Month: December 2013

FOCUSING ONLY ON CLASS 10?THINK AGAIN!

The year of 2013 proved a headache to the educationalists of Nepal. The country saw an uninspiring 30% pass rate of the government students who appeared in the School Leaving Certificate (SLC) exam. While in the private sector, there was a pass rate of somewhere between 75-80%. The results were enough to give us a glimpse of the country’s poor education policy and the quality of education it was disseminating to the future leaders of Nepal.
The news spread like a wildfire and got a place in the front pages of the newspapers and became a talking point for the TV presenters to question everything they had about the situation of education in the country to the folks who implemented the promising policies. The policymakers were in no position to accept the blame they had been put into. They found it interesting to appear in the national arena as if the government school’s students were handed an Asar 15 presents. And even if these policymakers had to defend themselves, they were confident to blame on the political impasse for this worst scenario. Hopefully after the issue got a national status, the government pledged to increase the pass percentage to 60-70% in the next few years. And to reach the target the government encouraged the teachers to give a special focus to the Class 10 students. It requested them to do whatever they can to uplift the standard of education in their school. After all, the development has to be a collective effort. 
Subhay Manandhar, utilizing his winter break in 2013, teaches the students to solve simultaneous equations in a government school in Kathmandu

Amidst all these flawless plans, something very much bugs me. If the government’s decision is implemented by every schools in the country, there is a high chance that the target cannot be met. The decision to increase the number of classes that the SLC students attend while the education in primary and secondary schools gets a second priority is very alarming and potentially a major blunder. The result that we may get is ephemeral and not revolutionary. It would be a failed attempt to getting closer to the aim of achieving 60-70% pass rate in the allocated time frame.
Instead, I would suggest to give more priority to incorporate quality education in the national curriculum of primary and secondary level classes, especially in the rural areas. That way, when these students reach their age to sit for the iron gate exam, the results will be concrete. If we are able to focus right from the beginning, then the primary level students can make a direct impact on the results of the secondary level and the secondary level students would improve best when they sit for the exams. That way, the government can feel contempt and hopeful that the amended education policy has finally paid off and the target was accomplished easily. It is definitely the best way. 
The happiness that we get when we disseminate knowledge is greater than the desire for getting salary 
The other flaw that led to the poor performance in SLC was the inadequate teaching materials in the schools. Most of the government schools lack proper infrastructure and some are even forced to study under roofless buildings and with no books and exercise books. The other factor is the depth of knowledge that the teachers possess to answer any questions their students ask them. We all know how significant ‘learning by doing’ can enhance our attempt to understand the subject matter in greater depth. However, the schools in the rural areas are not privileged to play with scientific apparatus. Even if they do have some of these toys, they lack adequate knowledge to operate them efficiently. 
The big solution to these issues is to send capable and skilled manpower to the farthest nooks and corner of the country. These may include students who have passed SLC with great percentage or teachers who have established themselves as professionals in private schools. I am already sensing the issue of salary obstructing this solution. But hey, aren’t we the ones who bragged ourselves as the literate and who always complained that nothing is possible in Nepal? I find it amusing when a bachelor student goes out into the streets and demands employment. He could enjoy the joy at sharing the knowledge he possesses and increase the literacy rate of the urban areas. 
Money should not bother their prejudice. I can also definitely claim that our very own teachers would refrain themselves from getting involved in such acts. I don’t blame them for this but they should consider it as a moral responsibility. 
It is a great deal to increase the pass rate in our country. The education sector will have to pay a heavy price if the gap between private and government sector widens at an alarming rate. It will be very difficult to narrow the gap if the trend continues for another decade. It is therefore wise to upgrade the education quality in the rural areas. For this, the government, policymakers, educationalists, teachers and the urban students should extend their hands and transform  the education sector for good. We would definitely need competitions for the next urban generations from the rural folks as well, wouldn’t we?

