And Icarus falls again

Facing the door
He runs towards the window
Staring at the polluted sky
His heart choking
A big bang
Remains scattered on the floor
The Icarus falls again
Not from the sun’s heat
But from its own heartbeats.
I couldn’t sleep till 5 a.m.
But then I was roaming the dark, silent streets of Thamel—
Icarus falls again—
Staring at the dark souls—
Running towards the broken edges of this city
And Icarus falls again
Between midnight and 5 a.m.
The time when the sun begins to poke this soul
I can feel the winds growling outside my heart
I close the door.
They throw tantrums. I plug my ears with earphones.
I shut my ears and become a lotus-eater.
I shut my eyes, and the world drops dead.
Boom. And the Icarus falls again.
From dream.
From sleep.
From chaos.
From the deep pangs of darkness and drunkenness.
From the tremors of loneliness.
And the Icarus falls again—
Waiting for Spring and Summer
To forget its fall.
I can’t wait until 5 a.m. today
I shut my ears, and the world drops dead.
— Arun Budhathoki.

City of dust

This is the city of dust
When it rains
When it doesn’t rain
When the road is pitched
When the road isn’t pitched
I’ve become a raconteur
This city’s madness tires to winkle me
Out of the old man’s sanity,
What is left to discuss the anomalies?
This city has a foul tactile
A feeling you can’t get anywhere else
This city soon will parlay my inability
To distinguish between dust and fresh air.
— Arun Budhathoki.

Waiting for the Coffin Box


SHANTI: Twenty, and a gold-digger. Beautiful.
PRAKASH: Thirty, six feet tall. Ugly.


The country’s only international airport, Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), witnesses thousands of nationals and internationals leave and arrive every day. It is Monsoon and the clouds appear morose…rain hits the windows between the intervals of thundering and lightening. It’s ten a.m.

[At rise: SHANTI stands in front of the departure gate. Her kinky dress easily attracts onlookers and taxi drivers. She’s wearing a one-piece, red shoes, by the side of the road, and carrying a small black handbag. She is young, fit and sexy to make anyone crazy. She wears pink lipstick, crochet, heavy makeup, purple eyeliner, and an expensive looking watch. She checks her departure time and then sits on a chair, inside the maudlin waiting room, checking her smartphone. Shanti is busy checking in. PRAKASH enters the room, dressed in an expensive-looking suit, spots Shanti. Prakash sits next to Shanti, crossing his right leg away from her.]

PRAKASH: I love rain, do you?

[Shanti is busy engrossed in checking someone’s photo, little cares what the other person is saying, forcing Prakash to look around and glare at few teenage girls walking towards Gate 4.]

PRAKASH: Everyone wants to go abroad these days. Are you going too?

SHANTI: What you staring at? Leave me alone, uncle.

[Continues to like Facebook photos and crosses her left leg away from him. Prakash doesn’t feel berated but seems interested.]

PRAKASH: Do you have time for coffee?

[Prakash knows she won’t refuse. Shanti immediately turns off her phone and puts it inside her handbag.]

SHANTI: Coffee? Why not lunch? You think I’m cheap, huh.

[Prakash laughs.]

PRAKASH: I think you’re rich, fashionable and beautiful. Dinner?

SHANTI: Yeah, freaking rich. If I was rich what the hell would I be doing at this hour, huh? Dinner sounds good.


[They get distracted.]

PRAKASH: The restaurants suck in this airport. I wonder where would be the best place to take you out for dinner. Oh wait, why is that lass walking upside, down?

[Shanti scratches her head and ignores.]

PRAKASH: I am one of the richest men in Nepal. You have no idea who you are talking with. But I’m sad today because my wife is returning.

SHANTI: I am really sorry about that. You should be happy she’s back.

PRAKASH: I don’t know how to explain. I even had decided to build the new 10 storeys hotel for her.

SHANTI: Wow! Isn’t that romantic? I wish someone would do that for me.

PRAKASH: Is money important or love? How would you measure happiness?

SHANTI: I hate money. Love is what I need.

PRAKASH: Exactly, right.


[Silence as Prakash stares at the television. Shanti moans; stretch her arms.]

PRAKASH: I hate televisions. They tell you to do crazy stuff.

SHANTI: Like what?

PRAKASH: It wants me to divorce my wife and marry you.

