Diwakar Pyakurel is a Kathmandu-based bilingual journalist. He writes features on society and culture, art and literature, and entrepreneurship, among others.

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‘Nepal’s Taj Mahal’ was deserted for a century. Can it get its glory back?

If you have ever mugged up general knowledge question-answers for a quiz contest or a ‘Loksewa’ exam, you will know which historical monument is called Nepal’s ‘Taj Mahal’. While millions of Nepalis have heard about the Rani Mahal in Palpa, only a small section of the population has visited the place. Apparently, the century-old monument […]

Nepal’s ‘most quoted monkey expert’ says zoology should be connected to common people’s lives

After reports of a ‘mass suicide’ by monkeys in Chautara of Sindhupalchok district came out, zoologist Dr Mukesh Chalise’s phone was abuzz the entire week. Chalise, the most quoted ‘monkey expert’ in Nepali media, retired from the Central Department of Zoology of the Tribhuvan University last month. Onlinekhabar recently caught up with Chalise, whose PhD […]

Na Yeta Na Uta movie review: Hollow humour doesn’t sell

Scientist-turned-actor Sameer Mani Dixit will benefit more than anyone else from the recent release ‘Na Yeta Na Uta’. The biomedical researcher, who already wears numerous hats ranging from a TV host to that of a ‘weatherman for Twitterati’, he adds one more. He is as a lead actor of the movie, and he is proud […]

Besides Melamchi, Kathmandu needs robust groundwater recharge. These are critical places to improve the system

While Kathmanduites continue to believe that the Melamchi Water Supply Project will eventually quench their perpetual thirst, recent research shows that the ambitious megaproject will not be sufficient to meet the capital city’s demand. Pointing at the potential failure, these researchers further disappoint the public as they fail to give alternative solutions most of the […]

Nepal’s ophthalmic researchers pin hopes on handheld mobile devices to serve rural population

As a student of ophthalmology and later as a glaucoma expert, something always bugged Suman Thapa. A general consensus among ophthalmologists was that they should not test for ailments, with a low prevalence rate, that they couldn’t treat affordably; and glaucoma, the second biggest cause of blindness after cataract, was one of them. One and […]

Stunting in Nepal: Besides chauchau and chips, local crops may also be responsible

The nutrition status of Nepali children was in the limelight across the world last week as The Guardian carried a story about the excessive consumption of junk food by Nepali kids. The report highlighted high junk food leaves many Nepali children undernourished and stunted. The report calls for parents to encourage their kids to eat […]

Metta Hastakala: The challenging business of turning banners to bags

Rushka Sthapit worked for CWIN, a leading child rights NGO,  between 2012 and 2014 as an environmental officer. Besides her regular work, she also wanted to do something extra to prove herself as an ‘environmental officer’. She wanted to devise a unique project that could also contribute to the environment. “Therefore, my colleagues and I […]

Ghar movie review: This ‘horror movie’ also offers you humour, and it’s okay

Because a very few ‘horror’ movies have been made in the Nepali cinema industry, this week’s release Ghar essentially offers a different taste to the audience. It tells the story of a haunted house in the Nepali context. The story begins by projecting common aspirations of an ordinary Nepali family; and the horrors are gradually […]

Sano Mann movie review: An unappealing psychological hotchpotch

If only it were woven skillfully, Sano Mann(‘A Small Heart’), would register itself as an unprecedented psychological drama in the Nepali film industry. But it fails due to its lack of focus, overdramatisation and the use of cliched formula. The movie, which could potentially tell the story of psychological trauma healed through human relationships, ends up […]

Kathmandu is getting hotter every year; but districts nearby are heating up more quickly

As the summer reached its peak this year a few weeks ago, you perhaps felt that Kathmandu has become hotter than before. You might have spent many hours restlessly, praying for the monsoon to arrive soon so that you could get some relief from the heat. But, did you know that your feelings are backed […]

Tyre Treasures: This startup upcycles trash tyres to make furniture items

While the traditional formula of cutting down on the amount of waste has been restricted to 3 ‘R’s (reduce, reuse and recycle), Tyre Treasures, a two-year-old startup company run by two young women, goes one step ahead and exemplifies what ‘upcycling’ means in the Kathmandu context. Tyre Treasures is a company that produces indoor and […]

As long as caste system remains there, we cannot go beyond the medieval-era society: Suraj Yengde

With the controversy over a Public Service Commission notice calling applications for 9,000 plus vacancies at the local level, Nepali political leaders and commentators are once again debating the relevance of reservation allocated to various social groups. Along with that, many issues about rights of the disadvantaged groups have come to the fore again. Dalits, […]

