Nepal Smiles. Do You?

Nepal Smiles is a personal project of collecting smiling faces of children of Nepal that I began in 2006 with an aim of giving people a reason to smile.

It was a blog on Blogger.com and became somewhat popular in short span of time but then I lost the interest primarily because it was very difficult for me to get into blogger account to update. I do not know why Blogger looks so crap to me.

Smile, it is the key that fits the lock of everybody’s heart.

On first week of January 2008, I enjoyed looking at the photos myself and I wondered why I stopped that. I started looking for a good alternative for it and I tumbled into tumblr – the free tumblelog provider.

For Nepal Smiles, tumblelog looked beautiful solution and a chance for me to look into the newest variant of blog. Now, I have restarted Nepal Smiles with an aim.

I aim to update daily! I want one photo a day there. (Maybe there will be days I can not do it, so I have softened it down to 300 photos by the end of 2008!)

In the past, I have received a few photos from Puja Maharjan and Tapas Thapa, and a few from other visitors. To achieve my aim, I need more of such support and I hope that my friends and visitors will help me to keep the project of smiling stars running.

Give yourself a reason to smile and relax! Visit Nepal Smiles!

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Nepal Petro Protest: Journalists Not Spared

Kathmandu is hit-hard by the protest against petro price hike. There is no vehicular movement as protesters are burning tyres on streets. However, the nature of protest and some of the incidents that I experienced looked ill motivated.

Nepal Government has directed NOC to revoke the price-hike decision immediately, according to breaking news on radio and, hopefully it will all end by this evening.

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Is Kagbeni As Good As Publicized?

My straight answer is: NO!

Kagbeni is one of two first Nepali digital cinemas directed by Bhusan Dahal. Even if you don’t care about Nepali television or music videos, its unlikely that you haven’t heard his name. From Nepal Television’s Sunday Pop to Kantipur Television’s top post, Dahal has a long history in the glamour media and is, no doubt, one of the best music video directors of the country.

Even to watch his music videos is a treat itself. But when he moved to big screen, with Kagbeni, he did some good things but failed to live the expectations – at least for me, and a dozen of people around me at the theatre.

Something that I liked most in the cinema are among others no use of Hindi terms by the actors (sadly true for many other Nepali movies); the brilliant cinematography that was backed by Dahal’s realistic approach and the Nepaliness. And, is there anymore?

The theme of the movie is ’Be Careful for What You Wish For’ and the storyline is derived from The Monkey’s Paw which is beautifully put into Nepali context. But is the story so strong enough to make a movie in 2008? I believe no. The attempt of the movie to gain a realistic theme through a unrealistic storyline is a fallacy in itself.

And, the audience suffer the attempt to lengthen a short story into a full length two-hour long movie with yawns and changing of sitting position. The weaker story make the whole effort of direction, screenplay, cinematography and acting (which is brilliant as far as I am concerned) look unnecessary.

The closing remark of the young man seated behind me: Since the name is Kagbeni, I should have understood its a Kage (unrealistic) movie!

I believe if you have been lately bored by seeing too much Bollywood imitation in Nepali movie, its a must watch! But if you are one who needs a fast pace story, just ignore it.

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Freedom without Responsibility

A commentary on the publication of the indecent front-page photos of burnt dead bodies in a bus inferno by two national dailies of Nepal.

Yesterday evening, news of bus inferno in Bara has already shocked us. The ‘accident’ happened on the eve of Tarai Banda thus making a lot of us suspect that it was an attack. It was soon confirmed that at least seven died and dozens other injured. It was a bad news.

I felt more shocked and sadder this morning when I looked through daily newspapers for more on it. Two of the national dailies – Nepal Samacharpatra and Naya Patrika – carried similar photographs on the front pages that were in no way decent enough to get published at all.

The photo (click here if you really want to see the photo, but I advise you not to see) showed a side of the bus with two burnt bodies (hands/head recognizable) on the windows. Even after two hours of seeing it, when I sat for lunch, I felt like my stomach lurching about it. I do not know what had happened to the children who saw these photographs!

