Whose fault is it anyway?
Ganesh Bolakha’s golden dreams of reaping a phenomenal harvest never saw the light of the day. He lost more than half of the rice from his field in Paanchkhaal. A similar fate was shared by his neighbor Ghala Bahadur Danuwar this season. He lost one fourth of his harvest to the deadly Neck Blast disease, a fungal infection that killed most of the rice plants developed through the Chinese hybrid seed DY 69 in Bhaktapur and Paanchkhaal this year.
“For the past two years, the foreign hybrid seed had been yielding exceptionally better harvest than the local seeds. Who knew that the crops would get diseased and die out this time?” questions Bolakha, speaking on behalf of the farmers.
This has been the plight of many farmers in Bhaktapur and Paanchkhaal who sowed the rice seeds DY 69, a hybrid variety produced by the Chinese Company DEYUE. These seeds were imported to Nepal so that they could be sold and cultivated in the Tarai and inner Terai belt. However, they were brought to the Valley by the farmers and cultivated in a few places in Bhaktapur and Kavre. For the first two or three years, the farmers reaped a harvest that was almost double of their usual production. Unfortunately, this year, 723 hectares and 693 hectares of paddy plants in Bhaktapur and Kavre respectively died off, leaving the farmers confused and distressed.
Election enthusiasm took over the people as the country headed to the elections, leading big masses out to the polling booths. But now, as the results are nearly all out and the frenzy is on a slow decline, the country faces the same stark question: What next? The results so far have given clear indications of the positions of political parties and the composition of a to-be-formed Constituent Assembly (CA). But the UCPN Maoists have alleged of voters fraud and, in a press release, threatened to boycott the CA unless and until the vote count is not re-scrutinized. As a result, the road to long-delayed Constitution drafting through coalition – the primary aim of the elections – and consensus-building process appears fuzzy to the public.
"The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”
– St. Augustine
Be it backpacking through the terrains of Nepal, taking the train to India or hopping on the plane to a far away place, traveling not only opens us up for new experiences but teaches us many things along the way. The fact that travel comes with stirring as well as enriching experiences are reasons enough to make people want to get out of the comforts of their homes and go somewhere new.
For more than a decade, Aman Jonchhe has been working in rural development, mainly transport and access-related infrastructure, in Nepal. As Program Management Specialist at the Swiss Embassy, it was his passion to work in rural infrastructure development that landed him in this field.
His educational background is in engineering and planning, and with his years of expertise, he also provides support and suggestions to regional countries of South Asia like Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
Even if the government manages to complete the Melamchi Drinking Water Project within the revised deadline, which is 2016, the locals say that their unmet demands will create problems in the successful implementation of the project.
Apart from the government’s own technical weaknesses to complete the project that had begun in 2000, the conflict between the authorities and locals may take its toll on the Melamchi dream in the future.
I remember reading an article by the Nepali writer Saurabh, wherein he cautioned against the haphazard use of the word “Khas.” The word Khas derives from Kashgarh, an area to the north of Kashmir, he said, and peoples who had wandered through this area in their historical times took their name from it. Nepal’s Brahmin and Chhetri castes did, but so did other groups as far apart as Rai and Limbu ethnic tribes, who divided their Gotras into “Kashi” and “Lhasa.”
Saurabh’s point was that the word “Khas” must be used with a proper understanding of what it means, because it does not exclusively denote the elite Aryans of Nepal only, as we believe.
Maybe the biggest change in Android after Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) comes with the new Android 4.4 KitKat, named after the much loved KitKat Chocolate. After the release of ICS, Google also released Jellybean (4.1), which brought a lot of changes under the hood of the system but not much when it came to user-level advancements.
KitKat, however, comes with tons of improvements under the hood as well as improvements on a user-level. KitKat is currently only available on the Nexus 5, the new phone produced by LG in partnership with Google and the newest device in the Nexus line. But although KitKat is currently restricted to the Nexus 5, it’s designed to be very light on memory and is most likely to work on many low-end devices. The biggest change seen on KitKat would be the move Google is trying to make from Android’s dark persona to a much lighter white interface. This shift can be seen on almost every aspect of KitKat, from the Home screen to the default Phone app.
Prose writer Subin Bhattarai is known for his popular chick lit “Summer Love,” a love story that went popular among the youths for its beauty, simplicity, and flowing narration.
Summer Love is Bhattarai’s second published book after his first undertaking “Kathaki Patra” – a collection of short stories that also received high admiration from the readers. Bhattarai has been writing poems and stories since he was a child, but has recently stepped into the world of publication with two books into his credit.
The very idea behind ‘Lifelines’ is exciting. Fifteen stories, penned by authors from mid-twenties onwards, all of them female. And if readers think an anthology comprising entirely of female writers is bound to be ultra-feminine and revolving around the domestic sphere, they will be pleasantly surprised. The stories in ‘Lifelines’ make no qualms about walking the uncharted path, and explore a range of characters, locales and themes that will reach out to all kinds of readers. Most appreciable is the enquiry into and subtle presentation of female sexuality, so often described in voluptuous detail otherwise but rarely detailed so satisfactorily as it has been done in a few stories of the collection.
A beautiful tale in this vein is ‘Wax Doll’ by Abeer Hoque, which really stands out from the rest of the stories with its lovely mix of innocence and experience. In the story, girls do what girls everywhere are supposed to do: get drenched in the rains, sneak away to parties, ruminate on men and hold a room full of the opposite sex in thrall. There is a very contemporary feel to the entire happenings, an uncontrolled exuberance and outburst of emotions that leaves readers with a feeling of anticipation. There is a simple, earthy lilt in the language which makes it almost poetic: “Ila wanted to know if it were possible to want two opposite things at once, passion and reason, each growing fruit and fruit-eating serpents in her garden”
The shores of The Republic of Mauritius, splashing with the waves of turquoise sea, presents itself as a perfect blend of smiling faces, delicious foods and magnificent views. It is the kind of place where one loses oneself to the warm sun, the salty sea and 140 kilometers of white sand while the vacation becomes more a matter of celebration.
The island nation of Mauritius, with time, has gained the reputation as that of the “Key and Star” of the Indian Ocean. Many tourists visit Mauritius during the summer to enjoy the hot and sunny climate. There are plenty of hotels that provide good hospitality and services to visitors and guests in Mauritius.