KATHMANDU, Oct 17: She was just 21 when she touched down Nepal and got mesmerized by the breathtaking beauty all around. The chill in Kathmandu city thrilled this Kolkata girl. She thought the pleasant weather must be just an illusion and would soon be gone. But to her surprise, that lasted and she realized that Kathmandu offers great weather all seasons. Her husband, a Nepali guy, took her to Durbar Square of Bhaktapur and some other heritage sites. She couldn't believe her eyes – there were live museums in the nooks and alleys.
The traditional lifestyle of the people in and outskirts of the Valley gave her goosebumps. A lot of things made her feel that she was in a paradise.
"I am originally from Calcutta. I got married to a Nepali when I was 21 and then Nepal became my second home. Kathmandu as a city, where my husband lived and later I lived along with him captivated me," she said.
Mannsi Agrawal came to Nepal 14 years ago and soon got married to an entrepreneur based in Kathmandu. She'd go for an outing with her husband frequently and even a random visit to restaurants would have great things to offer. For instance, exploring Baudhha, Thamel, Kingsway and other areas quite elated her. She thought all her close friends and relatives must visit this special place. She got even more passionate about the beauty of Nepal after she visited Chitwan National Park and Pokhara, among other destinations.
"I was so overwhelmed by the flora and fauna, the biodiversity, the geographical features and so on. I did some research on all those and at the same time I developed quite a zeal for photography. I thought I am living in such a great place, why would I miss capturing them in my reels," exclaimed Mannsi, mother of an eight-year-old. "Then I started calling my friends, my relatives in Kolkata to come and visit Nepal. I would feel that they would miss a lot if they didn’t come here," she added.
But her friends gave a damn. They did not listen to her. They gave their words but hardly ever turned up. In 2019, Mannsi told them that Nepal was organizing a ‘Visit Nepal Year’ campaign the coming year. However, they hardly seemed interested.
"My mother visits me sometimes, my brother loves this place, very close family members do come. But how I loved to see a lot of my school friends and bigger circle to have this experience! So, on and off, I was like, please come, please come," she laughed.
Since the people she desperately wanted to see in Nepal never understood what she was trying to say, Mannsi came up with a video which says – Don't visit Nepal, and here are the seven reasons why not to.
"Of course, that's satirical. I have composed the video to make Nepal look irresistible for them," Mannsi, a corporate trainer revealed.
Because the purpose of the video was to make her target group regret not planning to visit Nepal, she was about to post that only to the close Facebook group.
However, she did it on her Facebook page allowing access to everyone. In just 18 hours of the video posted (till Saturday quarter to two pm), it has been liked by 11k Facebook users and commented by nearly 1k Nepali and other countrymen and women. It has already been viewed 260k times and shared by 3.5k people. The eight minute video talks of the rich and diverse Nepali culture, tradition, heritage, cuisines, and hospitality, among others.
"I deeply feel that Nepal has not been able to promote things well, or else, there's a paradise everywhere in this country, there must be no land like Nepal in the entire world in terms of inside and outside beauty," Mannsi sums up.