[Shanti’s eyes widen, starts walking away, stops at a coffee shop. She orders for two Americano. Prakash reaches the spot.]

SHANTI: Stop following me. Go away.

PRAKASH: I love coffee. Why don’t I buy one for you? Let’s talk calmly.

SHANTI: Okay, give me one reason.

PRAKASH: Well the television told me to divorce my wife and marry you.

SHANTI: Don’t you understand Nepali!?!

PRAKASH: I speak French, German, Hebrew, Malayalam, Chinese, and Japanese.

SHANTI: Impressive! You must be a big shot. Let’s sit for coffee then.

[The waiter brings two Americanos to the table.]

SHANTI: I already ordered for both of us. Look how charming I am.

PRAKASH: I think that waiter wants to kill me. I better call my security.

SHANTI: Don’t be silly. You were saying about marrying me. Will you love me endlessly?

PRAKASH: Love is an incurable disease. Do you know how much money I got?

SHANTI: How can you attribute such nonsense to the meaning of love? I have been loved multiple times.

PRAKASH: I have no idea where my wife is. Do you know where she’s coming from?

SHANTI: I have no idea.

[Silence. Both of them enjoy their coffee while getting distracted again.]

PRAKASH: What do you do for a living? Fashion designer, perhaps?

SHANTI: Yes, you are right. How did you guess it? I am one of the renowned international designers in Nepal right now. Look how beautiful I am.

PRAKASH: Why are you here? Are you waiting for someone?

SHANTI: I was, apparently, but looks like he might not be coming any soon.

PRAKASH: Husband? Boyfriend?

SHANTI: Just someone. Nothing serious. You have no idea how your wife is coming?

PRAKASH: I don’t give a damn. She left me, you know.

SHANTI: She must be a mad woman to leave your wealth…I mean you.

PRAKASH: That’s all right. I have met you know. Isn’t life wonderful? My wife deserted me and now I am meeting you. This is just awesome.

SHANTI: I like your suit. What plans you have for marriage? Won’t your wife kill me?

PRAKASH: No…she is returning for good. I’ll protect you.
SHANTI: How sweet of you! I wish I had met you a long time back. Propose me, won’t you?

PRAKASH: That’s what worries me. What if you leave me behind for someone else?

SHANTI: I won’t. So where do you live? I want to come to your house.

PRAKASH: My house is so beautiful. I am darn sure you will enjoy your every moment.

SHANTI: What about your wife?

PRAKASH: I have no idea. The last time I heard she told me she had come in a box.

SHANTI: What do you mean? Is your wife a doll? Mannequin? Don’t joke.

PRAKASH: [laughs hysterically]] No, she left me and was sleeping with this Arab guy in the middle east. And she returned in a box.

SHANTI: What box?

PRAKASH: Coffin Box. 2015.

SHANTI: You fool.

[Nepal police and the staff of Patan Hospital arrive at the café. Crowds gather around.]

Stranger 1: What happened?
Stranger 2: Oh, the girl is arrested for hoodwinking migrant men, and the guy is suffering from schizophrenia.


Ode to Chitlang

Walking through the stony, curvy roads from Godam

To the plains of Chitlang

The ghost of Devkota haunted me from Thankot

And welcomed on the stony path of the ancient town of Makwanpur,

The opacus clouds chased me like a wild hound

Smelling fresh, dirty meat imported straight from Kalanki

Woof! Woof! The adulterated heart screamed

And the legs fretted

And the hands fretted

And the wild’s asses farted,


The smell overcoming the stale odour of the capital city

When I returned home

I saw bodies falling to the earth like flies like mosquitoes like everything

That falls down bang! Bang!


People change

Time changes

The person who loved you

Won’t be the same

What remains is you—Mesmerism—everything else decays,

Walking back

With the help of the namby-pamby legs

And a dangling bus


A drunk vehicle strolling left to right

Stultify people

The last base appeared

With her mixed words


If tomorrow she leaves

That place will remain but changed

I too might disappear


So what matters at the end?

Memories, no one cares about it.




