” forests increase by 2% every year. This has become a unique phenomenon in a world where deforestation is more prevalent than aforestation.

Most of us may also know Anil Chitrakar as one of the founding members of the movement Nepal Unites. On asking about his ideology behind the movement, he says, “we all might have excelled as individuals but we still lag behind as a team.

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So Nepal unites is a movement to give reasons to dissolve our differences and unite as a team striving for excellence. On being quizzed on how he mobilized masses for change, he stresses “its easy to mobilize people against something but uniting a group to create is something totally different”. He expresses that the need of the hour is changing gears from the individual to the collective. The division into individual power dilutes the sum effect. He is a bit cynical about the media when it comes to creating a rift between ethnic groups. Help people see the future; give them a vision and then they can be motivated to bring about change. Incorporating a game plan ensues. Do your own bit. Whether it is digging a local well, or establishing a community school or even organizing trifle festivities. Start small, but start something. “Half of the solution is taking responsibility”. It was a very interesting take on where to start. Due to issues of moral high ground we tend to demand accountability from others. After coming back to Nepal, he out shone his contemporaries with his extensive knowledge about the places and faces of Nepal. He has been leading famous Heritage Walks that has fascinated walkers from all backgrounds with his in-depth interesting stories of history, and culture. On asking him about what he thinks about our urban planning, he says, “For a city like Kathmandu to have lived through eons of change and still be alive in our ancient temples and courtyards is awe-inspiring. You have the advantage of living in a city that was built 3000 years ago.You walk around Mangal Bazaar, and see dhunge dharas (stone water spouts) that have been supplying water for the past 2000 years. Compare that to western countries like America that was built only 300 years ago, and you’ll find how rich we actually are in preserving our heritage and culture” With the interview drawing to a close I asked him about what the youth should integrate as their mantra. To this he stated that having personal values is very important. He gives examples of people like Gandhi, Ashoka, and Buddha. Those who had tremendous value systems and for that very reason, they went far beyond only riches. He suggests that we internalize these

values so that mere monetary gain becomes insignificant. The need for self empowerment cannot be overstressed. Mr. Chitrakar also emphasized a fundamental trait that everyone should have- being observant. There is no lack of inspiration to bring about a change, however minuscule it may be. Looking around you can initiate sparking that brilliant idea which would, otherwise, be lost in oblivion. And remember, it’s easy to learn skills, but values you can’t learn, you have to earn. In our final segment, as I looked for more wisdom from him, he encouraged people to always question and be inquisitive. “Don’t fight gravity, work with it. If there is a problem, understand it and also keep in mind that there has to be a solution.” if our country is mountainous don’t let this be a drawback. We cannot deny this fact but it also doesn’t mean we need to limit ourselves because of this supposed handicap. Self pity only holds us back. “Think volume, not area,” he said which summed up his keenness for frugality and efficiency. Reinvigorated, as I took final sips of my coffee, I brought our tête à tête to a close. It was an immensely productive hour and I was buzzing with ideas and zest. Half an hour after the interview, Anil Chitrakar’s words echoed in my ears as I was walking through Durbar Square. I looked at Kathmanduists from a distance, busy with their daily chores. I feIt as if I was entering a whole new city, a city that was transformed by our old kings who had strong values, and experts that did not need a PhD or masters degree to create strong pillars for their children’s futures. I was reminded of the great minds that united to build this nation. The old bricks, the shimmering wind chimes, the floating dhwaja, the communal courtyards, the akhejyaals…everything looked brighter, richer, and most importantly precious. These might have been things you probably are already familiar with but when visionaries like Mr Chitrakar remind you, your realization double folds. With more people like Mr. Anil Chitrakar this country will find a way out of this melee. All we have to do is join the walk together.

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TEXT & INTERVIEW: Yuki Poudyal & Ritesh Bhandari

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Fix it!!! PHOTOS: Daphenjo Gurung TEXT: Marina Menuka Lama

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here are numerous reasons why a State becomes the State it is. Important basic infrastructural fundamentals are key contingents for the standards of a functioning system. When the very principles of this procedure are neglected, it is then that one begins to see chinks in the armor. Case and point, Kathmandu, Nepal, a city with an ever-changing government, slack implementation strategies, growing negligence and lack of civic sense amongst citizens. It is understandably difficult to take responsibility for situations that seem endless and continually ballooning. Yet, if we bring our attention to these very problems individual citizens and communities face alike , we may find the very ground from where to lay the foundations for change. It is high time people start to show awareness and concern toward their surrounding environment and situation. For this reason, we want to bring some of Kathmandu’s worst setbacks into the spotlight.

When there is a limited amount of space, people tend to fail to recall the possibility of there being alternatives. We do not have to overload every vehicle till there is no room to breathe. We have the right to travel at ease. Why do passengers and operators not realize this? The chaos that surrounds public transportation is not doing commuters a favor. Why not establish a system that allows a 15-minute ride to feel like 15 minutes instead of an eternity in hell.

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We are choking up the very life source from which we were given somuch. We pass our rivers everyday without as much as a second glance toward the plummeting amount of waste that is taking their lives. We close our eyes and our nostrils to the overpowering sights and stench , yet have we ever really tried to remove the disheartening smell of indifference? Why is there such a monumental capacity for disregard? We need to clean the holy rivers and revive their spirit.

<< Nepal has a huge hydropower potential. The perennial nature of Nepali rivers and the steep gradient of the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s topography, provide ideal conditions for the development of some of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest hydroelectric projects. Current estimates are that Nepal has approximately 40,000 MW of economically feasible hydropower potential, however the present situation is that Nepal has developed only approximately 600 MW of hydropower. Load-shedding is on a daily basis, most of the country is left in the dark for hours at a time, yet the government has plans on building an electric railway system What are the priorities?

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Traffic lights? Speed limits? Traffic management? A “V.I.P” official on his way to tea? Need we say more?

Kathmandu is at the top of the list in terms of being earthquake prone.Yet, there are no building regulations and there is no space. Think twice about where and how you are situated in terms of safety, and make an effort to do something about it for you, your family and your neighbors. When it does hit, the fault will be our own.

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Did I already mention that Nepal has a huge hydropower potential? That means Nepal has the water in other words. It is just unable to get from the mountains to the city on it’s own. It would require paperwork and management and actual effort on the government’s part. Clean water is a necessity of life.

Some of the major roads in Kathmandu city, very closely resemble dry riverbeds. Yes, the government has allocated a budget towards repairs.Yes, everyone uses the roads everyday. Yes, as soon as the road is paved (by miraculous chance) someone digs it up to fix that leaking pipe or sewage tank and then isn’t bothered in the least to FIX IT!!! There is no excuse.

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Street Children because they have not reached the age of majority, have no representation in the governing process. They have no vote themselves nor by proxy through their parents, from whom they are likely alienated, nor do street children have any economic leverage. Governments, consequently, pay little attention to them. Help speak up for the innocent. The solution isn’t giving them money and encouraging them to beg.

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VICTORIAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S 44 SECRET

www.verse.com.np Citycentre, Kamalpokhari, Kathmandu. Third Floor, Shop No. TA1, T30. Phone No. 014011755


Fashion Horoscope - Antee Gurung http://more2mystylediary.blogspot.com

2001 was the year that I first learnt how all our lives are ruled by the universe and the planets beyond. Growing up with two elder sisters who were obsessive about astrology, I was obviously nowhere near the idea of refraining from it. Thus, began my quest as an influenced little sister. Eventually, I started doing my own research and tried to find ways of connecting the zodiac with my greatest passion, i.e FASHION. As a fashion blogger, I have personally made an illustration wardrobe chart especially for all my readers. So, here is what the stars, constellations, planets and the universe say about you and your style. www.verse.com.np

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AQUARIUS (Jan 21 –Feb 18) Symbol - The Water Bearer Ruling planet - The Uranus Catch phrase - “I know” Colour - Violet, Turquoise, Blue Positive traits -Independent, Open minded, Eccentric, Friendly Fahionistas -Lauren Conrad, Mischa Barton, Emma Roberts

Aquarians have a unique sense of style. They are the ones to rock the new trends in the market. If they like it, they will wear it and as long as they stay true to themselves, they don’t mind breaking the rules of fashion. They love bright colours. As their sign symbolizes water, they like flowy dresses and quirky accessories. They have an independent and forward way of dressing up.

