Monday, October 31, 2011


Imagine this house. Imagine that it is completely isolated and no motorable roads reached it. Even now. Imagine tin roofs when all the houses nearby were thatched. Imagine the immense love and pride with which this house was constructed. Imagine the laughter of the generations of children growing up in this house. Imagine all the happy times in this house. Imagine such a house 60 or 70 years ago when such a house would have been a source of envy even in the urban areas of Nepal.

Image of such a house somewhere remote in east Nepal.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Ilam Chiyabari in Aitabare, Ilam was the first orthodox tea company in Nepal to introduce overhead conveyors to convey the arriving green tea leaves from the ground floor to the withering troughs on the first floor leading to higher efficiency and effective use of manpower. A case of the overhead reducing overheads!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Lovely, Dark and Deep

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

-Robert Frost (b.1874 - d.1963)
"Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening". Written in 1922 and published in 1923

Image: Aitabare, Ilam, October 2011.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dhaka, Terathum

52 km north east of Jun Chiyabari in Hile, Dhankuta lies the town of Myaglung in Terathum district of Nepal. Here, as in other eastern districts of Nepal, fabrics are hand woven by women in geometric designs. This fabric is called Dhaka. Dhaka weaving tradition has been passed down from generation to generation by the womenfolk.

Scarves and caps made from such hand woven fabrics are popular. One would not find any self respecting Nepali from the older generation without his Dhaka Topi (cap). These Dhaka fabrics make a good souvenir or gifts.

There are some tea farmers in Terathum around the villages of Jiri Khimti and Lasune. The leaves are usually processed by the factories in Hile.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Road to Myaglung

I have always known
That at last I would

Take this road, but yesterday

I did not know that it would be today.

Ariwara no Narihira 在原 業平 (825 – 880)

Road with blue and white houses in Myaglung, Terathum district of Nepal

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Makalu 8481

At 8481 metres Makalu is the 5th highest mountain in the world.

Jun Chiyabari's Ramche division with Makalu in the background against a brilliant blue autumn sky. Tea grows in the foreground while paddy is ready to be harvested. A thick mixed forest extends to the ridge that falls steeply to Arun river valley. From this point at ca. 1650 metres to Makalu's summit at 8481 metres is about 90 km as the crow flies.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Autumn Leaves

The falling leaves drift by my window
The falling leaves of red and gold

I see your lips, the summer kisses

The sunburned hands I used to hold

Since you went away the days grow long

And soon I'll hear old winter's song

But I miss you most of all, my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall.

From the 1945 French song, "Les Feuilles Mortes".
Lyrics by the poet Jacques Prévert
Music by Joseph Kosma
Image: Nagano, Japan

Friday, October 7, 2011

Thank you!

Thank you Steve Sensei.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Dasain Tihar food

Autumn in Nepal means festivals. Festivals mean special Nepali food. For example this typical concoction called Sel (pronounced like Sale) usually made around the festival of Dasain and Tihar in October - November.

Once it is made, it remains edible for months without the need for refrigeration. So it is really green food. Of course you will not find it in Nepali restaurants. Specially not in those faux Nepali restaurants that pass off naan and tandoori as Nepali food. Or even in those unimaginative Nepali restaurants that limit Nepali cuisine to momos only. You can find plenty of those types of Nepali restaurants in Tokyo, London and New York.

Unlike momos, sels go really well with tea.