Month: March 2015

THE TWO PEOPLE I MET IN HEAVEN

“It’s too early for you to come here, Manasbi.”

“Where am I?” I quizzed myself as I looked around the place but did not see any buildings in my field of vision.

“That is why I told you that you ought not to be here,” an old man who was at the entrance of the big gate shrugged off his shoulders.

“Excuse me, do I know you? You just called out my name.” I asked the gatekeeper.

“Uff. Another boring question. That’s what everyone asks me when they come here only for them later to realize that there’s a name tag around their neck to identify themselves,” the man said.

I looked down and there it was: my name tag. It had stated all my personal information but something in it caught my attention. It had stamped my death date!

“Hey, why is there a date of death in my tag?” I questioned.

“Coz you are dead, idiot. You just haven’t realized it yet.”

***

“Oh, there you are. We have been searching for over ten hours to meet you. It’s such a relief!” a voice echoed as I saw a silhouette of a young man and an old man in the distance. The clouds were so surreal and full of sparkle that it looked like Disney had embellished the place.

I moved towards the shadows. Every step that I took surged an anticipation of oneness. My breath grew heavy as everything that I heard earlier did not make any sense. It was just a while back that I was dating this blond girl in the cafeteria and I didn’t even have the faintest idea how I ended up here in such a small time frame.

“In case you are wondering, welcome to HEAVEN. Been a long time since we last met, huh, pal?” the figure in front of me greeted.

“Ap….aa…..rrr…..???!!!” I tried desperately to call out his name as I couldn’t believe I was meeting him here in heaven.

K chha Manasbi? Ahem, ahem,” I heard another shadow coughing in the distance as he slowly appeared in sight.

Hajurbua?!

I immediately reached for his foot as I took a blessing from my grandfather.

K chha tero haalkhabar?” my grandfather asked.

Thik chha. How did you guys know I was here?” I asked them.

“Come, we’ll take you to our residence,” Apar replied.

Well, I didn’t exactly know how the clocks of heaven worked and hence in no time I had reached my beloved grandfather’s and my friend’s residences.

“Manasbi, here’s the truth: you are dead!” Apar cleared the doubts in my mind.

“What are you saying?” I didn’t believe what he was saying.

“Let’s skip the details for a moment, shall we? Here, drink some water,” Apar said.

I slowly began to understand the lifestyle of the people living in heaven. My grandfather, for instance, sleeps five hours a day and then heads out for exercises everyday. He had already read most of the religious books that was available in the Heaven’s Library. Most of the time, he hanged out with his buddies and together, enjoyed their afterlives to the fullest.

As for Apar, he has made a routine to finish at least one book in a week and mostly indulges in watching Chelsea’s football games and Australian cricket as sources of entertainment. He also shared the happiness that he experienced when Australia were crowned the ICC World Cricket World Cup Champions of 2015 yesterday.

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“It was a one sided match, and now I can’t wait to watch Kolkata Knight Riders play in the IPL” my friend noted who always gave a good analysis of the games he watched. “You know, I met your grandfather when our Chill Out club organized a one day interaction to spend some amazing time with old people. After I asked a couple of questions and started knowing him, I found out that you were his grandson. And then we have been hanging out ever since.”

My grandfather had learnt to play chess from Apar and garnered some knowledge on football and cricket. He came twice to closely beating my professional friend.

“You know, sometimes we play the paper cricket that we often played during our stay in Makalu House. And paper football, too,” Apar said. I noticed tears flowing from his eyes and in no time, I had mine, too.

Ghartira ta sabai sanchai chhan hola kyare? Maile sabailai samjheko chhu bhandinu. Ta chai raamro sanga padnu ani naam uchha paarnu ni.” my grandfather sobbed as he found it difficult to control his emotions.

Sabaijana sanchai hoisinchha, hajurbua. Maile hajurle bhaneko kura sadhai samjhinchhu. Ani sabailai hajursanga bhet bhayeko kura bhandinchhu. Tara ma ta marisakeko haina? Ani maile kasari bhannu ta?” I comforted my grandfather and questioned on the purpose he had been telling me all this.

“You aren’t dead yet,” Apar said, “Look down, a group of experienced doctors have successfully saved your life and in a while, you will be conscious. Maybe the gatekeeper had wished for the right thing to question your presence in the heaven so early. And, in the hospital, there are your families and close friends sitting outside to hear the good news.”

