Resort Hopping at Dhulikhel

dhulikhel trip journalists
Clockwise from left: Krishna Bhattarai, Rangon Bhattarai, Pawan Acharya, Bidur Giri, Deepak Adhikari, Subrat Acharya and Dinesh Wagle (middle)

A travelogue: Bloggers Deepak and Dinesh went to Dhulikhel, a picturesque Nepali town, in a sponsored trip on Saturday. In the journey, they discovered friends in some journalists.

By Deepak Adhikari

Some of our colleagues at Kantipur Complex were unaware that Dinesh, I and Pawan (Kathmandu Post) were getting panicky every passing minute. Later, Dipendra Bhandari, the producer of Ghumgham program of Kantipur TV, joined us. The bus was supposed to pick us up at 3:30 but it was nowhere to be sighted.

A tad later, we, disgruntled, boarded the bus and started waiting for Godot…err Ghumgham team. The crew along with its gorgeous and dimple-cheeked presenter Astha showed up. The bus took the U-turn, we halted at Minbhawan where three burly guys with chubby cheeks and a blue checked shirt clad scribe entered into the bus. They introduced themselves as Rajendra (Annapurna Post), Krishna (Saptahik), Bidur (Samacharpatra) and Dabbu (Rajdhani). Later discovered two chaps represented government voices ie Krishna (Gorkhapatra) and Rangon (Rising Nepal). Lets not forget Subrat Acharya (Sapthik) who was coordaniting all the reporters.

As the Ghumgham team started shooting, stopping here and there, now and then, for a bite, a clip, takes and retakes, I was feeling like I were heading for a shooting report. The entire journo team seemed to be highjacked by the glitter of TV and its so-called two-minute-fame. It looked like the show started even before the program really began.

Silver Clouds

Once we stepped in Mirabel Resort, we were asked to choose partners. Dinesh and I, obviously! We got the key for room no 201. While heading towards our rooms, we sighted a vista extending many hills away, clear and spectacular, rows of lush green hillocks, layers of cloud overhanging, looked like a beautiful painting.

Visible intermittently between ribbons of clouds that played hide and seek game with lonely sun, you see only silver clouds without any dark lining. It’s a majestic sight that inspires deep contemplation. I observed Dinesh a couple of times awestruck, his gaze fixed at the magic of Nature, in rapt indulgence, as if he longed to lie in her lap. But then, beauty is to see not to touch, as they say. Lo and behold, these were the antidotes to our urban weari-dreariness. I lamented for the brevity of life and eternity of Nature.

The press conference that evening, apparently, was a fiasco. The organizers had less time for queries and spent more time on blah… blah. The hoteliers were restless with lofty plans to woo Nepalis tourists at Dhulkhel.

Glass Apart

Behind the buzzing lounge bar, the pulsating dance performed by local teenagers, the clattering sound of the incoherent music piercing through our ears, Rangon and I were already on the high. Pawan and Dinesh stuck to their ancestor’s credo. Three pegs of whisky in Mirabel’s bar, discussions on everything from desease to divinity, the ambience was getting intoxicated.

As if that was not enough to get drunk, we downed another peg with dinner at Dhulikhel Resort, its hospitality, courteous waiters and generous owner. Finally, the booze-buzz ended with jokeful and smoky gathering of almost all the journos in one common room.

We dragged ourselves to our garage. It was already 1 am when we finally crashed out to the temptation of warm quilt. Dinesh and I woke up at 7 am with a terrible hangover tinged with headache. Neither could I take shower nor was the wake up call heard as aforementioned. Subrat barged into our room and asked to hurry up. I prepared half heartedly and embarked upon the second leg of resort hopping.

Vilest Crime

As we drove past beautiful hills towards Palanchok, it occurred to me that I knew that part of Kavre. No, not deja’ vu. I was there almost a year ago frantically searching for ’ kidney sellers’. The wretched villlager’s woes of selling their body organs featured in the cover story of Nepal Magazine. I vividly recalled the forlorn and diminishing figure of Chhenam Singh Tamang while dwelling upon this vilest crime on the Janata School’s playground. We followed Chhenam until we found him in his hut, preparing himself for that day’s meager meal.

