The man who burns the dead for a living

  • Chandra Dhakal has been cremating bodies at the Pashupati Aryaghat for more than 35 years. This is his story.
Anup Ojha, Mar 22 2019
Even after burning thousands of bodies, it hasn’t gotten any easier for 49-year-old Chandra Dhakal.
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Road to Tilicho

    Mar 23 2019
    Photo: RK Adipta Giri
    After weaving through snaky, snow-laced trails and crossing two camps, we reached ‘Strenpass’ (5,258m), from Thini in Jomsom, Mustang. The air was cold and the hills, claustrophobic. From its great height, Strenpass overlooked the sprawling, pristine Tilicho lake.
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    The many faces of travel

    • If one were to decide on the best way to travel, what would come out on top?
    Thomas Heaton, Mar 22 2019
    Photo courtesy: Pixabay
    Travel means movement, but the concept is all about the destination. Unless you’re a train- or plane-lover, travel is not about the grind between sites. In the almost 5, 000km I travelled in Europe, I didn’t spend more than three days in one location. I didn’t spend more than 12 hours in some cities. I tried to fit in the most important locations, but a lot of my time ended up being research for the next place to stay.
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    Women are still dying after being sent to menstruation huts, but no one is filing complaints

    • A new report by the National Human Rights Commision paints a grim picture of Chhaupadi and how it’s still taking women’s lives, despite being outlawed
    Bhrikuti Rai, Mar 22 2019
    Post File Photo
    Despite having the highest rates of deaths related to Chhaupadi, not a single police complaint has been filed in Achham and Dailekh districts, a new human rights report says.
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    Government to plant 50m trees next fiscal year

    CHANDAN KUMAR MANDAL, Kathmandu, Mar 23 2019
    Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli plants a litchi sapling on the Singha Durbar premises in the Capital to mark World Environment Day in 2018.Post File Photo
    The government has unveiled an ambitious plan of planting 50 million trees in the fiscal year 2019-20 as part of a nationwide campaign dubbed the “Year of Plantation”.

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    More daughters are enrolled in public schools while sons are sent to private ones

    Binod Ghimire, Kathmandu, Mar 22 2019
    Students take their Secondary Education Examination at a school in Kalimati, Kathmandu. Post File Photo
    Starting 2016, girls have outnumbered boys in the Secondary Education Examination, in a clear indication that more and more parents are sending their daughters to school. Though female population has always remained higher than men’s in the country, it reflected in the secondary schooling only three years ago.

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    Waling Municipality says it will sue Michael Kobold if the fire truck is not delivered

    Tsering D Gurung, Kathmandu, Mar 22 2019
    Michael Kobold
    Waling Municipality Mayor Dilip Pratap Khand says his office is ready to take German watchmaker Michael Kobold and his associates to court if the latter don’t fulfill an agreement signed between the two parties last year.

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    Here are some stories you might have missed

    Post Report, Kathmandu, Mar 23 2019
    We compile you some of the top stories from The Kathmandu Post you might have missed.

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    Main News

    Shashank’s referendum remarks irk Congress

    ANIL GIRI, Mar 23 2019
    Nepali Congress General Secretary Shashank Koirala’s demand for holding referendum on religion, federalism and republicanism has drawn flak with party leaders warning that such “regressive” statement could put the party in peril.
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    Rural roads in poor state; no respite for locals

    TIKA PRASAD BHATTA, Mar 23 2019
    In Ramechhap, all roads—except the Manthali-Ramechhap stretch—are in a poor condition Although the road network in the district has expanded its reach to all the previous 55 VDCs, the connectivity has done little to mitigate commuting woes of the local people.
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    Holi was colourless and joyless for families of those martyred during the 2015 Madhes protests

    SHANKAR ACHARYA, Mar 23 2019
    Ramjyoti Devi of Jagarnathpur in Birgunj-22, Parsa, did not celebrate Holi this year In fact, she has not been celebrating the festival since her son died almost four years ago
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    Flash floods and landslides triggered by torrential rain in Indonesia’s easternmost province of Papua have killed at least 58 people, injured dozens and displaced more than 4,000, authorities said on Sunday.

    A search for more possible victims was under way in the town of Sentani, which was hit by flash floods late on Saturday. Fifty-one people were killed and 74 injured there, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of the national disaster agency, told a news briefing.

    Heavy rain caused landslides in the nearby provincial capital of Jayapura, killing seven there, Nugroho said.

    Soldiers pulled alive a 5-month old baby from under the rubble of his house and took him to hospital, Papua military spokesman Muhammad Aidi said.

    The number of victims “will probably increase because the evacuation process is still taking place and not all affected areas have been reached,” Nugroho said.

    About 4,150 people are sheltering in six evacuation centers, he said.

    Hundreds of houses, three bridges and a Twin Otter airplane parked at the airport were damaged by the floods. The Sentani airport, the province’s main transport hub, remained open.