Appa movie review: This Nepali-Indian flick tells a universal story in its own style

Appa gives the Nepali audience a unique flavour, thanks to its setting and the language. The movie is shot in Kalimpong, India, and its characters are Nepali-speaking Christians. When the scenes move between illuminated town hubs and foggy villages, the audience feels that they are travelling to Kalimpong and interacting with the Nepali people there. […]

How a transgender student is fighting for her right to education

For nearly two years, Rukshana Kapali, assigned ‘male’ at birth, has been stuck at an important crossroad of life. In front of her are a few options, but each of them is confusing and fraught with challenges. Nonetheless, Kapali who identifies as a woman now is clear that she cannot wait indefinitely, and the show […]

Prem Diwas movie review: Unique love story falls prey to directorial incompetence, and bad timing

Perhaps this was not the right time for Prem Diwas to hit the screens. First, this is not Valentine’s month. Second, enraged by the arrest of YouTuber Pranesh Gautam for his ‘review’ of a recent Nepali movie, many social media users have called for a boycott of Nepali movies. Key theatres in Kathmandu wore a […]

A lesson to neighbours: The fall and rise of vulture population in Nepal

In his youth, ornithologist Hem Sagar Baral couldn’t care less about vultures he would see around his village “because there were too many of them; they were like sparrows and crows.” But that changed soon as Baral observed something was amiss with the bird of prey. He realised that they were gradually disappearing. Later in […]

‘Startup enabler’ Khanal: Entrepreneurship is driven by interests, not scope

Finance Minister Yuba Raj Khatiwada announced in his budget speech for the next fiscal that new startups can get a tax exemption if they register themselves under the VAT regime within six months of the new fiscal. With the announcement, startup companies have come into the limelight yet again. The startup community in Nepal has […]

Jatrai Jatra movie review: Comic retelling of life’s complex philosophy

For the Nepali comedy lovers who were frustrated with recent Dal Bhat Tarkari, Jatrai Jatra is a relief. This week’s release makes sincere efforts to make the audience laugh with a smoothly narrated story presented in natural acting. Though it falters a bit in the second half due to overdramatisation, the movie is evidence that […]

Dal Bhat Tarkari movie review: This MaHa project is hollow

This is the first time I have been reluctant to write a review after watching a movie. I used to enjoy writing reviews of ‘distasteful’ dirty comedies like Garud Puran and Chauka Dau because I could mock the actors and slam the story with my words, and my readers would believe it. This week’s release […]

A Mero Hajur 3 movie review: Is it comic parody, love story, or religious preaching?

Given the nature of its story, A Mero Hajur 3 could have been a metafilm that could present to the audience the underbelly of the entertainment industry. However, it is so poorly developed that it ends up being a cheap and comic parody of a star’s power and limitations. Fascinating appearance Nevertheless, let’s begin the […]

Love Station movie review: The superman’s romantic drama

Rani calling Sagar a ‘superman’ might go unnoticed to many members of the audience, but the term, for a section of critical watchers, is the one that defines the movie. This week’s release, Love Station, is a superman’s story, where everything is possible for the powerful hero. This is more a drama, with some romantic […]

Bajra Brick: This startup is trying to make Nepal’s construction industry greener

Born and brought up in Chyamhasingh of Bhaktapur, Bikram Prajapati was irritated at the sight of brick kiln chimneys scattered around his house and black smoke that billowed from them. As a child, however, he did not know what to do about it; he felt helpless. As Prajapati was growing up, he learned that dust […]

Saili movie review: A romantic social drama about the cost of labour migration

Before you go to the theatre to watch this week’s release Saili, understand that the movie is not an extension to the popular song with the same title, though it borrows its title from the sentimental piece. Along with the title, the movie also borrows lead characters from the song. Yet, the film is a standalone […]

From NGO to enterprise: The paradigm shift of self-defence training in Nepal

It had been a few months since her uncle (her mother’s brother) harassed her. However, this teenage girl, studying at a secondary school in Lalitpur, could not report this issue to anyone. She thought no one would support her. When her school organised a ‘self-defence’ training in 2018, she learned why it was important to […]

BuzzFeed, WWF and Khaag: What do they say about Chitwan National Park’s conservation model?