“But how did I end up in the hospital?”

“When you were dating that girl, your eyes turned towards a six year old boy who was about to get knocked down by a van coming from the opposite side as he tried to cross the road. You made your decision to save the boy and succeeded in the process. However, the van knocked you unconscious and there was little life left in you as you were taken to the hospital. We were immediately notified of your arrival to heaven. And the rest you know it.” Apar provided me with complete details of how I ended up here.

“Now, I remember some of the details.”

Jaane bela bhaisakechha. La ta ni!” my grandfather bid me farewell.

“Look, you have got a second chance. Make the most of it. And tell all our friends that I miss them everyday. Goodbye, priya saathi.” Apar’s words were the last words that I heard before I slowly gained consciousness in the hospital.

Tata, hajurbua. Bye, Apar.” By the time I wanted to say something, it was already inaudible. They understood my expression and seemed glad that I made their day. Next thing I knew, I was in the hospital bed cherishing the magical moment of my revival and desperate, as Apar said, to make the most of my life.

“Oh my god, he’s alive! Everyone, our prayers have been answered.”

All the people that I had treasured in my lives were there and were busy exchanging happiness. Their smiles were divine and perhaps unknown to them was the fact that I had met two of the best people in heaven.

PS: This post is dedicated to my grandfather and my friend, Apar.

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AS A HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE

Back in 2013, I had arranged my most daring meeting of all time. Except that it was just between two folks. I always wanted it to be executed and there I was welcoming nervousness as I began to pick up the right words before confronting him.

In my Alma mater, the rule states that the designated school prefect should be a House Representative of at least one of the eight houses. After my short stint in Kanchenjunga House, I moved to Nilgiri House to look over the house affairs. It was mine and Sawal’s responsibility to take the challenges that the house members (boys from classes 7 & 8 ) were facing and share the solutions to the challenges. They could share about dining hall issues, academics problems, eve teasing, incomprehensible lectures from class teachers or ask for suggestions to implement inside the school on any areas. Most of these issues were common in their age groups and my friends from similar positions in other houses reported the same which could be solved through a group discussion. But there was one problem that even I had experienced when I was of their age: the inability to talk to your teacher regarding his certain acts that really bothered us because we feared that pinpointing senior’s mistakes was a heinous crime. For me, that attitude never came across my head after I talked to Mr. Parshu Narayan Chaudhary (Head of House of Nilgiri House).

I remember when I asked for some of his time to discuss on some issues raised by the house members. He gladly called me after 1st supper. I reached there at 1820.

“Welcome, Manasbi,” my optional mathematics teacher from 2008-2011 greeted me.

“Good evening, sir!” I wished him, “May I come in?”

“Yeah, do come in.”

I entered his HOH’s room calculating the anxiety that had built up within me after he answered the bell ring.

“We conducted a house meeting with the brothers and noted some issues that had to do with the house administration. But first, I would like to say something.” I briefed the purpose to my teacher.

I slowly began to let go of the fear inside me. The fear that it is untolerable for someone way senior than you to make someone else pinpoint some of his fallacies. The fear that it is better to keep your mouth shut than speak something unwelcoming to the senior. The fear that a student should first examine where his experiences put him before he judges his teacher.

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Pumori house(left), where I stayed from 2009-2011 and Nilgiri house(far right) where I was a House representative in 2012.

When I wasn’t a prefect, I thought that the house representative’s role to quietly analyze the issues rather than taking immediate action was not justified. Maybe that was why I made it my duty to take the matters in my hand and discuss it no matter the consequences.

Mr. PN Chaudhary and I talked for about forty minutes and as time passed, I became more and more open to highlight all the issues raised during my meeting with the brothers. Later, we sorted some possible strategies to tackle the issues which my teacher carried out fully. He decided to hold a meeting with the students after our meeting was over.

To be honest, I had never in my life felt so relieved. It was a joy to watch my teacher listening to some of the fallacies that his administration had. I had doubts that he would listen so serenely and feared that he would yell at my immaturity. But what I had thought were just my fragments of imagination. I reached the conclusion that even teachers can patiently listen to what their students have to say. And, that teachers are also just normal human beings like us who make mistakes and are very open to listen to others even if that ‘others’ are way junior than him. I learned that it was better to tackle the concerned authority than to backbite their problems which most of us often do.