At the enchanting backdrop of this idyll, an ugly mortgage of body organs with money was taking place. The joie de vivre of the journey turned sour when we realised that poverty can be mother of crimes.

To cut the long story short, we returned to Dhulikhel, had lunch took some photos in posing like a band members. This tiny tranquility faded in a jiffy and we burst upon the hustle and bustle of urban life. The unending traffic of vehicles welcomed us willy-nilly in Koteshor. The cacophony resumed. The latter I realised when Dinesh’s mobile started
ringing unremittingly. We started worrying about our humdrum life!

7 Responses to “Resort Hopping at Dhulikhel”
Pawan Says:

August 22nd, 2005 at 9:35 pm
Hail Deepak (oops… Deepakstein) dai

You have proved now that Keats and Wordsworth flow in your veins , I’m cocksure about that. Somewhere down the line their descendants must have donated blood to your ancestors!

But how on earth is there no mention of your Einsteinian flashes of brilliance we were witness to during the booze-buzz hour? did ur memory run short or failed? i guess u r being modest in doing so.

Ok fine, but u could have written something about my almost-saintly status that would have been a bonus to my repertoire. poor me, deprived of such an honour. anyways, no grudges!

Deepak dai, u and Dinesh dai were unfortunate to miss out on the Divine Communism that prevailed inside the Palanchok Bhagawait temple, what with even the dog doing “parikrama” of the diety. Such a fine sight to see! isn’t it ironical to have communism in religion? ke nepal saano chha?

We all can’t help thanking Dinesh dai for his digi-camera and those Beatlesque photos of ur press bandhus. i’m sorry if my “jungle” cast a shadow on those innovative pix.

To cut the long story short, it was great to relive and relish, cherish those almost perished( thanx to the smelly rivers, exploding traffic and the neon lights of Haamro Kathmandu)memories of that resort hopping through ur Keatsian/Wordsworthian words.

I look forward to ur words of wisdom. and u can expect me to sneak into ur room to bribe u for those one-liners. Watch out for me.

-Pawan (Dev?) hahaha…

Wagle Says:

August 23rd, 2005 at 3:17 pm
As I was translating a New York Times article about Rolling Stones Sunday Boston tour yesterday, I was intently listening to their songs including the one famously titled “Satisfaction”. The recent Newsweek article about their preparations for the World Tour concert had a photograph of the band that was subject of our talks in the Dhulikhel trip. Now, I am also remembering how often we remembered that photo, talked about that and tried to imitate the Stones (and at times Beatles) in some of our very own photo sessions in Dhulikhel. Just have a look at the one posted above.

Anyway, that was an interesting journey. The story above is Deepak’s version of the odyssey. I think every member has his own version of the story.

What I remember here is the endless lecturing of Deepak to Rangoon at first and Pawan later. That was not a real lecture but after 5 pegs, that was no less than a lecture. Deepak at times personified himself as Einstein (that’s why both Rangon and Pawan gave him an apt title of ‘Deepekstein’. I thoroughly enjoyed the discourse between Deepakstein and Xaverian Rangon. Rangon is definitely an interesting fellow and his only regret (so it seemed to me) was lack of girlfriend. I hope he will soon find a girlfriend.

Pawan was almost like a saint and sadhu. That’s why he was named after Ramdev (Pawandev), a popular yoga guru. He wasn’t drinking. I too wasn’t drinking except a bottle of beer. (I was literally forced to do so, really!) And he wasn’t talking. He was just caressing his beards. His beards attracted a lot of comments from Deepak, Rangon and myself. We four were on a table.

Pawandev started talking only after the visit of Palanchowk Bhagwati on Saturday morning. Now, he started revealing what his beards were hiding the whole Friday evening: Sardar ji jokes. (Well, some of them were strictly non-veg.)