हत्तार हत्तारको सहर

माइक्रोलाई मान्छेहरु बटुलेर खै कता जान हत्तार

काम गर्नेहरुलाई घर जान हत्तार

मंत्रीहरुलाई प्रधानमन्त्री हुन हत्तार

हत्तार हत्तारको सहर


पैसा कमाउन सबलाई हत्तार

काम गरेको पैसा नदिन कम्पनीहरुलाई हत्तार

जनताहरुलाई देश छोड्न हत्तार

हत्तार हत्तारको सहर


युवाहरुलाई रमाइलो गर्न हत्तार

राम्री केटीहरुलाई झन् राम्री हुन हत्तार

विदेशी हरुलाई हिमाल हेर्न हत्तार

हत्तार हत्तारको सहर


खोलालाई बग्न हत्तार

१७८६ देखि देश उभो नलाग्न हत्तार

१८०० देखि इंडियालाई नेपाल पाउन हत्तार

हत्तार हत्तारको सहर


नारायणहिटी दरबार लुट्न कसैलाई हत्तार

देशको ढुकुटी लुट्न कसैलाई हत्तार

सबलाई शक्ति र पैसा पाउन हत्तार

हत्तार हत्तारको सहर


पानीलाई पानी पर्न हत्तार

रक्सी खानेलाई मात्न हत्तार

सपना देख्नेलाई सपनाको हत्तार

हत्तार हत्तारको सहर


अनसन बस्नेलाई जितको हत्तार

चोर काम गर्नेलाई चोरीको हत्तार

मार्नेलाई मार्नुको हत्तार

हत्तार हत्तारको सहर


माइक्रोलाई मान्छेहरु बटुलेर खै कता जान हत्तार

काम गर्नेहरुलाई घर जान हत्तार

मंत्रीहरुलाई प्रधानमन्त्री हुन हत्तार

हत्तार हत्तारको सहर


पैसा कमाउन सबलाई हत्तार

काम गरेको पैसा नदिन कम्पनीहरुलाई हत्तार

जनताहरुलाई देश छोड्न हत्तार

हत्तार हत्तारको सहर


युवाहरुलाई रमाइलो गर्न हत्तार

राम्री केटीहरुलाई झन् राम्री हुन हत्तार

विदेशी हरुलाई हिमाल हेर्न हत्तार

हत्तार हत्तारको सहर


खोलालाई बग्न हत्तार

१७८६ देखि देश उभो नलाग्न हत्तार

१८०० देखि इंडियालाई नेपाल पाउन हत्तार

हत्तार हत्तारको सहर


नारायणहिटी दरबार लुट्न कसैलाई हत्तार

देशको ढुकुटी लुट्न कसैलाई हत्तार

सबलाई शक्ति र पैसा पाउन हत्तार

हत्तार हत्तारको सहर


पानीलाई पानी पर्न हत्तार

रक्सी खानेलाई मात्न हत्तार

सपना देख्नेलाई सपनाको हत्तार

हत्तार हत्तारको सहर


यो हत्तार हत्तारको सहरमा

खै, म पनि के को हत्तार गर्दै छु?

मलाई पनि थाहा भएन

यो हत्तार हत्तारको सहरमा


यो हत्तार हत्तारको सहरमा

खै, म पनि के को हत्तार गर्दै छु?