When our talk concluded, I was proud that I carried out a task was rested upon my shoulder. I was delighted to be a part of it. Most important of all, a feeling of belonging embraced the talk. The talk was more like a father-son/close friends chitchat. I knew that next time I was to face similar situation, I would be more than happy to play an active part.

As I walked out of the room, Mr PN Chaudhary thanked me for the effort that I had put in to muster words to tackle this awkward situation. I clearly remember his words to this very day and I quote “There is one thing that I must appreciate about you guys (the whole 3000D batch). Everywhere I have gone inside the school, there is only the talk of your batch. And the kind of interaction that you have held with me is the first of its kind and is largely appreciated in my circle. The revolution your batch has been bringing is unprecedented as I have not seen this level of enthusiasm in any of the previous batches. Keep it up, guys.” His words quadrupled the ecstasy that I had just experienced.

PS: The views that I present here are solely mine and are based on a true experience. I would like to apologize for any inconvenience caused to anyone whatsoever.

WHAT GOES INSIDE THE SCHOOL PREFECTS’ MEETING?

Nothing. Uh, oh, did I surprise you? That wasn’t the type of answer you expected given the amount of time you have seen school prefects devote to the overall development of the school. What if I told you that all this time you were fooled with their appearance? Lo and behold, as I tell you the inside story of the developments taking place among a bunch of elected leaders sitting in a round table.

I had the pleasure to regularly attend the meetings as a School Prefect back in 2012/2013. It was more like a ritual to cleanse some elements of our school and discuss some developments that were required and analyze that had already taken place.

I remember our first meeting was basically an introduction calling out for pragmatic developments in the school. We had just been handed over with the responsibilities…. Ok, I apologize for digressing away from my topic.

Usually, Rajat, 3000D’s school captain, scheduled a prefects’ meeting whenever he felt necessary because that was what we ought to do! Seriously. When he told one of the prefects, they would be informed and within five minutes, no one would have been left. As simple as that.

During the meal breaks, we would randomly guess what the agenda of the meeting would be but we always failed. It turned out that our best guess on “Reviewing SRK’s latest flicks” was never discussed. That was the antithesis attitude of the captain who claimed to be the biggest fan! We were not disappointed.

On our way to the venue, we met our friends and exchanged just “hello” “hi” “Ani k chha ta haalkhabar?” When it should have been “So, what’s up with the food wastage issue?” “Now that School Day’s coming up, we ought to create a miracle.” In retrospect, I think that we were relaxed outside the meeting and were happy not to make it much of a scene.

And, we were very fond of Nepali time. Hence, usually the gaffe would turn into a flattering game. Just passing our time on and on. Then, at the other end of the corridor, SRK would run like he was gonna rescue his princess. Taking one step one at a time, the time would slow down and a full movie had been shot. “Rajat, probably heard my name?!”

I forgot, we had already started the meeting fifteen minutes ago. And then, Rajat would take his seat thereby commencing the meeting. “Sorry guys, I had to make sure that the School Day preparations were smoothly going on.” That was his indomitable spirit. Throughout the school, he was a house celebrity and probably the most busy person.

Before every meeting, Rajat usually sorted the issues that needed immediate attention in our circle. The discussion started and every prefect shared their opinions in that matter. Some were genuine, some were like nah, some were stupid and some, mostly from opposition party, were outright annoying to other members.

I belonged to the opposition party and was joined by Sawal and Bibek. When our friends nodded in every idea that was discussed, we felt that was insane since no one talked against the idea. And then, the discussions would heat up. We challenged every idea that was discussed and Bibek would share his insight critically. I loved to initiate the opposition party’s halla and was supported by my two friends. Sawal, on the other hand, attacked the issues discussed directly as some ideas, to his knowledge, lacked shape.

Most of the time, the meeting started with issues on food wastage. Now, whenever the meal time was over, most of the plates were filled with leftover foods and deemed food waste. And we were losing significant amount of money. We prefects wanted to nullify food wastage. There were talks of changing the food menu for some specific days like Tuesday and Friday (non-chicken days). Whenever there was a vote to claim the best menu, we were neutral and, most notably, Sawal. He was so infuriated when foods were criticized from his peers that he blamed it “on their taste buds than on the flavour of the school’s foods”. His dialogue was copyrighted and was repeated every time the issue of food wastage was raised.

