Stories By 'Sanjit Bhakta Pradhananga'
At face value, the Paltan Ghar in Asan is one more intriguing historical building in the Valley that is in dire want of upkeep.
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A Saturday evening at Sukra Bar, Lazimpat.The comedy show that was billed to begin at 7pm is an hour late. As a palpably excited crowd continues to stream in, the seating arrangement has already been wrenched out of shape. A teenager in a floral Kimono has been rolling hand-rolled cigarettes in boredom; a man in a knock-off Belgium jersey has been finagling with the overwhelmed, solitary waiter about the beer options. A cloud of smoke hangs heavy over the ceiling, pregnant with expectation.
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Kathmandu is perched on shaky ground; and its residents know it. Over the past millennia of recorded history, dozens of earthquakes—of varying magnitudes—have rumbled through the Valley, often leaving widespread casualties and destruction in their wake. But with each calamity, Kathmandu’s residents have stepped up to the plate, picked up the broken pieces and restored what was lost—its stunning architectural marvels renewed and passed on to the next generation for upkeep.
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It is nearly 5 pm and the cloistered neighbourhood of Nhaikantala in Asan feels exhausted from a hectic day of shoppers streaming in and out of its jewellery and electronic stores.
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At one point during her TEDx talk delivered in Jaipur, actor Manisha Koirala gives out this sagacious advice: “We have a choice—we can either be consumed by our problems, become a victim and be defined by that problem, or we can turn it around into a platform for our growth.
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For a man considered to be one of the most famous early missionaries to travel to Asia and the first European to have truly penetrated the Tibetan language and culture, Ippolito Desideri was largely unimpressed with Kathmandu.
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