LIBRA (Sep 23 –Oct 23) Symbol- The Scale Ruling planet- The Venus Catch phrase- “I balance” Colour- Pink, Light Blue, Ivory Positive traits-Lovable, Generous, Friendly Fahionistas- Hilary Duff, Camilla Belle, Kim kardarshian.

AIR SIGNS

GEMINI (May 21-Jun 20)

Symbol- The Twins Colour- Rainbow Ruling planet- The mercury Catch phrase- “I think” Positive traits- Witty, Charming, and Adventurous Fahionistas- Sonam Kapoor, Marykate & Ashley Olsen, Zoë Saldana

Gemini symbolizes two pieces of wood bound together. Like wise, they have dual personalities when it comes to clothing too. Anything goes for them. They like youthful, eclectic and funky styles. They like playing with different kinds of odd colours and designs. Their style is unpredictable and never boring. They are either trendsetters or fashion victims as they aren’t afraid to take fashion to the extreme.

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Librans see all things positive in this world. They are the ones who’ve got it all sorted out and are living a balanced life. They are fashion conscious and think twice before heading out in public. Their style is feminine, romantic and soft. They don’t like flashy or gaudy style. Libra’s style is a balance between glamourous and casual wear. They shop with a fair attitude, without breaking their bank account.


ARIES (Mar 21- Apr 20)

LEO (Jul 23 –Aug 23)

Symbol- The Ram Ruling planet- Mars Catch phrase-“ I Am” Colour- Red and Black Positive Traits- Quick, Confident, Energetic Fahionistas- Leighton Meester, Kristen Stewart, Emma Watson, Suri Cruise

Symbol- The Lion Ruling planet- The Sun Catch phrase- “I will” Colour- Gold Positive traits-Courageous, Powerful,Spontaneous Fashionista- Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Demi Lovato, Taylor Momsen Leo uses fashion to express themselves and communicate their frame of mind. They like luxurious, rare,exclusive designer pieces. They are often rebels. However, it’s rather hard to pin down their particular style, (I mean look at Madonna or J.Lo) but they do have a flare for gold and animal prints. Their personality is always powerful and dominating. So no matter what they wear their strong attitude and style always comes across as their USP.

Aries is a strong sign with a mind of its own. Like their nature, their fashion sense is fierce and one that oozes confidence. They definitely don’t mind being the centre of attraction. Their symbol, Ram rules the head so they like wearing hats, headbands and other accessories that draw attention to the head. They like super bold colours and aren’t much into neutrals. They also like to dress masculine and like the sporty look.

FIRE SIGNS SAGGITARIUS (Nov 23- dec 21) Symbol- The Archer Ruling planet- The Jupiter Catch phrase- “I See” Colour- Purple, Royal Blue, Indigo Positive traits- Optimistic, Honest, Easy-Going Fashionista- Taylor Swift, Miley cyrus,Vanessa Hudgen, Chanel Iman, Scarlet Johansson.

Sagittarians are optimistic, full of energy and versatility. This sign loves to go wherever the wind or the arch takes them, so they like wearing comfortable and versatile clothing. They are very adventurous even when it comes to fashion. They have a bohemian way of dressing up. So they experiment with different kinds of style. They just dress sponteneously and don’t put too much thought into it. www.verse.com.np

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TAURUS (Apr 21 –May 20)

CAPRICORN (Dec 22- Jan 20) Symbol- The Goat Ruling planet- The Saturn Catch phrase- ‘I use’ Colour- Black, Dark Gray, Brown Positive traits- Mature, Practical, Ambitious Fashionistas-Nina Dobrev, Kate Middleton, Sienna Miller, Kate Bosworth

Symbol- The Bull Ruling planet Venus Catch phrase- “I have” Colour- Pink, Pastel Blue, Light green Positive traits- Reliable, Resourceful, Hard working Fahionistas- Jessica Alba, Megan Fox, Christina Hendricks, Diane Agron

Taureans are very warm, gentle and charming by nature. So they like to wear classic and well tailored clothes. They love high quality and expensive clothes. The Bull rules over the throat and neck, so they love highlighting this area with scarves and necklaces. They are not a fan of ostentatious or knock off clothing.

EARTH SIGNS VIRGO (Aug 24- Sep 22)

Capricorns are independent, strong willed handworkers. They generally stick with a solid and basic colour pallette. They like classic designs and aren’t much into trying outrageous trends. They don’t normally buy frilly, printed outfits. They prefer sleek, simple, clean silhouettes and adore understated glamour. They manage to look great even in the most simple designs.

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Symbol- The Virgin Colour- Cream, Dark brown, Navy Blue Ruling planet-Mercury Catch phrase- ‘I Analyze’ Positive traits- observant, Perfectionist, Thoughtful Fahionistas- Rachel Billson, Blake Lively, Nicole Richie Virgos have a wonderful eye for detail. So, they like neat and polished looks even when they are wearing the most casual outfits. They don’t like gaudy or over the top looks. They have the ability to look stylish just by sticking to the basics. They mostly invest in timeless pieces. Usually one piece in their wardrobe is always one of a kind whether it’s shoes, bags or purses. www.verse.com.np


CANCER (Jun 21- Jul 22) Symbol- The crab. Ruling planet- The Moon Catch phrase- “I feel” Colour- Silver, Pearl White, Pastels Positive traits- Compassionate, Sentimental, Patient.FashionistasSelena Gomez, Cheryl Cole, Diane Kruger

Cancerians run the entire gamut of human emotion. They are very mood driven and this is reflected in their sense of style, which is constantly changing. Crabs are very sentimental, so they look for clothes that have a story to tell – ie. vintage wear. This sign loves to wear clothes that are a juxtaposition of both traditional and feminine detail.

WATER SIGNS

PIECES (Feb 19- Mar 20) Symbol- The Fish Ruling planet- The Neptune Catch phrase- “I believe” Colour- Sea Green,Violet, Indigo Positive traits- Romantic, Artistic, Helpful Fahionistas-Olivia Palermo, Rihanna, Ashley Greene, Whiney port, Carrie Underwood

SCORPIO (Oct 24-Nov 22) Symbol- The scorpion Ruling planet- The Pluto Catch phrase- “I Desire” Colour- Black, Dark Red, Sea Green Positive traits-Loyal, Passionate, Intuitive Fashionistas-Anne Hathaway, Katy Perry, Aishwarya Rai, Demi Moore, Rachel McAdams. Scorpio’s have strong imagination and intuition. So their fashion sense is very innovative. Scorpios are drawn to intense, rich colors, but usually have a closet full of dark-colored clothes. They love fashion forward clothes but choose not to wear OTT revealing ones as they like leaving something for the imagination. Their style is more sophisticated than sporty. However, they don’t like boring looks. www.verse.com.np

Piseceans are real romantics which make them drawn to flowy, feminine and delicate styles.They are like Mermaids, who love to swim in the sea of fashion. They are naturally creative which makes them yearn for artsy pieces for their wardrobe. Pisces rules over the feet, so they love wearing fabulous shoes.

