Monday, November 05, 2007

Forbidden City: Not So Forbidden: SEBS In The Metro

Long Time No See

Kapil Mishra sent out an Evite invitation. People showed up in batches. I was the first to show. People strolled in. Then the second round people showed up around midnight. The third round arrived at two in the morning. In all more than 30 people showed. These were SEBS members, their significant others, and friends. These were mostly the Manhattan crowd, people who had gone through the American undergraduate experience.

At some level, I have felt like an outsider for a while now. Partly by circumstance, partly by choice. That is not necessarily a bad place to be. That actually is the only place to be if you want to do out of the box thinking.

So we got together Saturday evening. I showed up at 9:30, on the dot. You won't believe it. I walked from home. It was a leisurely walk, with a drop by at the Park Slope Barnes & Noble.

When I first got the invite, I was not so sure I wanted to show up. Then I kind of got excited. I called up Kapil in the morning and said as much.

Everybody who showed was younger than me. As people get older, they seem to grow out of SEBS. They get more into family and their closest circle of friends. Me, I happen to be trying, working to regain my social muscles after two intense years online. I had individually met some of the people at various events and liked the conversations. Some people like Kedar and Bhupendra I have known a long time. I was their House Captain my Class 10 year. Bhupendra is now SEBS North America president. Most of SEBS business gets taken care of through conference calls, he said. Bhupendra drives a car. For someone living in the city, that felt exotic. The concept of driving a car.

One beer is enough for me for one evening. I don't get the concept of male bonding around beer. I get conversations. And at some level I fear the idea of a beer belly. But several of the others went for some hard liquor. Small glass vessels mean hard liquor. Alcohol is like cigarettes.

I hopped from one part of the joined tables to another. It was three different seats for me until we finally walked outside where there was no music and noise and so we could actually talk.

Sanjiv Shrestha was part of the second batch. He said he came from a momo party in Brooklyn. Well, that is two things I like, momo and Brooklyn. He went to Carlton. I met a Carlton graduate Asian American at the US embassy the summer before I came to the US who was on a year long world tour. Sanjiv said he almost went to Berea where I went. He now works at Goldman. Ends up he is a classmate and friend of my Janakpur neighbor and relative Sanjiv Shah, namesake. And then out on the pavement he told me my sister was also at the same momo party. And then he was into some matchmaking that involved me. I guess we two got very comfortable very fast.
If you are the same batch as your namesake Sanjiv, I must have seen you back at BNKS, I said.

It felt great. Then I left at two just when the rest of the people from the momo party also arrived. My sister was part of the crowd. I wish I had stayed for a few more hours. Shraddha Aryal was also part of the crowd. Sanjiv was trying to matchmake the two of us. I sent out an asking you out email the following day. That might have been a dead end. Since I have not heard anything back.

I have a lingering feeling this group should meet regularly, a few times a year. How about the first Saturday every other month at 8 PM at Rudy's near Times Square where the hot dogs are free, and beer is $3, pitcher $10. The place has a backyard, and it has a heated tent during winter.

Rabindra said he got married. Kedar I know is married although he came on his own. Bhupendra was there with his wife. Rahul was there with his wife who is from some place near Lahan. Kapila and Pratikshya are a couple, of course.

Rabindra and I talked at length about his industry. I have been following the news on the huge writedowns the banks are having to go through. It is a tough time for the big investment banks right now. A lot of big heads be rolling.

Samin is a medic. There was a Pratikshya relative, Girvan, like Girvan Yuddha Bir Bikram.

Kapil asked me about my startup. The music was so loud at that point, I was practically shouting.

He said Nepal having access to the Bay Of Bengal as a right was the best thing that could happen to the Nepali economy. I put forth the same view in my 1993 book: Sangram Morcha: A New Political Party (1993).

I talked about my startup. I said it has not been easy raising money. I said it is hard for other SEBSers, and other Nepalis to imagine that someone like me who looks like them could create a company that will get listed on Nasdaq. He said it was hard for anyone to create that kind of company.


Kapil Mishra: Diunso Consultant, Beluki Paparazzi

I believe he took all the pictures for the evening.

