kathmandu

Bhaktapur Durbar Square

The former royal complex at the center of Bhaktapur district is known as the Bhaktapur Durbar Square. It contains a palace, courtyards, historic monuments and numerous temples dedicated to various gods. The entire complex, along with Kathmandu Durbar Square and Patan Durbar Square, were included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.

After Kathmandu Durbar Square, Bhaktapur is the 2nd most visited tourist destination. It suffered a huge loss during the major earthquake of 2015.

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Exploring the Pashupatinath Temple

Pashupatinath stands for “Lords of all animals.” The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva (One of the Hindu Trinity) and also known as the lord of animals. A stone bull in a crouching position marks the insignia of the temple.

It’s located at the heart of Kathmandu. The area of Pashupatinath encompasses 264 hectares of land including 518 temples and monuments. Due to its historical and social importance, the entire site was added in the UNESCO Heritage Site in 1979.

There isn’t certain date signifying the origin or creation of the temple. The earliest evidence of the temple dates back to 400 AD. The current temple was constructed or renewed in the 15th Century by the Lichhavi king of Kathmandu. Since, then many renovations have taken place; along with many temples, shrines built inside the premise.


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Growing Up in 90s’: A Glorious Decade or a just Golden Age Syndrome?

Golden Age Syndrome -The exaggerated belief that something (politics, news, morals, video games) used to be substantially better than it is now, expressed usually with bitterness about the present condition.

~Urban Dictionary

Looking Back

Looking back in time and reliving old memories is often a sudden emotional rush that occurs in every human. The tendency to compare newer with older stuffs and contemplating on the glory of yesteryear always come as an overwhelming experience. I don’t hold any grudges against current generation, but there are loads of thing from the past I’ll never fall short in romanticizing with. I guess, that’s what they call, “Nostalgia.”

My entire childhood, those innocent days, was invested in watching TV shows, playing SEGA Games and visiting wilder and unknown places. Back in 90s’, I was madly in love with my Television. We din’t have commercial internet back then nor cell phones!

I tend to suffer from Golden Age Syndrome more or less “Nostalgia” every now and then. I love 90s’. if I get a chance I’d love to relive it again! I romanticize that precious decade. I miss those days when we’re intentionally mischief, avoided eating green vegetables, talked about ghosts and spirits all night long, relished on chocolates and cared none about personal hygiene. it’s the time when we loved watching Cartoons and imitated the likes of He-Man, Captain Planet and so on.

#1 Signing off an Auto-book was one way of keeping personal records of friends in schools and colleges back then. It was pandemic. Everyone in the class used to own an auto-book and every other friend used to write something on it. Undoubtedly, everyone used to write about mundane things they loved most; Films, actors, singers, albums with personal picture intact in every profile.”

#2 I used to explore newer and wilder landscapes with my cousins. We used to dwell at places our parents prevented us from. We loved playing Sega games, traversing unknown part of the city and building imaginary world of our own.

#3 Even before htting puberty, I always wondered what it felt like experiencing adult Nudity, talking Profanity or SEX in general, the things my parents avoided whenever i’s around. Undoubtedly, the first experience of such things always come as a Shock!! I was novice to contemplate on such emotions, but movies like Preety Woman, American Pie and American Beauty helped me a lot to ease my primary confusions, later which became the building blocks of adulthood! 😀

Advent of MTV Generation in Indian Subcontinent

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The thing which surely can’t be missed about 90s’ is MTV (Music Television). The whole generation of music awakening and crazy fashion trends that entered during 90s’ in Indian subcontinent, which was still a decade later to those glitzy MTV generations of North America and Europe. In local scene, 90s’ bought the newest and unique talents in music industry, and MTV provided’em with a concrete platform. The advent of pop culture in Indian subcontinent marks the prominent move westwards. The affluence of great music coming from Nazia Hassan, along with budding singers like Shaan, Sonu Nigam, Suchitra Krishnamoorthi, Lucky Ali, Babul Supriyo and Alisha Chennoi etc made the whole continent jive in cooler beats.