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fashion

URBAN

DESIGN Photography Styling Models Make-up

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: Rajan Shrestha : Marina Menuka Lama : Ateesha Gautam Parikrama Rai : Pratimaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hair & Beauty Salon

Wardrobe : POSH, Woodland Complex, Durbarmarg Sphinx..., City Center, Kamalpokhari www.verse.com.np


Structured Dress, Posh Rs. 2690 www.verse.com.np

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B/W Sequinned Dress, Posh, Rs. 1890; Black Cropped Jacket, Maru, Rs. 1990; Hubnail ankle boots, Tree House, Rs. 2790


Splutter Blouse, Dress Me, Rs. 2450; Shred Leggings, Chaba, Rs. 1490; Puncture Stilettos, XYEZHOU, Rs. 2590


Jean Jumpsuit, Leonine, Rs. 2990; Silhoutte Stilettos, meng.gian.lu, Rs. 3630


Layered Halter Dress, BCBGMAXAZRIA, price on request; Cream Stilettos, Joujou, Rs. 2890


Yelllow Ballerina Dress, Posh, Rs. 2290; Hubnail ankle boots, Tree House, Rs. 2790


Orange Bolero, Nectart, Rs. 2190; Netted tutu dress, Posh, Rs. 2290; Black knee-highs, Bazaar, Rs. 3390


Layered Overcoat, Gaga,Rs. 5990; Sequinned Leggings, Twenty One Rs. 1990; Netted ankle boots, Qilisi, price on request


music

Breaking the Silence — Silence Festival II — October 15, Jawalakhel Ground

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ismantling the humdrum of the metal scene in Nepal, Silence Festival, organized by Silence Entertainment, was a much anticipated concert for Kathmandu’s metal-heads. For the first time, the legendary metal band “VADER” was performing live. Equipped with a stimulating sound-system, the on stage extravagance was complemented by a decent lighting and visual system. Metal-heads were growing gradually in number as the daylight showed the way for the dusk and called for darkness. Security, on the other hand, was tight enough to control the mass. Hatebook, who have deservedly emerged in the local underground scene, opened the show playing their originals. The fire from their songs was exuded to the rebellious souls of the metal-heads expecting a grand event. Even though the initial crowd was small and with the scorching heat draining revelers’ energy, Hatebook still managed to get the crowd going. Innercore — the metal band from Hongkong – were up next. As they mentioned at the start, the band played metalcore pieces inspired mostly by Lamb of God and As I Lay Dying. Even they were successful in thrilling the slowly growing crowd. Kalodin were next to occupy the stage. Replacing Innerguilt just a week before the festival, the band was definitely one of the local bands the crowd was looking forward to. Some who were sheltering themselves from the sun at the shades came forward

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to enjoy the thrilling performance. The overall physical appearance of the band, especially the petrifying make-up on their faces and the metal-ish get-up, would have rather suited them at night with the digital lights shining on them. Nevertheless, their exuberant mentality as they greeted the crowd, followed by a commanding on stage-presence, brought a metallic riot around the park. Then it was time for a solo-performance by Guido Wyss, the drummer from Enigmatic who played last year in Silence Festival I. Named as “Commando Noise Terror”, the project was fresh to the music listeners as it brought the hybrid environment of different genres of music – jazz, electronic and classical. Another foreign band, Helmut ascended to the stage when the sun was setting at the horizon. First up, they fused classical Sitar played by Anil Dhital with technical metal; an experiment that was very interesting and sounded astounding. Then they started playing their originals, ranging from blues to thrash metal. The thrill and technical expertise of a “foreign” band was evident throughout their performance. Helmut remained completely tight and different from the previous bands for the duration of their set. Be it their music quality, wisdom or on stage energy, they got the crowd enjoying themselves and head-banging during each of their songs. Antim Grahan, one of the roots of Nepali underground music, played for a comparatively larger crowd as the sky descended into darkness. Playing their well-known songs like “Forever

Winter”, “Infected” and the cover of Iron Maiden’s song “Hallowed Be Thy Name”, they made the crowd go wild with everyone making a circle and running towards each other like that in every other metal concert. The essence of the melodic death metal could be seen reflected in the reactions of the audience. Formed just before the Silence Festival, with Founder director of Silence Entertainment, Bikrant Shrestha as the guitarist, Underside took over the platform. The songs they played had the roots of thrash metal and incredibly thrilled the audience with their tight performance. Definitely, Underside has proved themselves as one of the bands to turn to in near future. Finally, the moment of time the whole mass was waiting for arrived — VADER! With the background music like that of a military marching band and the coherent chant of the entire crowd calling “VADER! VADER!” the entrance was as epic as it could have been. “Namaste Nepal” — a shout out to the entire crowd was followed by a roar in return. When they started to play their songs, metal enthusiasts could not stop themselves from banging their heads to the noise of a Polish legend. They played their own classics such as “This is the War”, “Silent Empire”, “Back to the Blind” and “Impure”. The energy and passion with which they performed fueled the fire inside the souls of the metal-heads as the night was turning out to be one of the marks in the musical history of Nepal. No matter how tiring the entire day was, the crowd couldn’t stop jumping and hammering their heads to the noise of VADER. After a short-break, they came up with the cover of “Black Sabbath” (Black Sabbath) and “Raining Blood” (Slayer) which were much heavier than the originals. The audience enjoyed the legendary tribute from a legendary band. As they left the platform, they farewelled the audience with “Subharaatri Kathmandu” and gave away drum-sticks and guitar-plectrums. The festival left an unforgettable memory on the minds of everyone present at the grand metal event. After such an implausible display, the metal-heads are hoping for even a greater festival next year at Silence Festival III!

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TEXT: Pratik Shrestha PHOTOS: Sumit Shrestha 61


Getting to know “The Silent Empire” of Vader “Vader” is one of the pioneers of deathmetal who, over the last 28 years, have made a permanent mark on the international metal-scene. Headlining at this years’ Silence Festival II,Vader thrilled fans with a heart stopping performance of loud, head-banging real grungy metal. Verse was similarly thrilled to secure an interview with the busy Polish band to find out about their experiences in Nepal, the rise of the metal scene and the life of being a truly global band. Many thanks to Mr. Bikrant Shrestha, founder director of Silence Entertainment, without whom this interview would not have been possible. 62

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Q.What was your initial reaction when you were offered to play in a country like Nepal?

Q.Moving on to the past, how was the metal scene in Poland when you started?

Vader: A big surprise because nobody expected to play so high in the world. So we were pretty much excited and it was a dream came true. The fact that Vader could arrive even to Nepal was very spectacular and very exciting.

Vader:Vader was actually among those bands that started extreme metal, sort of underground in Poland. Unfortunately, not too many bands survived at the time. So, there are only some names coming back now like Crusade, Pandemonium to name couple of bands. There was no media to support these kinds of music. There was metal but the bands that were called metal were closer to bands like AC/DC or Iron Maiden but nothing like extreme metal.Vader was among the ones who started that; not the only one, but one of those who started this sort of music.

Q.Silence Festival II, October 15! What were your expectations from the crowd there? Peter:You know usually, from my experience, I find that if there are few metal shows in a country, then there is no scene and relatively no support. So, it was a big surprise for me that even though it was for the first time for Vader in Nepal and maybe one of the few concerts of metal music in the country, it was so professionally prepared and the crowd was so big. I’m sure that 50% of the crowd was not metal-hats from heart –they came to see a show because there was something going on in the city. But, even if 50% of the audience were real metal-heads, it was very big because the crowd was around four thousand, which is pretty spectacular, really. So, it’s a big deal.

Q.You might have seen some local bands performing during the Silence Festival. How do you think the local bands were?

Q.How has the journey from “The Ultimate Incantation” to “Welcome to the Morbid Reich” been? Peter: The journey was very long, but very interesting. The journey has not only taught me as a musician but also as a man, as a human being. I get to know people around the time and I get to know people around the world. We are travelling across the earth. So this is the best teacher.You can feel much respect from the fans around the world as well. What can I say? This is experience and if your experience is almost 30 years playing metal, then it’s a lot. I’m happy I’m still alive.

