COVER STORY Before the curtains rise  
Story behind ‘Coma’, the play that divided opinions and set the theatre circuit abuzz

Kathmandu has had its share of opportunities to join in on the “birthday gathering” at Shilpee Theater. Back in March 2014, we were invited to Coma: a political sex, with news of the theatre group’s debut. Almost a year later, and we’re once again being welcomed to the same play to savor what was a successful first showing.

Now we claim that Shilpee has been triumphant with the production not based on the notion that Coma was loved by every single attendee – actually, quite the opposite. At the end of each show, along with the applause and words of compliments, there also tend to be some raised eyebrows and puzzled looks. If there are people who can’t stop raving about the play’s originality, there are also those who have dismissed its alternativeness as not being their cup of tea.

  A different World  
They get married while still in the womb. Sounds quite surprising. However, the tradition of arranging marriage of unborn children is still a much practiced norm in the Dum community. If by chance, the supposed couple turns out to be of the same sex, the decision automatically fails.

No wonder, marriage of newborn, toddlers or small kids is just well accepted and continued in the community in the Tarai districts.

  Lost (in) the libraries  
For some reason, my dad always refused to buy books (besides textbooks) for us when we were growing up. My brother was a voracious reader who gobbled bulky books in hours and always seemed to have an appetite for more. So one day, my dad came home with my brother with a pile of books and a new library membership card.

I was fascinated. Not that I read at that time. I used to be amazed at how frequently my brother went to the library, spent his entire weekend there and came home with another pile, only to go back as soon as possible. Once I went with him, as there were so many books that he needed help with, whence I became his regular company to the library.

  The flag bearer of Kathmandu  
Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, is home close to 2.51 million people from different cultures, races, and castes. It is a city that has many stories to tell, and Basantapur is the one place where I find stories at every corner I look. A place that is a conglomerate of historical and modern artifacts, Basantapur bustles with children to old people on any given day, and every face has a different story to tell.

If you have been to Basantapur lately, then you must have noticed a majestic flag of Nepal as soon as you enter the Durbar Square. Upon a closer look, you will see a man dressed in the traditional daura suruwal holding the pole to which the flag is attached and gently swaying it as tourists and locals throng to take a photograph of him.

  The master plan  
My friends who have now become Non-Resident Nepalis (NRNs) come back home once in a while and all of them have this same question in their minds: What kind of businesses can I invest in in Nepal? My friends think I have now become an expert in all things Nepali just because it´s been nearly seven years since I returned home from the West.

But not much has changed since then.

  I Spy!  
I am, by any standard, a voracious reader of spy fiction but over time I have come to develop a bias for the works set in the Cold War era. I’m fond of this particular subgenre not only because of the customary thrills and spills of the narrative but also for the little life lessons I got off its pages during my teenage. It was a time long before the Internet was to become mainstream, and reading fiction was one of the many sources available to obtain knowledge on a particular topic. It is with the help of that wonderful ability that we call hindsight that I’ve realized the importance of my reading preference in shaping my thought processes.

The political environment of the time contributed greatly to the popularity of the spy fiction genre. I still am an avid follower of world politics, and for that I largely credit the times spent turning the pages of those numerous works of fiction that introduced me to the concept of politics and ideological struggles.

  BOOK CHAT Reading for strategy  
Reading is mandatory for entrepreneurs

Amun Thapa is the founder of Sasto Deals, an online vendor for lucrative deals. A seeker of ideas that one day could be a good business venture, he believes books to be a great source for them. The Week’s Sachi Mulmi met him for a talk. Excerpts:

  A sampling of graphic novels  
When we think of stories told through artwork, we normally think of superhero comics that follow the same basic plot. On the contrary, the genre of graphic novels is flourishing with many well written and thought-provoking creations. The subject matters range from the Holocaust to dystopia, from moral dilemmas to sexuality. In other words, the whole gamut of themes is explored by traditional literature. The Week brings you a selection of some of the best known and critically acclaimed graphic novels. They will give an introduction to the genre for those who are used to dismissing picture stories as
childish stuff.

  Good Reads  
The Goldfinch by Donna Tart
Price: Rs 958

Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don’t know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his longing for his mother, he clings to the one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

  Fitness Mantra  
Here’s where you start

You have almost no time and there’s a lot to do. Summer is around the corner and you know what that means - no more hiding your body behind thick winter garments! The Week met up with a zumba instructor to know about her fitness regime, which, with a little bit of patience and effort, will help us get in that ‘perfect’ shape. Here are some basic warm up steps to get you started.

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