Stories By 'Milan Poudel'
Even a river flows backwards once every twelve years,” says Parbati Rajak, a 41-year-old tea shop operator in Hatkhola, Biratnagar, quoting a Nepali adage on resilience, “So, is there any option but to pick ourselves up and try to restart all over again?”
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The Koshi Barrage is a mega-structure near the international border with India. Built between 1958 and 1962, the barrage has 56 gates which are controlled by the Nepal Army and Indian officials from down river,
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Kathmandu might get a bad rap for being repugnantly dirty, but without these unsung heroes—with yesterday’s dreams still lodged in their minds—it wouldn’t be very liveable.
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TS Elliot once described a river as a “sullen, brown god,” worshipped not just as a frontier but also for the sustenance that people draw from it. It then is of little surprise that the first civilisations sprang on the banks of rivers, with early humans using the brown god and its flood plains to transform their societies from hunting and gathering to making the monumental switch to agriculture.
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