PORTRAYING NEPAL’S WAR

The bravery of Gorkhali soldiers during the great expansion drive of Nepal is something that we shall cherish forever. Thanks to the essays that delineated their bravery in our course books, we feel proud to be a part of the bloodline that kept the East India Company searching for ways to break down our forces. Wouldn’t it have been interesting to film their act of valor with great precision and allow us to live the moment in a more lively way?
Every time I watch movies that portray the great wars of the world history, I imagine what it would look like to watch our own national heroes involved in a heavy battle against their opposition. One of the films would focus on the life of Prithvi Narayan Shah and his extraordinary tale to unite all the small states into one single country. The other would revolve around the story of Bhakti Thapa and revere his indefatigable spirit.
If kollywood was to take inspiration from these heroes, Nepali cinemas’ profit would skyrocket. Every single Nepali would make sure that the halls get housefull status for over a month. After all, the public would have seen the epic tales of the historical figures for the first time. 
I bet the audience would definitely respect the efforts that the filmmakers would put to add life to the historical characters. And the audience would realize that filming the battle scenes would be a very difficult job. One that requires adequate research to make sure facts aren’t manipulated just in the name of publicizing its inception and making the film even more successful. 
The filmmakers have a hard time figuring out the geography that they have to shoot for these battle scenes. Nepal’s rocky terrains and the location of several forts in India mean that it will be hard to take the cast crew to a real fort. For example, with Nalapani located in India, it would be necessary to build a fort similar to that at Nalapani in Nepal. Then it would be necessary to bring crew that look similar to the warriors of East India Company. Or, bringing in soldiers with military background with their arsenal loaded in the scene would be an even better idea. While on our side, we will definitely have plenty of Nepali warriors who would be willing to be a part of the history. But, all of these ideas require a huge amount of money to turn the ideas into reality.
Whenever I imagine our warriors taking out their Khukuris and yelling and running madly as hell towards the opposition, the scene becomes absolutely breathtaking and truly patriotic. It just feels like being on the battlefield and working under the great leaders of that time. Whenever I try to imagine the battlefield scenario, the energy that comes from it is so powerful that it compels me to spring into a significant work.
More than that, if such films were made in 3D than we could feel the adrenaline filling our body when we see Nepali soldiers outplaying the opposition. On the other hand, it would be delightful to watch the cannon balls fired by the opposition unable to find the targeted Nepali soldiers.
Wouldn’t it be more interesting to see these Khukuris
(the weapons) on the
battlefield in a war film?
Every time I think about it, I desperately want my dream of filming the rich history to turn into reality. It would be one of those moments when I could finally take proud at what my ancestors did to defend this country from external forces. I could even think of the film getting an international name and fame in all the national and foreign television networks. Discovery Channel, National Geographic and History Channel would document further after witnessing the history’s details in the film and maybe after the production of the documentary, get a repeat telecast in every few weeks. Maybe they could even create a mini-series. Who knows on the bright fairy tale side of Hollywood, Leonardo Di Caprio would be more than happy to produce the film and bring Nepal’s history to the world! What more mesmerizing could it get than having these crazy ideas taking shape. 
I am sure that there will come a time when a Nepali director would take the opportunity to bring life to our history’s characters and would provide a glimpse of what it looked like to feel the ‘Great Nepal’ campaign taking full shape. It would enlighten the minds of Nepali, both the young and old, and shed light on the wars that made Nepal earn the tag of ‘Land of the Brave Gorkhas’. It would also make everyone blessed to witness history in the making. 
We just have to have hope that a Nepali would document our own Gorkhali soldiers’ gallant attitude!

YASTO DIN NA AAOSH!

In the op-ed section of yesterday’s Kantipur, one of the writers sarcastically mentions that it will only be a matter of time before we begin hearing our children and grandchildren asking us what phapar and dhindo really mean. Or that they will be interested to visit the museum that houses a detailed history of the exotic staple foods that were found in Nepal. I am talking about foods that will not be common in the home itself, let alone question its availability in the restaurants or cafes. It is a scenario that very few of us can question to take form. But at the same time, it is necessary to learn and ask ourselves the question: How will the next four or five generations hence display the unique characteristics that makes them Nepali?
Look, I may be a little skeptical about the scenario, but it is something that has bugged me ever since. What if we decide to include pizza and mo:mo as the only foods to devour when we are sitting for 13 days kriya? What if we switched to eating burger and hot dogs instead of chaku and sakarkhanda in Maghe Sankranti? What if we slashed the tradition of cultivating paddy and instead adopted marijuana to plant in Asar 15? Wouldn’t these incidents put the unique celebrations and the historical significance of our festivals at stake? Won’t they restrict our culture only to coins and postage stamps?
Remembered this dish, right?
There is no doubt that after Nepal got exposed to the outside world, the western culture slowly started to influence its revered traditions. These days, the influence is so great that we hardly notice the gentlemen in Daura Suruwal outfits at major functions. The parties and even the marriage ceremonies are taking place with only the suits guys hanging around. I guess most of us even feel awkward to wear our national dress in important occasions. That is why we hardly find a pair of Daura Suruwal neatly arranged in our closet. 
Moreover, the epic Panchebaja that used to be integrated in the marriage ceremony as part of the Jayanti can no longer be enjoyed these days. All we have are the cacophonous chants from the horn-looking instruments (the ones that closely resemble India’s) that are in par with a resemblance with the unique Panchebaja. And, these horns sing nothing but hindi or english songs. Hardly any classical Nepali song gets its chance to entertain the guests. 
There is a reason that I am saying these stuffs. The changes are taking place very slowly. But we fail to acknowledge that the effects it will have in the near future are imminent and possibly dangerous to national identity. Some decades into the future, we cannot rule out the chances of watching madani only at the national museums and at the same time, get in a state of shock when a three-year old fella comes running to us and asks what the purpose of madaani had been in the past. We don’t even have to think about these incidents taking place in the future. It is hard to believe that it has already been taking place. I am having a feeling that even you don’t know what madaani truly is right now. 
We are so accustomed to using the western technologies that we are left dumbfounded when our grannies bring out unheard nepali names. Names like gagri and jal, that were important back in their time but which have lost their charm these days. We are grown in such a culture that the Nepali words in the course books can only be revealed by the Nepali teachers and not by the English teachers. I am not blaming non-nepali teachers for failing to make us understand words that get frequent attention in the national newspapers but I am trying to question the fact that they are obliged to know the meaning to most of the Nepali words. Even I should get a hold of the meanings of such words and make a toddler understand it; in Nepali way. 
There can come a time when Nepali language is spoken only by a chosen few and the languages of the indigenous people is circumscribed only in the history tapes. Nepali language losing its identity may be a long way to go but the paucity of unique nepali dishes and the smart traditional clothes taking place may only be a few decades away. We should develop a high sense of awareness among us if we are to witness the rich knowledge of culture echoing in the minds of the next generations and practicing them in a daily basis.
Only time will tell if bringing the western culture by the Nepali diaspora was the right choice. And if it wasn’t the right one, let us not regret our passive involvement to creating a rich culture conscious community.

