Saturday, November 25, 2006

A Journalist's Day in Nepal

Here is my answer to a commenter who says that I've become sluggish. This is an unedited version of my diary published in OhmyNews International.

I must confess at the outset: I am not fortunate enough to have sunrays enter my room and welcome me to a joyous daybreak. I share my two room apartment with a cousin- brother and a younger brother. The room is dark and dank.

The area where I live is a ghetto, almost aptly called Ghattekulo in Nepali. In this part of Kathmandu, many five to six storey buildings have been erected–a sign of rapid yet ugly urbanazition. It renders the sunbeam impossible to penetrate.

I wake up at around 7 am and do the morning's regular activities. One of my brothers prepares black tea. It gives me great pleasure to see the morning newspapers at my doorstep. Kantipur Daily and The Kathmandu Post and every Sunday Nepal Weekly magazine are my morning staples. I am a feature reporter for Nepal Weekly. Kantipur Publications which publishes my magazine provides these and other newspapers and magazines free of cost. At times, I am a bit annoyed if I don't find the newspapers at the doorstep. My neighbours take advantage of being early birds.

Sipping tea and witnessing the serendipity brought at my bedroom by newspapers is how I spend my mornings. Moreover, we are living in an overly interesting times in Nepal. We are the witnesses to the history-in-making. People from other countries are awed by recent historical agreement between Seven Party Aliance (SPA) and Maoists that ended a decade long bloody insurgency and paved the way for peaceful Nepal.

Till few months ago, I used to go jogging. But, as my legs started aching badly, I gave it up. Nowadays, in the foggy and extremely cold mornings, I confine myself inside the room, covering my body with the quilt.

Winter days in Kathmandu make me little lethargic. I love the warm sunlights and the cloudbrusts. My cousin works for a medicine distributors. He leaves for office at 9:30 am. We take meal together. The other brother is jobless, so is free to follow his own schedule. The morning meal is equavalent to lunch. It's not the proper time for lunch, but that's what most of the Nepalis are used to.

At 10:45 am, I embark on my Hero Honda Splendor bike for my office, Kantipur Complex at downtown Kathmandu. It takes ten minutes to reach my office. But the road is full of potholes; most of the times I am stuck in traffic jam, not to mention the cacophony of horns. The chaotic driving, smoke emanating from the vehicles–I wish we had better roads, clean air and well-managed traffic.

At office, I greet my seniors and colleagues, read newspapers, talk to them on different issues, and go for tea. The day passes in making contacts, meeting people or discussing the issues. Canteen or the roadside cafe is where I share story ideas with my reperter-friends, goof around and break into laughters.

Since it's the canteen of Nepal's biggest media house, we run into many interesting people. We also get an opportunity to say hello or have a few words with the senior colleagues of The Kathmandu Post and Kantipur. The canteen often gets heated with political discourse. The peace deal between SPA and Maoists is an inevitable topic and we discuss the political issues with a passion and cynicism of journalists. We often tell ourselves that the true democracy is practised in Kantipur Complex. We cherish and value this hard-earned freedom very much because we have undergone unprecedented censorship and supression during King Gyanendra's autocratic rule.

Meeting people invariably brings joy to me. Some people turn out to be tough to handle while others quite cooperative. While at office, I am either surfing the Net or reading the newspapers. I visit my favourite blog sites, Web sites of The New York Times and International Herald Tribune. Oh Yes, I often check OhmyNews International to find out what my fellow citizen reporters are writing. I maintain my personal blog; I make sure that I post one entry every week.

While checking the Net or reading the newspapers and magazines, I usually grope for story ideas. I also long to hone my writing skills through such readings.

I return home usually at 7 pm. Sometimes, I bring the Indian newspapers The Hindu, Hindustan Times and India Today, Outlook magazines home and spend the evening going through them.

I purchased a fifteen inch Samsung TV in the eve of World Cup Football. I usually watch Katipur TV, CNN and BBC and also music channels like MTV and Yo.

I read or write while my brothers prepare food. I take food at 8:45, drink a lot of water, read books and listen to BBC Nepali news. I hit the sack at around 10 pm.


neppal said...

"Deepak Adhikari has summarized his daily life in his blog A Journalist’s Day in Nepal."

Anonymous said...

Its interesting how you document your life. It has a muffassil and R.K. Narayan sort of simplicity to it.

Best wishes!