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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Rage Against The Fuel-less Machines II

Its been ages since this humble writer wrote about the rising fuel crisis in the city of Kathmandu. (a.k.a Kats) But the lines are growing fat and long and the remaining fuel is dwindling faster than you can say "Dwi litre haal". In fact the fuel crisis has elongated so much that writers such as I are quickly running out of fuel crisis jokes. People just dont find things funny anymore. Only the ones that managed to get 5 liters of petrol the other night seem to crack a smile. Sajha should call the folks at Guinness World Records and apply for the spot of "the world's longest fuel line from a single pump". Maybe then, after receiving a cash prize from Guinness, our government will pay a little more money back to India and a little more fuel will enter the country. Even then scavengers along Mahendra Highway will have looted the tankers. Aside from those thugs, the greedy pigs who work for the NOC are the ones who should be whacked. The only people who are innocent are the ones who stay in line all night and dont cut it. That takes the total of innocent petrol consumers to 0%.

Its obvious that having only a fraction of the required amount of fuel is slowing life down in the city. Public vehicles are increasing the price as if it were a balloon that they could inflate not knowing when it would explode. But one must not be so pessimistic. Believe it or not, some people do make a fortune during such troubled times. The black market of fossil fuels seems to have boomed ever since the fuel crisis started. Thugs who steal fuel from bikes or loot fuel from the tankers have experienced a drastic increase in their daily income. Some idiots have reportedly paid up to Rs. 250 for one liter! Every time they see a man pushing his bike they give each other high fives ( much like two shorter and hairier Borats: UGH..!). Surprisingly the sale of roadside foods and drinks have also sky rocketed. Soda wala's, Badam wala's, and even those dirty carts having foods from Momos to chicken wings flock mercilessly along the line of bikes. Their usual menu:

We have:

Buff Sausage 15
Chickan Susage 20
Buff Mo:mo: 40
Mit Ball 20
Chij Balls 20

"Hijo rati line basera pani petrol napako haru lagi ispyesal dicscout upalabda cha."

Yesterday, Sajha Petrol Pump recorded it's largest fuel line. An estimate which was posted yesterday predicted that looting fuel from only 30% of the vehicles lining up for fuel there would fill at least one tanker. Nowadays people either spend their days staying in line or thinking about staying in line. Some of them also resort to stealing and buying from the buffed up black market, but that's a different story. Couples are increasingly showing up at Sajha. Dating in petrol lines have become the latest fad for the youngsters in Kats. It doesn't matter whose bike is in line, both of them have to wait anyway. To make matters easier, food and drinks are readily available at eye catching prices. For the older generations, Sajha petrol pump has become a social venue. Men and women above 35 are bound to meet at least a couple of relatives or old friends: a perfect chance to catch up on their 'guffs'.

Its amazing that big cc bikes still roam around the city, impervious of the crisis. A few days back a Suzuki GSX-R 750 and an XR400R were throwing each other mean looks and revving up their engines. But those two soon shut up as hundreds of people from the super long Sajha line started giving them stares. Clearly, now is not the time to waste fuel on egoistic street races, or soon you'll be pushing your sexy bike home, huffing and puffing it's name. Furthermore, the new Yamaha R1 with all its latest racing technology sure looks good but not as good as a Splendor with it's fuel needle right up at "Full".

Thanks to the vice president's "mother tongue" Kats is again going through a bandh spree, worsening the already depressing atmosphere-... (Further comments on this issue have been censored by "www.Nepal Hindustan Hamare Bharat Hi Mahan Nepali Janatantric") In addition to this bizarre event, the Inspector from Pulchowk police station threatened 'thetechportfolio' that it would arrest it's two bloggers if it didn't include at least one sentence of Hindi in it's latest article since Hindi is also a langauge of Nepal from now on. So here it is:
"Abbe oye Dadaji, tujne teri maa ki doodh piya hai to nikal ja yaha se. Wapas Ja warne Jungistan mei dhobi khayega. Gilli Gilli Auppa"


Read the Older Article Here

Cracking the Apple DRM

With 10 million downloads in just 2 days of release, the iPhone AppStore is on its way to become a 'star' product (wiki Boston Matrix) of Apple. However, the huge demand and popularity means enthusiastic attention from hackers.

Apple has been known for its DRM (Digital Rights Management) policies or more popularly known as Fairplay which prevents the use of music or videos and now applications in unauthorized devices hence reducing piracy. However, hackers have been cracking the iTunes DRM for years now and hence making, especially songs, usable in any devices aiding piracy.

Now, amid the failures in Mobile Me, 3G iPhone shortages and slowing US economy, apple has been put forward a new challenge; protecting the applications in the iPhone AppStore.

