If there is any facebook page/website that truly represents Nepal and its real stories in digital world that has to be ‘Stories of Nepal.’ Humans of Nepal, their stories, their struggles, their dreams, their regrets and their aspirations; all collected and presented in a captivating way. Nobody has ever told the stories so beautifully than Jay Poudyal. His photos speak the truth and his captions add magic. The storyteller shares his own story behind the camera with us.
Jay Poudyal, Storyteller behind ‘Stories of Nepal’
Born and raised in Kathmandu, Jay Poudyal, was always fond of listening and sharing the stories. He tells, ‘I remember from early days, I would tell my friends that I wanted to have stories to tell when I grow old and for me that would be an accomplished life. Also I had always felt that we live in troubled but hopeful Nepal but not everyone gets to speak or voice his or her concerns.’ He continues, ‘How about the next-door neighbor? The person who sells vegetables or the newspaper guy? Or the barber around the corner? For me, the stories were endless. Mainstream media bombarded us with images of political rhetoric and entertainment only. Who was to listen to the story of the everyday Nepali person from all walks of life? I felt there was a dire need to bring these stories.’
Jay does not plan for the stories; he just walks out of his home with camera and meets random people on the street. He takes around 15-20 shots of the person before he finally chooses the one. If you have followed his stories, you could clearly see his captions which are equally powerful or even more than his pictures. Does he have any comment on that ‘Yes,’ Computer science graduate from Thailand and Australia shares, ‘Mostly I am into philosophy. I read fictions here and there. One thing I’d like to add is that, I feel that stories of Nepal cannot be separated as pictures and captions. The picture and the story go together.’
He is highly inspired by Humans of New York (HoNY) facebook page/blog which he came across in 2013 and started ‘Stories of Nepal on 13 October, 2013. He was so inspired that he says, ‘Without HoNY, I probably would have not started.’ Then why not give a name ‘Humans of Nepal?’ He clarifies ‘I was looking for similar name, but unfortunately it was already taken. I thought I would be sharing stories so the next close name that suits the initiative was ‘Stories of Nepal.’
Though he does not make anything in monetary terms, he is very happy that he makes a lot out of his passion. The best thing that ever happened was to make more friends and more memories. ‘I get to share the strength, experience and hope with each other’, He remembers an incident, ‘I was talking to a Hajurama at Basantapur. She was 84 and sharing with me her life. She understood why I was doing what I do. She ran her hand in my forehead and told me to always be a good person and that I had all her blessings. It was a very emotional moment for me.’
We would love to hear more such stories, keep us sharing.
Below are some of his works directly taken from ‘Stories of Nepal’ page. All photos and words by Jay Poudyal. Like the facebook page ‘STORIES OF NEPAL’ or visit the Website for more such updates
” I have no expectations from the government, but I have request to all the good people of Kathmandu. It is not your money we want. At least be kind enough to stop the vehicles while we cross the road or help us cross the road. ” – Bishnu Maya Maharjan, 27 yrs, Differently Abled Street Vendor, Kathmandu
“Both my son’s are now in the USA. The last time they visited me was 2 years back. I sometimes get to talk to them over the phone but it’s not so easy from here. Apparently, it’s night there when it’s day here.” Jigme Gurung, Lo Manthang, Mustang
“I don’t want to be a rickshaw driver when I grow up. I see my father get upset when he has a scuffle with a customer refusing the pay.”
What do you want to be when you grow up?
“I want to be rich. Rich like her family”
She your friend?
“No she’s our landlord’s daughter.”
– Ram Mahato, Krishnapur, Chitwan
“He is a good man and I am a good man. We are friends since childhood. He does what I say and I do what he asks. There has never been a fight between us as far as I remember. This is not counting the childhood quarrels. As children, we usually get over those very quickly. It is the resentments of the adults that stay.” Bishnu Hari Khimbaja, Tripurasundari Sthan, Tulache 8 Bhaktapur
“This neighbor came up to me and told me not to come around her house. She told me her kids are scared and they get sick when they see me. Every time people throw words at me, I ask myself when will we teach our kids to look beyond what looks obvious, as something deeper might lie beyond that perception. For me my piercing and tattoos are not to seek attention. This is not my fashion but my passion.” Jharana Gurung, Dhapasi, Kathmandu
“Everyday she asks me to tell our son to return. Even I would like him to come back and stay with us, but he is a grown man and we cannot rule his life. It’s hard for us two old people to live by ourselves, constantly missing our son. And it’s not only us. This village has become a village of the women, elderly and the kids. The men have left. A few remaining are leaving soon.” Tika Kumal & Lalita Kumal, Thulagaun, Pipaltaar, Nuwakot
“You only realize the true value of family and friendship after it’s gone. After they are physically no more with you. Back in the UK, I would be surrounded by family and my friends were at a very close proximity but now I am at the other side of the globe. And I miss them more. It’s easy to be who you truly are with your close ones – no inhibitions, no pretenses. You shed your skin. And they would understand. With acquaintances it’s different. You have to maintain a certain etiquette, be wary of the dos and donts which can at many times get tiring.” Lex Limbu lives in the UK with family
You have beautiful eyes.
“Thanks. But not everything I’ve seen with it are.” Gopal Pariyaar, Bhatbhateni, Kathmandu