Oh.. how can I forget some terrible jokes from Bidur Giri and the Mumbai red-light area experience of Dabbu Kshetri that he shared with the group in the midnight. Yes, those jokes and the experience were told after many many pegs of hard drinks. So, I do not completely believe the stories. But I have to conclude that Bidur has a great sense of humor.

There are amazing hotels and resorts minus guests in Dhulikhel. That’s why all the hotels have come under a collective banner of Tourist Information Center to introduce a package program for Kathmanduties. And they were trying to say that through us. What I am wondering about now is related to professionalism of journalists. Was that all okay to go and stay in hotels and write story about their packages? If you consider that visit a press conference, that happens all the time everywhere.

bloggerfromoz Says:

August 24th, 2005 at 6:34 am
What a pathetic article! Now it’s evident that our jouranlist friends have started to boast about coming out to the ‘remote’ Dhulikhel from Kathmandu! The most of the article is bogus. We don’t know what the author is saying. And look at the bloggers. All pathetic.

Pawan Says:

August 24th, 2005 at 12:00 pm
Mr. bloggerfromoz,
With due credit to to your wisest of criticisms, I must admit that I too didn’t understand what you mean to say by boasting about coming out to “remote” Dhulikhel. Perhaps you have become habituated to the hustle and bustle of the “clean, green and healthy” Kathmandu. It would have been better if you were also there to marvel at the nature.
Taking into view the pathetic blogging as per your opinion, I just get the feeling that I must be learn some words of wisdom on how to blog from you.

Rangon Says:

August 24th, 2005 at 9:39 pm
Hey Deepekstein or should it be ‘ThePegstein’ it was fun out there in Dhulikhel, wasn’t it?.. and Mr. Bloggerfromoz I’m sorry u missed the boat… Getting out of the depression we know as Kathmandu is definitely good for u and more so if you are going higher (just ask Deepak bro).

Dinesh bro is one who has a gr8 sense of humour and even greater sense of beauty and nature.. though i don’t know how he decided that i regretted not having a girlfriend still he makes sense with most other things…

Pawan or the man behind the bush is a good person to talk to and even better when he is talking (or should i say sharing jokes). and his concept of divine communism must have been inspired by his looks.

I think everyone on the on the trip agreed that two seconds in front of the TV camera needed many more behind it… all in all the fact that Mr. Deepak is the going to be the first Einstein+Wordsworth+even Mick Jagger (not for his singing but his poses infront of Dinesh’s camera) rolled into one was not lost upon us (the remaining three of the quartet..Dinesh, Pawan and me) and I guess no one is going to forget the magical feeling attained at the top of the hill at Himalayan Shangrila…

Rangon and definitely not the capital of Burma or Myanmar or whatever

bloggerfromoz Says:

August 25th, 2005 at 6:03 am
Hi Pawan,
As u have admitted, u didn’t get my point. I was being sarcastic about too many journalists coming just out of Kathmandu like Dhulikhel, or Sundarijal and boasting as if they have travelled to Rolpa or Dailekh. But I agree anything like this is better than talking about just Kathmandu. Coz Nepal is mostly outside Kathmandu. Sorry for the misunderstanding, and I was talking in general, not specific to this article.

Pawan Says:

September 1st, 2005 at 9:30 pm
Hi bloggerfromoz,

I too agree with you that Nepal is mostly outside Kathmandu. In fact, there is much more to Nepal from Jhapa to Kanchanpur and Taplejung to Darchula, and somewhat beyond that too. We would be deluding ourselves if we are to conceive this valley as the sole representative of the whole nation, which is not so in the least.

There is no two ways about the grim political situation of the country. But if we sometimes get to relate to the happy facets of life, it helps us in our bid to lessen our worries. We should sometimes devote our words to highlight such bright sides of life lying against the backdrop of those grave circumstances.

To cut the story short, thanx for ur healthy appreciation cum criticism. I believe we now have a common point of agreement somewhere, right?

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