July 19, 2015

"The books tell us about the shrines we pass by every day, their tales and our beliefs, and teach us to treasure even more what is left."

Nepali Times It reminds us that we are blessed with art, culture and history and we have it within us to rebuild ourselves what is ours. by Sonia Awale

'Desmond Doig and Dubby Bhagat’s two books should be an important part of everyone’s personal library for a chapter-by-chapter guide to explore Kathmandu Valley.

'Just a few pages into Down History’s Narrow Lanes a sense of melancholy sets in, a feeling of loss wells up. Turning a page, we find that Desmond Doig’s exquisite line drawing of iconic Kasthamandap (right) is in the past tense.

'Doig painted and drew a Kathmandu Valley he loved to accompany text researched by Dubby Bhagat about the temples and shrines that were slowly being blotted by urbanisation. Now they lie largely in ruins after the April earthquake. Doig died in 1983, but left his sketches as a testament to the value of our civilisation in two books, Down History’s Narrow Lanes and the larger coffee table edition, My Kind of Kathmandu.

'Down History’s Narrow Lanes and My Kind of Kathmandu transport us to the alleyways of Newar Kathmandu filled with ancient houses with intricate wooden carvings, farmers carrying fresh vegetables, traders selling ghee and oil in their clay pots and people walking down the streets in traditional haku patasi and daura suruwal. That Kathmandu is still there, despite the traffic and noise.' 

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