In the city

Hello, I hope some of you remember me 🙂

I have an interesting tale to tell from the Kathmandu city. Since our permanent move here six months back, there have been many instances worth attention, some good and some bad. Today I am going share an insiders story on Kathmandu traffic police.

My husband has not got a chance to apply(re-apply) for his drivers license. His license got expired 8 years back(sadly) and he still drives around in a car or a bike with the expired license around the K city(which we both are not proud of). We have been stopped at various check points by the hardworking K town traffic police officers to inquire the whereabouts of his documents usually a drivers license and the vehicle’s blue book. The drunk driving rule is pretty strict as well. So the traffic police usually stop motor bikes and private cars in the evening to check if someone is drunk-driving. The usual conversation that I have noticed between the driver and the traffic police goes like this

Traffic: License ra Blue book cha?(Do you have license and Blue book with you?)
Driver: Cha hajur. (Yes Sir)
Traffic(trying to sniff the drivers’ breath): Ma Pa Se ta garnu bha chaina?(You aren’t drinking and driving, are you?)
Driver: Chaina Hajur.(No Sir)
Traffic: La janus tesobhaye.(You are free to go now)

I have seldom seen them using the breathalyzer to test if the driver’s been drinking and I heard its because there aren’t enough for every traffic in the city.

Few days back we were returning home at around 9.30pm from a dinner party at my sisters’ house. We were on a bike, my husband had carried the expired license but he wasn’t drinking. As usual, we were stopped by the traffic police. So his first question was whether my husband had carried license and blue book. My husband, confident that he hadn’t drank a drop of alcohol, said yes of course! Then the next question was the unlikely one. Can you show it to me? At this point we were both nervous as we knew the license had expired 8 years back!!

To this, my husband timidly asked me to fetch for his purse in my handbag. Then he gave his expired drivers’ license to the traffic. The traffic police was young and looked honest. He examined it and asked us,”Please tell me what is wrong in your license?” My husband nervously replied to this saying,”Sir, actually it has expired!”. And the rest of the conversation went something like this

Traffic: Yes, you are right. It has expired 8 years back!!
Hubby: Sorry sir, I was living abroad and returned just a few months back.
Traffic: Do you realize that you cannot renew your license after 6 years of expiry? Now that yours has expired 8 years back and with all the new driving rules since then you are remotely qualified to drive this motorbike…
Hubby: I realize this sir, but I assure you if I was posing any kind of danger I wouldn’t be riding around with my wife as a passenger.
Traffic: Hmm, do you have the Blue book with you?
He didn’t have the blue book with him.
Hubby: Sorry sir, its an old bike that I borrowed from my Dad so I’m not sure where the blue book is.
Traffic(Rolling his eyes): Now sir, you don’t look like someone who would be riding around without a license and a blue book.
Hubby:I’m sorry sir.
Traffic: Now how do I penalize you? If I take your license, its of no use. You don’t have a blue book so no question of taking that and issuing a ticket. The only option is to seize this bike from you. Long pause. But I don’t want to do that also since many think that traffic police is here only to trouble citizens.
Hubby: I am ready to pay the fine I’m entitled to pay sir.
Traffic: On what basis do I fine you? I can only seize your bike and how will you go back home at this hour if I do that? Long pause again. Ok from next time, do not drive until you get a new license.
Hubby:Sure sir.
Traffic: And what will you say if the traffic ahead stops you.
Hubby(Nervous smile): Same thing sir.
Traffic: No wait, I will give you a note with my name and phone number in it. If the traffic ahead stops you, tell him that I took your blue book since your license is expired.

Saying this the traffic wrote down a lengthy note where he mentioned that he had seized the blue book and fined my hubby and give it to my husband. We both apologized to the traffic again and went ahead.