It’d be hard to find people who grew up in 90s’ and haven’t heard cool-ish tracks like “O Sanam -Luckly Ali,” “Tanha dil -Shaan,” “Lover Girl Alisha” and “Dole Dole -Suchitra.” I did! They played’em in every major Radio stations back then. MTV was flooded with new artists. Cheap posters and postcards of Actors and Music Sensations were pandemic in stores, those days. The international musicians who ruled this particular decade were Michael Jackson, Madonna, Backstreet Boyz, Venga Boys and so on. Adding rap in a song became prevalent during 90s’.

MTV gave birth to new trend and lifestyle among youngsters, mostly school and college kids. Archies’ Cards back then were selling like hot piece of cake. The celebrations of Valentines Day became dramatic. Expression of love, buying gifts for the loved one and party culture ended up becoming viral.

Still fresh and young, I encountered a cooler way of greeting Friendship day or Valentines’ to friends. Fast food restaurants and cafes with cooler themes became second-home for youngsters. Archies’ cards, VCRs, Radio FMs and Cassettes were religious aspects of daily life. We ate MTV, we slept MTV and we wept MTV!!

I grew up in a culture where my uncle was totally into Guns n’ Roses, my siblings were into MJ, Madonna and Hindi Pop sensations, and I was into Cartoons. I used to wake up watching MTV, eat breakfast with Cartoon Network, do homework with Star Plus TV (the cooler and western version) and sleep with Star World TV.

After coloring my life with glamour and glitz of television, I completely forgot about life that existed outside TV. But I still consider it was Fun!

I find watching MTV back in 90s’ way cooler than today, because it was unknown to commercial-ish programs filled with the story about lives of stupid celebrities or wannabes’.

Check out Cool MTV IDs (From 80s’ to 90s’)

Cheesy Movies

The English movies like Twister, Jumanji, Titanic, Terminator, Home Alone and The Lion King were selling like hot cake back then and Indian movies; DDLJ, Hum Apke Hein kaun and such took away the local audiences. It gave new meanings of expressing love and established newer ground for testing emotions. Everything in life of a young guy back then started to feel like a typecast of either Raj from DDLJ, Rahul from Dil to Pagal Hein or Prem of Hum Apke Hain Kaun. Movies back then were reel version of a liberated life every youngster desired.

#1 I personally enjoyed watching English movies with my cousins and siblings in a group. We used to turn the lights off, close down all the curtains, put on VCR cassettes and watch films like; Terminator, Jumanzi and Twister. The Oohs.. and Aahs.. and foretelling of possible plots or scenes came out at almost every turn of the film.

#2 For the first time, I experienced almost 20 people crying at a same time during a certain movie scene. Year 1997, the whole crashing and diving of Titanic ship and Leonardo dying at the middle of an ocean made my whole family go frantic and cry at very same moment. Back then, we used to get two different VCRs for a single lengthy film, and “Titanic” was one of it.

#Throwback #90s’ #Commercials #TVShows

Looking back at some exceptional stuffs that happened back in 90s’!






backstreet boys

Backstreet Boys

Guns n' Roses

Guns n’ Roses

just mohabbat

Just Mohabbat @SonyTV

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MTV Masthead 80s’-90s’

cartoon network

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Annapurna I

Made it to The Top: Mémoire of Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) Trekking

To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world. – Freya Stark

Living on the edge, trying different things, and being an Adrenaline Junkie, none of these have I ever tried in my life, n’ now here I was –preparing for 5 days of cold-blooded trekking to the Great Annapurna Base Camp (ABC), where I shall experience my life from the other side. What else then? I packed my bag, tightened up the belt and off to 4,195 meters above the Sea Level to Annapurna Base Camp.

Day 1 (Pokhara via Phedi to Landruk)

After lunch in Dhampus, Annapurna

The crowd in the Pokhara was awesome, mostly Tourists preparing for the Trek and other who just came back from their expedition. You had to mind your steps through such a crowd, otherwise it was sure to bump into someone. After a good sleep and a mediocre Nepali breakfast, we were off to start our Trek.

