My Republica

Gunjan Upadhyay

The contributor for Republica.

Tipper terror

Published On: July 20, 2018 10:20 AM NPT By: Gunjan Upadhyay

We all have this collective conviction that if only our roads were bigger and better, it would equate to safer travel and encourage people to abide by the rules. But the truth is that the width of our road seems to be inversely proportional to the stupidity of people who drive or ride on it.

Manners maketh man: Cinema etiquette and you

Published On: July 13, 2018 08:20 AM NPT By: Gunjan Upadhyay

A lot of people remember this particular line from Kingsman: The Secret Service and it is rather appropriate for what I’m about to write on – manners at the cinema. Just for the record, manners maketh woman too, lest any ‘meninists’ (yes, there is such a thing) accuse me of being one sided or worse – sexist. Anyway, I was at a sold out cinema last week watching Sanju and it was anything but an enjoyable experience. I will readily admit that I’m a fussy movie goer – fussier than most – but even for a person with high levels of tolerance, a trip to the cinema here can really test your patience right from the moment you park to the time you leave.

Monsoon blues

Published On: July 6, 2018 07:51 AM NPT By: Gunjan Upadhyay

This is a statement that is very obvious, yet incredible at the same time – there is something magical about the monsoons. It is difficult to believe in it if you happen to live in Kathmandu and face the wide variety of practical difficulties that come with the season.

Ministry of mutual interests

Published On: June 29, 2018 07:01 AM NPT By: Gunjan Upadhyay

If hell had different seasons, it would probably resemble our capital Kathmandu with its awful roads, polluted air, bad infrastructure and sky-high prices for everything from vegetables to property.

Our foreign fixation

Published On: June 22, 2018 06:20 AM NPT By: Gunjan Upadhyay

The title above has little to do with our outbound labor migration to the Middle East or the hordes of students making their way to one of many foreign destinations advertised on the ugly hoarding boards currently defacing Putali Sadak. Whenever it suits us, we – and by that I mean the current government of the day and our public sector ecosystem – publicly engineer and manipulate a kind of paranoia when it comes to everything foreign.

Cup fever is here

Published On: June 15, 2018 07:53 AM NPT By: Gunjan Upadhyay

The World Cup is finally upon us and Nepal like the rest of the world – irrespective of whether they are playing or not – is going to be transfixed by this quadrennial showpiece of the beautiful game.

Our urban hustle

Published On: June 8, 2018 07:35 AM NPT By: Gunjan Upadhyay

I can’t remember the last time I queued to pay my electricity or water bill and this weekend is going to be my last (fingers crossed) trip to the fruit and vegetable market because online deliveries apparently work. Unlike the previous generation, I don’t really feel the need to molest and grope my fruits and vegetables before I buy them.

All that glitters

Published On: May 25, 2018 08:54 AM NPT By: Gunjan Upadhyay

It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that there are very few of us not following, or at least aware of, the case of the missing gold. All 33.5 kilos of it, as the newspapers and TV reports keep reminding us.

Beauty and pageantry

Published On: May 18, 2018 08:34 AM NPT By: Gunjan Upadhyay

We Nepalis really seem to love our beauty pageants. I was aware that there were niche beauty and ‘talent’ contests all over the place but we seem to have so many of them, under so many categories, that the mind boggles at the sheer numbers (and possibly futility) of it all.

‘NaMo’ste Nepal

Published On: May 11, 2018 08:25 AM NPT By: Gunjan Upadhyay

Yes, we are entirely dependant on you and, in terms of bilateral give and take, we take a lot more than we can ever give. But, no matter what our situation or condition, we are a sovereign country that would like to be treated as such.

The hospital squad

Published On: May 4, 2018 08:21 AM NPT By: Gunjan Upadhyay

It was while waiting for my father, who was recovering from a bout of pneumonia in the hospital that the thought struck me. Here I was at 2:00 am, unable to sleep, always on edge, waiting to hear if I would be summoned by someone for this or that requirement – all while my father was not only out of danger but well on his way to recuperating. The fact that I was simply fulfilling my filial duties did not detract from the futility of all this waiting.

Government jobs and wanderlust

Published On: April 27, 2018 07:56 AM NPT By: Gunjan Upadhyay

What is it about a government job that explains its enduring appeal? Job security? Check. Perks from the get go? Check. Minimum exertion at work? Check. Inflated sense of self-importance? Check. Prospects for underhand inducements? Check. All of these may undoubtedly figure as strong motivating factors for the hordes who sit for the Lok Sewa exams every year, but one important element that is missing, and often overlooked, are the travel perks.

Holiday mentality

Published On: April 20, 2018 07:45 AM NPT By: Gunjan Upadhyay

You know what the turn of every Nepali New Year brings? Calendars! Lots and lots of them! Most of us should already be stocked up on calendars for 2075 or are just waiting for the assorted cement factories, federations, banks, and social organizations to give out these freebies so that we can take them home and maybe give out a few to our family members.

Only in Nepal

Published On: April 13, 2018 11:12 AM NPT By: Gunjan Upadhyay

Only in Nepal can taxi drivers be bold enough to take out rallies demanding to be given the right to fleece customers. Only in Nepal can tanker drivers and oil suppliers block supply when stringent testing measures are proposed. Only in Nepal can an association of banks gang up against a member for trying to follow the rules of free market competition.

VIPs on wheels

Published On: April 6, 2018 07:57 AM NPT By: Gunjan Upadhyay

I have lost count of the number of times I have been stuck in traffic waiting for this or that VIP to pass by in their motorcade. At the end of the day when all you want to do is get home and rest your weary soul, there is nothing more annoying than waiting for our newly minted royals and their entourages.

The ABC’s of exams

Published On: March 30, 2018 07:12 AM NPT By: Gunjan Upadhyay

In Nepal, exams are the nucleus of our education system and the focus is not so much on educating students but rather on examining the life out of them.

Off the mark

Published On: March 23, 2018 07:40 AM NPT By: Gunjan Upadhyay

The recent concluded SAARC Business Leaders’ Conclave had the feel of many other SAARC meetings before it – a periodical gathering of ministers, bureaucrats, and business minds coming together in an attempt to state the obvious.

Pressing for progress?

Published On: March 16, 2018 08:03 AM NPT By: Gunjan Upadhyay

Many watched the video of Radha Chaudhary being beaten mercilessly for practising ‘witchcraft’ with horror. It was the sort of clip that I would normally go out of my way to avoid if I weren’t writing this article. While the whole video is undoubtedly chilling, the reactions of most folks watching it, I suspect, were one of pure anger. It was infuriating to watch all the village people treat it like a travelling circus – just sitting there and, presumably, enjoying the show.

Dal-Bhat Power

Published On: March 9, 2018 09:25 AM NPT By: Gunjan Upadhyay

With dal, bhat, tarkari there is a certain level of transparency-what you see is often what you get. There is little scope for cutting corners.

Multinational weddings

Published On: March 2, 2018 08:44 AM NPT By: Gunjan Upadhyay

Ah, weddings! That one milestone universally acknowledged as the turning point at which life really starts going downhill. While it is already too late for some of us, this fact doesn’t actually stop folks from getting married or wanting to do so.