This is one of the inside snippets of the K city tales. I leave it to you to judge the situation. Was it right for us to drive even though our license had expired? Was the traffic police kind or what he did was against the rules? I leave it up to you all to ponder upon 🙂


Filed under Uncategorized

A story of a Day Dream

I have never been so short of words and blank as I have lately been. Its been a couple of months since I’ve penned down anything at all. But nevertheless I do still manage to visit my blog now and then, read what fellow bloggers are writing but haven’t really wrote down anything myself.

So in an attempt to forcefully break the silence here, I am going to write today! I have a lot of free time lately. I have a severe dust allergy due to which I am not allowed to talk or go outside. It is not an easy task to sit at home and do nothing. So let me get started with my chit chat.

 During my teenage days I used to hate long vacations especially the month long Dashain and Tihar vacations. It meant sitting at home, watching TV and doing nothing. I remember how bored I used to get. So to pass the time I used to day dream :D. Yes daydream. Day dreaming is basically imagining stuffs. It can be imagining an imaginary career, an imaginary relationship, an imaginary life or anything that might fancy your mind. While it was still explainable and sane to daydream during the boring teenage years, this habit of mine returned when I was doing my Masters’ thesis. Research can be very funny at times. Its like swimming in an ocean and finding something that might not even exist. And I had an entire year to find something without even knowing if it was there. So you can imagine why the habit of day dreaming came back, it was because I had no clue what to do in the first few months of my thesis days. So here is one of my funny daydreams here, hope you will enjoy it.

I was working under one of the best professors at AIT. He was one of those mad professors we see in the movies. He was a technical genius but he had no social life. At AIT I had seen many of my colleagues and seniors go to other countries to present their thesis. Being a student, I hadn’t travelled much during that time and I used to dream of travelling to foreign lands. So instead of focusing in my research, I used to day dream of being the star student of my professor. I used to dream how I would find out the never found technological breakthrough in my field of research and as a result my professor would reward me and send me to different countries to present my work. This dream would constantly occupy my mind and along with this I even used to imagine getting my dream job in a dream destination :).

But reality was something else! Research was one of the toughest challenges of my masters study. Forget technological breakthrough, I didn’t even have a proper finding and report to present few months before the final presentation. I struggled a lot and finally managed to finish my thesis somehow. The score was very average and nothing above the ordinary. My only achievement was that I managed to finish it on time.

Looking back I still feel embarrassed of my silly day dream regarding my research days. What about you guys? Does any of you day dream? And is your day dream always elevated to the perfect scenario and better than real life? I will be happy to hear.


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Hello from Kathmandu, Nepal

After months of planning and hard work, A and I are in Kathmandu now. We are all set to start our life here. To start with, I have decided to start my own online store operating in Nepal. My team is working very hard to launch this store which is scheduled to be launched on January. Please support us by liking our facebook fanpage at

We aim to provide a trust worthy and ethical place to shop where customers will get the best price in the market. Our store will have fashionable collection of clothes and accessories for both women and men.

Wish me luck :).




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A new chapter

Every now and then there comes a time in life, when you have to move forward. This year has been the year of new beginnings for me. I got married a month after this year started and I will be leaving Bangkok a month before this year ends. November will be our last working month in Thailand.

A and I have decided to quit our jobs to start new in Nepal. This is a big leap of faith for us. For me personally, settling down in a foreign country has never been on my list. I always knew I would spend significant amount of my life in Nepal. I love my country, its culture and my parents. Now when time has come for me to start thinking about starting my own family, I cannot think of a better place than Kathmandu. Luckily I got married to a person who thinks the same. It may sound like an emotional and not well thought decision to return back to Kathmandu especially when we have good jobs that provide us with a secure life here but we have been contemplating on this since a long time and we are certain that this is the right moment for us to make the move. Kei na kei ta kaso nagariyela which means what can be the odds, we will certainly find one way or other to make things work!