    TV footage showed mud and large logs on Sentani’s main roads after floodwaters receded.

    Disaster authorities have warned local governments of flash flood risks due to deforestation in the mountains surrounding the town, Nugroho said, adding that in 2018 Jakarta sent seedlings intended for tree-planting.

    “Forest destruction in the Cyclops mountains have increased for use as firewood and to turn the land into plantations,” Nugroho said.

    “Since 2018 we have warned the Jayapura government to be careful of flash flood risks because of this deforestation,” he added.

    Arts and Entertainment


    Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) Club entered the quarter-finals of the second Makwanpur Gold Cup football tournament with a slim 1-0 victory over Himalayan Sherpa Club here on Friday.

    AT the Forestry grounds, Hari Karki scored in the 39th minute which ultimately turned out to be the decider for the departmental outfits. In the quarter-finals, APF will take on Cameroonian club Dauphins Family who are fresh from winning the Mai Valley Gold Cup in Ilam.

    APF dominated the first 20 minutes of the game and made numerous attempts on the goal but they were kept at bay by Sherpa custodian Kishor Giri. Rajeev Lopchan was close to giving APF a 37th minute lead after he headed a cross from Shyam Nepali only to see Giri making a diving save. Lopchan missed two more clear goal scoring chances before Karki struck for APF.
    Karki rounded up two Sherpa defenders before firing past Giri. Sherpa controlled the second half and created several goal scoring moves but they failed to penetrate a stubborn APF defense line. APF coach Sudeep Shrestha said there was no room to be content with the performance.
    “The boys were not able to play well specially in the second half and we missed many scoring chances in the first half as well. I don’t think it was a good performance from us,” said Shrestha. His Sherpa counterpart Bijendra Pudasaini was satisfied with the team’s display.
    “It has been a tiring week for us because we came here after competing in the Mai Valley Gold Cup. I think APF did well from the defense line,” said Pudasaini. On Saturday, Nepal Police Club will take on Chyasal Youth Club.

    Life & Style

    Fiction Park

    Letter to a younger self

    Sandhya Lamichhane, Mar 17 2019
    Dear me of the past, There are so many things I want to say to you, so many advices I want to give you, but alas, I cannot.
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    Saturday Features

    Internet cafés or ‘wangbas’ in China create a space for internet addicts

    Tripty Tamang Pakhrin
    Internet cafés in China have created a new space where people lose themselves within the virtual world of online gaming--a chance to explore an experimental world without any impediment.

    'Nepalis come across a huge wall that divides one part of the world from another'

    Avasna Pandey
    The presence of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah at the helm has only made things worse. These people are bent on hardening borders, rather than dissolving them.

    The beatmaker

    On a cold and rainy winter’s day, 19-year-old Sagun Khadka sits at a cafe in Jhamsikhel, listening to hip-hop on his headphones.

    Shreesha Bhandari’s Athot deserves to be read by young people seeking guidance

    Without failing to shed light on the importance of time, Athot stresses that what we failed to do in our lives are not less important than what we actually did. 

    Guffadi: Our Oli government is not a communist but a truly wild capitalist party

    Once again, let us congratulate our Oli government for passing the Medical Mafia Bill. Now, Dr KC should go home and rest.

    Celebrating a century

    Prakash Chandra Timilsena
    Calmly seated in a chariot pulled by her grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren, Mayju Maharjan observes her fifth janko—a rare ritual, called Mahadivya Ratharohan, where an elder is celebrated for completing 108 years, eight months, eight days, eight hours, and eight seconds around the sun. 

    The paper trail

    Prakash Chandra Timilsena
    In 1995, 50-year-old Nima Sherpa moved from Dolakha to Kathmandu with a plan—he was going to take traditional Nepali lokta paper to the world. Sherpa had realised that products made of lokta, which were easily available in his village, could make it big in the international market.

    Life and art are inextricably blended into each other

    Timothy Aryal
    Mekh Limbu’s art needs little elaboration. It speaks the truth, laid out for all to see and reflect on. It’s real; it’s quiet, keening and sharp. Take his installation ‘How I Forgot My Mother Tongue’, for instance, which was part of the Opposite Dreams exhibition displayed during the Photo Kathmandu festival last year.

    Raamesh Koirala’s book about Charles Sobhraj is confused, leaving the reader unsure of whether this is a memoir or a novel

    Pranaya SJB Rana
    Raamesh Koirala’s new book about the notorious serial killer Charles Sobhraj is a strange animal. Although ostensibly presented as a non-fiction memoir written by the cardiac surgeon who operated on Sobhraj’s heart, the copyright page of the book asserts that “This is a work of fiction.” Perhaps this was an (glaring) oversight on the part of the publisher, but given the manner in which the book unfolds, it might be an accurate characterisation.