DEADLINE EXTENSION: THE POST ELECTION STORY

Few months back, very few Nepalis believed that the election would be held. There were statements from political analysts that Mr. Khil Raj Regmi’s government would not hold the election on time. The government had already allocated the budget for the elections. The only problem was whether the election date would be postponed like it did in the previous election or not.
Fortunately, the election was held peacefully despite protests from Baidya-led 33 minor parties. The results were out within two weeks. But something unexpected occurred at the next moment. The Election Commission decided to postpone the date of submission of Constituent Assembly (CA) members to one week citing difficulties faced by the parties. Well, that is all right. But are we once again going to blame the CA members if they failed to deliver the constitution on time?

How many of you want to pass the mandate concerning the cancellation of deadline extension requests? Raise your hands, please!

The deadline extension for the submission of deserving members implies that the parties can relax a bit and work according to their century old banal plan. Hold bilateral talks with other parties. Argue on the points that they make. Start blaming the other party for the cause of this impasse. And, in the process, forget about submitting the deserving members! That’s it. Nothing less or nothing more.
I should say that this is not the path we promised to walk down once again. We have already traveled that path and faced the consequences. As the deadlines neared, we rallied outside the constituent assembly to put pressure on the then CA members to work 24 hours in making a constitution. Various organizations protested demanding an end to the chitchats and the blame-on-them games that the members were busy in. And on the deadline day, the members hinted some relief to the protesters as they stayed all night to continue promulgating the constitution. Alas, instead of watching the constitution being made, the protesters’ rage knew no bounds as the CA decided to extend the deadline for another six months. And, the similar story grabbed newspaper headlines six months later.
What I’m trying to focus on is that unless we are strict from the start of this constitution making process, there is no way to share our promising hope with the political leaders. The Election Commission should have never encouraged the extension. Its effect has already been observed. It means that the first CA meeting would have to be postponed by a week or even a month. That has a very bad cumulative effect. It looks like the constitution will not be made within a year as the parties had advertised in their election campaigns. It is not something we will be hoping to see.
I am even seeing the chances of extension of other deadlines in between the meetings for this new period. Once again, the possibility of promulgating the constitution in time remains uncertain.
It is time that we don’t listen to every requests that these politicians make. Time to put pressure right from the start and not when the deadlines are near. If we wanna see the constitution made on time, we should avoid entertaining useless requests to extend deadlines at any cost. 
Let us start giving pressure to these folks right from this moment!