The School Prefects' Meeting held the day before School Day 2012 was celebrated. Photo Source: Yadav Sapkota's facebook page

The School Prefects’ Meeting that was held the day before School Day 2012 was celebrated. Photo Source: Yadav Sapkota’s facebook page

Most of the time, the meetings were just a ritual and nothing more. There were useless gaffe being entertained and time just went by. As the frequency of the meetings rose, the gaffe made headlines to just waste our time. Sometimes, issues were saturated. When nothing new came up, we were involved in staring at each other and playing mind games, notably ‘Rock, Paper and Scissors’. Or make a fun of one of our friends. Or drink Mango Frooti.

Although most of the incidents here have been portrayed as fun filled, we were adamant to make the best of the meeting and came up with certain steps for implementation regarding certain issues. The designated house prefects would convey the conclusion that the meeting had reached. Teachers would be informed of any new developments and so on. Overall, the meeting was a success and it had to be. Else, I would not have spent my time in writing this piece.

School Prefect meetings were fun. No one would be serious from the start. We just listened to our peers and corrected if any those needed one. After sitting on the chair for two hours straight, we bid goodbye and appreciated for the time each one of us had devoted.

By the way, did I forget to tell you? We maybe conducting Prefects’ House Checkup this week…. Or was it that week we conducted this meeting, two years ago?

KO SARKAAR, KO JANATA?

I am very fond of Nepal’s politics. My earliest memories to getting inclined to its contemporary issues date back to when I was in grade seven. Over this period, I closely observed the 19 day People’s movement in 2063 BS. However, since the restoration of parliament, and dethronement of monarchy and declaration of Nepal as a federal state, I have seen more number of Nepali politicians messing up with the meanings of Sarkaar (government) and Janata (the people).

I have been intrigued that most of the newspapers revolve around what the politicians from the major parties think in terms of the needs that they wished would be granted to the citizens of Nepal. Headlines are mostly directed to these politicians’ definitions of government and the citizens. Now, who do they actually refer to when they lash out at The Government’s failed attempt to expedite the aviation traffic that caused an uproar among the Nepalese diaspora (the Turkish Airlines skidding off the runway of the only international airport) or when they constantly speak of Nepali Janata wanting this or wanting that?

Janatale jaatiya raajya khojekai chhainan!“Bipachhi partyle ajhai pani sochna baadhya bhachhainan ki janatale tiniharulai bharosa nagarerai kum vote diyeka hun bhanera.”

How should we make sense of the word "Janata" in this context?

How should we make sense of the word “Janata” in this context? Source:Nepalnews.com

Now, if we scrutinize the choice of words that politicians alike have included in their daily lectures, we are in a dilemma to really sort out the exact audience that they so enthusiastically talk about. Do they authentically imply the thousands of voters who hoped to see the promulgation of new constitution or is it just a pretext to mix their own ideologies into their gaffe so that ultimately the general people’s faith molds into that of the politicians’? From what I have astutely observed, the latter is the answer.

Mostly the major parties make such blatant statements. The political leaders have been surprisingly stubborn to attest to the very fact that they are not speaking for the general people but for their own parties’ members and for their own sake. In other words, all we have been hearing on the media and the countless referrals to janata are all fake. We have been deceived from these elected leaders.

The leaders, to be exact, do not know what we desperately want. Had they known then we would have been blessed with a constitution from the first Constituent Assembly. Instead, their very ideology that they had embraced turned against them and despite the second election taking place and the leaders’ commitment to promulgate the constitution within one year, the leaders have been losing trust from the janata.

On the other side, I constantly hear that sarkaar is all responsible for whatever occurs/affects us in our daily lifves. Whatever! Most of the incidents that make headlines in national newspapers include excerpts from the victims who strongly condemn the sarkaar for not giving enough attention to the agony that they are experiencing. “Sarkaarle haamilai waastai garenan!” “Tapaile haamiharulai dosiko aarop nalagaaunu kinabhane sabai sarkaar ko nai dosh chha!” Now, what do you exactly make of these statements? Who is sarkaar (government) in your opinion? When you enter a tea shop, you can hear customers engaging in gaffe that mostly revolves around blaming the government. Does the definition of government limit to just the thirty or more ministers with their office secretaries who compromise the Executive? Or does it genuinely imply those employed in the government offices as well (all the employees who work in various government services)?