Vader:You know, we couldn’t see too much because we were performing late and we needed to prepare the guitars and practice a bit before the show. We arrived just two hours before our time. So, we could only see two bands; they were pretty good. But, we never expected the bands from Nepal to be so modern in sound — especially the band in which Bikrant played; the band was really awesome.

Q.How did you feel about the Silence Festival? Vader: Spectacular. We were really excited because of the chance to be a part of Silence Festival given to us by Mr. Bikrant. We really hope we can come back again in future. This is the first touch of Vader here and we get a feeling that they like it. So, we will be waiting for the next trip.

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Q.You guys tour quite a lot. Does that affect your personal lives? Vader: This is actually the biggest problem while talking about Vader. We are busy guys. But, this is the meaning of metal: to play on stage and to play live. This is pretty much live music. That’s why we all sacrificed with music. Since we signed the deal — the pack with the devil, we’ve been spending two-third of the year touring, practicing and playing far from friends and families and this is the price you have to pay for playing music. We’ve been touring continuously since 1993 and we have around 100 shows in a year. So, you can see, we are really busy people.

Q.In what direction do you see the metal scene in Nepal going? Any words of advice for local bands? Vader: It’s hard to say but it depends on you. If you really want to do something, you will. If somebody comes to you and says he’s going to take you somewhere, then don’t believe in that. Believe in yourself. We were also in same situation in eighties in Poland. We were in deep shit back then.You are in a better situation than we were.You have studios, media and people like Bikrant.You have all the necessary equipment here. The world is all yours. Moreover, you have fans around. The time is going to come when the world is going to cry for you and wants to see you somewhere else in the world. That’s the only way.

Q.Touring that much in a year, when do you get time to compose or play or just come up with new music? Vader: Any time. Composition is always in your mind.You just need a time to sit in a studio, to focus in your work and to put it into a tape record.

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TEXT &INTERVIEW: Pratik Shrestha PHOTOS: Umes Shrestha

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THE GIG THAT FAILED The best day I never had.

TEXT: Gokul Atreya

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etallicA,the band that first got me into listening to heavy music. A band that any “genre-specific” person should have heard of at least once. I first started listening to their hits, but slowly they got me very attached to their music. It all grew on to me, album by album. And being a citizen of Nepal, getting to watch them live was one of the last things I could have expected. But one summer evening when I logged onto facebook, there was an invitation to like a page titled “Metallica Comes to India”!

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t first I thought it was a hoax. Dreams for the simple minded. But eventually, I checked their official website and they had indeed intended to tour India. Two concerts were scheduled- one in Delhi and one in Bangalore. At first, I could only get slightly excited because I just couldn’t picture myself actually watching Hetfield playing live in front of me! It was too real to believe. But calming my emotions, I began to find out more about the concert and soon was on my to make my dream a reality. I spoke to one of my friends about actually attending the concert, and in the next few days, we made up our minds. We decided to go to Delhi. A guitar pedal was sold, (Metallica being the band paid most tribute by it!). Tickets were booked. My heart was set. After a few days, my friend said that our tickets were actually confirmed- Yes, I was actually about to see Metallica Live! I had my travel plans; I had the gig tickets, now all I needed to do was be there!! The gig was scheduled to be on October 28 and we reached Delhi on October 27. The time passed by slowly, waiting, and waiting for the clock to tick-tick-tick away, faster and faster! Finally, on October 28, we reached the gate at 1:30 and already there were hundreds of people gathered, just like me, waiting under the heated sun. To see them, Metallica, LIVE!! We entered the venue, scrambling against each other- hardly worrying to see who it was - you were with it or against. It was all push and go. A mad need. We entered the venue and there, in front us, was the stage, that big stage, where Metallica were actually about to perform!

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We were not sure who the opening band was, nor how it was about to go, but none of that mattered now that we were going to see Metallica for sure. The gig was scheduled to start at 4:00, but it was a half an hour past schedule and still there were no signs of any bands opening. The audience was getting impatient. A feeling was growing amongst us. Due to the pressure from the crowd, the barrier on the left front broke. There was confusion. An announcement was made by officials to the crowd to take a few steps back so that they could fix the barricade. “Take a step back if the program is to start”. The crowd did not oblige. People at every corner were getting restless. There was no sign of any music, even after an hour or two had passed the scheduled time. Anxiety was growing. And then, things got worse.

A man went up on to the stage and announced that ‘the gig that day had been postponed to the next day, Oct 29, at 4:00 pm in the same venue’. All around me, the news hit the crowd with shock. I was in total disbelief. I could hardly know what was going on anymore. My vision came crashing to the ground. People climbed on to the stage, began hitting the speakers, damaging the monitors and other equipments I kept staring, not knowing what to do. The expectations; They all came crashing down. That night, we slowly walked away from the venue; from the joys of hours past. There was little to be said. Later, we found out through the news channels that the gig had actually been cancelled. An official statement. Over time, I heard many things from people. Many say, and I partly agree, that it was poor management that caused this. Some say it was to be expected. For myself, I know I was not expecting this. Many things can be said, but I don’t think it is easy to write out those feelings. It isn’t easy to say how I still feel, to have to return without watching them, when at one point in time, I was only ten steps away from the stage. Ten steps away from where Hetfield would have made love to his guitar. Ten steps away from where they would be playing what I first regarded as good heavy music. The failure of the gig is also a national level embarrassment. That is what will happen if managers underestimate the crowd capacity for a band like Metallica. From the guy who would have sang the songs word to word and remembered the day for the rest of his lifetime, I say, hats off to the Indian organizers, who were able to fool 30,000 people at a single time on a single day- which led October 28th 2011 to be the best day I never had.

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This is what my friends and seniors had to say when they were disappointed like I was;

Raul Regmi (Plays for a local Nepali underground band “Consequence”) “Never trust Indians! They can fool you anytime, anywhere!”

Monica Thapa (Runs a Montessori school in Pokhara)“Bekar ma paisa kharcha. Cunning Indians have good ideas to make easy money”

Puru Lama (Bassist who is not currently active) “So pissed off with those faggots who broke the security barricade. Those indian butt-heads really showed an Indian Attitude- arrogant, proudy and savage. Bottom line-dream shattered, sad, unhappy”

Renasha Ghimire (Nepali student at a Punjab University) “ With all hopes shattered it’s ironic that I don’t want to remember what happened that day”.

Avishek K.C (Vocalist for Underside/E. quals/Lost Oblivion). “I couldn’t listen to my favourite band ever. What was going to be my happiest day ever turned out to be the saddest day ever”

And this is what Sujan Shrestha and Saleem Akthar, two of the organizers of the recent SUCCESSFULLY held “Silence Festival” headlined by VADER, had to say when they returned with sad faces too. “It’s a shame for a team like DNA to have failed to manage such an event. 30,000 sad faces on a single day for a single cause-well, if that doesn’t make DNA one of the worst event organizing teams ever-what does?”

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Raising our Neighbourhood

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t was Day 1 of Jazzmandu: Jazz for the Next Generation, where three local groups participated for a chance to play in Jazzmandu 2011. It was also the first time that I was introduced to Neighbourhood, a six-piece band from Stockholm formed by trombonist Kristian Persson in 2009. The auditorium could not have been more crammed. And I couldn’t have been more anxious to hear them perform. From the beginning, the energy in their music was clearly unmistakable. Their sound was strong, complete and well backed. It was astoundingly memorable to all those who saw them perform. Kristian Persson - Trombone Jens Filipsson – Saxophones & Flute Jonne Bentlöv – Trumpet Edvin Nahlin – Keyboards Aleks Brdarski - Bass Sebastian Ågren- Drums

Left to right, Top: Jens, Edvin and Jonne. Bottom: Sebastian, Kristian, Aleks.