Perhaps the publication of a media report on the global conservation NGO WWF’s alleged involvement in providing assistance and rewards to nature park officials involved in human rights violation across the world and the release of a Nepali movie based on the memoir of a Nepali park ranger within the same week is only a coincidence. But […]

Khaag movie review: Neither documentary nor feature film

Witnessing a ‘real’ story in a feature film is fun for the audience, but making such a movie is an equally challenging task for filmmakers. When you go to the theatre to watch this week’s release Khaag, you have to consider the peculiar position of this movie. It is not like a regular movie; it […]

Why 25 25-year-old youth gathered in Nepal and what they are going to do next

When Trump assumed office in January 2017, Emma Artley, then 23, was working for the US government’s international cooperation agency, USAID, for a short term. Looking forward to some exciting announcements from the new administration, Artley was shocked when the new administration reinstated and expanded the Global Gag Rule. The president’s order not only forbade […]

Captain movie review: This Anmol KC starrer is a story of makers’ misses

When Anmol KC told reporters recently that ‘Captain’ would be more entertaining than World Cup Football, he was either lying or was under an illusion. The ‘sports genre’ Nepali movie does not impress—despite its unique theme, the storyline is cliched and boring. From a technical perspective, this project represents an unskilled craft. Clichéd and invented drama […]

Orange Ball: The story of a stubborn teen’s transformation into promising entrepreneur

  Biddha Nanda Jha is used to taking on challenges. When a ‘mistake’ changed his official name from ‘Buddha Nanda’ to ‘Biddha Nanda’, he accepted it as a challenge. “My father named me Budhha Nanda. I don’t know how, but my school certificate named me ‘Bidhha Nanda’; no one knows what it means.” When a tarot […]

Bulbul movie review: Ordinariness is the power of this psychological drama

Though its producers and distributors describe Bulbul as a social drama, it essentially is a psychological affair in a realistic setting–something rarely seen in the Nepali cinema industry. The movie communicates complex issues of human psychology through a plain life-like story told straightforward. Though the story’s end is a bit ambiguous, the movie, overall, is beautiful […]

Chronicles of the Himalayas: This game aims to take Nepali culture to the world

Born and brought up in Butwal of western Nepal, just a few kilometres north of the Indian town of Sunauli, Uday Gurung watched a lot of Hindi TV cartoons during his childhood. Perhaps this is why, he frequently utters ‘agar’, which means ‘if’ or ‘although’ in Hindi, when he talks to people in Nepali. But, […]

Summer Love movie review: Presentation flaws block crazy love story’s vigour

When Subin Bhattarai’s debut novel Summer Love rose to unexpected popularity in the Kathmandu market in 2013, it received a mixed response. Whereas some people appreciated the book as a ‘bestseller’ and ‘trendsetter’, many others accused the novel of introducing a pulp fiction culture in Nepal. Now, the crazy love story is back again, on […]

Ranveer movie review: Interesting but exaggerated blend of love and conflict

An ‘action movie’ tag, an extravagant trailer that attracted 1000s of clicks every day, two debutant heroines and a Bollywood-style title—this week’s release ‘Ranveer’ has many things to make Nepali cinema fans go to the theatres. As they sit inside the cosy theatre for two-and-a-half hours (including the interval), they find the movie worth the […]

Can federalism really help Kathmandu get to grips with its perennial water crisis?

With the government decision to terminate its contract with the Italian builder, CMC, to complete the tunnel works of much ambitious Melamchi Water Supply Project, Kathmanduites’ dream of receiving as much water as the city needs has been deferred again. While such frequent interruptions have dashed hopes of the common people, they have left researchers […]

A longtime friend’s memory of disappeared ‘Father of Nepali Anthropology’

Perhaps one of the biggest tragedies for Nepal’s anthropologists till date is the disappearance of Dor Bahadur Bista, whom many consider the Father of Nepali Anthropology. Though Bista’s whereabouts is not known since 1996, Nepali academia and anthropological fraternity celebrated his 92nd birthday last Friday. While contemporary students of Nepali anthropology recognise him through his […]

Garud Puran movie review: Dirty and knotty story in deceiving title

Garud Puran, for Hindus of Nepal, is the scripture that helps departed souls go to heaven safely and inspires the living to follow the right path. But, the movie Garud Puran released this week has nothing to do with heaven or hell. The title is apparently deceiving as there are not sufficient grounds to give […]

Chauka Dau movie review: Cheap comic pastime

Santosh Pant is back on the screen; perhaps this is the most exciting news associated with the release of Chauka Dau. Besides this, there’s nothing new in the movie. Its usefulness is restricted to just adding one more production to the already overcrowded new film list. ‘Cheap’ comedy Though the movie is filled with fun, […]