The Uphill route from Phedi to Dhampus (1750m) was the first challenge which we completed with loads of effort. The first day is never easy when you’re carrying 30kgs backpack. Wrestling with the heat and making our way up was quite exhausting for the first day. There we not much trekkers who had started along with us, either we were late or they were far behind us, but we did meet many who were descending.

By the last of Sunlight we made it up to Landruk, a small village in Annapurna Region with 10-15 hotels within its premise. We chose a cheap ad simple hotel for us, for just Rs. 100 a night (which was OK). After an early dinner, we slept while recollecting the first day experience and whining about hurting feet.

Day 2 (Landruk to Sinuwa)

Tea House in Sinuwa, Annapurna

Second day invited another Great Hike Downhill and again Uphill. From Landruk (1620m) to Jhinu Danda (1720m) was a great waterfall, dense forest, 1000s of stairs uphill and down. Reaching the most advanced town in the Annapurna Region, Chhomrong, was a  great experience. We reached there in the noon. The availability of hotel, message center, hair cut salon, shower and entertainment stuffs, makes it the most happening place in all the Annapurna Region, and also one of the Stop for every Trekker. The flow of tourist, going up and coming down, started increasing. We met many fellow trekkers who were ascending that day.

It’s natural for the Cost of Meal to go UP during the ascent. The cost of accommodation is ever similar, however it is in meal that these hotel owners reap profit. A good meal, with high protein, carbohydrate and vitamin is very essential, along with good amount of fluid.

Our final stop for the day was Sinuwa (2000m). Though they didn’t provide us with any Blankets, we slept cosy in our Sleeping Bag.

Day 3 (Sinuwa to Machhapuchhre Base Camp)

having Dinner

The temperature and altitude hadn’t taken its toll yet, we were still way below the Freezing point and altitude. The beginning of the third day Trek started with downhill hike. We completed countless stairs that day, and hiked through the rocky and slippery terrain of Annapurna while fighting with rain and dropping temperature. Our Lunch stop was Himalaya (2500m). The temperature started dropping at this time. There was a huge crowd of South Asians ascending the trail (Mostly Japanese and Chinese). We managed to have a brief chat with some trekkers on our way.

ABC wasn’t very far now, but the ascend was steep and rocky, and managing to stand on the feet, in the dropping temperature and cold gusty wind, was getting difficult.

We crossed numerous bridges and rocky climbs to reach Deurali (3000m), and reached the last stop for the day Machhapuchhre Base Camp (3720m), which provided us with never seen view of closest Mountain ranges, flora and waterfalls.

We managed to find a cave made up of Ice deposited by Avalanche. With every steps, breathing was getting short and harder. We had to make a stop soon, and the closest point was MBC.

MBC welcomed us with -4°C temperature and very warm people. The other trekkers were very friendly and we chatted till late night.

Here, we found Zulekha Schwarz, fellow trekker, with whom we shared our large room. Sleeping at this temperature was impossible. I barely managed to catch some sleep that night.

Day 4 (MBC to ABC and Back to Sinuwa)

Annapurna I

The 4th day day marked the final day of Ascent. Our destination, Annapurna Base Camp (ABC: 4,095m), was just an hour or two away from us.

We covered ourselves with the heaviest clothes we’d got. ABC was further North. The scenery wasn’t much clear but we could see the mountains closer to our naked eyes, and the Ice was all over the ground.

The first ray of the sunlight started catching up with us to the mountain top. In the distance, we could now see Mt. Annapurna and the base camp clearer. Annapurna at our front and Machhapuchhre behind us gave such a sweet Mountain viewing experience that I can’t describe in words. It was magnificent. A Heaven on Earth!

At around 9 in the morning we made it to the Base Camp. There was  huge crowd upstairs planning to descend from the base.

