Once led by the fresh Himalayan air, peaceful Nepal was a haven for tourists from all over the world. The lush green paddy fields surrounding the city were a sight to soothe sore eyes. That was Kathmandu.

Now, the air laden with toxic pollutants hovers over the city. No longer do we see clear blue skies, but a smoke filled overcast hell. The lush paddy fields have turned into jungles of concrete and rubbish heaps. The roads, which were a pleasure to drive on, are now burdened with vehicles and destroyed with the heat of burning tyres. What happened to the mystic city? The city of gods and goddesses has now become a city of tears. Tourists no longer frequent the once Himalayan Shangrila as they feel bogged down by the regular strikes, protests and unrest in the country.

Where is Nepal heading to? Is this what we call the New Nepal?

— Akshath Andrew Gardner, Class X, Rupy’s International School