YAHA CHHA KHUSI

A few issues back, Nepal’s weekly Himal Khabarpatrika ran a story that focused on the ways Nepalese found happiness in dire times. The satisfaction in small things gave them happiness that lasted longer than the ones obtained from amenities.
The evidence that the writers presented struck my mind and I became very proud of my nationality. Whenever we face difficult times, there seems to be some inevitable force that binds us to face the music with ease and share the unfathomable happiness with our family and peers. 
As the election was near, tensions had begun to rise and violence was slowly taking its place. But, even in those times, we found happiness in our senior cricket national team that was trying to imprint its mark in the record books by becoming the first ever team to reach the World Cup stage. 
It is not only the happiness that counts in shaping our unique identity to the world but the very amiability that we present in various facets of our life to the outside world that does as well. Sometimes, as I read the excerpts of foreigners admiring the social nature of ours, it feels great to be part of something that already exists in my DNA. I am not trying to be a jingoist but it is my responsibility to aware of the thing that we are taking for granted. 
Taking happiness in small things is what makes us tackle difficult circumstances easily.
I guess no one will find a place where a person feels a stranger as a friend. And no public places where we cannot get some help from others with ease. I even read in an article a long while back written by a foreigner where she mentioned how she was intrigued by the fact that customers exchanged friendly glances with the shopkeepers. The jovial relation, she claimed, was a sight rarely seen in her country. In fact, she even urged us to give respect to the culture that very few of the outsiders can experience in their lifetime and that we were fortunate to have it a million times in a week.
Returning back to where I was, we even find someone close to us to sort out our difficulties. I guess the large family size we live in has also made a big difference. The intricate relationships we have within our family and the names we have tried so hard to revere always keeps us within touching distance of our family. The westerns only have father, mother, son, daughter in-laws and cousins to call by. Moreover, they seem to take less care about the relationship that is few family generation away and don’t have much trust. While in our country, the trust is as strong as ever and the names that we give to our family members like bua, aama, bhai, dai, bahini, didi, hajurbua, hajuraama, maama, maiju, bhanja, bhanji, phupaju, phupu, thulo bua, kaka, kaki, buhari, sasu, jijubua, jima and so on. We can feel safe when we visit someone distant of our family and even entrust them to take care of our children without any slight hesitation.
Family, it seems, is the most beautiful thing we can be proud of than the tourism sector. I believe that the hospitality we revere when we welcome the tourists is the greatest gift than the long trodden trails we have in our country. I know that the trails are the reasons we have these benign people, but I also know that they feel more than a tourist in our country when they are within our  They feel like a family. The little children who greet these strangers like their own family, the directions that senile folks give to them or the joy that a guide or a porter shares with them makes them feel more like a family. That is the happiness we all have and which defines us. The happiness we acquire from these small things is what separates us from the rest.
It’s what I call joie dé vivré.

Tyasaile ta ma bhanchhu ki yaha chha khusi ra yasaima Nepali hunuko majja chha!

POLITICS IS DIRTY??

No country runs without politics. It is the benchmark for the development of the country. Few people realize the role that politics play in our daily lives. Everything that we do is directly affected by politics and hence its importance should be well known for every junior school student.

But alas, such is the case in our country that we teach the kids in the junior classes that politics is bad and very bad enough to enter. Even I fell into this category. I was taught by my elders that there was no future in politics and the situation would continue to worsen. There was no hope.
I was shocked to even hear such a statement. The same people who taught me to never give up hope are teaching me the art of despair only to give up on my aspiration to create a better country. What more can I expect to learn from the generation who seem to have lost faith in the current political developments?
“So you think Politics is dirty enough to get your hands spoiled?”
It is not that I am unaware of the political impasse in our country. I am well educated about it. I make it my habit to read the front page political news in detail because it really kills my patience when I am not updated about the major rifts taking place in the country. The tug of war that our leaders have merrily played over the PM’s chair and the ego they share when one comes into power is ubiquitous. All they ever discuss in their meetings are ways to topple the current government. 
I know about these but can do nothing about it. 
Are you asking me why? Well, here is the reason. I was always led to believe that only illiterate people should enter politics and there is no career to make out for the erudite. It imprinted in my mind to take less care of the country’s woes. Even if I  wanted to, I just took it in and did not work towards solving it because my subconscious assured me that politicians were there to see to it. However, I was unknown that politics was dirty enough to cripple itself from cleaning the mess it had created. Or so I had been taught.
To these folks who only saw the released film and did not care to buy the DVD version to find out what it takes to master politics and the optimum role it has to make the people’s dreams come true, I sincerely salute them. 
I thank them as they have not only taught us to grow hatred towards politics but also set a conviction to be welcomed by the next generations. And they are the same people who think that youth should take charge of the politics. 
How can they know that entering politics will ruin our lives? How can they expect us to lead the country when they themselves have forbidden us to enter politics? By the way, how can they be so sure of the game that they can blindly call it dirty? It is absolutely outrageous.
The education that we acquired has already taken its shape. We don’t see any SLC distinction holders entering politics. They are only into doctors or engineers. As for the third division or failed candidates, their life has taken a U-turn after entering politics. They enjoy a free ride to the nooks and corners of the world but never bring any concrete plan to end the impasse in their country. They have a great life and luckily find themselves as the project manager who earns millions whereas his distinction holder friend is left to work in a less payable job. And you expect the country to just move on with it? Are you contempt with it?
Politics is not dirty. Only the people involved in it are. These are the same bunch of folks who never acquired a degree but boasted about a local college honoring them with a honorable degree on the occasion of College’s Annual School Day. 
And you can naturally call your apprentice to bid adieu to his childhood dream of becoming a politician. The reason is that easy to comprehend!
I guess, it still isn’t too late. It is time that we trade places with the old grandparent politician over the issue of leading the party. We sure can lead the party to great heights. 
Discuss over the issue to bring in new ideas to challenge the outdated yet revered thoughts that we have about leading the country. It is time to direct our level of enthusiasm for good. Time to bring in the scholars to politics and revolutionize the system. Time to make the change that we wished for so long. Time to respect politics and the time to cultivate the thoughts in young minds that politics is as clear as a polished diamond and the future is bright upon entering it. 
That is why politics should be respected. Encourage everyone to be a part of it. Let’s get more graduates into politics. Let us hope that everyone of us will want to make our brothers a respected politicians.