It was our time and we couldn’t miss it. We ran up and experienced the ascent of ABC. The grit emotion and the feelings in general was overwhelmed by the ascent of ABC. It felt like I could live rest of my life here, forever. I can rest here in peace. The surrounding, the mountains and the landscape was so much fabulous that I cannot describe.

Day 5 (Sinuwa via Ghandruk to Pokhara)

Finishing the trail and catching up with everyone else in Pokhara was Awesome. I met my friend Kevin in Pokhara and few of his friends. I spent few more days in Pokhara, walking and cycling around with them. Overall, it was an amazing experience!

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people being evacuated from bagmati river side

Illegal Squatters from Bagmati River Banks being Removed by Kathmandu Metropolitan

Tuesday, May 9 2012, Kathmandu Metropolitan along with Kathmandu Town Development Authority, High-powered Committee for Integrated Development of Bagmati Civilization and using Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and Metropolitan Police, initiated a forceful evacuation of illegal squatters from Bagmati River Banks. More than 250 huts were demolished in the process, and numerous families went homeless. According to the local source, more than 10,000 settlers have occupied almost 75hectars of land beside Bagmati river for illegal encroachment, since 1990s.

It must have been a sight to see, when the huts where poor lived were being demolished using a bulldozer, numerous families being homeless, children weeping and crying on the scene, protestors being dragged by Police, and the ultimate hullabaloo for couple of hours, in the capital city of Kathmandu. Nepalese Government plan to relocate legitimate slum dwellers to Ichangunarayan, where they have bought a huge piece of land for relocation purpose. According to the local police, the area has been evacuated 8 times before, however, people come back to resettle in the same area, over and over again. Government decided to provide Rs.15,000 (Approx. $180) as compensation to them who lost their home, and with a relocation opportunity, unfortunately, only 67 people showed up for claim.

Samyukta Rastriya Sukumbasi Morcha Nepal {The Landless Scatters Struggle Committee (LSSC)}, declared a general strike to protest government action and urged them to fulfill their three-point demand. A primary school inside the settlement, with over 150 students, was also demolished, and many children who lived in the area couldn’t go to school.

To talk about the current administration of Nepal, The Communism Government, it is known for supporting poor and disadvantaged people, and putting them before all other state activities in every step of administration. As much I know, Communist government hasn’t done anything fruitful for the people of Nepal ever since they came to power. Roadside pavements and houses close to road have been demolished to widen the road, however, the rebuilding process hasn’t been started yet. They have promised to draft the constitution numerous times, still unsuccessful to deliver their promise.

Slums of Kathmandu is smaller compared to Dharavi Slum, however, people living here are similar to every poor and disadvantaged people living in any part of the world. People came to Kathmandu from different part of the country, running away from various economic difficulties or social maladies, to build their future, to provide their children with better facility and education, or just for cheap accommodation. Lives of people here in the area is counted similar to some harmful pests by local government, because they make the The capital City look poorer and dreadful, and also they are considered as the ultimate hurdle towards the process of development. In reality, Yes they are eating up the local resources and jobs of thousands.

I wasn’t born in a slum, or ever lived there, or even stepped a foot into that place for even 5 minutes at most. I covered my nose and moved my sight elsewhere whenever I passed the area. It smelled, and I couldn’t help it. I lived my life in a mere luxury, like many other middle class locales and I couldn’t face the bitter reality of life that was happening in my neighbor. I wasn’t there when they were removed from their homes. I couldn’t protect them nor protest the move. I wasn’t their to comfort them. I lived in a better off situation, with good income and safe accommodation, so I didn’t care. I didn’t knew about the situation until I was shown the daily paper this morning, or watched it in the Television. Shrugging my shoulder with same people, I disregarded the fact that is happening the place where I live.

I realized that I’m wrong, the Government is wrong, and the situation is wrong. Though I cannot change anything or make anyone Else’s life better, I’m making a point to tell everyone about the situation of the capital city of Nepal, and how People here live in an unimaginable circumstances, n’ still the things go wrong totally wrong.