In The News

Maoists admit their cadres killed scribe Sah Kantipur
Maoists to snap ties with NC if it defies House directive
UML, Maoists at parting of ways
Mahato-led NSP gears up for armed movement in Terai The chairman of disgruntled faction of Nepal Sadbhavana Party Anandi-Devi (NSP-A), Rajendra Mahato, Monday said that his party was forming a joint front with the armed outfits in the Terai to launch the decisive movement in the region by mid-December. He claimed that the movement will enforce the article 33 of the interim constitution to ensure proportional representation of Madheshi people in all the organs of the state and will give rights to them through the Constituent Assembly (CA) elections. Unveiling his plans to launch the movement at a press conference at Nepalgunj Monday, Mahato said, “Now, we are conducting a Mechi-Mahakali programme to form the front and battalions to defend the Madhesh.” He said that the youths are being recruited in the battalions and deployed to avert the agitation from turning into violent and communal as in the past. Mahato further said that such battalions have been formed in 12 districts, and one hundred youths are associated with each district battalion and the number would be increased according to the need. Expressing hopes that the agitating armed groups in the Terai will participate in peaceful movement, Mahato expressed confidence that the front would materialize like the alliance of the seven parties. Mahato, who was also a former minister in the seven-party alliance, claimed that he was urging the armed agitating groups in Terai to join the peaceful movement as the CA elections would not be possible as long as the violence persists in the Terai. He also clarified that his party was not seeking a separate Madhesh state but autonomy for the entire Terai, and went on to denounce activities like burning national flag.
UML rules out political polarisation, change of guard in govt
Maoists call indefinite Rautahat banda
निणर्ायक मधेस आन्दोलनको तयारी' आनन्दीदेवी) को विभाजित समूहका अध्यक्ष राजेन्द्र महतोले सशस्त्र समूहसहितको संयुक्त मोर्चा बनाई मंसिरमा शान्तिपूर्ण निणर्ायक मधेस आन्दोलन गर्ने बताएका छन् । 'मोर्चा बनाउन सबै सशस्त्र समूहसँग वार्ता भइरहेको छ,' आन्दोलन तयारीमा विभिन्न जिल्लामा पुगेको उल्लेख गर्दै उनले सोमबार नेपालगन्जमा आयोजित पत्रकार सम्मेलनमा भने- 'उक्त मोर्चा जनआन्दोलन ०६२/६३ मा सात दल र माओवादी बीचको सहकार्यजस्तै हुनेछ ।' आन्दोलनले राज्यका हरेक निकायमा मधेसीको समानुपातिक सहभागिता सुनिश्चित गर्ने र संविधानसभा निर्वाचनमार्फत मधेसीलाई अधिकार दिलाउने उनले दाबी गरे । आन्दोलनलाई सफल पार्न सद्भावनाले 'मधेस रक्षा वाहिनी' गठन गरिरहेको जानकारी उनले दिए । गत माघको मधेस आन्दोलन अनियन्त्रित देखिएकाले नियन्त्रित गर्न र हिंसात्मक तथा साम्प्रदायिक हुनबाट जोगाउन वाहिनीमार्फत युवाहरू परिचालन गरिने उनले बताए । महतोका अुनसार अहिलेसम्म १२ जिल्लामा त्यस्ता वाहिनी गठन भइसकेको छ । प्रत्येकमा १६ देखि ३५ वर्षभित्रका एक सय युवा आबद्ध छन् । 'आवश्यकताअनुसार युवाशक्ति बढाउँदै लगिनेछ,' उनले भने- 'उनीहरू राजनीतिक शिक्षाबाट सुसज्जित र निशस्त्र हुनेछन् ।' तराईका सशस्त्र समूह मोर्चामार्फत शान्तिपूर्ण आन्दोलनमा सहभागी हुनेमा उनले आशा व्यक्त गरे । मधेसमा हत्याहिंसा जारी रहे निर्वाचन नहुने .. भएकाले सशस्त्र समूहहरूलाई शान्तिपूर्ण आन्दोलनमार्फत संविधानसभामा लैजान सद्भावनाले प्रयत्न गरिरहेको उनले बताए । 'हाम्रो पार्टी छुट्टै मधेस राज्यको नभई सिंगो मधेस प्रदेशको पक्षमा छ, राष्ट्रिय झन्डा जलाउने काम कुनै पनि हालतमा राम्रो होइन,' उनले भने । 'सद्भावना सशस्त्र विद्रोहमा विश्वास गर्दैन । त्यसैले शान्तिपूर्ण आन्दोलनको एजेन्डामा गोइत र ज्वालालाई ल्याउन खोज्दैछ । रगत नबगाई जनताले अधिकार पाउनुपर्छ,' उनले भने- 'शान्तिपूर्ण आन्दोलन असफल भयो भने मधेस उनीहरूको एजेन्डा -छुट्टै मधेस राज्य) मा जान्छ ।' महतोले अविलम्ब संविधानसभा मिति तोक्न गठबन्धन सरकारसँग मागसमेत गरे ।
INTERVIEW WITH Dr AMBIKA PRASAD ADHIKARI has worked in 26 different countries as an urban planner, consultant and teacher, planning and designing cities, and training a whole new generation of planners, environmentalists and architects over the past three decades ........ the first Nepali to gain a PhD from Harvard University. ....... There should be absolutely no controversy at all about dual nationality. Out of the 200 countries in the world, some 90 countries offer dual nationality.

Left parties press for implementation of motions passed by House NepalNews nation will be clearly divided into pro-republic forces and "status-quoist forces led by the Nepali Congress" if the House directive on republic and fully proportional voting system are not implemented. ...... might break the ties of left parties with the Nepali Congress. ...... “The nation will see a serious political crisis if the government does not implement the motions passed the House,” senior UML leader Bam Dev Gautam said ..... Janamorcha Nepal chairman Amik Sherchan ..... the government has no alternative than to follow the parliament's order.
Cabinet decides to formulate strict law on abduction the cabinet also approved all the agreements reached with the ethnic groups in the past and decided to forward the drafts to concerned authorities for implementation. ...... the government was also going to give holidays to all ethnic and religious groups in their festivals considering the fact that Nepal is a secular nation.
Vote division feared to create rift within ruling alliance "The communist parties came together to pass meaningless proposals" ..... could trigger polarisation between leftists and democrats. ..... some reports say that communist parties are now talking about changing the government's leadership in order to implement the passed proposals.
Maoists, UML back each other’s proposals; House passes Maoist motion on PR system The House passed the UML’s amendment motion on republic and the Maoists’ motion for adopting proportional representation based voting system, by a simple majority. ....... The Maoists and the UML together make up majority in the parliament, but an amendment in the interim constitution, if the two issues are to be incorporated, will require 2/3 majority.
The passed proposals do not have constitutional meaning, say legal experts the RPP supported the proposal on PR only
NAJA shocked by reports of Shah's murder The Nepal America Journalist Association (NAJA) has said it was shocked to read reports that journalist Birendra Shah was killed soon after the Maoists abducted him from Bara district a month ago.

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