GAFFE, GAFFER, GAFFEST!

Yeah, yeah. I am well aware of the grammatical error. Just move on. I did it on purpose because I have been a part of the historic (well, only in that group) GAFFE group which met outside my Alma mater’s house.
The group was not very inspirational enough to attract some paparazzi although I have to say, it did bring on some cameos for the daily show. Not the cameos that we have on the TV but sort of idiots who thought spending a little time on the set would increase its viewer ratings (I am referring to changing the positive degree of gaffe to comparative degree and so on). Idiots.
The story began a looooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnngggggggggg, wait, it’s just a while back. 
Such was the soporific walk that we had right after lunch coming along the long way, remember my black gate article but only this time it was in the morning, that we felt we had to compensate for not getting the girls be our paparazzi. What would be a great way than to start a nonsense conversation that would spark interests from peers as similar to the case to be considered when a talented young player is scouted by many clubs for the next possible signing spree.
Told ya, I was not lying. By the way, That’s Neta who is standing.
We would discuss a couple of things, the time that it would take for Maximus (name changed) to walk the long way (he was a real inspiration for our establishment of MMT which we considered more accurate than GMT). The complex organic chemistry which made our complex brain even more complex. We were considered dexterous by many for our ability to Spin-a-yarn a story in a short period of time. Some hailed our wandering act as the best reality show than Oprah Winfrey’s or even match the achievement of Facebook to revolutionize the world. 
Before moving on, I would like to take some time highlighting the gaffers  we had in our golden era. There were Neta, Mini-Freud, Ultimate, N, Chewing gum, Wild and Turup (anonimity has been maintained as I would like to keep these people’s name secret). Cameos included the bird from miniclip’s ‘bug on a wire’, bhokante, martyr kapoor, and the one and only naake (btw, you know this one, right: the one popularly known as Pinocchio). In addition, directors worked without stuntmen who worked without actors who worked without a script (I hope I am not confusing you guys!). There were not any actresses for god’s sake. 
As we basked under the sun, gaffe sometimes, well it was MOST of the time, ended on deciding what we would do for a wealthy career ahead. Sometimes, the Neta would act hopeless (luckily, he never landed a role in our School Plays) saying that he could not live on with his life and that God was not playing a fair game. The main objective behind this lie was to lure others into giving up on their dreams so that the path will be straight for him and success would skyrocket on his behalf in his life.
Most of the time, we would talk only about ways to getting rich, and we meant it. We discussed on ways to increase our financial productivity by getting involved in bribing tourism officers to grant us amenities at their hotels, turning our peers to laborers when we opted for day treks or getting into politics so that chances to become a renowned one would increase our property value, I mean, getting rich. 
We went as far as experimenting the footsteps of the billion club. Get accepted to a college, drop-out after a year, start our own company, steal someone else’s idea and get rich. Turns out, it was not easy to do as it previously seemed (just an exaggeration that I learned in my high school after all we have not even tried it let alone bring up the getting-rich-easily scheme in our lives). 
Sometimes, Chewing gum would come up with an idea to start a business and Jobless would mock at his idea (I mocked at it too, but mine was 99% compared to Jobless’s 100%). Shortly thereafter, mini-Freud would speak out from nowhere calling the idea as his own. I am sure he will be the first from our batch to register a patent to his name (he had one idea patented back in February but more on that after few months’ time).
In order to make the lunch session less monotonous, N would crack a joke and no one would laugh for an instant, thereby inviting praise for his act. He went on to explain the reason to burst out laughing (he was laughing at himself in trying to make us understand). But alas, there was no hope. Hence, as responsible friends, we would pretend to just laugh. Sadly, it would just dishearten him (but we sort of did not care about it).
Out of nowhere, a bird would come flying from the south. It appeared that this was his stop to make his way to the north. He had nothing to do except extol ideas presented by Ultimate like buying a huge chunk of land in a less productive city or kicking the corrupt politicians out of the parliament and getting himself in (sorry, should have been The Ultimate). Literally, he was Chuck Norris and Rajnikanth in one single flavor.
The other cameo, Bee-bash, would yell at us from his room.which stood right outside our venue making him our arch rivals. He would shower few words of discouragement and appear as if he disappeared from a magician’s hat. Unfortunately, the magician had directed him to our venue intensifying the tug-of-words.
But, it was the cameo of two renowned arch rivals, Naake and Catman who fought in the  battle of the best superhero. The situation looked as if it was a battle between the Khans and the Kapoors. The battle created a rift among them which to this day has been continued. And I am thinking to release the next battle as a film (anyone willing  to be the producer??).
The question was a bit, you know, like….
Now, you tell me who is the best superhero: BATMAN or Fe-man?
My take: BATMAN!

