Thursday, October 11, 2007

Dashain Greetings

I remember the childhood days when the sky used to be colorful with the kites in Dashain. And the ground used be be full of people showing off their new dresses for Dashain. It is basically still the same, just that somehow this fifteen day long festival seems to be enjoyed lesser than it used to be. Whether it is the emptier looking sky or the busier lifestyles, I'm not sure, but the holiday spirit is somehow missing. The turmoils in the country definitely don't invite festive atmosphere, but that doesn't necessarily stop you from enjoying life - after all that's the spirit of Dashain - the celebrations, the home comings and the unifications of families.

Unity is certainly something that we are missing badly. With all the running and the pushing and the fighting, everybody needs a break. Hopefully Dashain will bring some good times back in everybody's life around the globe. Also why not carry celebration spirit of Dashain globally like the Oktoberfest festival?

Let the celebrations begin. Time for some drinks may be.

Happy Dashain!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Pink Floyd's Bike

Anyone who loves the music of Pink Floyd will know that Syd Barrett was the main person behind the formation of the band and its initial musical identity. (Un)fortunately, Syd was into too much drugs that caused him to be kicked out of the band that he himself formed. After three decades of solitary living, he died in the year 2006. But in his golden days of success, came the legendary album Piper At the Gates Of Dawn in the year 1967. Apparently Syd lived a troubled childhood, which showed in that album. It included lyrics that were childlike yet came from a psychologically disturbed person. And then there were trademark psychedelic rock music of Pink Floyd that made the album stand out. There were songs such as Matilda Mother, The Scarecrow, Interstellar Overdrive, Pow R. Toc H., Astronomy Domine, Lucifer Sam and of course Bike.

The song Bike went something like this..

I've got a bike
You can ride it if you like
It's got a basket
A bell that rings
And things to make it look good
I'd give it to you if I could
But I borrowed it

You're the kind of girl that fits in with my world
I'll give you anything
Everything if you want things

I've got a cloak
It's a bit of a joke
There's a tear up the front
It's red and black
I've had it for months
If you think it could look good
Then I guess it should

You're the kind of girl that fits in with my world
I'll give you anything
Everything if you want things

Now flash forward to the year 2007 and I see the never ending line of bikes (motorcycles this time) in the streets of Kathmandu. Let's do some hypothetical, theoretical and practical maths and logic combination. Let's say an average person spends 3 hours each week in the queue for petrol. With around 52 weeks in a year, that means an average person wastes 3x52 = 156 hours a year in petrol queue. If we assume a half a million people queuing up like this every year, this means we are losing about 500,000x156 = 78,000,000 hours in a year. Again, by simple practical maths, there are 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year. This means the waste is about 8904 years in a single year! Let's continue our simple hypothetical logic. The life expectancy of an average person here is 60 years. So dividing that 8904 years by lifespan of a human being, that is 60 years, we soon realize that we are losing about 148 person in a year.

The summary is that the country is losing 148 citizens each year in the petrol queue. 148 citizens are disappearing while waiting for petrol for their bikes!

Damn, where are all the human rights organizations who have been carefully following the disappeared citizens?

About the Pink Floyd's bike, the last lines of the lyrics goes something like this

I know a room full of musical tunes
Some rhyme
Some ching
Most of them are clockwork
Let's go into the other room and make them work

May be it is good time to look for some alternative energy or hybrid vehicles.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

PRASHANT TAMANG - the next Nepali / Indian Idol?

Well the name of the show is Indian Idol. But the final contestant Prashant Tamang is equally or more popular here in Nepal. Partly because he's from Darjeeling, which happened to be a part of Nepal once upon a time. But mostly because he is a Tamang, a simple guy with Nepali origin. Also it is probably because of his simple behavior that has been able to capture the hearts of millions of people in India and Nepal. Or may be the harsh treatment by the judges at times, has been a factor for his massive popularity. Whatever the reasons, the fact is that he is extremely popular in his home town Darjeeling, overall India, and even Nepal. And being in the final two it is very likely that he is going to be the next idol.

