Stories By 'Pranaya SJB Rana'
In last decade or so, cycling has seen a resurgence in Kathmandu. Once simply the province of the poor, the bicycles that trawl the streets cost upwards of a lakh or two, more than a motorbike.
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Kathmandu’s summers are unforgiving. The sun at its zenith is a callous god, streaming down sweltering heat that brings beads to any unadorned shoulders.
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The skies are clear, the sun is warm, the grass is brilliant green and there is much cool wine to be had. Out in the thousands of parks that break Vienna up into islands of concrete amid rivers of green, there are hammocks and lawn chairs, beach towels and bikinis, sunscreen and suntan.
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Sometime in the years 1991-92, Yugoslavia ceased to exist as a country. But it persists, in imagination, in memory. In the cities of the former Yugoslav republics, there linger vestiges of the past.
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Once, maybe three years ago, on one of those large rickety blue buses that circumambulate the Ring Road, I sat next to a middle-aged man in crisp cotton pants and shirt, holding a wooden walking stick. He started to talk to me as I pulled out a newspaper to read.
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In heart of the city of Budapest, a ten minute walk from the iconic basilica of King Saint Stephen of Hungary, near the Arany Janos metro station at Szabadsag square, lies a monument ostensibly commemorating the victims of the occupation of Hungary by Nazi Germany in 1944.
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