PHOTO : Shikhar Bhattarai


Having been inspired by a range of sources, their music itself is unique and cannot be bound to a specific genre. Elements of jazz, funk, soul, R&B shine in their original instrumentals primarily composed by Kristian. The horn section distinctly sets Neighbourhood apart from other jazz outfits; the arrangements of their tunes, especially the ballads, reflect genuine harmony. Kristian (on trombone), Jonne (on trumpet) and Jens (on sax) complement each other perfectly. And if the horns weren’t enough of a treat for the ears, Aleks’ solid grooves on bass locked in with Sebastian’s exceptional drumming takes you far. Sebastian makes it look easy and his solos always have clear motifs. Edvin’s comps (on keyboard) are superb and his selection of adding colour made their sound novel each time around.

They showed great technique and musicality and their solos were well thought out and well executed. Kristian’s accuracy was more than impressive; his phrasing mind boggling and the control with which he played was phenomenal. Jonne stood out with his be-bop influenced sound just as he had shared in the Masterclass that took place at KJC. Jens always stole the show with the occasional high accents and Edvin quietly smiled away while making his solos, icing the cake. Aleks held everyone’s breath with his long and emotive phrasing; after every phrase you could go “wow!” and hold your breath for another long phrase. Sebastian commanded his solos with mature dynamic precision and while he made it look easy, I’m sure it wasn’t. Their distinctive on-stage communication

and support is thoroughly entertaining, especially when any single instrument is soloing. Neighbourhood is truly an inspiring act. Though they formed only a couple of years back, they released their debut “Maybe Tomorrow” in 2010 and have received sparkling reviews not receding 4 stars. With such fantastic originals and with such arrangement, you have to give them credit for being as innovative as they are. I personally would like to thank Kristian for making this possible; coming to Kathmandu and inspiring all of us who got a chance to watch Neighbourhood. Their album is available on Itunes and they also have a few videos on Youtube for you to check out! Or check out: myspace.com/ jointheneighbourhood, where you can find their songs, pictures and tour dates.

Q. How did you hear about Jazzmandu? What made decide that you wanted to come to Nepal? “I just happened to find it on the internet. I liked the concept of music for peace and compassion and the idea of going to Nepal was really tempting as well.” - Kristian Persson

Q. How was your experience in Nepal? Could you highlight some of the high points of this visit, hopefully individually? “Nepal seems to be a great country which is rich in nature and life. Kathmandu for me was really humbling. All the people we’ve met have been really friendly and easygoing. Our stay and gig up in Gorkana was really amazing. That together with the show in Pathan were we played with classical musicians was a true inspiration. The whole week was a highlight but if I had to single out a few it would be those two events.” - Aleks Brdarski


“Nepal was the trip and tour of my life, no doubt! From the moment we arrived at the Kathmandu Airport you immediately felt there was a very special and relaxed vibe in the air, something that I think affected all of us in a positive way. Everyone of us felt very welcome everywhere we went, the Nepali people are truly very friendly and welcoming. Every day was a highlight for me. I experienced so many wonderful and different things compared to my ordinary life in Sweden and I am grateful for every minute I got to spend in this amazing country!” -Jens Filipsson

Q. Kristian, I believe you are just 23. Considering your age, as a composer what advice would you give to young aspiring composers who want to perform their own compositions, but believe age is a ‘limiting’ factor? “One of the nice things about music is that its not limited to age.You can communicate with anyone regardless of age as long as you yourself have an open mind. And for me that´s one of the most important things when your´re working

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with music. When I was around 12 years old I was playing in a local big band, with guys that where in their sixties and even older than that! So for me age is just a number.” - Kristian Persson

Q. How would you describe the scene (jazz, soul and funk) in Sweden? “It’s really flourishing right now with lots of young bands coming up with new fresh ideas and concepts. The new generation of jazz-musicians also seem not afraid to be influenced by genres like

pop and electronica to name a few and collaborations with electronic artists is getting more common, which we like!” Jonne Bentlöv

Q. How important do you think is proper formal and/ or informal training when it comes to performance? “It´s depending on what music you are performing. Some music need it more then others but in our case I think its a mix of both. Its also depending on who you are and what suits you.” - Kristian Persson www.verse.com.np

Q. Could you comment on some of the problems you’ve encountered in the past couple of years since the formation of this outfit? “Luckily, we all are very good friends in this band, which makes it pretty easy to tour and work together. Of course there has been times of arguments and different opinions regarding the music or other things concerning the band, but we have always been able to communicate and listen to each other, making it possible to find solutions that everyone

feel comfortable with. Regarding the music scene today, and the jazz scene in particular, money is always an issue. You really have to work hard to be able to get out on tour and play your music. For us though, this just makes us wanna work even harder We believe in what we do and will always work hard for the opportunity to reach out to new listeners and spread our music around the world.” - Jens Filipsson

Q. Your debut album has been compared to likes of E.S.T back home, with respect to their appeal to various


audiences of varied genres. Could you comment on this a bit? “We feel very honored to be compared with such an amazing group who has really put Sweden on the global musical map. They have pushed the limits of what you thought a jazz-trio was suppose to sound like and never got stuck in any pre-determined genre. We hope that we share some of that same spirit in our music!” - Jonne Bentlöv

Q. What is the secret of your band’s synergy and effective communication? Is it all practice or something else? “I think it’s a combination of everything. I think that it’s first and foremost about communication. We always try to communicate when we play together. If we don’t communicate, we don’t play together. However, we have all practiced individually on communication and playing together and locking in with other musicians. With that said I really bealive that we have something unique in our group. I mean we’re all good

friends, but when we play together we just reach a new level. It’s really inspiring and that makes us all want to strive for something new everytime we play.” Aleks Brdarski

Q. What kind of emotion(s) does your music hope to express? “The emotions of daily life and it´s up and downs. Some of the songs express love and hapiness, some others express sorrow and sadness, some of them express anger and frustration. But whats

all the time and we´re finding new things to discover and explore more and deeper. Besides playing live we´re also working a lot in the studio, so we have new music coming up soon. We´re really excited about the new material so be on the lookout for our upcoming album!” Kristian Persson Thank you and namaste for sharing with us with such wonderful music and giving us such memorable experiences. We hope “Maybe Tomorrow” will be a great success. And we hope to see you again in the future and will be looking forward to it.

common for all of them is the collective energy you can achieve if you work together. Working this way we always end up having a real good time together and that´s what we want to share with the audience.” - Kristian Persson

Q. Any future plans and comments on Neighborhood and the music that you seek to explore and have already explored? “Our plan is to continue to do the things we do and to grow and improve as musicians and a band. We´re developing www.verse.com.np

INTERVIEW : Yuvash Vaidya PHOTOS : Rajan Shrestha 71


Reaching New Heights with Space Cake Break and we then started to enjoy ourselves. I never officially asked Sunny into this band. He just played in and brought the soul. As for the name, “Space Cake Break”, it was suggested by German journalist, Gadd (Ganesh). “Space Cake Break” is the bake of celestial enthusiasm and material innuendos, inspired by the pop culture of sound-scapes and the theatrical decadence of a humanity driven to self-destruction. Jarvis: “Space Cake Break” is just a playful name depicting how we enjoy ourselves while playing.