I was shocked because I do not know what prompted the editors of the newspaper to choose that photo.

I was sad because I was one in journalism and I feel like this is a joke on press freedom – the freedom they enjoy without a feeling of responsibility. The publication of such photos is unethical and Nepal Press Council and Federation of Nepali Journalists should at least initiate a debate, if this can not be considered a breach of their code of conduct.

As an audience, I do not want to see such photos anymore!

[As I tried to get the photo to link from this post, I found that the photo has been blurred in Naya Patrika’s site. The photo linked from this post is from Nepal Samacharpatra’s site.]

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Citizen Media: An Introduction

The Rising Voices, a project by Global VoicesDavid Sasaki, has released a wonderful, straightforward introduction to the subject we love – An Introduction to Citizen Media.

The booklet has an overview of blogs, blogging, podcasts and vblogging with case studies along with a few interesting quotations on media. It can be a good resource to understand these aspects of citizen media and blogs for the novice or wanna-to-be bloggers. Direct Download.

And, here is something that may be useful to the established bloggers – Tips for Conference Bloggers. Produced by Bruno Giussani and Ethan Zuckerman, this is an interesting reading describing how to blog during conferences and rewards of conference blogging. Direct Download.

In Nepal, I rarely see this as useful booklet because:

  • A lot of bloggers, including me, are still on planning phase to buy a laptop.
  • I am yet to attend a seminar in Nepal that provides internet facility.
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Mourning Demise of Sir Edmund Hillary

Sir Edmund Hillary, one of the first two men atop Mount Everest, passed away. The news made me numb and left me blaming myself why did not I try to meet him on so many occasions he was in Nepal. For many Nepalis like me, Hillary – a New Zealander – was more Nepali than his teammate on the top of the world – Tenzing Norgay.

As a child, whenever I read stories of Everest, I had always expected the next time I would read about them; the God would exchange their nationality. I was bothered mostly with Tenzing accepting Indian nationality and living in Darjeeling. Indian magazines I read then always called him an Indian.

As I grew, I accepted the reality. For Tenzing, India was a good offer than living a hard life in Nepal. And, when I knew about Hillary’s Himalayan Trust and the works it had done to uplift the lives of Sherpas, in a corner of my heart, I believed, he too was bothered Tenzing living in Nepal and wanted no more Sherpas to leave the country – and his way of doing that was establishing schools and hospitals for them.

On May 29, 2003, when the 50th Anniversary of the ascent was celebrated, he chose to come to Nepal to accept honorary citizenship and went through the capital city on a horse-driven wagon rather than accepting an invitation by the British Queen. Though his love for modesty was well-known, I never thought he loved Nepal so much.

Then I started believing, Ed was more Nepali than Tenzing! May his soul of a legend rest in peace.

Sir Edmund Hillary – King of the World
Hillary’s Himalayan Trust – Nepal

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Welcoming 2008: A Personal Note

Before welcoming 2008, I tried to look back – particularly the last quarter of 2007. It was the period that I would particularly like to forget personally – it just happened to the time in which you find yourself disorganized and nothing moves as you had wanted.

Probably, it was a ‘out of form’ period but when I analyze it, I find that I just happened to be at wrong places in wrong times. I was not at the office when I needed to be, I was not at the teaching job when I should be and I was not at home when I should have been. I just missed everything – made most of my ‘owns’ unhappy about me.

I tried to reorganize myself a few times but just failed. My priorities could have been wrong. I was here and there but not at the place where I should have been. And, that did all but improve my efficiency.

Profession wise, I got something good. I just got a promotion at office; I became permanent. At teaching, I started teaching bachelors level students. But then, I know myself, I failed to deliver as I have wanted. It might not be too bad, but I could not live up my own plans.

With all that in mind, off course some of advises coming from my colleagues and relatives, I hope to reorganize everything in 2008. The lone resolution for me on January 1 is to reorganize everything – work efficiently, be at right place at right time and begin afresh everything left behind.

Happy New Year 2008!

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