Maybe we should fix our perception of what we truly regard the government and its people. Maybe all we have been doing is playing the blame game and forcing our minds to narrow its definition of government and the people. Maybe it is all our fault that this discussion is taking place.

So, the next time any political discussion heats up and a political leader stands firm in the act referring to janata‘s ideologies that the discussion has progressed so far, remember to fully comprehend the statement. Because it may not be ours’ view but the leader’s stance to support his party members. And, when any disaster strikes our country do take a note of the misinterpreted word sarkaar anywhere in the news. Because as it stands, it would really mean PM Sushil Koirala’s Cabinet Ministers, including himself, did not give any damn attention to the disaster and its victims whatsoever.

We just have to make sure that these statements are contextual and not a fabrication of the general people’s opinions; for in a democratic country, people’s voices must be respected.

CHAPTER THREE: THE CONFESSIONS

“Sarthak! Sarthak!” I yelled from the corner of the room as Satra went on a rampage destructing the thousand inventions that embellished the mansion of the popular scientist.

“Whyyyyyyyyyyy? Whyyyyyyy?” Sarthak cried endlessly as he was desperate to get answers from the friend who he had gone to ask for in the corridors of Gaurishankar house. The same friend who taught Sarthak the importance of getting serious at every tasks.

“Why you ask? How could you dare ask that question?” Sunil responded furiously as he became adamant to take control of the situation, “It shouldn’t bother ya guys a little bit. Whatever I am today, it’s all due to your invention of Mind control machine. You had guaranteed….”

“Enough with the crazy talks, Sunil!” I interrupted as I could not bear any more of the scenes unfolding right in front of my eyes.

“What do you know about the state I’m in, huh? All ya been caring about is that lousy girl that you had just seen and who got kidnapped immediately by that punk DK! You are a fool. Did you know that?” Sunil began to share the agony that he had long been left to suffer all these years.

“Stop calling her lousy!” I protested to my might despite being clung to the walls and tortured in broad daylight. Sarthak, on the other hand, was dragged ruthlessly as Sunil had carried him away to make him suffer when he initiated the destruction of Dumba’s Laboratory.

“Aaaarghhhhh….. Why? Why did you damage my property and put all the blames on my inventions?” Sarthak cried out. I laid down in cold heart crying as I searched for answers to the reason the blood gushed out of mine and Sarthak’s bodies.

Sarthak displays a fake smile in order to hide the agony that he faces with a friend who has lost his ethics

Sarthak displays a fake smile in order to hide the agony that he faces with a friend who has lost his ethics

“Why is he doing all this?” I thought, searching for clues to link with the situation.

“You guys wanna know my secret. Then listen. After I graduated, I came back to Nepal. I thought that my country had given me a lot and it was my time to contribute to its development. I had a hectic time. The common problems that I faced in the government offices to register my company left me dumbfounded as it forced me to slowly give up on my dreams. But I was audaciously keeping tracks on the progress that was taking place despite the issues. I thought that I had done enough. However, the problems worsened.

“Deep down, I knew that someone was behind this. I started the investigation myself. I had no one left to rely on.

There’s a lot of mafia activity going on in the government. And the most surprising thing: one of our own men was in control of all these activities.

“But I didn’t know who it was. Then, your Mind Control Machine made news headlines and I thought that this was the only chance. My only chance to be face to face with the culprit. I purchased and started the session immediately.

“At the beginning, I felt that my mind was to its full potential. I gathered a lot of crucial information. Then right when I neared my target, the side effects appeared. And I have gone mad ever since. Ha ha haaa haaaaa.”

(Coldplay’s Life in Technicolour playing…)

“Hey, who’s this?” Sunil picked up his phone.

“Just finish off the business, you idiot,” the person in the phone directed.

“Ok,” Sunil paused for a moment, “Let’s move, you fools.”

* * *

“So, who wants to die first?” Sunil laughed with his gun loaded, as he took us to the edge of the Chilime hill.

“Sarthak, you stay back. This is my fight,” I bid farewell to the most genius man I’ve ever met, “Sayonara!”

“Just shoot it, you filthy soul!” I yelled at the masked man.

