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Showing posts from December, 2009


My earliest memory of getting a really bad fright was from the loudest possible blast emanating from the Philips tube radio that I had naughtily switched on; I did not realize that the volume was on full throttle. I remember running out of my mother's room on to the verandah, out of sight and out of hearing distance of that heinous sound. It was on that radio I remember listening to Radio Nepal songs. The songs in those days were nationalistic as defined by King Mahendra's ouster of an elected government and banning of political parties. The songs all had one theme: king, country and Nepali-pan in roughly that order. I did not understand the politics behind it but I liked the tune and lyrics of Dharma Raj Thapa, Nati Kaji and Manik Ratna. Radio Ceylon's "Binaca Geet Mala" hosted by the legendary Amin Sahni brought us a constant stream of the hit Hindi film music.

There was the HMV phonograph handed down from an earlier period in which I listened to the numerous …


Language defines culture and language in turn is defined by the proverbs it has. Those of us who speak English know how English proverbs give us an insight into how the English think. Do foreigners know how we Nepalese think? It is an interesting exercise to find choice Nepalese proverbs dealing with Nepalese culture, society and even mundane stuff of life we take for granted and reflect upon its usage.

In English one might say, "A bad carpenter blames his tool." What does the Nepalese counterpart sound like? We say "Nachna jandaina aangan tedo", in other words "one who does not know how to dance blames the dance floor for being unleveled".

In English revenge that lowly human emotion is personified by a dog, as in, "Every dog has his day!" Perhaps there were lots of stray dogs wandering the streets of London in medieval England and one of them would get its revenge by biting the taunting street urchins. In Nepal we address the eternal competitio…