The contributor for Republica.

The thrill of mountain biking

Published On: February 15, 2019 09:28 AM NPT By: URZA ACHARYA

Bike racing is a sport that is believed to have a lot of scope in Nepal. It’s considered an epitome of adventurous sports with its history dating back to the 1890s. However, it’s only in the recent years that mountain biking has come into the spotlight for Nepali youths. Moreover, there are only a handful of female bikers in Nepal as of now. But 23-year-old Nishma Shrestha, a mountain bike racer, is creating waves on the mountain biking front, winning international accolades. She won the 2018 Asian Enduro series and has also participated in various national competitions.

Strumming the sarangi

Published On: February 8, 2019 10:18 AM NPT By: URZA ACHARYA

The song ‘Despacito’ (meaning slowly) by Puerto Rican artist Luis Fonsi received many praises, accolades, and awards including three Grammy Award nominations. It wasn’t a surprise then that YouTube was suddenly flooded with many covers and renditions of the song. But one version that stands out is definitely the one where Manice Gandharva reproduces the tunes on his sarangi accompanied by Tunna Bell Thapa on the guitar.

Sniggers and satires

Published On: February 1, 2019 08:06 AM NPT By: URZA ACHARYA

We are all guilty of spending hours on YouTube watching Buzzfeed or some other channel, wondering why we are wasting time watching something so silly yet finding ourselves enjoying and laughing at the relatable videos about work life, relationships, funny experiences etc. “KookyDunk” is a YouTube channel that has also embraced this style of content. It’s a branch of “Kathaharu”, a documentary, video producing channel that is very popular as they bring up-and-coming singers to the limelight and also make videos on the aesthetics of Nepal.

Weaving prosperity in women’s lives

Published On: February 1, 2019 07:56 AM NPT By: URZA ACHARYA

Shyam Badan Shrestha worked as a teacher for 13 years, teaching Science and occasionally Nepali too. During those days, whenever she was done with work she would start knitting or weaving. That was how she would unwind after a long day at work. In 1984, she took her hobby a bit further and started Nepal Knotcraft Centre, initially operating from a small room at home.

Stirring the soul

Published On: January 25, 2019 10:28 AM NPT By: URZA ACHARYA

Sambriddhi Ghimire, a 19-year-old student currently on her gap year, remembers she and her dad bonding over Narayan Gopal’s famous song “Kehi mitho baat gara” whilst cooking dinner. Ghimire says she has inherited her father’s love for ‘adhunik geet’ (modern music), as it was called back in the 1950s, and that she still finds herself listening to those songs quite frequently.

Honoring his roots & staying true

Published On: January 25, 2019 08:42 AM NPT By: URZA ACHARYA

Sabin Bhandari comes from a family of artists. His grandfather, Kulman Bhandari is a renowned artist and sculptor. Also, his dad and uncles used to paint and sculpt as well. So naturally, looking up to them as a kid, he too started drawing and painting before finally realizing that he, in fact, had a knack for it. Bhandari, now 27, has mixed this very childhood interest with his educational background in computer engineering to create art and design in graphics.

The fitness fanatic

Published On: January 18, 2019 07:26 AM NPT By: URZA ACHARYA

Studying medicine is demanding to say the least and most medical students barely manage to attend lectures and prepare for exams. But Mohit Karki claims to have made it a point to hit the gym for an hour every day throughout his college days. Yes, classes were grueling but working out, for Karki, was an escape, a release he couldn’t do without and he never compromised on it.

Armed with a camera

Published On: January 11, 2019 11:19 AM NPT By: URZA ACHARYA

Sabrina Dongol, 25, quit her job as an IT professional and started working as a freelance photographer. Photography, she says, came spontaneously. It was almost like second nature. But what started out as a mere hobby soon turned into a full-fledged career. Today, she takes on commissioned photography assignments as well as films documentaries.

The art of comedy

Published On: January 11, 2019 09:45 AM NPT By: URZA ACHARYA

Shraddha Verma, a 23-year-old social worker, finds herself funny. According to her, that’s the most important thing for a stand-up comedian. You have to believe that you are incessantly and incredibly funny. “That’s when you have enough self-confidence to pull off a monologue amidst hundreds of people,” she explains adding that unless you have that conviction you can’t make people laugh. It’s as much about your body language as it is about your jokes, she says.

Crazy commute

Published On: January 11, 2019 09:25 AM NPT By: URZA ACHARYA

When my parents call and tell me that they can’t pick me up in the evening and I will have to manage on my own, my heart sinks. I swing into full combat mode, prepare my lungs to take on extra volume of oxygen, and give myself a pep talk because I will have to take a bus ride home and that too in the evening. The vehicle arrives at the bus stop already bent, like the leaning tower of Pisa, where there is little to no space but still the drivers see to it that they stop the bus for at least 15 minutes and fit passengers into the quantum realm i.e. they expect other passengers who are already there to turn into antmen and antwomen. Or at least that is what it seems like they want to do, considering how they stuff people into the vehicle like one stuffs “gundruk” in a glass jar.