Prashant Tamang - Indian Idol, Nepali Idol

It would be a great story if he wins the contest because he's not a trained singer and works as an ordinary Indian policeman. Also it can be said that Prashant Tamang would be a double idol - both an Indian Idol as well as a Nepali Idol. That said, he already is an idol for many people. The extravaganza for the SMS voting is something like never seen before. With free traveling and accommodation to his home town Darjeeling, the promotions is quite bizarre. Singing wise, he's believed to have a lesser edge against his competitor Amit Paul, but looking at the excessive hype for Prashant, its definitely a case of who performs better and gets the most votes.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Outside Kathmandu - NAGARKOT

Getting stuck in the streets of city like Kathmandu can be boring at times. Taking a break & climbing up the hills of Nagarkot to watch the sunrise/sunset is one way to relive the life. Unfortunately for us, there was no sunrise to see this time due to rain - but still its worth going up there to catch a glimpse of the Himalayas close up. Many sky topping Himalayas, including the Mount Everest are visible from here on a clear day. And the legendary Bhaktapur isn't very far from here either.


View from Nagarkot Tower

A view from Nagarkot

Nagarkot Himalayas

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Almost everyone knows the popular search engine Google. But many don't know the little story behind how the name actually came up. Actually there is this mathematical number 'googol' which means a very big number 10100, that is digit 1 followed by 100 zeros. Just like thousand is a number with digit 1 followed by 3 zeros, that is 1000, the googol is a digit 1 followed by 100 zeros. Obviously this is a huge number. The founders of the now search engine Google wanted to make a search site that would index huge number of websites, like the number googol itself. But the problem was they thought that the spelling of that number was 'g o o g l e' and not 'g o o g o l'. Hence they registered the website by the name and were even surprised to know that such website name doesn't exist already.

But the website by the actual googol name already existed under Currently this domain has expired and you may just find rubbish page in the site. But the old versions of the pages are still available under the Internet Achieve Wayback Machine.

Here's what the website looked like in the year 2002.

And here is what the search engine looked like in its early days in 1998. in 1998

There also exists a term called 'googly' in the game of cricket. This term is used for a sort of a "trick ball". It is a way to trick in which the opponent thinks that the ball is coming in one direction but the ball actually moves in another direction. The Google and googol reminds me of the googly. Also its safer to know that in the world of internet, there are lots of fake sites that may mislead a user as the real site. Such as the sites you get when you misspell the domain names.

By the way you can track the early versions of many sites in the Internet Achieve site. Or may be add yours too.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

About the Crow that Took Our Ear

Recently there is this project going on disaster Management, which is supported by INGO's like UNDP and EU. The project is trying to aware people about the hazards of natural disasters and how we need to plan for/against them. In one particular campaign, there is this little girl who says
"Our teacher says Natural Disasters don't come with an alert notification...."
And then the campaign closes by saying
"If your child knows about natural disasters why don't we become aware too?"

The campaign was/is promoted in various medium - TV's, radios, newspapers & likewise. I personally thought it was a catchy campaign for general awareness. How much people will implement those information during disasters will definitely be a subject to study later on.

But then the truth is that there has been a greater impact on the general people from a certain website which went on spreading the rumors of a predicted earthquake on exactly a certain date, much more than the whole campaign against disaster management has yet received. Its kinda funny too and makes you wonder if we are giving the wrong message to the generations to come.