मलाई पनि थाहा भएन

यो हत्तार हत्तारको सहरमा

यो हल्लिने देश

यो देशमा कार हल्ले पनि के

कुर्सि र सत्ता हल्ले पनि के

हल्लिने हल्लिनछन्, जनता ताली बजाउदै बसछन्


यो देशमा जमिन हल्ले पनि के

घर र मुटु हल्ले पनि के

हल्लिने हल्लिनछन्, नेताहरु ताली बजाउदै बसछन्


यो देशमा नैतिकता हल्ले पनि के

फेसबुक र टुविटको इस्टटास हल्ले पनि के

हल्लिने हल्लिनछन्, लाज नलाग्नेले बाल दिदै बसछन्


यो देशमा मरे, नमरे पनि के

सास छ भने पनि के

हल्लिने हल्लिनछन्, शक्ति र पैसा हुनेहरु रमाउदै बसछन्


यो देशमा नक्कली डाक्टर भए पनि के

सक्कलीले न्यायको नाममा मर्न खोजे पनि के

हल्लिने हल्लिनछन्, अनैतिक कामगर्नेहरु खुसी हुँदै बसछन्


यो देशमा सेलेब्रिटि भए पनि के

आफुलाई भएंकर ठाने पनि के

हल्लिने हल्लिनछन्, आफ्नै बबलमा रमाउनदै बसछन्


यो हल्लिने देशमा धेरै जना अचम्म पाराले हल्लिदै बसछन्

एक चोटी टाइम मिलाएर आउनु होला, हल्लिनको लागी|

Plagiarism versus Creativity 

Copying someone’s work to attain wealth and fame quickly is an erroneous move. While few get away with it, others suffer shame and see the dark tunnel of their career. On the other hand, there are those who deny the fact that they plagiarize, plus live with the strange conviction that it is okay to cheat. Denial and shamelessness regarding plagiarism is a serious cultural problem.

Plagiarism is simply defined as: “The practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own. There were accusations of plagiarism.” The reasons as why people cheat are usually due to fear, poor time management skills, undermining the consequences, and problems with the education.

Currently, a war of who is credible has brewed between Indian filmmaker Shirish Kunder and a low-budget movie-maker Anil Neupane on their short movies Kriti, and Bob. First, Neupane took it up to Facebook where his post reiterated that his movie had been copied and remade as Kriti. The note went viral where he had stated that his movie was finalized in October 2015 and was available to viewers since December and May on Vimeo and Youtube respectively.

To make it worse to the claim and legal notice made by Kunder, Youtube decided to remove Kriti on the issue of copyright infringement. It is not a new news that Bollywood copies ideas from other movie industries. And most Nepalis know that a lot of movies in the past and now have been copied from the aforementioned industry. The blame-game is vice-versa. But the problem here is not the copyright issue but the culture of copying everything A to Z with a little bit of tweak. Viewers are divided about the content and were busy supporting either filmmaker via tweets: #KirtistoleBob and #KirtiseeksTruth. Youtube, perhaps, wouldn’t take down Kiriti without assessing the evidence, they would have acquired from Neupane. A twist in the story and Bob was removed from Youtube and Vimeo too.

The issue of plagiarizing cannot be completely attributed to the issue of inspiration and copyright infringement. I have the assumption that cheating is a deeply rooted cultural behavior in South Asia and perhaps even elsewhere. The only difference is that plagiarism is strongly discouraged and punished in the western nations. It is only a recent phenomenon that those who plagiarize have been given justice rightly and at times wrongly. Where does the urge of cheating come from? Is it really a learned behavior or deeply rooted in a society?

Education plays a big role in people when they are small and shapes their attitude towards creativity in the future. Most youths who are taught to be creative and think out of the box do not have the urge to cheat but spend ample time on brainstorming and bringing out fresh ideas to the world. Similarly, those who have grown up in an education sector where knowledge is obtained from rote exercises would ultimately fall to the prey of cheating and plagiarize in their later life.

In a global, digital age we cannot assume that what we cheat will not be discovered. I have experienced it first hand as a lot of loved ones have kindly copied my poems and used it for their own purposes. I haven’t said anything so far. Even nationally there was a time when a text from an article on the literary website that I used to run was used by someone else in a daily national paper. Nothing happened. No one was punished for what they did to me. I had the same reaction of Anil many years ago but since then I have come to the understanding that people need to be taught to learn to brainstorm in an early age. That kind of teaching needs to be instilled among children when their mind is still tender and able to capture the teachings easily since adults become rigid as they age.

The art of not cheating needs teaching from homes in the beginning. Every parent has to disseminate this trait so that they don’t suffer in later life. Now both the aforementioned parties are staring at the blank, black screen of their removed videos. No one knows with what intentions they uploaded at the beginning. But it suffices that both of them longed for fame and money. It looks like they have hit the ax on their own foot. And no one knows how they are going to get the treatment for it. Maybe plagiarize the instructions?

ऊ मिस नेपाल रे

ऊ मिस नेपाल रे

अनि के मैले सब मिस नेपाललाई चिन्नु पर्ने हो र?


सदै झैँ ३ बजे भत्किएको नारायण मन्दिर नजिक

एउटा कुनामा म:म, ससेज अनि ससेज–खाँदै बेस्त,

सदै झैँ झुम्म झुम्म झुम्म

आकाशको ताराहरु दिउसै गन्दै

मैले मिस नेपाललाई चिनिन

के मैले छिन्न जरुरि थियो?