Having known the tune of the band, what kind of genres do you play? “Space Cake Break” is one of the newest bands to emerge on Kathmandu’s flourishing music scene with a relative bang. With no desire to be particularly commercial or to make an immense impact, these four rockers thrive in an environment where they can pacify their musical soul and produce innovative musical ideas. Members are seasoned musicians in their own right, making the “Space Cake Break” collaboration something of a natural progression. Sitting down with band members, Raajib Sayami (Baking Space Cake), Jarvis Khare (11th Avenue, India/ Elysium), Kiran Shahi (currently also in Jindabaad) and Sunny Manandhar (currently also in Albatross),Verse discusses the process of releasing Space Cake Break’s first EP, their next steps and the possibility of an upcoming album

So what is the story behind “Space Cake Break” – the name and the formation of such a unique band? Raajib: Having taken a few years break from playing music to concentrate on riding bikes, I felt that there was an element missing from my life. I knew that it was definitely music. So, I started to rather trip in music than on bike. In order to break the bars and get out of my comfort zone of being greasy, I decided to form another band. Struck by the very fact, I called up some people who played – Gaurab Pandey (Keyboardist), Binay Shrestha (Drummer), Bhavin Pradhan (Guitarist) and Pooja Shrestha (Vocalist) – to start out what I always wanted to do. But some had to pursue their careers and some had to go. As part of the transition, Jarvis and Kiran came in. Still, we were going through a tough phase and that is when Sunny came and changed everything. We got to know the tune of the band

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SCB: In this modern world of music, genre is a vague issue. We do not want to be a genre specific bend; we do not want to be biased in terms of genres. We play music for the love of music and we’re trying to create noise from the resources we have. We call this “Space Rock”.

Lyrically, what do you guys write about? Jarvis: Well, I write about homosexuality, degradation of humanity, the hot chick who lives next door and I’m absolutely obsessed with pornography and literature. But we are “nonanti” people. We are not against or for anything. We are just reflecting what we see around. Raajib: There is no concrete label to define what I write about; I write the lyrics as they come to me. For example, “This box” is a song about a guy who is trapped inside a box and how he sees his life inside it. It is reflective of every youth who is plagued by tunnel vision. “Do it in Mars” is an illusion of meeting aliens; it is an escape from this world. “Facing west” is a love-song based on how we are divided geographically in this world and how we perceive things in different time zones. So you see, I cannot say specifically what I write about.

For the band as a whole, are there any influences in the music you create? SCB: Individually, each of us has his own musical afflatus. But, a band as a whole, we don’t think there are any other bands that influence our music. Rather, we are inspired by each other – the lives, the musical journey and especially the environment when we are playing together. That is what influences us the most.

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Let’s talk about your upcoming album. How’s the process going? SCB: The new album is called “Space” and it is basically an EP album. We’ve already done the recordings with King10 Record Labels and it will be out in November. Having been just 3 months into this band and to record 6 songs, I think is a great accomplishment. We’re even planning to record a video for the song “Donna” by the end of November.

Are there any messages you are trying to send out with your songs or possibly with your new album? Jarvis: Like I said, we are not for or against anything. With the songs and the new album, we are trying to break-up the monotony of self-imposed society and bring freshness for rockmusic listeners.

With 3 months into the band, how have your gigs progressed? Raajib: Basically, I don’t believe much in playing music for others. I play music as I smoke cigarettes or ride my motorcycle. So, it is more like my personal thing. But as a band,

we have to do gigs so that people can listen to our music. If people love our music, we would love to play for them, but if not, we don’t care much about doing gigs. However, we’ve done 3 gigs till date. Out first gig was at House of Music and had a balanced crowd – girls and boys chilling out to music. The videos of the songs we performed there have been uploaded on YouTube as well. Apart from that, we performed at Infoshop and Upper Crust.

Any upcoming gigs? Raajib: Well, there are few gigs we’re planning to do. Sunny and I actually started out with a goal of playing a tribute to Incubus. But because of certain reasons, the heat just went cold. However, we are going to do it some day soon. Nevertheless, we already have 7 songs in mind. So, we are planning for 3 months of gigs and then recording another EP by the end of March.

Any message you want to send out to others? SCB: We love everybody who loves us. We don’t give a f*@# about people who don’t give a f*@# about us.

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INTERVIEW : Pratik Shrestha PHOTOS : Anya Vaverko

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flavours

Spaghetti alla carbonara Ingredients

Preparation method

400g/14oz dried spaghetti

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175g/6Ÿoz piece smoked pancetta, rind removed 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped handful flatleaf parsley leaves, finely chopped 3 large free-range eggs, beaten 50g/1žoz pecorino sardo maturo (mature Sardinian pecorino), finely grated salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preparation Time Less than 30 mins Cooking Time 10 to 30 mins Serves 4

Bring 4.5 litres/8 pints water to the boil in a large saucepan with eight teaspoons salt. Add the spaghetti and cook for nine minutes, or until al dente.

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Meanwhile, cut the pancetta into lardons (short little strips), about 6mm/1Âźin wide.

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Heat a large, deep frying pan over a mediumhigh heat, add the oil and the pancetta and fry until lightly golden. Add the garlic and parsley and cook for a few seconds, then remove from the heat and set aside.

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Drain the spaghetti well, tip into the frying pan with the pancetta, garlic and parsley, add the beaten eggs and half the grated pecorino cheese and toss together well.

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Season to taste with a little salt and black pepper. The heat from the spaghetti will be sufficient to partly cook the egg, but still leave it moist and creamy. Take to the table and serve in warmed pasta bowls, sprinkled with the rest of the cheese.


Lazimpat

New Road

Thamel

Magic Beans Sherpa Mall DurbarMarg, Kathmandu 4230914 Gazebo Restro Lounge DurbarMarg 9841397603 Coffee Shop Durbar Marg 4221711 Ghar-E-Kabab DurbarMarg 4221711 KFC Restaurant/Pizza Hut DurbarMarg 4226287

Bhumi Restro Lounge Lazimpat 4412193 Olive Garden Radisson Hotel, Lazimpat 4441818 Street Café Lazimpat 9841657041 Pizza Express Lazimpat 2161212 Shambala Garden Café Shangri-la Hotel, Lazimpat 4412999 Him Thai Restaurant &Bar Lazimpat 4418683

Shisha Café New Road 4263668 Café Olla Restaurant & Bar Kantipath, Jamal 4232673 Vishram Restaurant Basantapur 2012127 Revolving Restaurant Ratna Plaza, 4th Floor, NewRoad 4241712 E.D.E.N. Food Court & Lounge Bar Kathmandu Mall 4150062

Rum Doodle Jytha Street, Thamel 4248692, 424815 Sisha Terrace Bar & Restaurant Thamel 2091137 Jatra Thamel 4256622 The Factory Thamel 4701185, 4701187 Fire and Ice Pizzaria, Thamel 4250210 Aqua Java zing Thamel 4254809

Patan Moksh Gyanmandala, Jhamsikhel 5528362 Café De Patan Mangalbazar 5537599 Patan Museum Café Patan Durbar Square 5524694 Dhokaima Café Patan Dhoka 5522113 Absolute Bar Hotel Narayani Complex, Pulchowk 5521408

Boudha

The Café Hyatt Regency Taragaon, Boudha 4491234 Rox Restaurant Hyatt Regency Taragaon, Boudha 4491234 Boudha Stupa Restaurant And Café Boudha 2130681 The Bakery Café Boudha 4464438

Babar Mahal Walter’s Restaurant & Bar Babar Mahal Revisited 4253337 Baithak Babar Mahal Revisited 4267346 Shogun Restaurnat & Bar Babar Mahal Revisited 4263720 Chez Caroline Babar Mahal 4263070

restaurants

Durbar Marg


diy

Egg Boat Candles Revel in the spirit of fall, with these really cute egg boat candles that are super easy to make.

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What youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll need:

* Eggs * Spoon * Floating candles Step 1: Cracking * Use the spoon to crack a medium sized hole in the egg. * Empty out the egg into a bowl, so all you have left is the eggshell. (Make sure you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t make too big a hole as it may cause water to leak in.)

2 3

Step 2. Placing the candles Place the floating candle carefully in the eggshell. Make as many as you like!

** Never leave a burning candle unattended. **

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Step 3. Float away! Place and light in a bowl of water to use as a centerpiece or set afloat on your garden pond or wider waters to create a wonderful warm ambience!!