Jay Shree Daam movie review: Impressive acting fails to cover plot full of holes

Regular moviegoers, except those who have been minutely keeping an eye on minor characters, would not recognise the lead actors of this week’s release, Jay Shree Daam. Yet, their acting will not disappoint you. It is the overdramatic plot, with its unnecessarily twists, that makes the movie look like an impoverished labyrinth. Hence, you come […]

NAC wide-body controversy: 10 reasons the deal did not seem right to lawmakers

Kathmandu, January 3 A subcommittee under the Public Accounts Committee of House of Representatives formed to investigate into alleged irregularities in the purchase of two wide-body aircraft for Nepal Airlines Corporation on Tuesday submitted its report to the committee, concluding that the state lost Rs 4.35 billion in the deal. The report indicts Civil Aviation […]

Nepali researcher leads promising discoveries in global battle against cancer

When a 54-year-old man got admitted to the National Cancer Centre Hospital in Kashiwa of Japan and got diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer a few years ago, the doctors thought it would be another miserable death within next few months. They had not known any pancreatic cancer patient living more than six months of diagnosis. Hopeless, the […]

Prasad movie review: Realistic love story blended with polished cinema art

This week’s release Prasad will answer you why the screenplay and its presentation are equally important in a commercial film. The powerful story is filled with visual and auditory symbols picked from daily life of the people in society.  Its cinematic performance well suits the depth and richness of the story. Polished acting of lead […]

Kavach: Nepali brand on mission to blend safety with riding culture

Arabinda Subedi was excited about bikes since his early youth, but the fear of accidents would always haunt him. Though he never had any serious accidents while riding, he knew many friends and colleagues who sustained injuries in severe accidents. “Further, post-accident hassles would be equally painful. It would take months of bed rest, without […]

Dream Girl movie review: Moral preaching, women’s objectification overrun love story

This week’s release, Dream Girl, has a complicated love story, which could have been more interesting if the development of events were probable and necessary. For the want of natural flow in the plot, the movie seems to be forcefully stretched, yet some dramatic revelations do not let the audience deviate. In a bid to […]

Threat Con: Nepal’s first hackers’ convention aims at improving the country’s cybersecurity status

When Abiral Shrestha and Suyash Nepal, members of a private research team, carried out an investigation into the status of data security on Nepali websites last year, they were taken by surprise. “We were aware that Nepali websites were not safe, but the number was really alarming: 700 plus websites were found attacked by hackers,” […]

Plastic bag ban in Nepal: How the ‘best decision in history’ lost its teeth

Pradip Khatiwada, 27, lives in Bauddha, Kathmandu. When he needs to buy sugar, he takes a plastic container along. Before the grocer opens the sugar sack, he hands the container over to the shopkeeper. The shopkeeper then puts the sugar in the container. “When there are other customers waiting in line, they laugh at me,” […]

Changa Chet movie review: Interesting story in clichéd style equals ‘masala film’

This week’s release Changa Chet has potential to attract at least one big segment of the Nepali audience—this production has almost everything it seeks in a movie, such as money crime love and lust. Yet, for another class of moviegoers, the most significant thing they will remember is that its producer is standing trial for […]

Opposite Dreams: Six young artists revive local histories

‘Danpheko Katha’, a story of a mountain man and the Himalayan monal around him, was one of Subas Tamang’s most favourite stories during his school days.  But as soon as he grew up and learned to think critically, the chapter he found in his brother’s textbook frustrated him as he saw the political agenda of rulers […]

It’s not only flames they fight, Kathmandu firefighters strive for work safety

The two weeks between Nepal’s two biggest festivals—Dashain and Tihar—is a relaxing period for many. But, these two weeks make Parashu Ram Shahi, 53, and his three dozen colleagues, anxious. As Kathmanduites prepare for the Festival of Lights, Shahi is busy preparing for the worse. A firefighter for past 17 years, Shahi says Kathmandu Valley […]

DroNepal: Young engineers’ quest to use UAVs for development

After the magnitude 7.6 earthquake rattled Nepal on April 25, 2015, security personnel and locals spent weeks in rescuing the injured. The rescue work could not gather pace because they did not have a birdseye view of far-flung areas. Engineer Darpan Pudasaini, who was developing robots to meet various practical needs, was aware that drones could […]

Jai Bhole movie review: Lamichhane fails to maintain his ‘creative’ image

Theatre artist Khagendra Lamichhane rose to fame with the 2016 blockbuster Pashupati Prasad. Now, two years after his most successful feat, he is back to square one as both his storytelling and acting in the recently released Jai Bhole lack the vigour and focus his fans expect from him. Senior artist Ashok Sharma’s attempt to […]

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