What's more interesting is that its not just the illiterate and old people that believe them - the more 'educated' person seems to be making up bigger rumors. I believe historically we have been living a suppressed life. Be it depending upon parents or our cowardice and over-dependence, it has something to do with believing in whatever others say. We believe in mysteries, fantasies and miracles but are too lazy and unprepared to accept the hard facts. And then we think in group - make decisions in crowd. And we back off when it comes to make or own decisions. If someone tells us miracle stories - be it stars falling or stones talking, we are more than happy to believe. Some fraud comes up with idea of doubling your money by keeping it in magic box and we believe them. Somebody comes up with idea of hard work and we get bored. We never try to feel our own ear - just run after the crow just because somebody fooled us saying it took our ear. Someone says it again and again and again and yet we keep on running after the crow. I don't think we get tired running after rumors, do we?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Into Thin Air

Into Thin Air
It seems like there is a frenzy of people queuing up to the summit of Everest. This season alone hundreds of people have ascended through the thin air of the summit. This includes many foreigners and many Nepalese as well.

Now climbing Everest is not something that everyone would consider as their dream vacation. I would not even compare it as an adventure sport, although the huge number of people climbing makes you wonder if its really that easy. And then there are people like Appa Sherpa, who climbs the Everest for 17th time and makes climbing the top of the world look like a piece of cake.

Few years back I had read this book titled "Into Thin Air" by an American Journalist Jon Krakauer about his personal experience on climbing Everest and the disasters that followed when several members of his team died. It was one of the best adventure novels that I've read. I think there was also a movie made on that disaster climbing. Even this season, several people have died climbing Everest.

I was also wondering at the same time that stories and heroic of climbing Everest are portrayed so beautifully by the foreign climbers. While Nepalese have climbed the peak more than anyone else, they don't seem to tell their stories. And even the journalists don't seem to bother telling their stories.

I personally have no intentions of climbing Everest or any of those big mountains. But hats off to all the climbers! Or caps off rather - because we generally wear caps here instead of hats ;-)

I do want to trek the Annapurna base camp trekking though.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Ghosts. To believe or not.

Ghost Hunting
I am sure everyone of us has heard ghost stories at one time or another of our life. From the ghosts without head to the spirit of the dead relatives, we have heard them all. Or may be even told some stories ourselves.

The funny part is that most ghost stories are related to darkness. Its almost an untold fact that ghosts don't appear in crowd or in the daylights. Or may be ghosts are afraid of us in daylight.

I have heard about the sex workers or the prostitutes who would dress up as Kichkannis (so called ghosts in white dress with their toes pointing backward). Yes, there are people who would spread rumors of haunted homes or haunted areas to carry out all sorts of illegal activities. And yet the rumors go on spreading as real stories of ghosts. And we feel excited to tell and hear those ghost stories.

And then most of the ghost stories appear from homes with their relatives dead recently. The dead people walking and talking kind of stories. Again almost all ghost encounters seem to happen to those who believe in ghost stories. Then there are parents who like to tell their little kids to be good kid or else some sort of ghost would come up. Of course no human likes darkness. But that doesn't mean you have to scare off your little kids with ghost stories in dark.

Do you really believe in ghost? Or got ghost encounter stories?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Web 3.0 & Beyond - Are Machines Ruling Us Already?

The Year: 1982. Time Magazine says that the person of the year (or machine of the year rather) is The Computer. Back then computer was becoming so popular. People believed computers could provide answers to many of the questions, send letters at speed of light etc etc. Then there was personal computer becoming reality and accessible. Computers were helping people in day to day life. All sorts of calculations and computing jobs. Life was getting easier. Then there were games, internet, emails and stuffs like that. All good.

In the years to follow, internet really gained momentum. The world was turning into a so called global village. Businessmen thought we have to have website to reach a wider clients around the globe. And indeed web was becoming the number one source for information. Thus we had Web 1.0.

The Year: 2006. Time Magazine says that the person of the year is YOU. It was talking about the Web 2.0 generation by now. There were people generated pages scattered everywhere on the internet. There were blogs, there were social networking sites like the Myspace, hi5, user generated sites like wikipedia, youtube, flickr, community sites likes, digg and countless others. Almost everyone were busy writing content more than reading contents. People were starting to live their lives based on computers. People knew each other from web. Some were racing the web race, while others who were left behind were finding it harder to catch up. Everything was moving fast.