BUDHANILKANTHA’S HOLI

For me, Holi was a festival of colors. The definition extended to wide miles at Budhanilkantha School.

traditional Holi (3)

7 AM. I came from dining hall and headed to my cubicle. I was mindful of surprises in way leading to my house. I had just heard from my friend in the dining hall about some of the plans that our seniors had engineered. We had already seen their trailer after the supper a day ago when Dais, with their faces covered in handkerchiefs, had attacked didis with water balloons when the latter were heading to their houses. The sound of water balloons splashing to the bodies was loud. It gave a clear message: Get ready for THE Holi.

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The Holi that was… 2012’s Epic!

Nothing untoward happened until Nimesh dashed off in our cubicle and told us about how a senior Dai left Sajal drenched while he was in toilet. Now in this moment, you really do not know how to react: hold on laughter imagining the pity condition of your friend or be really concerned about what to do next. Going to toilet was literally a nightmare then. Well, I feared myself imagining soaked to boxer. The chilling water was always 2-3 degree less faithful in BNKS. And when we were secretly laughing over how Sajal would come out of toilet, we did not know that things were not as good with us too when we heard a large commotion outside. It seemed as if large bomb explosion had sent people running around and crying for lives.

traditional Holi (37)

At Garden Pitch

Our own friends from Byasrishi and Gaurishankar were in the corridor and were walking like really active zombies who could shout; their faces were incomprehensible by all the colors that had occupied each inch of their faces. Their hairs were ruffled and they were thoroughly wet. They had toilet buckets in their hands and they were splashing water unconscientiously on whoever they found. Yuck! Water is good…but water from toilet bucks ain’t good. They had clearly lost their insanity. I shut our cubicle door. But it was late. They had already figured that there were people inside the cubicle. Half a fraction of second later, the gang came and banged the door. Unable to resist the force, I asked Ranjit for help. Since BNKS cubicles are infamously known for having no “shutting” elements, the only way we could prevent ravenous crowds from entering our beautiful cubicle was piling our all resources which were at our disposal. The chairs and tables did not disappoint us. But we could not freeze our loyalty on these four-legged objects. Ranjit found a leeway via window and sprang. I too wanted to escape. But then the door creaked. The crowd was successful in shifting the chairs and finding sufficient gap to squeeze themselves through it. With no double thought, I climbed up the locker and covered myself with a blanket over there. My back was arced and I had to coil my legs and bring them towards my chest so as not to be human to outsider. My head was stoned against the ceiling. Never in my life was I in such position for such long and still maintained that calm composure. The gang came in and drenched my quilts, blankets, bed sheets, books everything.

traditional Holi (9)

When I could finally breathe, I saw the room was in mess. I slowly climbed down and saw the catastrophe with my naked eyes. I was vigorously angry. I stepped outside from the window on to the yard and yelled badly at the doers. I quickly realized, however, I should not have fumed that hard when I saw a gang of hungry and wet 3000Dians, with buckets full of water, running towards me. I staggered. The central nervous system activated immediately and advised me to run with the Forrest Gump spirit. Honestly, I had never ran that fast my entire life. However, long realization kept short: the running was futile as a gang from the opposite side captured me. I was the worst victim. As it happens in many death penalties where the culprit is asked for a final wish, the gang offered me liberty to choose my own buckets with which I wished to drench myself.

traditional Holi (42)

In movies, when a zombie bit a human, the human became a zombie. I, who was sneering at the doers a few minutes ago, was transformed into one such crazy zombie. Until I was drenched, I was in no mood to play Holi. But when chilling water tinged my spines and sent me off for an irreversible unrecovery mode, I gave my best to make it as worst as possible. It was fun of course. I searched all those who were still enjoying dry bodies and splashed bucketful water on them.

traditional Holi (40)

BNKS was a crazy place. It was also a place where the senior-junior hierarchy was strictly maintained. And it would reach all new heights during Holi. Dais would especially find Vais to make the best use of their water balloons and Vais would never fail to disappoint. BNKSians also know on how to make good use of the drainages. Drainages in BNKS have clear flowing water (most of the time). The Vais would dutifully agree to be a part of ongoing tradition: Get soaked in drain. Four seniors would hold each appendage and would slowly bring the body down to drain until the victim was completely wet from head to toe.

traditional Holi (43)