Moksh Salvation through Food, Drinks and Music

M

oksh doesn’t need an introduction. It is a brand name in itself. Established in October 2002, it has come a long way. Nine years since it first opened for service, the place has bettered itself with each passing year. For those who have been at this eatery know why it is one of the most happening places in town. It is indeed the perfect combination of food, drinks and music. It has become the destination for many, to spend quality time with friends. Located in the premises of Gyanmandir in Jhamsikhel, Moksh actually introduces the area. The restaurant has a beautiful, serene garden with huge Kabanas and a campfire that works equally well for either a sunny afternoon or a cold evening. During the day, the huge garden is perfect to have a cup of coffee and read a book, or even better use the internet because the restaurant has free Wi-Fi. In the evening, the place is perfect to gather around one of the campfires with pals and enjoy the scrumptious barbecue. Moksh has a spacious indoors as well, which includes a bar and a party room. The bar faces a beautiful view of the west, which is undeniably the best place to be during a sunset. One can sip a cool drink while watching the sun go down. The party room is where all of the live band performances happen. Moksh entertains guests with live bands twice a week i.e. Tuesday and Friday. The space is also available for celebrations or private parties, for which a reservation is required. Moksh also has a hall room where a lot of corporate parties are held. The fantastic dimensions of the restaurant is only one side of the successful story, the other part is obviously the food. Along with the musical ambience of the place, the food served here is excellent.

Moksh serves a variety of cuisines including Nepali, Chinese, Continental and more. The menu is a little bit of everything. For the review we had Moksh’s special Salami firewood pizza and one of the new additions to the menu, Roasted Chicken Chilly which is also available in pork. The Salami firewood pizza was unbelievably good. The dough is a thin, crispy crust (which is difficult to find in the other restaurants or pizza joints in town). It enhances Moksh’s secret sauce that compliments the dough perfectly. The sauce has a tangy taste, which is quite different and very appealing. I couldn’t stop eating the big, thin slices and when it was finished, I was left craving for more. The Roasted Chicken Chilly is like any other chicken chilly, only that the chicken itself is roasted rather than the usual fried. The presentation was good, and it was well garnished. The sauce was fine; nothing out of the box though. The chicken was roasted in the usual tandoori style. It was well seasoned. The meat was soft and juicy on the inside but crisp on the outside. Overall, the entire experience was amazing and affordable. The small pizza is Rs.250; the large being Rs. 450, and the Roasted Chicken Chilly is priced at Rs. 350. They accept all kinds of credit and debit cards as well, which is a relief. Another factor of great relief is the huge parking space available at the eatery. Hence, there isn’t much to worry about when it comes to partying at Moksh.You are bound to have a good time! Actually, on second thought, being at Moksh means having a great time!

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TEXT: Akriti Shilpakar PHOTO: Daphenjo Gurung

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street

words on the street INTERVIEW : Akriti Shilpakar PHOTO : Daphenjo Gurung

a) What do you like most about Kathmandu? b) What would you do if you were made the Prime Minister of Nepal?

restha

Akr iti Sh

a) I like the entertainment factors of Kathmandu. There are so many things to do here. It is difficult to get bored.

ar

apamag

Th Ur mila

b) As a Prime Minister, I would work against corruption and create awareness programs on women empowerment.

a) I dont like Kathmandu. Living here is not a choice but a matter of need. b) I would keep the public happy and develop the country.

Niren Dangol

a) I like the Malls here. There are none elsewhere in Nepal. b) I would work on making the situation of the country better because at the moment, It isn't any good.

apoor

a) I love the weather here. I came here to visit but ended up living here because of the weather.

Pawan Agrawal

b) I would plan on keeping the city clean. Nepal is a tourist destination, but the piles of garbage in the streets are a let down. Nepal can do better than just garbage.

a) I love the food here.You can get food from everywhere. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easy to find and there is nothing like the local food. It is delicious. b) I would take strict action against the raising crime rate and corruption.

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Justin M.

Levine

a) I love the transportation here. One can easily go from anywhere to anywhere. b) I would have a big parade; as in a mo:mo festival...just kidding, I would fire all the politicians and ask for volunteers to work instead of them.

Nabraj Tim

alsina

Manoj Dahal

a) Mo:Mos.... b) I would finish the constitution first and develop the country. Our country needs a constitution.

Melina Shrestha

a) The variation of entertainment factors and the facilities available. b) I would immediately work on minimizing loadshedding, and for environmental reasons would ask everyone to ride bicycles rather than take vehicles.

a) It is a cultural melting pot. Kathmandu represents what the whole of Nepal identifies with, in terms of population, culture and tradition. It has everything. That is what I like. b) I would create aa new bureaucratic system in Nepal.

Saraswoti Timalsina

Chetra Bahadur

a) I like the fact that you can meet people from anywhere in the country. It is just wonderful.

a) Honestly, I dont like anything about this city. b) Eliminate Poverty.

b) I would develop the country, make it more secure, make sound decisions on using foreign investments and of course stop corruption.

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movie

Acharya TEXT : Manjil Shrestha

‘Acharya’ is not just a movie that covers the glorious musical career of one of the most acclaimed veteran singers, composers and songwriters of Nepal. It is a tribute to a singer who recorded more than 450 songs in 16 years and a compelling personal story of a passionate music lover who defied all odds to achieve a dream that ended tragically, in such a short period of time. Produced under the banner of Silk Route Pictures, ‘Acharya’ is a biopic based on the life and struggles of Bhajan Siromadi Bhakta Raj Acharya. The Biopic has succeeded to set a definitive landmark in the scenario of Nepali movies that has seen some varied examples and a few different dimensions of movie making lately. Directed by Prashant Rasaily, assistant director of the Hindi movie ‘Kites’ and screenwriter of ‘Kagbeni’,‘Acharya’ has received considerable acclaim and was screened at the 13th Mumbai Film Festival. The movie stars Satya Raj Acharya (son of the acclaimed musician) who plays the role of his father. The biopic begins with a journalist (Sunil pokhrel) interviewing Bhakta Raj Acharya after he is admitted to hospital following cancer of the tongue. Bhakta Raj Acharya then unfolds his story to the journalist in front of his wife and two sons. It is from then on that the biopic fulfills its purpose of allowing one to find out a lot about a man whose life certainly gave people reason to reflect on the meaning of life. Bhakta Raj Acharya’s musical journey began with him singing old Hindi songs and gazals under the guidance of an Indian performer in the small tea estate of Dooars, India after his family migrated from Dhankuta, Nepal. Following his father’s death, financial struggles and determined to sing for Radio Nepal, Acharya set off on a journey to Kathmandu and thus, was on his way to seeing his dreams come true. Acharya went on to win the Rastriya Geet Sammelan in 1973. Sadly, life had only started giving him what he truly deserved when an unfortunate incident involving some drunks (led by Saugat Malla in the movie) and a beating changed his life. This was in fact only a catalyst for an even more tragic event - the amputation of Acharya’s most prized possession (his tongue). The turning point is poignant emotionally and adds a compelling despondency to the whole film. Throughout the film one has the sense that it was in fact destiny that cut short a brilliant musical career and also stopped

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some fine music from being composed there after. This further causes one to contemplate whether it may have been fate that decreed such a heart- rending tale and that too, one that prompts the viewer to question whether Acharya was one of the luckiest or the most unfortunate humans born to this world. It may be the distinctive irony of the story that causes one to really ponder the very question of man’s existence and karma giving the movie noteworthy leverage. As for the actual construction of the film, the music is without doubt excellent, but fails to adapt to the plot in some scenes. Some lengthy establishing shots could have been shortened, and some other additional instances in the life of the protagonist instead, would have added significance. Also, in my opinion the intense post-amputation scene would have had a more profound impact on the audience if it had been shot for longer and wasn’t censored. Furthermore, the authenticity of some scenes is questionable. But that said, it is just like those small dots on the moon that you see on a clear night and don’t know much about – If you want to know more about Bhakta Raj Acharya’s life, the film will clarify certain aspects yet leave you room to question. As for the acting, Satya Raj Acharya is the highlight of the film. Although he may not be an acclaimed actor in Kollywood, he has proved himself truly worthy and has very much justified the character of his father. There are also cameo appearances by Legendary Gazal Maestro Ghulam Ali and a special appearance by the protagonist himself Bhakta Raj Acharya. To me, it is one of the best tributes a son can give to a father and a musician to his guru and inspiration. Overall, it was definitely worth the watch.