BLACK GATE: WHAT’S SO SPECIAL?

Whoa, whoa, whoa…Hang on a sec. I am guessing that the black gate that I am trying to talk about has already been misguided by your versatile experiences (seriously, it was your gateway to the outside world, remember?).
All the mischievous experiences you guys endured on non-chicken days are still fresh in your minds. The seemingly likable road race practice sessions that you felt when chased by the school’s security guards are still hovering around your subconscious. But, that is not where my talk is leading to.
Your first guess when I mentioned Black Gate, right?? Photo Courtesy: AnimeshKunwar
I am talking about the benign black gate that welcomes everyone to our Alma mater. Yup, you heard it right, folks. The Main Black Gate.
The reason I am bringing this stuff out of nowhere is that for my two years in high school, I did not ever give away the thought of touching the gate right after my supper. Never. Not even on non-chicken days. Of course, chicken day has to count!
Even for a fella who had a distaste in hanging out with his friend after the supper was over to walk through the school’s long gateway to his house, it was very surprising to never to distaste the route again. That, the fella is me was again a point to be considered ridiculous. I mean, I was like “seriously!”. Yeah, yeah, I understand what you are stuttering about. Anyways, let me get back to my story.
So, every time I finished my supper, it was mandatory for my soul to be physically available at the black gate. Evergreen tranquility ensured that no one disturbed my routine. But if you are so kind to count the cacophony that emitted from girls shrieking over the phone bragging how they fooled the duty teacher in wasting food, then yes I was disturbed. Hey, am I going out of the topic? Cause, if I am then, I am not sorry!
It was a ritual that I and my friend Bibash shared most of the time in our high school. That is why it occurred to us to imprint it in our memory and  on the day before we bid adieu to our Alma mater, there it was.
OK, I am sorry. Then, where was I? Yes, right after I made my way to the black gate, the panorama that I appreciated often came in alternative days. You guessed it right, folks. Congratulations. 
Normally, on chicken days, if I was lucky to devour my pieces fast, it would mean the path to freedom was free of obstacles. No chances of shrieking from the girls or the hooting that the boys directed at them. Nothing at all. The only people who gaffed with me were my pal and the security guards who always asked Babuharule khana khayou? Of which the ready made reply was Khaaaayooouuu dai!! A little too girlish, but anyways. 
After our mission was accomplished (yup, the background sound of Mission Impossible humming in my mind after the success…), we would take a glance at the clinic and see if  there were any pairs dating on our way to the house. Slowly and not steadily, we progressed to the dark road where light shone only in the day (I was lying. There was light but just on the day when the maintenance folks fixed the street lamp). Only after we passed the junior hallway would we see a huge audience following us. Well, not really. But, it just seemed. 
On non-chicken days, it did not matter if I ate fast or not. The situation was same. Dark alleyways. Winding roads. A separate gang of boys taking a notice at who passes their way. Girls taking their time to chat as much as possible since they will be excused from humor when they returned to their house. Security bros sitting on their usual seats gossiping about how time has passed so fast and blah, blah.. The only difference was that by the time you got there, you would not notice any interesting paparazzi. But, it did not really matter. Because that is what made my black gate tour a classy super duper special one.
Even on days when I had not any company to enjoy, I would somehow convince my nearby friend to help me in saving this rich culture (really?). And, you know, the rest is history. When we traveled in a group, we enjoyed the way we took the long and winding way. Walking slowly towards our gateway, we left no time go unnoticed by mocking the idiosyncrasies of the other group we encountered, girls included (oops, now that it is no longer clandestine, I don’t know what to expect from them: curses or compliments?). We even practiced hooliganism. Honestly, it was really pulsating but, socially it was a menace to the teaching staff who considered it vehement. Well, it is the dark side of our adolescence and we care to enjoy every little bit of it.
So then, that is what I have to say about my passionate visit to the black gate, and giving a punch to it as it is the legacy of my achievement, and some off track gaffe. But, I am still unaware of what made my mandatory black gate visit very special? Did you?
(Request: Check out AnimeshKunwar‘s blog and see more of his creations through his blog!)

