Thursday, October 1, 2009

A trip to Nepal

Recently I paid a three-day visit to Kathmandu, the picturesque capital of Nepal. Kathmandu is a valley surrounded by beautiful mountains, and it looked wonderful from above. As our aircraft landed after negotiating with the thick clouds, there was a feeling of joy and relief in my mind. It was my maiden visit to Nepal.

The old Kathmandu is a bit crowded and had small, clumsy roads. I found adjacent Lalitpur has much clean, bigger and smooth roads; and the some hilly landscapes look a bit similar to Shillong.

In Nepal, Indian Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes are not accepted. So, Indians have to carry Rs 100-notes which make your purse looks thicker. Everywhere you can pay in Indian Currency. The exchange is as follows: IC 100= NC 160.

Among other things, what caught my imagination is the unique Bakery Cafe at New Baneswar. I saw several Bakery Cafes in Kathmandu, but the amaging thing about this one is that all the staff, except the manager, were people who were dumb! "It is a special mission", explained my friend about the founder of this Bakery Cafe. It takes some time before you could actually find out that all the waiters, including the female, were deaf and dumb. Hence, you could put an order or ask a question only in writing on a note-pad and the waiter replied in writing as well. All of the waiters have been recruited from a special school meant for the deaf and dumb. Hence, all of them were educated and they could communicate in English, of course in writing!

I thought it was a wonderful piece of entrepreneurship and indeed, a special mission to provide employment to these special people, to make them feel that they are also an equal part of the society. I wonder whether such examples exist elsewhere in the world. My Nepalese friend said this was the only restaurant of this kind in entire Nepal.

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