Most people passing through the Lazimpat area in Nepal's capital hardly know that a very low profile organisation, close to the French Embassy, shelters hundreds of Tibetan refugees in its premises at any given time.
For years, people in the world's only Hindu kingdom have enjoyed a forced day off from work whenever a 'bandh' or general strike is called by mainstream political parties or by the Maoist rebels.
The casualties from among soldiers, civilians and rebels in the Nepal's Maoist rebellion have drawn a lot of attention, but just as serious is the toll that the conflict is taking on the space available for free media, say journalists and rights campaigners here.
More than 100,000 refugees from neighbouring Bhutan confront dimmed prospects amid an impasse over repatriation and cutbacks in aid.
The deterioration of the human rights situation in Nepal is underscored not just by increasing reports of abuses by government forces in trying to quell the Maoist rebellion, but most recently by calls to invite U.N. experts in to probe rights abuses.
A statement by top Maoist rebel leader Baburam Bhattarai - ''a victory of the progressive forces is a foregone conclusion, although the cost may be too high'' - has acquired ominous tones in the wake of bomb blasts in the Nepalese capital following the collapse of peace talks last month.
Dibya Thapa (not her real name), 20, was instrumental in rescuing about 300 unsuspecting girls in 1997 and 2000 from the Kakarbhitta checkpoint on the Nepal-India border in the eastern part of the Himalayan kingdom.
Picture these statistics: More than 68 percent of the 170,389 students who took this year's secondary-level leaving examinations in Nepal failed them. Likewise, there are some 40,000 vacancies in the public schools across this Himalayan kingdom.
Bhutanese refugees of Nepali origin are relying ever more heavily on U.S. intervention to resolve the deadlock over of their repatriation to their home country.
More than 1.5 million children in Nepal are having what promises to be a long break, although school vacation is over.
Kelsang, 22, says he left his monastery in Tibet after ''Chinese officials asked us to denounce the revered Dalai Lama and introduced practices in our religion that were not acceptable to us''.
The Nepali government's talks with the Maoist rebels hang in the balance after the Friday resignation of Prime Minister Lokendra Bahadur Chand, ostensibly to cultivate a more stable political atmosphere that would also give the peace negotiations a boost.
Now that Bhutan and Nepal have agreed on the number of the Bhutanese refugees who can return to their homeland after more than a decade of waiting, the curtain should be coming down on one of the most complex and often forgotten refugee crises in the world.
Sharpa Raj Karki is not entirely happy to see fellow Nepalis here. Because too many migrant workers like him are coming to Mussourie, in India's Uttaranchal state, daily wages are going down.
Nepal's King Gyanendra faces the sternest test ever in the face of the battlecry against monarchy, which has been rising since he assumed executive powers seven months ago and is now reaching a peak.
Just like in the seventies and the nineties, the student agitation now raging in Nepal may again shape the political landscape in this Himalayan kingdom.