र म घर गए अनि लेखे मननको भाव

अनि मिस नेपालले दुई दिनपछि लेख्नु भो–

मैले सादरण जीवन जिवन नपाउने?

मैले मिस नेपाललाई चिनेको थियन

अनि के मैले सेल्फी लिनु पर्ने थियो र?


ऊ मिस नेपाल रे

मैले सेल्फी खिचिन रे

मैले मनको

पानामा उनको कलमको रेखा कोरिन रे?


अनि किन गर्नु नि

कैले नचिनेको

चिने पनि के

म गन्दै थिए जीवनको भत्किएका ताराहरुको चमक

झुम्म झुम्म झुम्म

चमकहरु झरे

म संगै|

Plight of Nepali Journalists

Journalism is a noble profession. The remuneration from it, however, is dismal. According to Press Freedom Index 2016, Nepal now ranks 105 in the world. The ranking absolutely showcases little improvement that the nation in South Asia has made but is significant as it’s in the second place after Bhutan. Press freedom in Nepal is improving eventually although national problems have stifled the growth of journalists.

The first problem that Nepali journalists face is salary. It is only recently that the Nepal government has proposed to allocate the minimum salary to be Rs. 19,000 for a journalist working in a national media. The policy is not clear whether the fixed amount is for all journalists working in various sectors. The sad part is that most media houses have expressed their dissatisfaction with this decision by the government. Also, the way traditional media sector is built startles everyone. For those who do not know how it works, I’d like to share something about it—Nepali journalists are overworked, underpaid and face abuses from within and without. Long working hours with no incentives makes this profession less lucrative to the younger generation. The ones who face the brunt are those in low-ranks. Editors enjoy handsome salary with perks and as the ranking befalls top to bottom—the reality is gross.

The second problem is the economic model of Nepali media. Most print media houses in Nepal have survived the power-cuts, political upheavals, and protests. The Press Freedom also indicates that Nepal’s global ranking is improving and the key threats for journalism are covering protests and crimes. Despite these hurdles, media houses have churned massive money and in return, they have swallowed their integrity by not paying journalists and even if they do it is harrowing. This doesn’t even give sense to anyone as how can a journalist work for hours and not get paid well in return. The answer is simple, as most Nepali editors would say it, that the path of a journalist is turbulent so a person needs to be grilled. The problem here though is how can media houses that earn hundreds and thousands from advertising, online website, events and personal (private) solicitation wouldn’t have the integrity and conscience to pay the pawns of Nepali journalism. I rarely understand this motive. It is not unheard that only editors, news editors, and sub-editors earn the most in traditional media houses. The ones who are overworked are subeditors and reporters and paid less at the same time.

The third problem of Nepali journalism is that most traditional and online media houses have come to believe that shuffling the team is the best way to run its business as the unemployment rate is severely high in Nepal. The way most of them do it is by hiring an undergraduate degree holder and pile pressure on them with minimum payment by telling them that things will get better later. Most of them get frustrated and quit while only a few stay if they can cope with the unruly behavior of other senior journalists in the newsroom. The dream and hope that most traditional media show in Nepal is a farce as it doesn’t come true and only the HR and top-level management continue to reap the benefits of their existence.

The fourth problem that Nepali journalism suffers is the inability to spot talents, hiring process and bias of editors. Most traditional media houses want to believe that we still in the age where traditional experiences are more important than having an education qualification or writing ability. Non-traditional experiences aren’t put into consideration and are thrown out of the window usually. The digital progress has uprooted this idea as more writers and journalists from Nepal now have moved away from the traditional media and are working as a freelance writer and journalist. Others have found solace in online media houses, IT companies, and travel agencies where they work as content writers and editors earning well and having the flexibility of time. And there are few who work for online companies abroad and write for International newspapers. The journalism model has definitely changed.

Debates are making rounds as how journalists in Nepal can write anonymously especially about protests, and crime syndicates. The panacea for it is that a new model needs to emerge to ensure that journalists can write about protests and yet same time to be able to hide their identity. I have had this conversation with a reputed journalist that doing investigative journalism in Nepal anonymously would be the next frontier for writers and alike.