DIFFERENT FACES, COMMON IDEALS

Pun, Khakurel, Malla, Khadka, Veswakar, Gauchan, Mukhiya, Karn, Regmi, Bhandari and Airee. What do these surnames mean to you? Don’t worry, I won’t make this a rhetorical question. 
Most of you probably viewed them as the cricket veterans who showed the path to realizing Nepal’s T20 World Cup dream after a breathtaking last ball 5 wicket win over Hong Kong in the quarterfinal of the recently concluded T20 World Cup Qualifier in UAE. But did you notice the subtle significance these surnames will play in the lives of Nepali and its upbringing?
Everyone of us viewed it as a historical day in our lives and put our daily chores aside to celebrate our involvement in the making of the history. After all, we achieved the feat in just our 17th international T20 game. We rushed to the streets to start a rally. Some of us, like me in particular, didn’t care to serve glasses of tea to our guests who were patiently waiting for over an hour and didn’t care to do so even after an hour passed into the presentation ceremony. I even made sure to defy physics by banging the wall some 50m from its position (of course, I failed). I yelled as loud as I can in my home corridor like I didn’t care the neighbors will call the police to report the continuous shrieking I had contributed to their meaningful peace. Some of us flooded the social network servers with tweets or posted status for others to share common joy along with us. But, once again, we failed to notice the revival of the lost tradition. A tradition we had long practiced but that limited its place in the history books after issues were raised against it in our previous Constituent Assembly.
20 faces, 20 surnames, one mission…
Allow myself to share the experience which inspired to produce this masterpiece, will you? Then, where were we? Yes, rightly after we went into the history books in our cricketing career, I allowed myself to skim through the status that my peers had posted on Facebook. None carried such an important weight than that posted by Rabindra Mishra, a reputed BBC Nepali radio journalist. He asked the same question as I did at the beginning of this post. But, it was his answer which really highlighted the significance of this victory and which made me realize the dream of a prosperous and peaceful country was at the doorsteps.
If we look closely at the surnames, not even one of them repeats itself. Hence, we can clearly conclude that negotiations can be reached even if we come from various backgrounds. We can reach the dream that we spun since the childhood. Or we can fulfill the ambitions shared by millions of people, millions of our families. And that is what this cricket team did. 
We did not hear the players boycotting the training because the issue of caste came in light. Nor did we hear them demanding that all batsmen should be Khadkas or the bowlers only Mukhiyas. Moreover, they did not stage protest by burning their kits to the head coach demanding a separate practice match for Regmis. None of these issues sprouted that could potentially be dangerous to shatter the hopes that all the people rested on. They were all different but had the same dream: to reach the first ever World Cup. 
Most of you have already got the message I am trying to convey.
It has been just over a week since the second constituent election was concluded. The results have already come out. But I fear that the politicians have still a lot to learn. And, I believe that most of these lessons can be learned from the Nepali cricket’s legacy. What these politicians have to learn is that a consensus cab be reached only if we get united and sort out the differences immediately. And I believe that it is possible. After all, they represent the common aspirations of the Nepalese: to build a respectable and inclusive constitution. 
A pre-election scenario of folks trying to hear the plans of a candidate. But there are no demands to guarantee eternal peace.
It is time that the politicians leave the drawbacks aside and commit to building a better and prosperous country. It is time to realize that disputes over caste issues should never be broadcast in the media as fear will engulf the next generation to experience the traumatic wars of days long forgotten. 
The hard fought victory will serve as a reminder that getting the resources at hand is not pivotal, but wanting to have that is. It is still possible to realize the dream through continuous dedication and team effort.
It must be the reason why I feel that our progress to the World Cup has stood as a base to building a revered constitution. The reason to return smiles to countless faces who had forgotten in the aftermath of the 10 years long Maoist insurgency. I believe that Nepal’s cricketing legacy has imprinted an impression that will always stand out. The legacy will create a new revolution unlike never seen. I believe that it has even already started.

ONLY TWO WAYS TO LIVE YOUR LIFE

“Zindagi jeene k do hi tarike hote hain…ek jo ho raha hain hone do, bardaasht karte jao…ya phir jimmedari uthao usse badalneki”- Aamir Khan,Rang De Basanti

Translation: There are only two ways to live life: Tolerate things the way they are… Or, take responsibility to change them.