I know there are going to be a lot of challenges in Nepal. It is not easy to have a good life in a country where unemployment rate is one of the highest in the world. There is going to be a lot of struggle. We might not be ready but we are prepared :). I hope to make use of the skills I’ve learned so far in life and make it useful in someway.

There is a small project that A and I are really excited about. We are looking forward to start this project in Nepal with lots of enthusiasm. As soon as it takes a share worthy shape, I will share it with you guys. In the meantime please wish us good luck :). Also would love to hear your thoughts about going back to your country to start new.


Filed under Culture, Life, ramblings

The art of queueing up

Living as an expat is a culturally rich experience. It makes you aware of a lot of things that you never thought existed. Learning about a new culture opens a gate to yet another horizon that remains to be explored. While traveling for few days to a new country in itself can be a life enriching experience, living in another country offers an ocean of things to learn from. It gives us an opportunity to become curious kids again and perceive new things as we grow up in a foreign land all over again. How we deal and cope with this new culture, change in taste and environment allows us to test our personality in many ways. At times, it can be frustrating to tackle homesickness, loneliness and that feeling of feeling out of place but in the end we come out being stronger and full of knowledge.

There are so many things I have learned after coming to Bangkok that I never gave any thought to before coming here. Today I want to talk about the most basic thing that I have learned(re-learned) after coming to Bangkok and that is “to wait for my turn” or “to queue up” or “to be patient”. It is very simple and straight forward trait. Being patient saves us from many agonies in life and makes life much easier. Its not that I never knew about waiting in a line or queuing up. Right from my early school days, I was taught to stand in a line and wait for my turn. But somewhere in the transition from being a student to a grown up person, I had lost this trait.

My first reminder to it began when I was attending classes for my Master’s Degree. All graduate students would stand in a line to get inside the classroom. To me, it was a funny sight. I sure had stood in lines to get inside the classroom but that was way back in the primary school. But soon I learned that not waiting for my turn was not a cool thing and slowly I got accustomed to this habit of standing in a line wherever I went around in the city of Bangkok. Let me sight few examples of it.

If it is late in the evening and there are many people waiting for a public van to get back to home, in Bangkok you patiently wait in a line until the van comes. If the number of people standing in the line is way more than the number of people that can fit in a van, no problem…there will be a next van or you might have to think of an alternative way to get back home but never ever you will find anyone rushing or pushing each other to get in the van. The same rule applies while waiting for a taxi outside a shopping mall.

Street food is awesome in Bangkok, we all know this. There are several popular vendors in streets of Bangkok that are very famous and is always crowded. So how do you order food here? Its simple, stand in a queue and wait for your turn. In some places there will be a pen and a paper, you write down your order in it and wait for your food to be cooked while you drink beer. You will not hear any shouting or loud inquiries like, “is my food done yet?”. People just quietly wait.

There are numerous places where this rule applies like while buying a train ticket, buying a bus ticket, waiting to get in the train/bus, withdrawing money from ATM, public restrooms and so on. This must be common in many countries.

Siam Paragon is one of the biggest shopping mall in the heart of Bangkok. It sells products from all over the world. One day while we were in Siam Paragon, we saw a queue in front of Louis Vuitton store, many people were waiting to get inside the store. I had never in my life seen people queue up to get inside a luxury store on a normal day. It wasn’t the day of a big sale or a day of new arrivals. It was just a normal weekend. Also not to mention I have seen people queue up to buy fruits/stuffs from a local street market as well.

Whenever I think about government offices in Asia, the first thing that comes to my mind is chaos. I have been to the immigration office and Department of Labour in Thailand and it is the most organised government office I have ever seen. The first thing I noticed is that it was clean and quiet. Here too, people would queue up to get their job done. I saw no middle men, no chaos and the work was done smoothly and in order.