Just recently, folks over at have successfully cracked the Super Monkey Ball game from Sega, thus, creating history. However, the cracking didn't stop then, its was so, that the crack worked for all the applications in the AppStore. Now, more than 50 applications have been cracked and available for download.

A sharp blow to Apple and the third party developers. They knew this was coming.

So, what does this mean to all the stakeholders? Well, apple will see a smaller growth in the store than previously expected, people who can't afford the apps can benefit from pirated content, however the most affected will be the application developers. All the hard work and time spend on developing those applications will go to waste and since these developers aren't just big co-operations but any Joe Blow, the Joes will starve to death.

While the hack is still in early phases and its not at all like buying pirated DVDs from Khasa (China Town or Thief Market of Kathmandu) and its still requires a hack and skills to make the cracked Apps work, folks at are working on making a AppStore like portal for the cracked apps!

I don't condone or support privacy. I think that things are too pricey, and since I'm currently unemployed, I should be getting benefits, shouldn't I?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Nepalese Conspiracy

A break from staying in line for a few liters of petrol and the protests or price hikes and travel discounts; we have found a new agenda to Andolan on, whether our newly elected vice president is Indian or Nepali. It has brought a stir in Nepali politics and in all those who are truly Nepali; what if this whole 'taking oath in Hindi (Indian language)' is a conspiracy?

I watch a lot of movies, and spend heaps of time on T.V, and its quite fascinating how so much of the material (mainly suspense and cop movies/programs) is based on conspiracy theories. And I thought that this was only an American thing; the whole CIA, Undercover Cops, deep Undercover Cops, who shot J.F Kennedy, blah blah. But to my utter surprise, we have given birth to a whole new conspiracy. Is India our Final Destination? (Not exactly relevant but I'm somehow reminded of that movie.)

While the 'uff politics' might not enjoy reading this or might have already left, let me tell you something, politics is something very intriguing; some call it a dirty game some live and die on it, but most important, its everywhere - business, government, schools, football, your underpants. Everywhere.

There is no escape.

But mostly interestingly, politics is filled with conspiracies and this is what makes it exciting. You never know who is backstabbing, might be a member of your team, a friend, one never knows. Is Bush and Osama best friends? You are never certain.

While 'will India take over Nepal' has been a conspiracy since long, the recent oath of the Vice President Parmanada Jha in Hindi has heightened the theory. Its a clear truth that India has a certain interest in Nepal. But I think its not to 'take over'. Its just not possible to take over a country, not at this present age. Its a shame Tibet fell short of this age.

Another fact or suggestion that the Nepali conspiracy theorists are putting forward is that India is pressuring Nepal by cutting short the supply of fuel, to show that it can put life to a halt in Nepal. Its true that if we go to war with India...we'll all starve to death.

But to all those in petrol lines right now, vehicles with 'Red Number Plates' (Private Ones), get a life. You won't die if you don't get petrol. Cycle. Its healthy. Leave the fuel to Ambulances and Public Transport.

Talking about war. There a rumor that the Ex-King's forces are preparing for a fake war with the Indian, attacking the boarder areas. It is speculated that after the attacks, India will take over Nepal, having a valid reason.

There's another conspiracy for our readers.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

4. Sōjirō: Reminiscence from the past

Chapter 4: Makoto Shishio and the Wakabashi


The man draped head to toe with long, yellowish bandages called for Sōjirō.
"You! young boy! I’m going to let you say your last prayers, something these pathetic fools didn’t get before they died. Hurry, don’t take too long."

The demon’s icy words sent a chill down Sōjirō back and froze him to the ground.

But just as the man raised his sword, young Sōjirō smiled, "He he…" And that was all he could do.
Now the swordsman was frozen: none of his enemies had ever shown such an emotion after their lives had been threatened. Usually his victims showed an unmistakable expression of doom.
The man hesitated; and for the first time he looked like he was confused so he said, " Boy, bring me some food and some bandages, find me a place to sleep and I'll let you live.

Sōjirō couldn't believe he was still alive and standing.

"Follow me s-sir" he said timidly. Sōjirō nervously led the man back to the storehouse. He had lost track of time and frankly, didn't care anymore. "P-please wait here for a moment s-sir I'll be right back." He pushed some rice barrels around for the man to rest against and rushed to the kitchen hoping to find some leftover rice balls. As he cautiously tip toed around in the darkness, images of the bandaged man flashed in front of his eyes. Why didn't that man run from the police? Why did he choose to rather stay and kill them? Finally Sōjirō found a couple of rice balls left over from dinner but sadly, no sake.