What’s the truth? Five conspiracy theories that will leave you baffled

Published On: January 4, 2019 08:44 AM NPT By: URZA ACHARYA

Google defines conspiracy theory as “a belief that some covert but influential organization is responsible for an unexplained event”. The so-called “conspiracy theorists” have come up with several theories regarding famous events, celebrities, war etc. While they may most probably not be true (who knows), it’s always interesting to know what twisted notions people have about things that happen across the globe.

Finding solace in art

Published On: December 28, 2018 10:58 AM NPT By: URZA ACHARYA

Prakash Ranjit first started drawing when he was just four years old. Now, 23 years later, he draws with even more passion and, of course, his art is much more refined than ever before. Ranjit was introduced to the world of arts quite early in life as his great uncle, KG Ranjit, was an artist. His aunt, Ashmina Ranjit, also loved drawing so from an early age the two took turns to mentor him.

New year, new experiences

Published On: December 28, 2018 08:38 AM NPT By: URZA ACHARYA

With 2019 only a few days away, it’s natural to find yourself pondering over the past year. You might regret not going on that impromptu trip with your friends, or lament the fact that you didn’t do anything out of your comfort zone this year either. Make sure 2019 isn’t a repeat telecast of 2018.

On her own

Published On: December 21, 2018 09:30 AM NPT By: URZA ACHARYA

KATHMANDU, Dec 21: Prasuna Dongol, while studying filmmaking in the UK, returned to Nepal a total of five times during her four year undergraduate program. “I returned a month after going to the UK. I just missed home too much,” she says. In all the times she came back to Nepal, she traveled extensively to several places like Manang, Mustang, and Annapurna Base Camp, to name a few. “I could have gone trekking in the UK or in some other country but there is this innate sense of belonging when in comes to Nepal,” she says.

Steering her destiny

Published On: December 14, 2018 09:13 AM NPT By: URZA ACHARYA

When Muna Shrestha came to Kathmandu for the first time after her SLC exams, she was fascinated to see her aunt driving a safa tempo. She wondered how it would feel to get behind the wheels of one. Little did she know that she would end up following her aunt’s footsteps just a couple of years down the line, after being unable to pursue a higher education but desperate to be able to provide for her family nonetheless.

The path to self-discovery

Published On: December 7, 2018 10:30 AM NPT By: URZA ACHARYA

KATHMANDU, Dec 7: The concept of a life coach is common in many countries in America and Europe, but it’s fairly new in case of Nepal. With talks of anxiety and depression still a taboo in our society, it takes people a lot of courage to open up about their struggles.

Fun with faces

Published On: December 7, 2018 08:40 AM NPT By: URZA ACHARYA

If you are planning to gift your friend a quirky and unconventional gift for his/her birthday, look no more. Khwappa Cartoons, a product/service company based in Kathmandu, is here to help. Started in 2016, Khwappa Cartoons creates eccentric cartoonized version of different faces, mainly as per their clients’ demands, and prints them on cups, badges, frames, and cushions. You can get a sense of their rising popularity by the 1200+ followers on Instagram and an equally impressive number of likes on Facebook.

Humor in the humdrum

Published On: November 30, 2018 09:18 AM NPT By: URZA ACHARYA

If you scroll through the explore section on Instagram, you are likely to come across a comic strip or two quite frequently. Comic strips have been quite big on social media for a while now and it seems like every other popular comics account has millions of followers.

Putting up an unforgettable show

Published On: November 30, 2018 08:59 AM NPT By: URZA ACHARYA

The hall is littered with props, chairs, and bulging bags of clothes and fabric. The stage is being set up with magnificently painted ply-boards. A bohemian red and floral sofa sits right in the middle of the stage, and a few whiskey glasses on a tea table shine in the midday sunlight. This is what you would see had you walked up to the fourth floor to the Kausi Theater where preparations for the play “Same Time Next Year” were in full swing a week before the premier on November 23. The crew was busy bringing the set of the play to life.

The Dharahara Debate

Published On: November 30, 2018 07:56 AM NPT By: URZA ACHARYA

KATHMANDU, Nov 30: News that Dharahara had collapsed during the earthquake of April 25, 2015 came as a shock to every Nepali around the world. In the years that followed, when shock finally gave way to talks of the inevitable rebuilding of the monument, people’s opinions were divided on whether the Dharahara should be reconstructed. Today, if you go to Sundhara in Kathmandu where the mighty Dharahara stood previously, you will find that the area has been cordoned off and the process of reconstruction is in full swing, rekindling the debate among whispers and murmurs.