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fiction

The Lover of Bagmati TEXT: Shiwani Neupane PHOTOS: Rajan Shresthaa

H

e grew with the river of Bagmati, the holiest and the dirtiest of them all. Alongside Bagmati, began the life of the slum-dwellers, the poorest of the poor with hungry eyes and empty stomachs. Everyday as the city folk drove their posh cars with their windows closed and air conditioners on, a little boy watched them in awe, wondering why he couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sit on the same polished white leather seats. They make him angry; they sit comfortably with their big sunglasses perched on their noses, flipping through what looked like a book! The big round black glass looks strange to him, and he wonders why they always hide their faces.

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“Perhaps, they are devils”, he wonders, devils that hide their face during the daytime so nobody can find them and kill them. He has heard these stories from Drug dai. He often tells Ram these stories before they go to sleep. When he watches these devils read books, “A book! A book! Why?” he wonders. Seven-year-old Ram opened one once only to find strange squiggles and curves staring at him. “Ha! How stupid can these folks be”, he thought. He would rather spend his time running across Bagmati, jumping over her stones and the white foam of the river that burnt his legs. It smelled disgusting, he admits, but it was home for him, the only place where the police wouldn’t force him to scamper from. He slept under the stars night after night, next to Bagmati, his mother. When it rained, he hid under the large sheets of plastic he had collected with his tiny hands. They would have sold for 5-10 rupees, and the kabadiwala would have bought them gladly, but he couldn’t sell it, not his plastic, his only home. “Ram! Eh Ram”, it was the drug dai waking him this time. “Hazur dai!, he got up almost instantly. Drug dai was one of Ram’s favorite slum dwellers. He too slept next to Bagmati on some days, and whenever he did, he made sure Ram’s stomach was full with hot food. Ram didn’t dare call him drug dai though, he wasn’t supposed to know. It was the shopkeeper who often sold him 5 rupee noodles that told him to stay away from Drug dai. “Eh Pucche! Don’t hang out with that druggie Bahadur! He will make you like him.” “You understand don’t you?” he said pulling his ears. Seven-year-old Ram perfectly understood. “Hyatteri! Ok I won’t, Let me go now”, he pulled away. “Eh Ram! Do you have any money”, said Bahadur. “No dai. Only two rupees in my pockets” “SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT!!!, Bahadur

was stamping his feet. “Its alright pucche, go sleep.” His body was hanging by the tree, as it swiveled in harmony with the blasting wind. Ram rubbed his eyes, once, twice, “no it couldn’t be”. “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH someone help him. Bahadur dai, Bahadur dai”, he ran. He touched his feet. COLD. “HELP, HELP HIM”, but no one heard him. He ran all the way to the city. “POLICE DAI, POLICE DAI” “What is it now.You want to get arrested is it?” Ram was sobbing now. “Police dai, Bahadur dai, tree, hanging”. The policeman listened carefully. He understood. “Where” “Home. My home. My tree” “Where?” “I’ll take you” No one knew what happened to Bahadur. No one cared but Ram. Ram cried under the tree, praying for his soul to be at peace. Bahadur had told him once that he was abandoned in the same river as Ram was. He, like Ram didn’t remember anything other than the river.“How did we survive? Who fed us?” no one seemed to know. The shopkeeper dai said they were abandoned when they were old enough to talk but they remembered nothing, no woman, and no man. 15-year-old Ram came everyday to visit his mother. She was dirty, discarded and untouchable like him. He worked nowadays as a labourer mixing cement, and building concrete homes for the touchables. With the little he made, he had rented a room with four other young boys like him.They had enough to eat one hot meal a day, and a place to sleep when www.verse.com.np

the thunder shook the skies. Sometimes work dragged on till 8:00pm, sometimes 9:00 but never did he go home without visiting his mother. It was also the place he had cremated Bahadur dai, alone. Watching the burning pyre of dead twigs from the very tree Bahadur had stood hanging, he felt he understood life better. “I was born alone, I will die alone”, and everyday as he watched human-relations, the mother and the child, the husband and the wife, the girlfriend and the boyfriend, he only felt sorry for them. He had loved once, unintentionally, his brother he would never recognize but only feel for, Bahadur. Sometimes, he felt like he was waiting for his death, the day he would be liberated from the task of feeding his empty stomach. Then one day sitting on the shores of foaming Bagmati, he met Peter. The man touched his diseased mother like she was precious. The strong sting of rotting garbage didn’t bother him, and he didn’t make an effort to scurry as she rushed to touch him. Stubbing out his cigarette, unbelieving of what he had just seen, Ram rushed to the shore where the stranger stood. “Who are you and why are you here?” he said with a certain authority. “Peter, and you?” he said calm and unthreatened by his tattered clothes. “What are you doing here?” he repeated “Oh! I’m just a traveller who loves nature”, he said “But this is not nature. This is hell. Disaster”, said Ram. “ No its not. I can see she was beautiful once, and like everything beautiful, she has been ruined”, he said. There was a certain truth to his words that Ram understood with his heart. He didn’t feel so cold anymore. “She still is, if you look at her and the all the tears and sacrifices she’s given”, he said unaware of the sprouting words from

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his heart. “Indeed”, said the stranger. “Love is a terrible and beautiful disease. It makes us give up all we have for those we love the most, and live with nothing but all the peace in the world”, he said. Ram was shaken. All this while, he had assumed his mother to be only his, realizing little that she was the mother to this country, this nation who had stolen all her beauty from her. “My mother, my mother, oh she gave all her beauty for the comfort and satisfaction of her children. She is sick, disease-ridden, discarded by her own children, yet gushes in their happiness and fights for their livelihood”, he said. This time he peered into the face of the stranger, only to see that it was so white, unlike anything he had ever seen before. He noticed that his clothes were tattered too, not as much as his own, but not the best either. “Peter, where are you from and what do you do?” he asked. “Lets sit down”, said Peter as they both crouched down watching Bagmati gush tears of love. “A Long time ago, I was a famous businessman. In a place called New York, I owned corporate houses, banks, and lived the richest life you can imagine. I worked relentlessly, day and night and became the source of envy to everybody. My life looked perfect to everybody. I had done everything I had dreamt of, owned everything that I wanted but inside I was hollow- empty and had begun to question my existence. Suddenly, I wanted to die. I was ready and before I could kill myself, I wanted to see the city I had given my life to for the last time. I dressed as a hippie-tourist and left to see the places I had never seen. I walked after a long time in my life, and saw things I had forgotten about. I saw poverty, children under the influence of heavy drugs in little alleys, petty thievery, and sick people with no money to pay for their medical bills and beggars. This was supposed to be New York, the city of dreams and here I was watching dreamless lives. I knew then that

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I hadn’t done anything. All the money in the world was pointless when there was a starving child sleeping hungry in some part of the world. I couldn’t be in New York or any famous part of that world for that matter, so I quietly shifted to Nepal where I have started a few schools today”, he said beaming. “Are you saying that life is only worth living if you live for somebody else?” asked Ram, comprehending the rush of excitement in his dead-life. “Precisely”, said Peter. “That is why Bagmati lives”. www.verse.com.np


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Issue 6- Verse Magazine - December-January 2011-12

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