Pravin Chitrakar, Founder and Director of Patan Handicrafts, and the Creative Director of Yala Mandala, decided to take a chance and embrace the age old advice–follow your heart. Since he made that decision, life, for him, has been all about learning about, preserving and furthering Nepal’s rich artisan traditions. He has been in the skill-based business of arts and craft for more than a decade, since 1992, but his love and passion for Nepali craftsmanship remains alive, and shows when in conversation. In a chat with Alok Thapa of M&S VMAG, Chitrakar shares that the increasing interest in the provenance and authenticity of handicrafts in Nepal is bringing about a renaissance of the arts and crafts. He also talks about how our country needs more critical thinkers who can foster creativity and passion in this industry so that Nepal can carve out an identity as the nation of the finest handicrafts.
Shila Thapa, once a homemaker, currently works with individuals with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities. Credited with being the first person in Nepal to advocate about the disorder, Thapa is the Founder President of Down Syndrome Society Nepal (DSSN).
At a time when everything is moving so fast–changes in habits, attitudes, technology, life itself–Kishor Kayastha wants his photo work to do the opposite. With a click, he can freeze a sliver of time, and document it for the next generation. He wants to draw viewers into “his world”, where people can create their own interpretation of stories from his photos. On the cusp of releasing his short film Shifting Valley, Kayastha talks to Alok Thapa of M&S VMAG about his early days, what Kathmandu Valley means to him and how his unique vision is sometimes misunderstood.
Temba Tsheri Sherpa encourages everybody to find their own Everest and work towards reaching the top – just like he did, one step at a time!
Dibesh Karmacharya always wanted to work in wildlife, and later, in genetics and biotechnology. And he wanted to do his work in Nepal. The first time he tried to do so, after having finished his studies in the US, he couldn’t get things going here, so he went back to work in the US. But even as he worked on challenging projects there, he kept thinking about doing cutting-edge research here in Nepal.
Rosy Pun is today one of the most sought-after fitness instructors in town. Pun, the owner of Niraamayae Fitness Studio and Academy, a 12,000 sq ft fitness facility, in Chakrapath, is known for being the consummate fitness professional. Little do people know that she has gotten to where she is after having had to piece back her life after living through years when she had lost all hope that she would be able to make something of herself. In this candid conversation with VMAG’s Alok Thapa talks about her unique life journey.
Everyone has a story to tell, and for Prachanda Man Shrestha, film has been his platform through which to tell a variety of incredible stories about ordinary people. The noted scriptwriter’s second directorial venture Love Sasha is imbued with many subtle nuances that are at play in interpersonal relationships, and Shrestha is confident that the movie will resonate with its audience on an emotional level.
Dr Uma Shrivastava, reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist at Infertility Centre Nepal (ICN), derives immense pleasure from giving people hope. Through her work, Dr Shrivastava has helped many infertile couples make use of in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures to conceive, while at the same destigmatize infertility. In this conversation with Alok Thapa of M&S VMAG, the IVF specialist talks about the intricacies of IVF treatment, why we need to regulate IVF practice and what infertile couples need to know before resorting to IVF.
Listening to Lochan Rijal sing makes for a cerebral experience. His unconventional approach to music has given him something that he was not too keen on garnering when he started out–popularity. Known for his reverence for Nepali ethnic melodies, Rijal is the first South Asian to complete a PhD programme in ethnomusicology.
Ghana Shyam Gurung, the Senior Conservation Program Director at WWF Nepal, is a part idealist, part realist whose love of nature began from his early childhood spent in the rugged, arid and haunting wilderness of Upper Mustang. Growing up in a herding community, Gurung’s psyche, much like others, was programed to hate the killers of their main source of livelihood – snow leopard.
A passion for the work one does and the ability to turn an idea into reality is what makes a good entrepreneur. Shyam Badan Shrestha is one such entrepreneur: she dared to start her own venture of knotted handicrafts with a paltry sum of Rs 200, out of a makeshift workshop in her house. Today, she has successfully turned her hobby into a profession.
In Nepal, it can be exceedingly difficult to make a living through football. And yet, unfazed by the challenges, Raju Kaji Shakya has devoted his life to the game and ended up winning SAF gold as a player, captain and coach for Nepali national football team.
From humble beginnings to the top of the banking world–the story of Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Civil Bank Govinda Gurung reveals the underlying truth of any success story: that hard work increases the probability of serendipity.
Nothing is impossible! When Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita states that to be her life’s mantra, it’s easy to think that it’s a just a line. But spend some time with the mountain lover and The National Geographic Adventurer of the Year 2016, and it becomes quite clear that she literally has made a life out of overcoming the impossible.
Every sport has its wonder-child. In Nepali squash, it’s Hira Bahadur Thapa. It’s not that he started playing squash by fluke and then went on to dominate the sport. It’s not that he went unbeaten for 17 years. It’s not that he has reached the final in most of the events that he’s ever played in. The appeal of Thapa lies in his honesty and his humble nature that masks a passionate fighter.
Contrary to them lovelorn words – What Kamala Shrestha possess is more than any of us could even fathom – She has peace. Losing both her hands and a leg to a life altering accident at the age of 12. The brave one has fought against all odds and today… her achievements make her an epitome of endless inspirations.
One of the reasons old buildings tug at our heartstrings might simply be that they’re old and irreplaceable. Rabindra Puri of Namuna Ghar fame is a master of ‘thoughtfully’ combining old and new aesthetics to create buildings that blend seamlessly with their ancient surroundings.
It is easy for some to preach but not practice. But, leading by example is Som Paneru, who has taken his commitment to “providing education for the needy kids” beyond charity, and also into developing social enterprise.
Selflessness, consistency and humility are the hallmarks of special teachers who take care of kids with special-needs. Amazingly humble, Dayaram Maharjan has been helping the uniquely-abled children find a place under the sun for nearly three decades. His organization, Disabled Service Association (DSA), which has now given hundreds of disabled kids a safe home, education, and hope for a better future.
When he got his first camera – a hand-me-down, tiny point and shoot – Jagadish Tiwari hadn’t remotely considered that it might one day provide a career for him. Today, Tiwari’s famous panorama posters adorn the walls of restaurants, appear on brochures, postcards and are picked up by tourists as souvenirs. In conversation with the veteran landscape and mountain photographer who believes that for those who are artistically inclined, there’s no place to be born than in a photogenic country like Nepal.
Govinda Narsingh KC has been the first timer in many occasions, like the first Nepali to have earned the title of Executive Chef and first chef to have been felicitated with Gorkha Dakshin Bahu. From a humble beginning from a little sleepy village in Nuwakot, KC has gone on to leave a lasting impression on the Nepali culinary community.
In conversation with Pramod Shrestha of Himalayan Enflieders.
He shuns mediocrity and no detail goes unnoticed, perhaps not surprising from the hospitality graduate from Switzerland who took the famed Nepali hospitality and gave it an international upgrade. In conversation with the founder of GATE College — Khem Lakai.
Mediation expert at the Asia Foundation, Preeti Thapa’s mission has been to facilitate justice at the community level, and help build a peaceful nation. One of the invisible forces in Nepal’s judiciary system, she is an instrumental figure, who has helped lay the foundation of community mediation in Nepal.
Thapa believes if encouraged women can do more than just ‘take care’, they can also ‘take charge’ in the nation building process.
When Buddha Air was launched two decades ago with one aircraft, Birendra Bahadur Basnet could hardly have imagined the company would become one of the largest and most popular domestic carriers. Coming from a family of farmers in eastern Nepal, today he is amongst Nepal’s most successful entrepreneurs.