The reason I am talking so elaborately about queuing up is that last wednesday, we went out for dinner. The place we wanted to go was across the street of the place we got down. So, in order to get there we had to cross this overhead bridge. It was an old overhead bridge and narrower than the new ones. The street was a bit crowded than usual, I hurriedly went ahead to climb the stairs only to realise that people were waiting in queue to use the overhead bridge in order to cross the road. I was surprised! And not to mention the queue was around 50 meters long! This city successfully and pleasantly surprised me once again for its ability to queue up 🙂

Do you guys have any stories to share regarding queueing up? Would love to hear them.


Filed under Culture, expat life, ramblings, Travel

Pumpkin and french beans spaghetti bake

We had bought a variety of veggies from the local market and I wanted to make a super veggie packed dinner. If we go the nepali way, either we make one item for each veggie or combine all to make a veggie curry. A and I didn’t want to have rice for dinner and making flat bread would be a lot of work. So we settled for a veggie spaghetti bake. The result was quite nice and hence I decided to include the recipe here.

Ingredients for the sauce

Pumpkin – same amount as the tomato puree
Tomato puree- 1 small can
Diced tomatoes- one big tomato dices
French beans- a bunch
Garlic-3-4 cloves smashed and chopped
Red Onions- one big onion sliced
Oregano, rosemary and thyme- according to taste
Chilly flakes and Salt to taste
Mozzarella cheese
Olive Oil-2 tablespoons

I began by cooking spaghetti and throwing in the cleaned and largely diced pumpkin in the same pot. Once the spaghetti was done, I drained it and put french beans in the hot water and let it sit for a while.

For the sauce, I fried some chopped garlic and half the red onions in olive oil first. After that I put the tomato puree in it, added some water and let it shimmer. In the meanwhile I smashed the boiled pumpkin and cut the french beans. I added all the veggies in the sauce, added oregano, rosemary and thyme along with chilly flakes and salt. I let it cook briefly(I wanted the french beans to be crisp).

After that the job was almost done. I just needed to arrange it all in a baking dish. First I put the spaghetti and then went the sauce followed by a layer of sliced red onions and diced tomatoes. I grated some mozzarella cheese on top and let it bake for 20 mins.

It was yummm..

It was yummm..

Voila! the dinner was served. It was yummy, I wish I had taken good pics of it though.

Dinner Served, no salad though :P.

Dinner Served, no salad though :P.

I made this again last night and I added beets to the veggie sauce and a layer of fresh basil leaves, it was yummier :).


Filed under Food, Kitchen

Coming in terms with life

As I wake up, Dad and I discuss about Mom’s discharge and things we need to ask the doctor. The usual routine of her Chemotherapy begins. It is the last day of her five day long Chemo sessions. As the session begins, I feel a little guilty of being tired of this place. Today, the same place that nearly frustrated me does not look so bad. The patient next to Mom’s bed has her mouth swollen. The tumor is in her lips and it is three times bigger than its normal size. The saliva drips out of her mouth all the time; that is the reason for her mouth being covered with towel most of the time. Her husband is by her side, nursing her. He is gentle as he wipes her mouth. I wonder if the husband has loved her as much all his life. Then there is the frail lady at the far end, the doctor has come to visit her. He asks her to walk in a line for him. She is feeble and she can’t walk straight. The doctor tells his son, this can result in fractures in her bones so he asks him to be careful and monitor her closely. As the doctor leaves, the lady talks to the sixty something lady by her bedside and tells her how the medicine has made her weak and she was supposed to be discharged a week ago but she’s still at the hospital. I notice they share a special bond. Their eyes speak; they tell each other “I know what you mean, I understand”. Then there is another couple, on the right of the frail lady. The husband is looking after his wife, helping her to get settled before the doctor visits her bed. He gently unties the scarf on her head; I can see her hair has completely fallen due to Chemotherapy. There are few remains of frizzy hair and it looks a little (forgive me for this) scary without the scarf. The husband tries to put together those remains of her hair and wrap the scarf around her head. It does not work the first time so he does it again. I look at his face as he wraps the scarf around her head for the second time. He has a warm kind smile on his lips and his eyes are filled with love as he gently presses the scarf to gather all the frizzy hair to form a neat knot at the back of head with the scarf. This is not an uncommon scene here at the hospital. As much as we see disease and sickly people we see and experience love, care, togetherness and healing. It is very painful at times to be at this place but I have also found profound peace and love at this same place. The mother son duo opposite to our bed is friendly. They are to be discharged today. They share some of their experiences at the hospital with us. As they take leave, the son touches my Mom’s feet as heleaves and that makes my Mom emotional. After this observation, I make peace with myself for being where I am. I feel proud and privileged to be with Mom at a time when she needs me the most. I try to settle my wandering eyes and open a book.

