The Birthday Muddle

I was born on August 24, 1978 AD. It was Bhadra 9, 2035 BS and the day, according to astrological calculations, was Krishnastami – the birthday of Lord Krishna.

In Nepali, they are known as tarekh (for English calendar day), gate (for Nepali calendar day) and tithi (the astrological day). They all fell on the same day in 1978 but then onwards it’s always a mess.

I only remember one instance when both English and Nepali calendar matched otherwise the tarekh, tithi and gate are all on different days – leaving me with a question: when exactly do I celebrate my birthday?

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Lows and Highs of Highway

Finally, I watched Highway!

Let me begin with a disclosure: I’m a longtime friend of Deepak Rauniyar, the director/producer of Highway. I was not invited to the premier show or private show of the movie. I have donated USD 5 at Kickstarter for Highway and promoted it via my blog and twitter during its production. And, a statement: I have tried to be fair with my writing here (with knowledge gained during my cinematography training in 1992 in Kathmandu and 2011 in Koln; a year of film reporting/reviewing in 1995 in Kathmandu; and a little bit of film studies in 2010 in Oslo).

Is the movie good?

The answer depends on with which movies you compare. If it’s to be compared with mainstream Indian or American movies, it lacks many things. If you compare it with mainstream Nepali movies on the aspect of enjoyment, it’s probably not very good.

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Resolutions 2.0 11

I am normally not a great follower of resolutions but despite that I am making a list of 11 things I want to do in 2011.

RETHINK LIFE: I was to do a lot of thinking on life. Review what I have achieved so far and what I expected me to be. This is probably an effect of reading The Last Lecture and Tuesdays with Morrie – two great just-before-death memoir and advices of two professors. Possibly I would also buy The Meaning of Life: A Very Short Introduction to try to understand a little more about life.

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A Day at Ghalegaon

I spent almost 20 hours at Ghalegoan, Lamjung – a popular tourism destination for community based rural tourism and left wondering why exactly the village is so popular during the return trip on a jeep through rocky risky road (that took almost three hours to reach Besisahar – the district headquarters).

Ghalegaon, Lamjung

To say, the village is nestled on the lap of mountains including Lamjung, Annapurna II, Macchapuchhre and Manasalu, the village is at 2,070m (well, Nagarkot which is at one-hour easy drive from my home is at 2,175m), but the scenery I was offered was, well, not breathtaking.

For me, it looked almost foolish to travel/trek/ride that far for the views of the mountains that are offered better at many other easy destinations.

The homestay facility is something to look for. The food/night at a Ghale home was worth experiencing but I like it, I am not fond of homestay. However, my first experience of homestay at Goljung, Rasuwa felt much better (even the mountains).

The traditional-ness of the village is somewhat intact (despite the fact that the traditional Gurung house photo on the brochure is the only one of such type in the entire village).

And, the thing I was expecting but did not get was the briefing. Despite being a member of 30-member team to visit the village, the local tourism committee did not brief us on anything. We were left with hours with nothing to do other than roam around the village.

* * *

Welcome offered at Ghalegaon.
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New Year 2067 Hope

Hope is a big thing. It’s the thing that keeps us happy and alive.

With every occasion, we feel happy – for we hope that the occasion will bring us goodness. New Year is one such occasion that brings more hopes that any other occasion.

The first day of a New Year is a beginning, and with the beginning, there is a year – 365 days – to bring us goodness and joy (at least we all can hope so).

So what to hope for 2067? This new Bikram Sambat year has a lot of stake for Nepal, especially politically (unless out politicians decided to turn into the biggest villains of the history).

Regardless of the issue of term extension of the Constituent Assembly, the 2067 will give us a new constitution. The promulgation of new constitution also marks the conclusion of the peace process; the beginning of an era with unprecedented social equality and more-or-less a new look for the country.

The political success will have an effect on all other fields, be it social, economic or sports.

Let’s hope big in 2067, then!

Happy New Year 2067.

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Tihar: hopes of enlightenment

tihar

Bhailini aain angana, gunyu cholo magana!
He aausiko baro, gai tiharo bhailo!
or
Ye hai bhana mera bhai ho, deusi re!
Ye hai ramrai bhana, deusi re!

Each echoing sound of these Tihar songs gives a nostalgic vibration to me (as to many Nepalis). For these were the songs, we probably waited most eagerly to sing during our childhood. Among five days of Tihar – the festival of lights – the two evenings before the final day of Bhai Tika gave most of us the most entertaining moments of the childhood!

To go to people’s houses, sing deusi or bhailo and return happily (and sleepy) with some money was always the best feelings of the festival. And, the next day’s tika from sisters (and the nuts, sweets and fruits) makes the festival a win-win situation!

This Tihar is at the moment when there could be win-win situation for the country. Politically, there is every chance that a national government will be formed; the disrupted parliament will function and the much-awaited constitution writing process goes ahead on a fast lane!

Since before Dashain festival, the Maoists, Nepali Congress and CPN-UML – the top three parties of the nation – are talking consensus. Deadline: Tihar!

The Maoists are threatening bigger movement – thankfully they are not saying bloodier! – if no consensus reached. The other two parties – octogenarian Girija Prasad Koirala’s Congress and divided CPN-UML of PM Madhav Kumar Nepal – are saying Maoists are not being flexible enough.

For people: the thing that matters is consensus! No more conflict, no more dirty politics! We need leaders and parties to do something for the nation – without thinking of benefits of their parties.

Could this Tihar prove win-win for all Nepalis! Let’s pray!

Happy Tihar!

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NEPAL SMILES when children smile

Three times in the past, I have tried to operate a photoblog of the smiling children and failed to continue. This time, I am reviving the project with new enthusiasm at www.nepalsmiles.com.

Please visit the site, and if you have any complaint or suggestions about it write to me. If you have photos to fit the site, please submit at nepalsmiles@gmail.com

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