Nepali Times
Nation
Up the drains of Kathmandu



To: mstoles@earthlink.net
From: parelishrestha@vtimes.com
Subject: Interview
Date: 5 July 2002

Dear Dr Stoles,
I believe Mrs Khatri from The Valley Times mentioned to you on the phone yesterday that I wished to interview you. I would very much appreciate half an hour of your time, at your convenience next week. I am a Journalism student at the University of Bhaktapur and an intern at The Valley Times. I am doing some research on for the cover story on the drainage system in the city. I read your book, Urban Planning or the Lack of it in Kathmandu. It always fascinates me how people like yourself, come to Nepal from oceans away, and manage to learn and publish more about Nepal, than us who live and work here all our lives. I hope to further this line of thought with you in person soon.

Sincerely,
Pareli Shrestha
Intern Journalist
The Valley Times

To: subeerthapa@vtimes.com
From: parelishrestha@vtimes.com
Subject: Greeeeen! Eeks!
Date: 5 July 2002

Subeer,
The page 14 ad DID come out horrible. And after all those hours I spent with Deepak ji on the computer! How our dandy "creative director" can be so colour blind is beyond me. And how the Boss is so nonchalant about the appearance of his product, well that I suppose is none of my concern. Like he so eloquently put it the other day, I am but an intern here. Sigh. The charms of wanting to be the Princess of the Print world are slowly fading I'm afraid.

The not-so-Princessy Pareli

To: deepakojha@vtimes.com
From: parelishrestha@vtimes.com
Subject: pages 2-6
Date: 6 July 2002

Deepak ji,
Please keep pages 3 and 4 open for the Dr Stoles interview. And yes I need pages 2,5 and 6 too. It's the cover story Deepak ji, of course I will need space.

Thank you,
Pareli

To: shrestha@multigains.net
From: parelishrestha@vtimes.com
Subject: Pick up- sorry
Date: 8 July 2002

Hi Ma,
The tests are clear! Bhaguwaan be praised! Now that all your medical worries are taken care of, try and have a good relaxing holiday okay? Give Ba my love. Take lots of pictures! I am looking after Maya. Don't worry we are not fighting. You guys just have a good time and give Mama and Maiju our love.
Oh and Ma, I have an important interview for the cover story scheduled for 11 on Tuesday. If it isn't over on time, Maya will pick you up at the airport. It's the first time they have agreed to give me a chance to work on anything bigger than two columns Ma and I want to be as thorough as possible and prove it to them that a young female Nepali CAN be an effective journalist.
See you soon and have a safe flight back.
Love,
Chori

To: mstoles@earthlink.net
From: parelishrestha@vtimes.com
Subject: Thank you
Date: 11 July 2002

Dear Dr Stoles,
Thank you so much for your time on Tuesday. I had a truly inspirational 45 minutes. After our discussion, some research on my own, and walking down my flooded stretch of pot-holed street for the sixth time today, I am convinced it is about time the Kathmandu Municipality begin to review the current state of the city drainage system and some public indignation be expresses in the media. Your interview will be printed as part of the cover story for Friday's issue. I hope the dual timing of your recommendations and the fresh memory of daily downpours will result in some substantial public reaction. I hope to compile a concrete collection of public opinions for the following week. Let us hope we can keep this discussion heated for at least two if not three weeks in a row, and then submit it to the government. Something will come out of this. I send you a copy of the proof and once again, a load of gratitude for all your help.

Pareli Shrestha

To: subeerthatp@vtimes.com
From: parelishrestha@vtimes.com
Subject: party-sorry
Date: 12 July 2002

Subeer,
I'm sorry I couldn't make it to the party last night. I was up till 3 reading letters we received in response to the drainage system piece. Please congratulate your sister and Bhenaju and little Subeerab (why do I sense the new uncle is all puffed up with pride?) for me. As for your sister's curiosity with regard to when I'm 'catching a man', I'll definitely let her know when I'm open for business. For all PhD wisdom, she can be very one tracked. No offense.
See you at work on Monday.
Pareli