While talking with several journalist friends and editors in Nepal, I have come to understand that unless the economic model of traditional media isn’t changed the young generation won’t fancy the work as they are now exposed to the idea of earning quick and having fun at the same time. Most of the traditional media in Nepal doesn’t offer this, and as the working group ages, and online media leapfrogs traditional media, it is only time that we will see them closing one by one. The western world is witness to this. The game has to change.

The Art of Dissent

The evolution of human civilization has begun from the acute idea of having the privilege to dissent. The definition in simple terms is the sentiment or philosophy of disagreement and opposing the ideas and policies of the government. The history of dissent in Nepal, however, hasn’t been a bright one. Even after ten years of democracy dissent in Nepal has been often abused and dissenters are killed and prosecuted at times. On the other hand, I do not entirely support dissenters nor do I support corruption-graft like CIAA. It is high time that we need a discourse in dissent.

The recent arrest of noted journalist and writer, Kanak Mani Dixit, has taken everyone by surprise. The press fraternity and international media have been quick to defy such move by the CIAA. There are others who believe that Dixit has accumulated a huge amount of wealth illegally and should be punished for what he has done. I see blind spots in both arguments. Firstly, we do not know clearly on what motives that the CIAA arrested Dixit. Secondly, no one knows what corruption the writer has done so far. Thirdly, it is absurd to blindly support either/or as we clearly lack evidence-based facts. The first move made by CIAA is entirely wrong against the provisions entered in the constitution. And the second move by others supporting Dixit solely is wrong as we are not whether the charges against him will be true or not.

The problem here is: how will CIAA protect its image if Dixit is found clean and what will the supporters do if the writer will be found guilty? That’s why, at times, dissenting blindly leads to a biased interpretation when no facts are available. It is said that in the present century there are no truths but only interpretations. And when interpretations fail, there are evidence-based facts that solve the problem. That’s the last resort to solve a problem practically and even if it is distorted or manipulated then we can only question the integrity of the government bodies. I highly suspect, though, that there are any agencies in Nepal which are not corruption free. Is there any?

Thinkers have long argued that a constructive society needs dissent and dissenters as they will oppose to what is ill in the society and bring a change ultimately. They also discourage the government to implement whatever policies they want to. Karl Marx has famously written this: “if constructing the future and settling everything for all times are not our affair, it is all the clearer what we have to accomplish at present: I am referring to ruthless criticism of all that exists, ruthless both in the sense of not being afraid of the results it arrives at and in the sense of being just as little afraid of conflict with the powers that be”.

Let us remind all that no one is above the law. Not even the PM of Nepal. Democracy has long struggled with corruption and the effects of power that corrupts and corrupts absolutely. Therefore, the Nepal government and CIAA should acknowledge the fact that the nation no longer lives in the dark shadows of civil war, Panchayat, monarchy or autocratic regime. Why have the leaders and the high positions holders have forgotten their chant about Nepal’s constitution being the best? The constitution clearly gives protection to the writer inArticle (20) (2) which states that “any person who is arrested shall have the right to consult a legal practitioner of his or her choice from the time of such arrest and to be defended by such legal practitioner. Any consultation made by such person with, and advice is given by, his or her legal practitioner shall be confidential”. The sub-clauses 5-10 clearly says that the writer won’t be presumed innocent until guilty and won’t be tried in the same court twice and will have the right to an independent, impartial judicial body. So the CIAA should keep in mind that it cannot act mighty by arresting the writer according to CIAA Act 2048 (1991) Section 19.1 (c) for his defiance and noncooperation in its investigation despite repeated notice to appear before the commission. The CIAA is not above the law too and it should be made transparent, accountable and checked if it’s corruption free or not.

The Special court has allowed CIAA to remand Dixit into 10-day custody by allowing him to meet legal advisors and get proper medical treatment.

As our judiciary, corruption-graft institution, and democracy are evolving we need to understand that the society will always have dissenters who will dissent. The question remains as how the government and power institutions will treat them and how others will support the one who’s arrested.

I highly doubt that there are any institutions in Nepal which are corruption-free. Will CIAA make charges against all and maybe even to itself?

There’s difference between dissenting and getting arrested in corruption case without sufficient evidence-based facts. Let the power institutions like CIAA release the facts and then only everyone will know who is right and what it means to dissent. It takes a time to learn the art to dissent after all. But it will make the society a healthy one.

PS: Dixit was released recently