For most of my first year in Nepal, the country had a royal family and the king was a popular man. No longer. The infamous Royal Massacre of June 2001 robbed Nepal of a beloved king and most of his family. A man already none too popular, then Prince, now King Gyanendra, came to the throne amid tragedy and outrage and few beyond the royal sycophants would say that he has gained in public stature. Not that the King ought to shoulder all the blame. Nepal's politicians haven't done much for the place in my time and its Maoists have been singularly horrible—ravaging the populace, killing anyone who got in their way, forcing the security forces into a war they didn't want and smashing the infrastructure of local governments. I'm not optimistic for Nepal, not in the short-term. But time heals all wounds.