The computers got smaller. People got mobile - always on the run. Now people were even using their tiny hand held devices to do things. YOU were getting busier. The Web 2.0 phenomenon was racing.

Last Edition of Time Magazine

The Year: Very near future. Time magazine released its last print edition of the magazine. The end of the Web 3.0 & start of the Web 4.0. But what did we have on Web 3.0? Initially there were people trying to sort all the mess created by Web 2.0. People thought they will build a more easier web world, where everything is organized. They called it semantic web. People could do just about anything on the web. All data & information were synchronized. They were trying to make the computers & the machines act like human. The way human thought. Computers now had intelligence. When one typed their name all the details would pop up. From the likes and dislikes to all the secrets. When you transferred someone's photo from you digital camera, the computer would immediately say - "Hey I know that person..he came to this house yesterday too. He's a weird person. In fact I hate that person..." Machines talked, machines walked, machines did all the things. Humans were left behind.

Actually it might not be as weird as it sounds now. We might actually be heading towards a better collaborative world wide web. We all hope for a safer & smarter web for humans. Just that we need to make sure machines are there to make the human lives easier; rather than machine dependent.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Story of the Ant & the Grasshopper

Well this is just a forwarded message. But I found it so funny - had to put it online. Just to make it clear that this is not an attempt to criticize anybody personally! Have fun.


The ant works hard in the scorching heat all summer building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant's a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away.

Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter so he dies out in the cold.


The ant works hard in the scorching heat all summer, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant's a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving and calls for a Nepal Bandh with "Chakka Jaam (interrupt vehicle movement)" and lots of "tire burning" to protest this "Soshan (domination)".

Kantipur TV, Image TV and Nepal 1 TV show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. The nation is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be that this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so much?

The great Civil Society of Nepal steps in and stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house and a concerned group goes on a fast along with other grasshoppers demanding that grasshoppers be relocated to warmer climates during winter.

Amnesty International and Ban Ki Moon, the eighth Secretary General of the UN, criticizes the Nepal Government for not upholding the fundamental rights of the grasshopper.

The Internet is flooded with online petitions seeking support to the grasshopper many promising Heaven and Everlasting Peace for prompt support to poor grasshoppers.

Immediately laws are tabled to prevent Ants from working hard in the heat so as to bring about equality of poverty among ants and grasshoppers.

Finally, the Judicial Committee drafts the "Prevention of Terrorism Against Grasshoppers Act [POTAGA]", with effect from the beginning of the winter.

The ant is fined for failing to comply with POTAGA and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the Nepal Government and handed over to the grasshopper in a ceremony covered by all TV and media.

Everyone hails it as "a triumph of justice and revolutionary resurgence of the downtrodden". Ban Ki Moon invites the grasshopper to address the UN General Assembly.

End of the story of great justice done to the Grasshopper.

Seriously - no offense for anybody!

By the way there's this site called citesnepal focussing in wildlife conservation if anybody is interested. Ironically the banner in Maitighar with "Stop the Monkey Business" to prevent the export of monkeys in American labs for research has been torn apart. Someone from the monkey business perhaps tore it. Or some monkey who really wanted to go to the labs in USA tore it.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Kathmandu. Small Town. Too Many People.

I think I'm going to Katmandu
That's really, really where I'm going to
If I ever get out of here
That's what I'm gonna do
K K K K K Katmandu
I think that's where I'm going to
If I ever get out of here
I'm going to Katmandu

Bob Seger (Kathmandu)

I guess that if Bob Seger, who sang 'Kathmandu' back in 1970's, showing his will to come to Kathmandu, would now find that this town is half not as lovable a town as it was then.