To: shrestha@multigains.net
From: parelishrestha@vtimes.com
Subject: Puja
Date: 13 July 2002
Hi Ma,
Do I absolutely HAVE to go to that puja? And please don't say young girls today are losing every moral and religious morsel they ever possessed. I had to fight very hard to make this appointment with the Mayor and I cannot shift it to another time. The Major does not have time to "entertain student writers" I was told. Please Ma, go on without me tomorrow. And do pray for me.
Chori

To: deepkaojha@vtimes.com
From: parelishrestha@vtimes.com
Subject: pages 6-7
Date: 13 July 2002

Deepak ji,
Please keep pages 6 and 7 open for the mayor's interview. And no I won't need page 5 for a full colour picture of him! Thanks for your generosity with the pages though. It really comes through at times of need.
Pareli

To: subeerthapa@vtimes.com
From: parelishrestha@vtimes.com
Subject: Gai Jatra 1PM?
Date: 13 July 2002

Subeer,
Are you free at 2 tomorrow? The Mayor's office called and informed me that all "student writers" need an official escort. I can only fume in indignation and ask you to kindly "escort" me. Actually, would it be possible to leave at 1? It's Gai Jatra tomorrow and I don't want to risk getting stuck in traffic and you know how frustrating that can get. You're my knight in shining armour!

Your feeble female colleague,
Pareli

To: mstoles@earthlink.net
From: parelishrestha@vtimes.com
Subject: Task force
Date: 14 July 2002

Dear Dr Stoles,
I am pleased that you thought the article was good. I have you to thank. I realise there is more to this issue than what went down in print. I met with the Mayor yesterday and he has agreed to appoint a special taskforce to look into the matter. I ventured into suggesting that in addition to the expertise of his own office, the task force be comprised of residents from at least eight local wards and an Urban Development expert. I took the liberty of suggesting your name Dr Stoles. And I suspect in an attempt to spite my cheek, Mr Mayor suggested that I oversee this daunting task as coordinator. I take it as an honour, whatever the intentions may have been! So I write to ask you for your time and energy in helping me. I don't think it is often that the Mayor's office, willingly or unwillingly, agrees to involve "outsiders" in municipal matters and I aim to make the most of this unexpected opening in their defenses.
Please say yes!
Gratefully yours,
Pareli Shrestha

To: subeerthapa@vtimes.com
From: parelishrestha@vtimes.com
Subject: names-urgent!
Date: 19 July 2002

Subeer,
I need the names and addresses of those people urgently! If we do not submit the candidates profiles for the task force by 5PM, they might scrap the whole idea. I've put too much into this project to let it slip by. Please hurry! I owe you big time buddy.
Pareli

One month later

To: shrestha@multigains.net
From: parelishrestha@vtimes.com
Subject: puja
Date: 20 August 2002

Dear Ma,
How is Maiju feeling now? Better after physical therapy I hope. We all miss you at home. The task force has finally been approved! The Mayor's office made the announcement today and have confirmed that I am to coordinate. Dr Stoles agreed too. Things are finally looking up. Ma, please tell Ba not to speak to the Boss. He is difficult to work with but I will deal with it in good time, in my own way. It will look beneath Ba to "talk" to him about his bad manners.

Chori
Eight months later

To: subeerthapa@vtimes.com
From: parelishrestha@vtimes.com
Subject: phew!
Date: 15 April 2003

Dear Subeer,
I hope you are liking New Zealand and the new job. We, I mostly, miss you here at the office. Thanks for all the praise but I assure you, half of it is totally unwarranted. Onto the good news; the task force recommendations and our proposed budget has been ratified. The Boss actually made note of my contributions, ahem, that too a staff meeting today! I'm hoping they will work fast so when you get back in August, your streets will not be flooded, your brother's bike not sputter at every turn and your sister's (God bless her soul, she has presented me with three promising candidates for my matrimonial perusal this month alone!) brand new Persian carpet is not ruined by seepage. Dr Stoles, highly impressed by my ruthlessness with the government officials has offered me a scholarship to do my Masters in Urban Development at the Institution for Urban Development Studies in Geneva! I am to begin in Spring. Hurry and come home Subeer, things seem to be working out too well, I need one of those reality checks you so adeptly administer.

Pareli


LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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