I recently finished reading a book, Snake Lake, by Jeff Greenwald. Both a memoir and a travelogue,the book is set in 1990′s Kathmandu, when the author was working as a freelance journalist for the San Fransisco Examiner. The book unravels the democratic aspirations of Nepali population, and the ultimate success of the ‘People’s Movement’ to establish democracy. Along with author’s quest towards Buddhism, his love life with a fellow American photographer, and tragic events leading to suicide of his brother; the book skilfully narrates few other historical, cultural, social, and political events in Nepal. The book is simple, funny, interesting, sad, and even shocking; this is a great read, you will love it even more if you are a Nepali.
The title ‘Snake Lake’ refers to ‘Naag Pokhari’, located in central Kathmandu; the author lived in a rented house near this lake. Nag Pokhari is close to my home too, about 15 minutes of walk. I must have walked by it over a thousand times, I must have been in there over a hundred times; but, unlike the author, I never cared for its history, myths, or the physiography.The lake had always been there, like many other cultural/historical/religious monuments, I had taken Nag Pokhari for granted. Jeff Greenwald, however, had a different perspective; his natural curiosity made him better informed. Thankfully, he documented the tales and history surrounding some of these monuments/shrines in Kathmandu, like: relation of ‘Naag’ (Snakes) to Kathmandu, rise of Swayambhunath, why was Ajima temple built near Swayambhunath and why do people offer first to Ajima before offering to Swayambhunath, information on mysterious and inaccessible Shantipur temple, Tibetan and Nepali version of origin of Boudhanath temple, etc.
Wishing y’all loads of happiness, love, and prosperity; happy new year 2011.
The lone post for the month of November is a Youtube clip, hope y’all enjoy the audio as much as I’m enjoying it now :)
Regardless of what the vision might have been, killing time was the major objective behind the creation of this blog (On the Journey); it amazes me that I have continued on with this journey for four years. I just gave myself a pat on the back (as I wrote this) :P
Looking at all my posts, over these four years period, it seems that they mostly comprises of pictures (or other media), opinion or ramblings on personal or everyday stuffs, and some intermittent flashes of creativity. The “flashes of creativity” are harder to come by to me nowadays, and the first two are consistently being engulfed under the ever-growing domain of Facebook revolution; no wonder my blog has witnessed increased drought of posts in the past couple of years :roll:
Moving into the fifth year, I can’t make any assurance but a mere commitment to at least stay afloat. I may not be regular with my posts, but will definitely keep dropping by, just like I did today when I realized it’s my blog’s fourth birthday :lol:
Thanks y’all for your continued support :D
I kept wondering why Netflix keeps providing me with weird recommendations. Finally I figured out that both my wife and I were rating the movies, initiated by us respectively, on the same account :D Nowadays, I go by the genera and see “people’s ratings”, not the Netflix recommendations :P
With midterm elections coming up on November 2, I am beginning to get sick of ever increasing political ads on the TV. It’s funny that those ads seldom say any good about the candidates, but are always spilling venoms on their opponents. I understand this has become a national trend, not just here in Maryland between Martin O’Malley and Bob Ehrlich for the governorship. It’s like telling American people “hey, choose the best among the worst”. I was baffled to know that even a state judge has to raise substantial amount of money for their election campaign. Seriously, judges to raise money; and expecting them to be fair and not returning the favors? I guess this is what “capitalism” is all about, the free market deciding who their leaders, sheriffs, and state judges are.
Last April, someone asked me “what do you guy’s do on the weekends”? For a moment I was dumfounded, couldn’t figure out what we did. After a while I realized, we (more specifically me, sorry my dear wife) zealously watched football (American Football). The Football Season ended in February, so I was awestruck with that questioning in April. Saturdays used to be the College Football, and Sundays would be the NFL. This year, I have stopped following the College Football, much to a delight of my wife. BUT, Sundays are still for NFL, no exceptions :)
Yeah baby, Go Ravens !!
Following are the few pictures that I took in my recent trip to Niagara Falls. The fall is impressive, but the infrastructures set up for the tourism are even more impressive. The North Americans really know how to make most out of their natural wonders.
I don’t know if it’s just me, but I noticed that every other tourists there was a Desi (South Asian). For a moment I thought I was inside the Engineering building of my University (or most of the American Universities) :D
The Desi’s also seem to have strategically built restaurants and hotels around the Falls. The lines in Desi Fast food/buffet or the wait time in Desi restaurants was insanely long. I guess those customers eating in non-Desi place either must have specifically desired non-Desi food, or they were simply sick of long lines and wait times :)
I normally get out of the apartment by 6:20 AM for work. Last Thursday, like any regular weekday, I woke up to the sound of my alarm, freshened up, and left for work. Outside it was pitch dark; I double checked my watch to make sure if it was really after 6, unfortunately it was and I dragged myself to work. That day we had one of the biggest storms of the summer.
Today, like any other weekday, I woke up, freshened up, and left for work. It was pitch dark, and I felt Déjà vu all over again. I though to myself – I know it sucks but Saturday is not far off, I will sleep my butt off once the weekend is here. As I approached my car, I gave a hopeful glance to my watch. It was FREAKING 5:25 AM.
I wish I had glanced my watch before getting out of the bed, I would have abso-FREAKIN-lutely loved to smile and go back to sleep for another hour. It was too early even for the guards to be at my work to open the doors, so no point in driving there. And, I was in between sleepy-sleepy and wakey-wakey mode, so the thought of extra 30-40 minutes of sleep wasn’t that exciting either.
Eventually I entered back to my apartment along with the sound of my regular alarm, and kept snoozing till 6:20 AM. What a waste of an hour of sleep :(