I was born in Nepal, south of Everest and close to the Indian border. Most people there are subsistence farmers, growing rice, wheat and various vegetables on good, fertile land. But in the rainy season the nearby Kosi River frequently bursts its banks, causing disastrous flooding, and many people lose their lands and often also their lives. I was the fourth of six children, and my parents worked hard to feed and look after us properly.

As a young boy I was very shy, so I spent a lot of time by myself. I was always interested in how things worked, so if, for example, a radio fascinated me, I’d ...


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