Why did I start this Blog?

I don’t quite remember.

While Columbus headed towards the West in search of India and ended up discovering America, I had no clue where I was heading. I knew I wanted to write, now I know better.

Why? How? I know the questions better.

To write. To read. To be read. To learn. To improve. To discover. To explore. To dream. To dare. To face the fear. These have been the refined goals I discovered during the journey.

Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination. – Drake

When the frog got to see a world beyond the well, she was awestruck by its magnificence, a little too scared at the same time. Suddenly the boundaries shifted and the sky became bigger to measure in distances, with eagles, hawks, pigeons, sparrows and white metallic creatures called airplanes all sharing the same blue canvas.

Writing has helped me make new friends, expand horizons with older ones, I have met people exclusively because of writing. I said, boldly I want to be a writer in front of five people I’d never seen before at a program, and how they backed me to share my ideas that day has been a big big surprise. (Gave a power boost to my confidence.)

I love the community here. The people behind these work of art have become my inspiration; people juggling with life, education, family, finances and managing to type a few lines everyday. I somehow landed on Blogging University and now here I am considering three concrete goals for my blog.

Three goals for my blog:

Learn, Learn and Learn

A forever goal.

Write more interesting articles and research more

It takes sweat to create interesting works. And tedious days of churning and writing, rewriting, writing, thinking, reading. I will focus more on topics that interest me and try to find more about them. I already have a few topics at the back of my head. Let’s see how they turn out to be.

Consistent Features

I’d like to be more consistent with #PawMgmt, where cats (my pets) and management (my major) come together here at my blog. I also plan to continue the Book Quote series (which has been dormant for a long long time.) Likewise, a mini fiction series too (smells like hardwork!).

I had a story to tell. I have many many more. I know you do too.


Til’ the next post! With hopes that I will be able to stick to my goals!

An amateur writer full of hope and dreams,

Alfa

 

 

 

 

30 Minutes of Traveling: Stories from the Streets of Kathmandu #3

1993: 2003

1993

Rushing to college, every morning Monday through Friday, walking fast towards the slightly moving bus at Patan Dhoka. The closer I get, the faster it moves. Finally the conductor makes this unique bang at the door and sends signal to the driver to stop.
I get on the bus, no signs of seat so I stand holding on to the top metal bar with approximately six inches of gap with people next to me.I try my best not to be sandwiched between the crowd during the stop-motion jerk. Somehow the conductor manages to slither through the crowd. I hear the clickety-clack noise coming from the coins. The conductor’s hand is full of coins and ticket. He is moving his hand in a unique way to produce that noise which is a signal to pay the fare.

I tell him, ‘Not right now, let me find a seat or I will pay you when I get off.’

2003

On my way to my first job, Mundelein Bus stop, Chicago, IL. I get to the bus stop 10 minutes early, the bus arrives with the display of routes in the front. Automatic door opens, I get on the bus with no struggle. After climbing two steps, I exchange greetings with the driver while I slide a dollar bill into the machine next to the driver’s seat.
Then in an air conditioned bus, I see the privileged handicapped seating. I walked little further and get a seat near the window. I admire the view outside while I hear the automatic announcement of next stop.

Memories went flooding back 10 years, Oh where is the clickety- clack music and the Big Bang signal on the door? Where is that stop-motion jerk that alerted me from being sandwiched? Oh it’s only in my memories now. My stop arrives and I pull the string above my seat which signals the driver to stop. I get off the bus.

What a transition of transportation!

-Sarana Shrestha Parajuli


एकजना आमाले भन्नु भयो- “बाबु, यस्तो च्यातेको पाइन्ट किन लगा’को?”

अनि खलासी दाईको गुनासो- “मैले यो च्यातेको पाइन्ट लाउँदा ट्यापे भन्छन्,यहि पाइन्ट केटीले लायो भने हट भन्छन्। केटा हुन नि सार्‍है गार्‍हो छ।”

-Rojina Shrestha


Bhada Vs. Bhada

A curious little girl along with her father got inside the bus. They sat behind me. Her innocence stole my heart. She became a reason for my smile. Her fascination towards the things happening around left me dumbstruck. She gazed around and bombarded her farther with questions. She sang all the rhymes her teacher had taught her. Her mother tried hard to make her daughter stop talking, to keep her little girl from being the center of attention. But the girl didn’t fail to clear all her doubts.

As their stop arrived the conductor asked her farther for money ‘Bhada’(bus fare).

She immediately said, ‘Baba bhada ta kotha ma huncha yo dai lae kina mangi ra ko?

As they got down her farther answered her question and handed over the bus fare. The little girl proved to be different from all of us inside. She ignited enthusiasm to keep learning.

-Sefali Agrawal


Ladies and Gentlemen! It’s 31st May and the last chapters for 30 Minutes of Traveling (for now of course!) has arrived. Gratitude, gratitude and more gratitude towards everyone who read, followed and put their time to write and share their travel stories. 

I hope you enjoyed reading, reflected your good and bad times on the road inside the people packed buses. May be you got lucky with the window seat, may be you offered your seat for the elderly, and may be sometimes felt like the tuna inside the sandwich! 

They are but memories now, once the moment goes by, even after a fraction of time. 

Till then keep traveling, keep living, keep giving, keep writing, keep sharing the stories ignited inside the flames of your hearts!

Alfa

30 Minutes of Traveling: Stories from the Streets of Kathmandu #2

Variety of People

It is really amazing that we rarely observe the people we travel with.  I often look at the passengers boarding the bus. Most of the people I notice are in a hurry. Sometimes their faces vividly show their inner tension.

I notice many, while a few draw my attention.

