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Societies in black and white

Veins curl in a gnarled arm like the bark on an old tree trunk. A refugee girl’s bright, alert eyes are windows to a homeland she has never seen. A transgender person posing for a formal portrait looks confidently straight into the lens. A victim of an acid attack, her face horrifyingly disfigured, is a testament to the […]

Dangerous business

It is time the government set aside a more substantial portion of the fees it earns from Himalayan climbing to the welfare of workers who lay their lives on the line. Tragic as it was, the avalanche disaster on Mt Everest last week that took the lives of 16 Nepalis was not wholly unexpected. The danger of […]

Twin Otters down

The rugged Canadian plane has been the workhorse of Nepal’s domestic aviation for four decades, but has suffered terrible attrition. The hardy Canadian-built DHC-6 Twin Otter was designed for flying in the challenging environment of countries like Nepal with rough and short airfields carved out of mountain sides. Pilots say the plane handles well, needs […]

The next step

Nepalis were disillusioned with the candidates on offer, not with democracy. That is the main take-home for the political parties. – It was an election that had to happen and it did. No one said it was going to be perfect, no one expected it to be completely free of violence and intimidation, but it […]

“Peaceful banda”

A stern-looking woman with her hair tied up in a bun enters a pasal in Patan, and leaves a printed letter on the counter. The young girl reads the demand for Rs 5,000 to Rs 50,000 to finance the Tesro Jana Andolan. The shopkeeper says she doesn’t understand. “What don’t you understand, haven’t you heard […]

TIA or Terribly Inept Airport

The number of mountain flights that take off from Kathmandu every morning is a pretty good indication of how Nepal’s tourism industry is doing. Last Saturday there were 35 mountain flights. And, 42 more flights were headed towards Lukla on the same day. All this means is that we are well on our way to […]


For the past 20 years, as a media nomad, I have covered stories across the Asia-Pacific region. Lately, I’ve been roaming across Nepal and have by now visited most of the country’s 75 districts. Earlier this year, during a three-month stint through the country with the screening of the documentary Frames of War, I started […]