well, stranger things have happened. i was sitting in sujit’s hot sandwich shop (opposite my hotel in pokhara) minding my hot tuna and cheese sandwich when the lady in the butcher shop beside started working her limp and very dead chickens with a blowtorch.
given the recent shenanigans of the marauding maoists, i suspect that she was trying to make the following points, that (a) she could use a blowtorch and (b) she would use said blowtorch. nice, i like when women take action.
between sitting in the garden with a badnewspaper or in bed contemplating geometrical variations while nursing a bad stomach, i managed to find time to visit a maoist feeding centre by lakeside and attend one of their rallies. given the kind of people they are, i can understand why they like bandhs (strikes) and rallies so much – they only have to eat, sleep, scream and shout, thrash things and people upside down and most importantly, not shower. nothing like satiating the baser instincts to keep a caveman happy.
maoist feeding and general r&r zone by lakeside. they couldn’t have chosen a better spot for a picnic. a storm was brewing and lightning exploded the sky when i made this picture. how appropriately ominous.
under a lobster-red tent, they fed on daal bhaat and “simple foods”, according to one of the them, and them according to him being “simple peoples”.
they say hunger makes a man mad. this guy was more mad then hungry, i think.
today marks the end of a bandh that lasted 6 days, much to the chagrin of some maoist cadres who still have the fight in them. the guy in the photo above can put away his cap. frankly, they are facing a dearth of popularity. reports from several parts of nepal told of folks retaliating against maoist force. forcing people against their will to participate in the bandh is not exactly the best way of making friends.
getteth thyself into the ol’ photograms below, ye maoists, for obstinate and obsolete thou have becometh.
i shot this from the second storey of a half-constructed building. to get there, i had to navigate through seething cadres lining the spiral staircase, agitated by mr. i-have-the-runs-of-mouth below. i have never heard a diatribe so long or irritating in my life. nevermind that i couldn’t understand much of what he was saying. i did catch the names of some locations in kathmandu, so i surmised he was delivering an after-action review to his dear comrades. much like how communist leaders overstated grain harvests and poultry output – same same but different.
mingling with the crowd, who stared at me and my camera like i was either the bubonic plague or the san franciscan (according to nick cave & the bad seeds) gold rush, i saw crazed youths with young communist league headbands and sticks in their hands. at the other end of the spectrum, there were old men brandishing sticks as well. not walking sticks, mind you, but the kind that goes bam-bam over your head.
a standard shot of the grand ole standard. only in nepal and with love, xoxo.
p.s. trying to write like kunda-ji is so much fun, reading his stuff even better.
for more crusty (mostly not) posts direct from nepal, click here.
arrived in pokhara yesterday after 9 hours on narrow mountainous roads that took the coach out of kathmandu valley into lower elevation, and into a blessedly warmer climate.
more to come in the following days but here’s a quickie update. spent the whole of yesterday mostly getting acquainted with the place, which is gorgeous and really laid-back. today i was out shooting some some paragliding action. won’t be posting the photos from that here for now, since the paper has yet to publish the story.
photos shot from the bus while on the road – or what i’d like to call “drive-by shootings” —
we are staying at hotel crown, which is a really affordable and comfortable place owned by a friend of a friend. view from the balcony —
my first actual beef steak since arriving in nepal. i hate buffalo meat, like from the creature below —
and they are all over the place —
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me and me ahmad are in the midst of working on a microsite for a feature that we recently completed on an up-and-coming restaurant area in kathmandu comprising of jhamsikhel, jawalakhel and pulchowk. this area is poised to dethrone thamel, the de-facto haven for fine dining.
it is great to see weeks of hard work (interviewing restaurant owners, shooting pictures, etc.) coming to fruition and i will be sure to update as soon as the microsite is ready.
for the abridged version published on nepali times, click here.
for more posts direct from nepal, click here.
me and sarah celebrated our 1-year anniversary together with a breakfast at “hatched”. when we entered, i suggested that we take the seat beside the windows, where soft morning light was coming through. i know – such photographer behaviour.
we had “bacon rap” to start —
followed by “burly benedict”, which is eggs benedict but with wagyu beef. delicious.
and to top it off, we had a waffle. i can’t remember what they called it, though they have got some special name for it. love the way they presented the butter and the maple syrup.
and to really top it off, a couple of quick portraits with the gorgeous window light. sarah’s comment on the picture right below: “i need a haircut”.
through the drinking glass —
after stuffing ourselves, we went to coffee bean at guthrie house to study (yes, i do study). rather anti-climatic but this is the exam period.
i am sure i have said this before, i am so thankful that i have sarah in my life. she is a real blessing to me, and i am most struck by how supportive and loving she is when it comes to my hopes and fears.
i only pray that i don’t let her down, and all the other people around me who care as well.
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these food photos were shot recently at sharlene’s 21st birthday at the blue basil. the food in general was good and the ambience rather cozy. thanks again sharlene!
been feeling really lazy since the holidays started. it is funny how the energy that i had in store to tackle the holidays with can so quickly dissipate. maybe i should take it easier, as though things aren’t already easy enough. maybe i need a few problems.
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