Back in the 70's the town had less than two hundred thousand people (or 150402 according to 1971 census). Now the number of heads (assuming all people have heads) must be close to two million if not less. With an estimated population density of 16000+ in 2006, which must be more higher now, the population density in one of the highest in South Asia or the world. In some of the busiest areas in Kathmandu, the density could be 2-3 times higher. You can almost hear the people breathing in the crowd. And it ain't fun hearing strangers breathe as you walk by.

And the sad part is that its not always the people going for work or as such. Most times its just the people on the strikes or the "julus". And then there are people just roaming with no purpose at all. Other times its the never ending queues for gases and oils. Once they start moving there's more trouble. Over two hundred fifty thousand two-wheelers in a small city, and their smokes & noises is more than enough to choke people out.

But then its Kathmandu! Even with all the mess going around, its the best of the lot out here. That's why you can't leave it - I guess.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Some Lyrics on Love. Or Whatever.

Month of love. eh? wish i could write as the great poets wrote. but then if everyone wrote good lyrics it would be no fun reading others' songs.

..And then you opened the jars to let it all out
and peace and love embraced you all around
I stood there looking at you melting in love
and I smiled and walked away
for once I saw love in your eyes
for whom i know not
but I loved it anyway
And I love you anyway...

Oh crap! if everyone could write well it would be no fun reading. for better lyrics one can always check sites like or

Monday, January 22, 2007

Google giving wrong results?

I was trying to search for some info on Paula Abdul, one of the judges of the American Idol show. When I searched for Paula Abdul in Google, to my surprise i get IMDb results on the first place, instead of her official pages or her wiki page. I guess its ok. But look what i got on the 2nd result.

An official fansite of Mandy Moore?! How on earth could that be related to Paula Abdul? Both are singers? Well that's no good to get into 2nd rank. There is no mention of Paula Abdul in that site either. So it doesn't make any sense. Either the Google got it all wrong in its search algorithms or perhaps the Mandy Moore Fansite did some dirty trick to fool Google. In either case the results are very wrong to say the least. If it is some dirty tricks by Moore Fansite, which I don't think it did, then Google should be able to correct it by now, or it may be exploited more by other sites to get higher ranks. If it is some problem with Google's search algorithms, then we got serious problem.

Other search engines gave desired results. So i believe this is problem with Google only. What if Google, the most trusted search engine started to give wrong results? What if Google results were full of scammers? Scary...

Friday, January 12, 2007

New Nepal. New way maybe

Not much of a politician, but then we are talking about a new Nepal.

One of the restraining factors in the development of a developing country like Nepal is the fact that the power has been centralized for centuries in the central regions; precisely speaking, the capital, Kathmandu. So the logical way out is to decentralize the power around the country. That's why all the talks about independent states seem logical.

But one major drawback that I feel this would have for a small country like Nepal is while the states may be declared independent, with the major power still existing in the urban areas, the rural areas with lesser resources will always lags behind, possibly drastically. To stop that, we could transfer the central power to a remote location. Or to say we could transfer the power source, or so called the cabinet in Nepal, to a more remote place, or an underdeveloped place. With a simple logic where there is power, there will be development.

Nepal Map

With the country divided into five development regions, one way ahead would be to introduce a five year initial plan followed by a long term plan, depending upon the five year outcomes. We could then start off with the least developed regions first, hence the far western region. This will be the new power central in the country, with the cabinet, for one year. All the elected candidates will also be shifted in this region for the particular year. For their convenience and adaptation in the new region, there will also be a separate mini cabinet in each development regions, which will be controlled totally by the people within that region only. So there will be five mini cabinets in five regions all this time for the first five year plan. These mini cabinets will be independent of their own and will provide the guidelines for the actual cabinet. Next year the cabinet shifts to region 2, then region 3 in 3rd year and so on.

The mandatory part will be that all the members of the regular cabinet will be relocated to the new region as it shifts there. Meanwhile the other four regions will be continuously monitored and reported by the independent mini cabinets.

Not sure such shifting cabinets are practiced anywhere else in the world, but I feel it will give a better development environment for current Nepal.