Sōjirō returned as quietly as he had left. He offered the rice balls to the man and took refuge behind another rice barrel. The man ate slowly even though he looked famished.
"My name is Makoto Shishio" He said."and the reason I didn't kill you tonight is because I found your smile intriguing, very uncommon. And as for the men that I killed tonight, they were insignificant pawns, mere obstacles that I have to go through every now and then. But I must admit, I quite enjoy these encounters."

It was obvious even to young Sōjirō that this man was no ordinary man. The way he spoke so calmly about murder and the way he carried himself: this guy must be a high caliber swordsman.
The horrors of the night were slowly dissolved by fresh morning light. A frantic man hunt had been initiated by the police. Residents in and around the city of Kyoto were alert and frightened. They had heard that a demon was killing people for their blood. Even Sōjirō's family were edgy. His brothers were brandishing their swords boasting that they would be the ones to slay the murderer. But for Sōjirō, it was another long and grueling day of labor.

As he carried rice barrel after rice barrel he knew that something was about to happen. The man hiding in the storehouse was going to bring changes, he knew it.

It was late in the afternoon and Sojiro went back to the storehouse with some rice balls. Makoto Shishio was silently resting on top of some rice barrels. He accepted the food and calmly ate what he was given. Then he spoke.

"You have been very helpful." He reached for his sword; Sōjirō took a step backward " and to show you my appreciation, I'm giving you this Wakabashi. Here, take it."

Sōjirō couldn't believe what was in his arms. "It's b-beauti-."

"Never mind what it looks like on the outside! Understand that using this sword will make you stronger!"

"And never forget that there is only one truth in life. The strong will live and the weak will die."

These words echoed in Sojiro's mind. He repeated it in his head. He was lost for words.

"Thank you Mr. Shishio..." He bowed with gratefulness.

And as Makoto Shishio left the storehouse, somehow he knew that this parting would not last so long.

Older Chapters (3, 2, 1)

The final chapter: Chapter 5: Sojiro's Freedom

YOU WONT WANNA MISS IT! (in true samx series style)

Friday, July 18, 2008

'Andolan' for Shorter Pregnancy

by Atulya

I read an article of the “Telegraph” and was captivated by some of the simple points it presented.

In some ways, nothing has changed in Nepal. A big party has come in and an institution gone but nothing has really changed (for the good). We still have “Bandhs”, mountains of garbage in our streets, long queues in petrol pumps, autocratic leaders who lock respectable officers in their toilets and stubborn “heads” who still fight the 4 year-old “me-me” game to retain power. Is this the New Nepal our so-called-leaders had drilled into our brains right after Jana-Andola II? Or is it the same old (or even older) Nepal?

I waited. I thought. I thought that “they” would start their new-Nepal-building activities right away but there were no signs. Instead their focus was on the “much-needed” Constituent Assembly all along. I patiently waited for the Constituent Assembly and thought that things will start happening after it. Almost three months have passed and these people haven’t even formed a government, I wonder how many centuries they will take to build “the new” Nepal they are always talking about.

One difference, one change that is conspicuous in this Loktantra era is the people’s approach in doing things. Andolan, a word that we hear every minute (more than we see Rishi Dhamala on TV). Let’s not go into the nitty-gritty about the thousands of Andolans taking place at the moment. Just wanted to let everyone know that the ladies are soon coming to the streets demanding a shortened pregnancy period of 5 months!

The article ended with a line which was simple yet so striking: The more things change in Nepal, the more it remains the same.”

True. Very true, isn’t it?

Andolan: A Nepali word for a form of protest which is usually accompanied by rallies and forced closure of services by agitating groups.

Photo: [Saral] Trying my best squeeze out something good from this country. A beautiful scenery from the foothills of Annapurna Nepal.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Dire-Hoea-ya; its not Hereditary

Picture:- Kenny from South park; A comedy series centered around 4 eight-year old boys - Eric Cartman, Kyle Broflovski, Stan Marsh and Kenny McCormick - the show is known for its pop-culture parodies, satirical interpretation of current affairs and rude humor.

I was born with a defect. Whenever I have a combo of Mo-mos (dumplings) + Coke + Ice Cream, hell breaks 'loose'. Now, now this is not something no, but its important; This, widespread condition I have often is the primary cause of infant mortality in the developing world.

Its amazing how this condition immobilizes you, well, sort of; at instances you'll be running and the worst part is that; its reoccurring. And this diseases is not hereditary. Well, unless it runs through your jeans. (Think)

But it should not be taken lightly. If not treated, as in excessive intake of 'Jiwan Jal' (oral re-hydration salt; guess where I learned it from), it could be fatal and can take your life. And the treatment is simple too; unless you have 'The' Dire-hoea-ya and all you can do is fly frequently, you might need a doctor.

