I wrote this before the horrors of last Friday night in Paris. I've wondered several times whether to postpone posting it. But my point - that there are struggles in forgotten corners of the world we know almost nothing about - still stands. And so here it is. It doesn't mean I don't grieve for Paris too.
I wonder how many of you know about the blockade of Nepal's southern borders?
Why would you - it's relegated to footnotes in the western press. For two reasons, I think: Nepal has no resources, no oil or gold or uranium, and so the developed world forgets about her. Plus - we do not readily upset India: they are important trade partners, and losing their goodwill is unthinkable.
So let me tell you what has been happening.
As you may know, Nepal has a new Constitution, reached democratically after lengthy negotiations, and welcomed with fanfares and parties.
India was one of the few countries that didn't immediately welcome the changes. Why? Well, it's not quite clear. My friends in Nepal believe that India feels put out because Nepal has dared to make these decisions all by herself without asking permission from her bigger and more powerful neighbour. They also point out to significant unrest in India at the moment, to Modi's unpopularity, and diverting Indian attention away from internal difficulties suits the government right now.
But why blockade the border?
There is an ethnic group that straddles the Indian - Nepali border that has protested against the boundaries of provinces in the new Constitution. It is a common problem for minority groups around the world. Sometimes not everyone can get their own way - and those in power need to work to understand and ameliorate the worries of those who feel marginalised. Nepal has done her best to build in as many checks and balances as possible - and talks continue.
But there has been significant unrest in the south in the past. Demonstrations have got out of hand, and strikes have gone on for weeks.
India has claimed that this unrest - which is far less violent now than it has been at times in the past - makes life so dangerous for her lorries that they can no longer travel north.
But - this group doesn't occupy the whole southern border, yet India has closed all the border posts. This is illegal - there is an international agreement that land-locked countries have free access to the ports. But Nepal has no money to take this to an international Court.
China has opened border posts in the north - but cannot provide for everything Nepal needs, and roads through the mountains are treacherous.
So what is the international community doing? Not a lot. The level of hardship is such that UNICEF has talked of a humanitarian crisis. But the eyes of the world are elsewhere. And the people of Nepal are surviving, just, without fuel or cooking gas. (People are gathering wood from the forests and cooking on open fires in the street.) Medical supplies are running short. Only time will tell if China can stop the people starving.
This will end, of course, as these things do. India will find a way of climbing down without losing face. Fuel and cooking gas will reach the cities and villages. And few people in the west will have the faintest idea that this has ever happened.