quirks of beinga fish and frog

Anything pleasantly strange adds more value to the day than the mundane. But find a weird object that adds value to your home and office, and you have stories to tell
for years - some to your friends and some to absolute strangers.

How I adore quirks! I mean, just imagine something that is insanely wild or untamed. Anything that has a character so weird that it makes you smile. Quirky is amusing. Marilyn Monroe once said, “It’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring”. I am beginning to think of that as my life quote.

It’d be hard to find a term as Nepali as machha-byaaguta. The literal translation means ‘fish and frog’. A game with this very weird name is what filled the childhoods of most Nepalis. We might have played it thousands of times and each time we’ve had our share of fish or frog. So imagine my excitement when I came across a website (www.machhabhyaguta.com) with that very name! How can there be a quirk that I didn’t know of?

The website was officially launched in September of this year. So it wasn’t surprising that I knew little about it. But one look at it and I ended up knowing exactly how priceless a place it was. From guitar shaped ice cube trays to a tissue box with a smiley face, there are items on the website that are so strange and useful that they are impossible to ignore. Well, hello online shopping in Nepal! Where have you been all this time?

Dorje Sherpa and Bhintuna ‘Jya-Poo’ have stories to share, and how could I resist? “We had a store in New York that we loved for its weirdness. When we came back, my friend Tenzing Chokdup Lama and I decided to do something similar. Online shopping is relatively new in Nepal. So we thought about this website where people could log in and find the things they want. The stuff obviously had to be special and it is,” says Dorje Sherpa, Co-founder of MachhaBhyaguta Dot Com (MBDC).

MBDC is a venture of Lemon Line Corporation set up to bring to you a unique online experience where you can find objects that are quirky, colorful and useful. The creative head behind the project had ideas that were pretty much ‘outside the box’. “From the name to the products, we only agreed on the most interesting ones. It is very Nepali and very entertaining. Anyone who’s heard of this website finds a smile in his or her face,” says Bhintuna.

What weird products?
“We have friends in China and Hong Kong, especially with us to look for the products. We also have people who look for new ones in Vietnam and Cambodia. We want to find products that people here find interesting,” says Dorje.
In order to ensure sustainability (and novelty), Dorje and the gang are thinking of working with Nepali products, especially for the clothing section. They are yet to decide on the final exhibit but they are a bunch of people who want Nepali products that will definitely add to the glory of their already exciting collection.

On the website, there are two sections – Hooks, and Hangers. Under Hooks, you find innovative household and workplace products and under Hangers you will find apparel. Hooks is purely for intrigue while Hanger is yet to come to your disposal. It will however be available to you very soon.

When asked about his strengths, Dorje shares that a good business has:

  • Something interesting to offer,
  • A trustworthy team,
  • People who work hard to conceptualize the idea and then work to make it more tangible and
  • Friends who laugh and give you suggestions

Did I just give my money to the internet?
The question still remains. How applicable is online shopping in Nepal? “We do not have an extensive credit card system and we are still reluctant to trust the “internet world”. But this form of online shopping has been “Nepalicized” for you. “We have cash on delivery system so you can pay in cash after you receive the product. We make sure you get the product at your place at the earliest and that for free. For delivery on the very same day, we chargeRs.100,” says Dorje. Hence the internet clearly becomes an easy home shopping option!

“These witty products are great conversation starters. Make new friends with them. It is much easier than you think”- Bhintuna “Jya-Poo”

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