Jul 14, 2014

A Female "Engineer" "comes of age!

feminism, nepal, handshake, skip, girls, boys
To not be skipped by any male when hands are being shaken.

It was before the Jana Andolan had taken place. It was still the age when we took pride in reciting "Nepal is a common garden of 4 castes and 36 sub-castes", and loved quoting Prithvi Narayan Shah's dibyopadesh to show off our nationalism. Those times before the issues of ethnicity, identity, gender and equity had begun to be vocally expressed - the period of calm before storm. Some who miss it call it the golden age, when Nepali people had sense, hadn't gotten communal and weren't screaming for unnecessary rights, we were still "united" as one and we had the good old king to take care of us "prajas".

It was that time when to be called of a modern mindset, all you had to do was recite "for me, there are only two castes in the world men and women" without indulging in the status difference of  these two "caste" in Nepali society. During that time, I was an undergraduate Engineering student. On my first week of college, one of the first comments that a male classmate had made to me was, why I was here studying engineering even though I was a girl!!

Jun 11, 2014

Dolpo Raw and Real

A Dolpopa tying his bullet wound with layers of khada
Prized aphrodisiac, conquering the top of the world, Majesty/Glory of hosting World Cup Football-all stained and littered with blood and sweat of my fellow country people. Plight of a poor country's marginalized citizens.

June 3 to June 11

7 days

That's more or less how many days it would take for one to reach Dho Tarap of Dolpa, from capital Kathmandu. More or less I say because I have never been there. It took me two days to reach Phoksundo from Dunai the district headquarter, and people said that it would take another day or two by foot to reach Dho.

June 3 when police personnel mercilessly beat locals of Dho Tarap - a small settlement in high pastures of Dolpa district. Very much a place shrouded in mystery and enchantment-mainly because of its geographical isolation.

June 11 when I first got to see flicker of these atrocities through small video clips shared in public by someone who witnessed it first hand.

Jun 3, 2014

What's wrong at the moment?


Like the scenario before half time of a typical Indian or Nepali movie where the hero is the ultimate crime fighter but who has not quite found his ground yet-and so the city where he resides is still infested with heinous crimes, and what not-I find myself squarely planted in that "before half time" scenario.

All the crime dramas that I see unfolding in such movies-corrupt cops, even more corrupt justice system, atrocities right in front of people's eyes, power, paisa and the "bad" having a field day-everything is happening right before me.

My life is not a movie, where I reside is not a movie set. Yet everything so eerily resembles the plot of such badly told, heavily exaggerated, and repugnant male dominant movie.

In such movies, the heroine or the victims generally feel helpless until the hero comes along, fights all the bad guys, the corruption the system everything until everything is sorted. He makes everybody's life perfect.

How I wish right now that such rescue were possible in real life, however misogynist the rescuing notion is.

In real life, there is no "after half time" scenario. Its a continuation of "before half time" where you have not had your pop-corn, where it is not time yet to anticipate the good part happening soon. Perpetually laden with sorrow, defeat and dejection-and thinking of "popcorn". That's what the first half is all about.

May 16, 2014

When purple takes over Kathmandu

And no, its not ncell I'm talking about.

Enjoy the photos of this purple enchantress, which has veiled Kathmandu's ugliness for a while.

Although its true identity as to whether this is Jacaranda or Sirish or Mimosa is being contested in "experts" circle, its aura and charm is nevertheless incontestable. Like Shakespeare said, "what's in a name"? Ha

Kathmandu Jacaranda purple bloom 2014

Kathmandu Jacaranda purple bloom cityscape

Kathmandu Jacaranda purple bloom cityscape

Kathmandu Jacaranda purple bloom cityscape

Kathmandu Jacaranda purple bloom cityscape macro
its impossible to see these "high"nesses really this upclose. This was a major crop on top of major zoom

And a video too :)

In instagram: http://instagram.com/p/oDHfppuATT/

May 13, 2014

When Facebook doesn't suffice!

Whether any body has noticed or not, but there's an interesting give and take going on for about a few weeks in The Kathmandu Post.

First there was the op-ed by Shradha Ghale "Whose Discourse?" - based primarily on academic work by Simon Robins - which put forth the view that fundamentally the truth and reconciliation discourse going on at that time in Nepal should be for/of the victims - from who the issue has been largely hijacked owing to, among other things, their socio-economic marginalization.

Then came this piece "Whose Reconciliation"? by two writers who were hell bent on disproving/disagreeing everything the earlier op-ed stated/implied/suggested. It went a notch further than that and established the writer duos' own agendas too, in the name of highlighting the flaws within Ghale's piece. I might have my biases here about not particularly liking this piece, as the writers' too see to have against Ghale's arguments. Somethings you don't like, and you do not like them at all.

About 1.5-2 weeks after, today (May 13, 2014) comes another piece, which is a response to the second article .The need to elongate this chain of back and forth was because according to the writers' own words "Conflict victims ... were shocked to see how they were characterised ( in the second article)".

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