A woman in her 60s is screaming at the young man to leave the “mahila seat” for her, but the young man wouldn’t go down without a fight. There is a Grand Pa who is kind and tries to converse with every inside the bus, a few teenage girls who are self-conscious about their looks and the dress.

Bus rides on the same route can be boring so I always try to get the window seat so I can enjoy the view and watch the people on the road. As I look out of the window I see a young man who is speeding his bike, not bothered about anything coming his way.

I enjoy the laughter of school kids the most. Their faces are the brightest.

-Sushaili Pradhan


A Day to Day Chaotic Beauty

It is 9:00 AM on a Monday morning as I stand at the bus stop waiting for Annapurna Tempo to go to college. Annapurna is the only tempo that gets me to college without the need to change vehicle in between. It usually arrives at an interval of 15 to 20 minutes. I close my eyes, take a deep breath and get myself ready for the day. It has been 10 minutes already that I have been standing, waiting, tired of the assignments due last evening.

I look around the place and I see ‘busy bees’ humming all over the place. Everyone has somewhere to reach, something to do and everyone is in a hurry. A bunch of people are waiting for vehicles to reach their destinations. Most of them are middle aged women chattering and laughing among themselves. I wish I knew what they laughed about.  An almost full tempo arrived; people stopped talking and began the ‘struggle for the seat’. They do not care about who might be watching, they do not mind if they step over someone’s foot and they do not even bother to apologize. More people are cramming themselves inside the small tempo. The scenario is displeasing.

Amidst the crowd I notice a boy of about five or six. I see something pink in his hand; I guess it is a set of fancy erasers. He is curiously observing his possession. A man is holding his hand, probably his father. With the look on his face, I assume his mind is occupied by bills to be paid, his salary date, school fees, monthly expenses, his pending tasks at office, his wife at home, and such or maybe not. What is troubling him? He has not left hand of his son all this time, but he is not looking at him either.

It is 9:20 AM and there is no sign of the Annapurna tempo. I take a tempo to Gaushala and from there I will have to take another bus to college. The struggle for the day begins for me as well.

-Riju Joshi


The Nepali Way

There’s the right way, the wrong way and the Nepali way. The slang/jargon “chalxa nepal maa” is so famous that it almost seems like we are growing into it. Most of the times it’s not about what’s right, but what’s acceptable.

On my way back sometime during May 14 in Jamal I could see a taxi and a tourist in a cycle. The cycle was on the left lane and the taxi had to take side. Without turning on the signal light, the person driving the taxi waved his hand out of the window and started cornering himself. The cycle was speeding in and the tourist started shouting “hey hey hey ” but alas he didn’t know the Nepali way and it was already far too late to stop the taxi. The tourist had to force brake his cycle.

I think he knew there was no talking through this (maybe this was something he had learned by now), so he just rolled his eyes and moved along.

-Aakriti Thakali


What can I say but utter two little words ‘Thank You’ to everyone who stopped by, read and also shared their stories. Stories on the streets have a different taste to them. Sometimes they shown us the irony of our culture, other times remind us of the beauty in life, other time they just happen like a state of time. 

This May let met take you through the streets of Kathmandu through this little project. 

Read more of 30 Minutes of Traveling:

Stories from the Streets of Kathmandu

That Piece of Metal

Three Rupees

Alfa

 

 

What are they made up of?

Iron melts after a certain breaking point, turning into its molten state. It is forged to make the sword. It is beaten, beaten and beaten until its edges can stand no other. In the hands of the warrior, it is a lethal weapon, one that drew kingdoms over maps.

All of us have been that iron, put through the furnace, beaten, beaten, into pieces and we have the capacity to emerge as the slender razor sharp weapon.

The heat is inevitable, so is the beating, but great swords become great in the process, so do achievers. One may never know what the sword has been through but its sharp edges as it pierces through the wind. They are all the same swords put into the heated furnace, beaten by the hands of destiny, and they rise like shining silver in the sun. They began as irons and ended up drawing kingdoms.

“I’ve been called Nepal’s Bill Gates, but I have nothing in common with him. I don’t wear glasses.”

-Mr. Allen B. Tuladhar.

He’s the creator of the fun filled “Typeshala” that we grew up with, who declined the offer to be the second man at the Shanghai office of Microsoft to work for his country, where there are still places with ‘potatoes, corns and no salt.’

“We do not need to copy Bollywood.”

-Mr. Nakim Uddin.

He’s the man behind the multiple QFXs cinemas that hundreds of people walk in and out of everyday. Team Quest was the first to digitize cinema in Nepal. QFX, the name that echoes in every major mall in Kathmandu was inspired by commonly used technical terms VFX and HFX.

“I knew nothing about the restaurant business, I knew nothing about food except to eat.”

-Mr. Shyam L. Kakshapati

The flagship café in town, Nanglo Bakery Cafe is his brainchild. His passion for food, friends and good music, a cafe and pub that began with 18 stools forever changed the outlook of restaurants in the Nepali eye.

As I walked out of the hall, Stephen Hunt’s words echoed in my ears. “If you’re not living at the edge, you’re taking up too much space.” 

You’ve been taking up too much of space! Go run and chase your dream!


I had this amazing opportunity to attend The Storytellers’ Pioneer Series on 30th March 2016 where three amazing personalities graced the stage with their stories.

By the end of the show, a thousand stimulus had flashed across my mind. We often only get to witness the sharp edges of the sword, as they collide against another in the battle against time; very rare do we get to see it being forged like million others.

What are they made up of? Flesh, bone and blood, like we are too. They’ve had their good, bad and ugly times. And yet they stand. So can we.