This dialogue has such a heavy influence in my life that it has turned into an inspiration and an adage to live for the rest of my life. Ever since I first came across it, when I sneaked past the packed TV room in my school, I have tried my best to put the message in practice. And, if I am allowed to boast about it, have been successful as well. The foremost inspiration that got imprinted in my mind from this dialogue was that one can change the way it is by taking that one bold step: the audacity to take the responsibility in changing it.
Frankly, it was the most difficult scenario that I had faced. Deep inside I felt that the reform was necessary. That, something ought to be done to clean up the mess. That, someone has to be the catalyst. That, that someone ought to be me. Truth be told, it felt that ego was ruling my decision. But, ego it may be, it proved a turning point in the years hence. I simply did not gather courage to watch my counterparts (myself included) suffer the misery cast upon us. After I decided to take matter in my hands, thoughts gathered around me to at least muster some help from my bold peers. Together we went to the concerned authority and without any hesitation, at most times, I was able to start the conversation and backed by my friends’ opinions, they proved to be a pivotal point in witnessing the change we strongly desired. 
Taking the responsibility to start a change will surely start a revolution.
Slowly, my involvements in such initiatives fueled my desire to harness change in the society. Sometimes, when my friends asked for a favor to start the conversation, it made feel really responsible. While some believed that I was trapped in delusions and even went as far to deem me a rebellion. I am not bragging about my idiosyncrasies. Instead I am making a point that most of us don’t gather enough guts to make the change that we long wished for by taking the responsibility to do so. 
Whenever there are opinions which challenge the ideals held by a group and which can damage its reputation, I bet none of us stand up to criticize those ideals. I bet everyone will get trapped like the audience involved in the bystander effect. We just simply listen to what the opponent has to say and hope that someone will point out his flaws. In other words, we stand back as the story unfolds with fear engulfing our motives.
It is why I believe there are only two ways to live our life. First, the habit that we all revere: grab a popcorn and watch how the villain kidnaps the girl. Second, be the hero to free the girl and not just watch like the shopkeepers who have a faith that the police will surely catch the villain one day. What the shopkeeper misses is that he should be the first one to save the girl. In illustrating this case, I am beginning to feel that you have a point to make: Why should the shopkeeper be dragged into saving her? Well, that is where most of us fail to live in accordance to the second way. I believe that the shopkeeper should also be involved in the chase because it will set an example for other shopkeepers to follow thereby making the capture of the villain easy. 
Another annoying example that I want to make point about is the case of many of us WANTING to end the Nepali culture of organizing the strike feast. All that we care in such situation is to end it immediately and expect the government to negotiate with the concerned folks. I see parents complaining to each other how menacing the strike is to their children’s education or the common people who sit in front of the shops and blame the system for creating an impasse. I have nothing to describe these people than calling them scums, however harsh that might sound.
These group are not living. They are dead. Don’t they have the courage to go into the street and put an end to the strike? I am sure many will lend their hands for the initiative to take shape. What they think is that there will be someone to stop this mess and all will be good. I guess this tradition has to end. Why are we so afraid of our lives? Weren’t we the ones who boasted of sacrificing our lives for the good of our country? Where did the chauvinism disappear? Why is it that most of the time we want someone to challenge the system? Why can’t we be the one to start the change? Why can’t we put an end to corruption by filing a report to the police? Why can’t we face the people who are spoiling the system? Are we afraid that the media will not take coverage? Or are we afraid that the person involved will send their gang to beat us up late in the night? Or are we afraid that it will ruin the reputation which we have tried so hard over the decade to establish?
We talk big but are afraid to implement them. We are afraid that talking to the teacher about their weaknesses will cost us our grades. We are afraid that the earnings we are enjoying will be cut short when the boss finds out that we were the ones who wanted his supremacy to end. We are afraid that filing a case to the police will develop fear of death in us every time the phone rings at night. We are afraid to do anything at all and sadly, wish the next generation to not experience what we experienced. We are afraid if the youngsters will take the initiative to end the taboo. Above all, we are afraid to take the responsibility to initiate the change.
By now, the dialogue must have already influenced your outlook in life. If we want the system to change, we should take the responsibility to change it. If we have an idea that could change the world, let us immediately implement it before we regret not doing so. Had Edison not moved on with his dream, we would never have seen the incandescent bulb! Had the activists of 2007 not taken the responsibility to overthrow the tyrannical Ranas, we would still be illiterate and the literacy rate would never had reached double figures! More important than that, had Prithvi Narayan Shah not taken the burden to unite the small states, there would not have been a country called Nepal! Hence, it all adds to the fact that we ought to be the leaders to initiate change before expecting others to start a revolution in the near future when matter becomes even worse. That is why the most important of all the life quotes you have ever heard of are subtle compared to the weight that the dialogue has.
For this to become reality, let us instill the thought in us and take the initiative to change the system that we feel is putting the prospect of development in dark. Let us make our generation the most exemplary generation and make the future generations feel that taking the responsibility to see change taking place is the best lesson that they will never forget. That way, after twenty years, we can be proud to be a part of the revolution that we took responsibility of and share our acts of valor to our grandchildren. But, only if we wish to end the culture of tolerating the corrupt system by taking the responsibility ourselves to make the change happen. 
May the next revolution start right at this hour. May we all take the responsibility to see the change we longed to see.