Causes of diarrhea;-
1) A little something called micro-organisms. These tiny suckers have enough destructive power to bring down a elephant. Trust me they are absolute bombs.
2) Allergies to food. Often termed as IBS or irritable bowl syndrome. Think spicy Indian food.
3) Alcohol. Oh yes, excessive intake of alcohol can lead to diarrhea. Mind trying?
4) Various other causes, depending on the circumstances.

Simple hand washing before eating and after poo-poo can prevent 60% of the infections. Thats right 60. Don't ask me about which soap is the best, Detol or Lux; just frigging wash your hands.
Don't drink alcohol.

The cure is basically making up the lost fluids by drinking water and keeping the body hydrated. The oral re-hydration salts have minerals and can keep your energy up.
In severe cases, or if you have that meeting, damn; Loperamide (Imodium) and Bismuth Subsalicylate (aka Metanidazol and Tinidazol) can hold it up.
Natural cures can include black tea and curd. Avoid fatty and creamy products.

Frequent Flying sucks.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

iPhone 3G is here; World's First Owners' Line

Well folks its finally here, the iPhone 3G will go on sale in New Zealand approximately 2 hours from now, 00.01 AM New Zealand time, when the Americans will be fast asleep. People have already lined up, some for 50 hours, in front on the Vodafone store in Auckland; A salute to them all.

More news, the much awaited, Apple's own Installer, the AppStore is live. The new iTunes 7.7 which is specifically designed for the iPhone 3G and the iPhone 2.0 software is also available for download.

Get iTunes here.

First in line?
"Name: Jonny Gladwell, 22 (pictured above, first)
Current phone: Sony Ericsson K800i on Voda
Waiting for: more than 48 hours now
Buying: black 8GB
Motivation: to be the first, duh! His girlfriend is just in it to keep him company, she's not actually getting one herself. Jonny tells us he's not going to eBay the world's first iPhone 3G, though."
via Engadget

Know the first ten people here.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Serial Killers and Girls; what's up?

This might take you back a bit.

I don't know if you have heard about him and even if you haven't, this is important.

Charles Sobraj a.k.a 'The Serpent" a.k.a "The Bikini Killer", who is a notorious serial killer known for his skills at deception and evasion, has been charged of at least 12 murders across South East Asia. He had been jailed in India and after completing his sentence, came to Nepal. He was caught by the Nepali Police in 2003 and now is in jail.

But, just a week from now, there will be a Supreme Court hearing about the Sobraj's case where it is expected that he will be freed due to lack of evidence.

WTH! Is this due to the imcompetent law of Nepal?

Its amazing, cases of land dispute in Nepal carry on for generations, but it has just been 5 years now and the guy who is 'for sure' a serial killer is to be freed?

But thats just not it. Apparently Charles Sobraj has a lover. That too a 20-year old Nepali/Bengali girl, Nihita Bishwas, who in my opinion is out-of-her-mind! The killer couples are planning to get married in France after Sobraj's release.

I say that its just a media magic played by Charles, that old (64 years) smart ass, to make the Nepalese people sympathize with him.

Falling in love with a serial killer isn't, in any condition, justified.

This reminds me of my article on Weddings (Read here); well, apparently (some) girls get attracted to serial killers. So, if you are that lonely chap, go kill some. But make sure you don't kill humans; Kill cows, they used to be counted as humans in Nepal.

One more thing and I hate to say this, for your safety, girls especially, who I care about not, I repeat, do not wear a bikini.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Sea of Garbage; Who Swims in it?

If you live Kathmandu, a little garbage here and there isn't really much of a big deal. I mean just a few weeks back they were just tiny puddles, just the right shapes and sizes to hop over. Oh how sweet were those days...

BUT now its a whole different story, that same old puddles have swelled, doubled, tripled a million times and now they have turned into huge seas!

The only problem now is that you can't swim on it or row your boat. You can fish, oh yes! But I must say, the water is really dirty...

I was watching the news some time back and even a developed city like Naples had such seas...some similarity (Girija can promise us Italy now rather than Switzerland. The pizza there is yummy.)

God! Seriously, how could you promise us Switzerland? Old people can't come up with excuses.

Above is a picture I took today, the biggest I have seen yet, location: Jamal. Reports say that the one from Basundhara to Maharajgunj is turning into an Ocean! I have to check it out. Or if anyone of you have seen it, do let us know.

Possible things to do:
1. Close everything except your eyes (wear glasses) and run.
2. Fish with a fishing rod. I think I saw a can of tuna. I couldn't really tell if it was empty.
3. Camp near it, wait for someone to clean it up.

Prime locations:
1. Jamal
2. Basundhara to Maharajgunj
3. Places every 50 meters. Trust me.