Time to Catch up on Sleep

(That’s what you are probably thinking after the completion of the World Cup. Here is the story that I wrote for today’s The Kathmandu Post)

After 31 nights of football fever, Nepali football fans now clamor for a good night’s sleep, but they will of course find time for World Cup gossip and analysis.

Although joy over the fierce battle of the ball kept them awake most of those nights, it wasn’t easy living with sore eyes. “I watched the matches, for I enjoyed them,” athletics star Rajendra Bhandari said. “But it was tough and tiring.”

The Asian All Star gold medalist is preparing for the South Asian Games (SAG) scheduled for next month. “I would sleep well today as I don’t feel like I could train,” the Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC) player added. “I couldn’t have missed it since it comes only in four years.”

The World Cup games, most of which began 45 minutes after mid-night in Nepal, even changed people’s daily schedules and their brain clock. “It was difficult to stay awake for the matches in the early stages,” Manju Lata Aryal, a BBA final semester student at Nobel Academy, said. “I felt tired in the morning, but later on it was easy to stay up for the matches but the days became tough then.”

The low turn-out for morning classes at many colleges was part of the impact of the World Cup. Students at Shepherd College of Media Technologies, Chabahil didn’t turn up Monday morning, making the day an undeclared holiday, as was the case at many other colleges.

The World Cup not only brought football, but it also brought business to many – especially shopkeepers selling jerseys. “Many would come to us requesting the printing of names and numbers on the jerseys,” Bijay Shahi of Attsh, a t-shirt house at Khichapokhari, said. “We had to work hard all day, despite the fact that we were awake in the night to watch the matches.”

For football-crazy people like Shahi, the World Cup wasn’t something to miss. “No sleep? That was fine. But missing the game was out of question,”he said.

As the mega-event is now over, the t-shirt business should see a slump, at least temporarily. “Now, we can afford to recover lost sleep,” he said.

For more hardcore fans, the end of the World Cup is just the completion of yet another event. “Now, I look forward to watching English Premier League and other leagues,” Prabin Karki, a third-year student at People’s Dental College said. “The quality of football is better in the league than in the World Cup.”

After watching the final at Basantpur, where they had put up a big projection screen, Karki was satisfied with the result. “I am happy because it was France that beat my favorite team (Brazil) in the quarters,” he added, recalling the favorite’s 1-0 loss to the eventual runner-up.

Continue Reading

SLC Nostalgia in Hi-Tech Era

The SLC results for this year is going to be published today. Results SLC or School Leaving Certificate examination or so-called Iron Gate is something that everybody in Nepal is interested in. For a few more days, everybody would be found talking about it.

SLC results traditionally used to be published in Gorkhapatra, the state-owned paper, and it wouldn’t be until late morning it would come out in the morning. I remember when my own SLC results was published, I rushed to Gorkhapatra Corporation early in the morning, paid Rs. 10 for the paper that would have normally cost half of that. We were four of us and all we passed in first division (there was not distinction then) and that was enough for our celebration.

In the heavy rainfall, we walked through roads for half an hour, and couldn’t gulp more than quarter cup of tea when an aunty of our friend offered us. We were so excited and decided to come back home in a taxi despite not having enough money for the fare. That was probably the first time we took a taxi despite being healthy.

And I also remember another incident when I went there for a result. I was a teacher then and wanted to see how the students did. It was not until 11 that it came out. From the morning, there was huge crowd and the policemen were forced to use their latthis. I got my new umbrella hit by one of them and had to throw it away.

Now, everything has changed. The SLC results wouldn’t only be published in Gorkhapatra but also on various internet sites, and it could also be obtained through automated phone service. This year’s addition is SMS service – in both Mero Mobile and NTC mobile.

It was published in at least four sites – soce.gov.np, doe.gov.np, moe.gov.np and slc.ntc.net.np and within a few minutes of that at least half-a-dozen other sites will copy the results to them.

It has been a lot easier than it used to be but in the same way, the excitement is lost. You won’t find students happily walking in heavy rain or those waiting eagerly outside the Gorkhapatra Corporation. All, because the results will be one click away.

Wow! Technology!

Continue Reading

World Cup, Illness and Blogging

It has been long since I wrote anything. The World Cup was taking my toll and I fell ill for a few days – thanks to unlimited food during one of the late-night match.

Sadly, my favorite team is out. Argentina lost to Germany despite dominating the whole game. I felt sad – more when everyone I met since the day after is accusing referee for the loss. There were a few ‘controversial decisions’. My favorite team played well and thank god, I don’t have to print ‘Still Argentina Fan’ as of 2002.

And, as a true fan, I believe, next year, Argentina will be come well with Lionel Messi, Pablo Aimar, Carlos Tevez and others matured with experience.

On the other side, after a long time, I got enough time to analyze my RSS reader of Nepali blogs. It was good to see a few like Zaded blogging regularly while sad not to get some bloggers, like my good friend Deepak, absent during the time.

I have always felt once the crisis is over – well I believe it is still there in the country – it would be quite difficult for some bloggers like me to get back to blog on issues long forgotten for blogs. We have been so long blogging on political matters that most of us have more a news site than a blog.

But I also believe that it won’t remain long and bloggers would start going traditional blogging on various issues. I have found a few new blogs by Nepali and will be adding them to the directory soon.

Continue Reading