Photo story : Kathmandu gets a facelift  
This year, Kathmandu will be hosting the SAARC Summit for the first time in 12 years, and with the date fast approaching, Kathmandu is shedding its old skin and donning a fresh new one. Thousands of construction workers are toiling hard day and night to turn the once-haphazard city into a beautiful one.

The roads are being touched up, the sidewalks are finally being paved, trees are being planted, solar lights have been installed, the ugly road dividers have been replaced with neatly drawn lines on the road, old government buildings and walls have been whitewashed, and even the dangling wires are in the process of being bunched up and tied to give a neat appearance. The government, it seems, is leaving no stones unturned.

  CURBING WILDLIFE CRIME Unregistered wildlife trophies creating potential illegal market  
A few months ago, 40 year old Basanta Maharjan (name changed) of Bhaktapur was arrested by the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) while trying to sell an ivory statue in the market. During the investigation, it was revealed that the art object was gifted to his grandfather by a Rana ruler. The trophy had been gathering dust in a corner of his home when his friend noticed it and told him that it could probably fetch a substantial amount of money.

“I didn’t want the statue and decided to sell it. I had no idea that it was illegal to sell such an item,” said Maharjan during the interrogation, according to a CIB official.

  CONSTITUTION-MAKING Electoral model becomes more vital  
With the January 22 deadline for the Constituent Assembly (CA) to promulgate a new Constitution approaching fast, leaders of major political parties are indulged in bitter disputes in regard to the CA´s process and the contents of the new national charter.

Interlocutors of cross-party negotiations claim that they have narrowed down the differences in the contents and the wrangling among the top leaders seen in recent days is more about the procedures. The major ruling coalition partners, Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-UML, backed by some smaller parties, are for deciding the issues through majority votes if consensus eludes indefinitely. But leaders from the opposition alliance led by UCPN (Maoist) have been insisting that the new Constitution must be drafted based on consensus mainly among the four political forces – the NC, UML, UCPN (Maoist) and Madhes-based parties.

  Passion for fashion  
With one lady dressed in a bright gold coat, another in a crop top and sharp blazer, and another one sporting golden chandelier earrings, they are easily the most fashionable group at the table. Perfectly accessorising themselves—one of them wears a braid hanging out of a topknot that ends in a laccha, another wears colored mascara, and another wears patterned lenses— they are the fashion bloggers of Nepal.

Though it’s still nascent, the fashion blogging scene, which consists of women posting about outfits, styles, accessories, and makeup, is quite happening in Nepal.

  Those 24 hours  
A golden waistcoat hung over a white silk gown in one corner of the City Museum, Durbar Marg. Besides the gown, a wooden table was scattered with pins. They spilt on to the floor and circled around a pair of red velvet shoes.

Six days after her performance, Ashmina Ranjit’s dress was being displayed as part of her ‘Nature in Flux’ exhibition on the backdrop of her father K.G Ranjit’s paintings. 

  Whose country? Whose story?  
I haven’t read Mahesh Bikram Shah’s short story ‘Veniceki Budi’ but I did watch Diya Maskey as the old lady in Venice shriek at the bite of her imaginary cat on Wednesday.

The first part of Katha Desh 2.5 staged by The Actors Studio at The Theatre Village, Lazimpat, was ending when Lopsang finally gets to enter the old lady’s home. He sees the love for her cat and the posh-ness of her home.

  FICTION The assassin  
It was a moonless night. The man in black leaned against the wall and lit a cigarette. His thin moustache was graying around the edges. His cheeks seemed to have fought gallantly with a hoard of pimples before losing the battle to the scars that remained. He smoked three cigarettes, one after the other, his face completely devoid of expression.

There were very few streetlights on the sidewalk. The dim light pooled beneath each of them in yellowish circles. It was almost midnight, and this part of the town was under the reign of tall dark shadows, with no people, vehicles or animals around.

  TECH TALK Visual storytelling Story-driven games on RPG Maker  
Since its conception in 2007, RPG Maker has been giving amateur game makers a chance to create turn-based role-playing games. RPG Maker, because of its tile based world creation system and easy scripting language, has made it easier to develop games as an independent developer. RPG Maker is very easy to use and Internet databases hold torrents of resource files like graphics, sounds and sprites. The games made on RPG Maker are usually 2D, made in the style of late Super Nintendo RPG Games.

Because of this simple nature of the system, there are lots of games made on RPG Maker that are available for download on the Internet but since most of these games are made by amateurs, finding true gems can be quite difficult. However, there are wonderful games made on this system and we talk about a few of them that really stand out.

  REVIEW Piketty and Nepal  
Sandeep Sir was a delight for us economics novices. He had this uncanny ability to boil down even the most complicated concepts to easily digestible bits. Voluble and theatric, his pudgy hands always in sync with his pitch-perfect voice, his classes were such fun. Yet as much as much I liked him, he rubbed me the wrong way the very first day.

Laying out the course outline of introductory microeconomics, he declared that although the question of ‘increasing the size of the economic pie’ (efficiency) was as important as that of ‘distribution of the pie’ (equity), we would, in the course of the semester, focus almost exclusively on the first. In the following classes, Sandeep Sir would repeatedly emphasize the unrivalled efficiency of ‘invisible hands’ of market forces in the allocation of scare resources.

  Four Yoga positions to stay fit  
Yoga is an ancient science handed down to us through scriptures, and the practice of yoga is known to be beneficial to both mind and body. The Week consulted with yoga practitioner and instructor Dr. Subodh Simkhada, founder of Himalayan

International Yoga Academy and Research Center at Ichangu, to learn about some yoga positions that can help you lose belly fat and stay slim.

  • A city waiting to be rediscovered

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