P.S This is the last post in my cancer diary series, you can find the rest here, here, here and here.


Filed under Cancer, Life, ramblings

A look at the sadness that surrounds

The book doesn’t keep my mind off of things going around for long. I’m tired, I had a long day today and I lay down to sleep along with all the thoughts that cloud my mind. I think of the day and I’m tired of being in a hospital. I’m tired of seeing people in pain; I’m tired of this ambience. Just last week we met a father from Pokhara who had come here with a sick child. The child had an aggressive form of blood cancer. He had been in treatment since last year. His father is well determined to save his baby.  There is another patient with the same type of blood cancer. She is also from Nepal. She is in her late 20s and has two children and a young husband. She comes to talk with my Mom sometimes and they both share thoughts on how this disease have changed their lives. Her two children are in Kathmandu and they have no idea what happened to their mother. She shares her story of how she came to know about her disease. She hopes to live but is well aware of her chances of living again. There is another middle aged couple living at the hospital since past few months. The husband in his 50s and has lung cancer. Both of their children are abroad. The wife is tired, worried and has a difficult time tending to her husband and conversing with doctors in hindi. Everywhere I look around, it is the same plot with different stories. Everyone is suffering, no one is spared. I feel like I’m living in a completely new world where nothing is certain and no one is free from pain. The scene is depressing but its the everyday of people who are here. It is cancer and it lives even outside of people suffering from this disease.

This hospital is filled with such heart wrenching stories.

I try to change the topic in my head and think about my life. I don’t know about God’s plan for me in life. I don’t know if there is a God or there are so called plans but I do not have fancy desires and wishes. I picture myself being happy in the kitchen as I make breakfast before I go to work. I like to live independently, own an apartment with a nice kitchen. I want to be working and earning enough to support my not so fancy lifestyle. I want to have a healthy social life. It would be nice to share that apartment with the person I love. I smile as I go into this realm of my imagination and at some point I fall asleep.

P.S Please follow the previous post At the wedding, Returning to an Empty nest, Going back to new normal.


Filed under Cancer, Life, ramblings

Going back to the new normal

I am at the Kathmandu airport and I’m waiting to board the flight. After I land at the Delhi airport, I take an hour long taxi ride to the hospital. I feel good for being back to be with Mom. I enter a familiar place, I reach mom’s room and there she is resting in her bed. As I see her from a distance, I notice she is not her happy self anymore. The smile on my cheerful Mom is not the same. As the dye on her hair fades, I can see traces of her gray hair, she has lost weight and her cheerful nature is not visible anymore. I don’t know why but I was expecting to find my healthy mom, the way she had been before she got the disease. It has changed her a lot, both physically and mentally. Yet she is high in spirit, I hug her and she’s very happy to see me.

I settle down for a five day stay at the hospital. I look around. Some of the faces are familiar, the nurse is familiar, some of the patients who are here for chemotherapy, the helpers and the staff, they are all familiar. I settle in and I’m happy and at peace to be with mom. I look around. There are around seven beds in this room. There is a lady in her fifties, she is very thin for her age and built. She looks like she is just 35 Kg, her son is with her. In the next bed, there is another woman, she looks like she is in her 60s, and her attendant is talking to the thin lady. The thin lady asks her if she’s admitted in the hospital for chemotherapy, the attendant tells her that the lady in her 60s finished her chemo sessions but her life is not the same. Every once in a while there are some health problems and she has to get admitted often. They both lock their eyes for a while as if they’re still communicating and get back to their respective activities. There is a new patient admitted just next to my mom’s bed. As she enters the room in a wheel chair, her mouth is covered with a face towel. Her husband is by her side, her husband and the helper struggles to lay her down on the bed. She finally settles in. I take a glance at mom to check on her. The scene makes her sad and she turns on my side and closes her eyes attempting to sleep. Just opposite to my mom’s bed, there is a rather healthy looking Punjabi lady around the same age as my mom’s. She is accompanied by her son. The son is taking good care of her, asking her if she needs anything, and peeling a banana for her. Farthest from our side there is a little girl with her mom. The girl is young around 10 0r 11 years of age and she is restless. Her Mom is admitted. As my Mom tries to sleep, I open a book to re-read the last part of it. The writer talks about the war in Afghanistan and describes the injuries and wounds of his fellow inmates. As I read this interesting journey, I think of the pain they suffer and the pain in this particular hospital room. They are similar yet so different. This pain is uninvited, unwanted and much against the will and knowledge of the bearers. The pain in the war is anticipated, known and the bearer is prepared in some way to take the pain and suffering. The pain in the war is somewhat planned and the consequences are obvious where as the source of pain in the hospital is unknown and the patients ponder upon their fate and destiny as they struggle for their lives. Besides the pain there is one more thing common in the warriors and the patients. They both fight with honor. The warriors fight with honor for their own cause expecting something in return at the end but the patients fight with honor with no expectations for a cause that is yet unknown to them and for a cause that might never be known to them. The pain is similar but the source of pain is different, very different. I travel to remote mountains of Afghanistan along with the writer. I forget for a moment that I’m in a hospital. The dialogues and the conversations in the book intrigue me.
 P.S You can catch the prequel to this post at  At the wedding, Returning to an empty nest.


Filed under Cancer, Life, ramblings

Returning to an empty nest

The wedding is over, I say the goodbyes and I return home. Someone drops me home and I know there’s going to be no one at home. It is around 6pm, it is winter and it’s a little dark outside. As I walk in, there is no electricity because of load shedding. I go to the puja room and I sit there for a while. It’s the room where mom medicates everyday and it is calm and soothing in here. I tell myself, everything is going to be fine, I smile and I go upstairs. There is no electricity but there is light in one of the rooms. I sit there and read a book. As I read the book, my mind wanders. Before we left for Delhi, we all were so happy. I was finally back from my 2 years of graduate studies. Mom was happiest to have her kid back in the house. Everyday we cooked different kinds of food and invited guests over. Life looked so normal. Soon it was Dashain and Bua was excited about the elaborate goat meat menu we would be relishing. Mom had started complaining about her recurrent stomach pain that would not go away. We had taken her to a hospital in Kathamandu and we were waiting for some tests to be done which was postponed for a week because of Dashain. We all had no clue of the upcoming storm. I was happy thinking about the good things that were coming my way. My life had been just the way I wanted it to be. I had a good job offer in hand, I was relaxed, I was home and I felt like my life was finally taking off the way I wanted it to. I guess this feeling was what we call the silence before the storm. I knew this experience would take way the “nothing can go wrong” philosophy out of my mind. I will always know our world is not perfect and that anything can happen we just have to learn how to deal with the situation.

I am glad that I’m leaving for Delhi tomorrow to be with my parents. Someone drops me at the airport and I can’t wait to board the flight, take a taxi, go straight to the hospital and hug Mom. She must be eagerly waiting for me. Although she never mentioned over the phone I’m sure she must’ve missed me.

P.S This post is the continuation of At the wedding.


Filed under Cancer, Life, ramblings