Exciting part however was the Holi between Teachers and Students. The Holi was a time when you could search for a teacher who did not agree to give you “A” when you could have made to the Principle’s coveted merit list. On this day, you filled water balloons with all the love and googled BNKS large territory for that teacher and if found, would attack him with all the water balloons you had. Sadly, I could not find my target that day (giggles). It was fun and pleasing. Teachers would come and enjoy playing Holi with their students.

traditional Holi (24)

A Holi in BNKS would, however, be incomplete if I fail to miss the Garden Pitch’s exciting Boys versus Girls encounter for which most of us waited patiently for a year. Yeah, A WHOLE YEAR! Though BNKS is co-ed, it strictly prevents mingling (I know it is bad!). I had heard some tales of our boys playing Holi with girls from our own batch in the Saraswati temple in as early as 6 AM in the morning (we need to appreciate their activeness!) back when the mingling was even more tougher.

The garden pitch was the only place and Holi, the only day in BNKS where you could come and play with girls. There were teachers, however, to take in account that something fishy did not happen. So in this Boys vs Girls Holi, everyone would come to the garden pitch and splash water from the nearby water reservoir designated for washing clothes to the opposite sex. Until now, you must have totally understood that BNKS Holi is not that connected to color as it is to water. One of my friends (who asked to be anonymous) who was not hitherto wet then and was sidelining himself with a reason of high fever, was secretly poured water from some clever girls. His body was completely drenched. You could see his body behind the transparent PT dress and his transparent half pant.

Today, I miss the moments of ecstasy as I keep myself busy to reminisce BNKS’s Holi. Should I proceed to my Alma mater to join Tashi and Dikendra? I have yet to decide.

Bikash Gupta

BECAUSE I’M BATMAN!

I am proud to call myself “The biggest die hard Batman fan!” You guys heard that. But you can’t quiz me on the details of the episodes of its Cartoon Network shows or the illustrations on the Batman comics so far.

Batman stands as a symbol of fighting against crimes and bringing justice to the citizens of Gotham City in the DC universe. Fans, in particular, revere the character that Bob Kane created with his meticulous precision in the development of the character and the portrayal of the events unfolded in the Batverse thereby being strongly linked with our reality. Batman, Wayne, Gordon, Joker, Riddler, Penguin, Ra’s Al Ghul, Talia and Two-Face/Dent are characters whose psychologies strongly resemble the authentic human world. For example, Batman’s stand against crime adhering to his principles to never ever kill anyone in doing so is an exemplary attitude that policemen alike, or anyone who gets involved in enforcing laws, can practice in their duties. Joker, on the other hand, is largely a resemblance of the ego that we manifest in every events of our lives. Joker’s character hints at the psychotic side of our lives as we try to get over our megalomaniac realms of life. More of such stand out characteristics are discussed in detail on this video.

The Best Superhero there is! Because He’s Batman!! Photo source: http://www.sideshowcollectors.com

For me, Batman stands out as a source of inspiration. I have been a big fan of Batman since my childhood when Batman and Robin took to the center stage often in the Cartoon Network series or when I was too addicted in playing its video games. Although I watched almost all of the other cartoons, there was none that appealed like Batman did. The husky Batman tone, Alfred Pennnigton’s dedication to Master Wayne, Lucius Fox’s captivating managerial skills and Commissioner Gordon’s depiction of Batman as the one who would restore justice are typical characteristics pertaining to the reasons most people enjoy watching Batman. And so do I.

Bruce Wayne, a billionaire philanthropist, claims to be a savior of corrupted Gotham City as he struggles to bring law and order to the place. I share moments of ecstasies as he demonstrates the reasons he is by far the best fictional character who ought to be real. Batman’s professionalism on garnering all the martial arts, his mastery of dialects in Russian, Mandarin, French, German to name a few and the best of all, the wit he gathers to outsmart almost anyone are some of the typical Batman moments that leaves me wanting for more. Moreover, Bruce’s intellect drives him to create sophisticated weapons in a limited time frame that would take years for people like us to put our hands on.

Batman instills confidence to take our chances at anything and have a go in our lives. There’s something about Batman’s world that leaves us crazy every time we try to decode what’s in store in the show. He steals the spotlight in solving mysteries, designing and inventing intricate machines, and thrusting an adrenaline rush every time I watch him. Sometimes, I pretend to be Batman myself and copy his signature tone to impress the crowd. Other times, I become so mad at the franchise that every time he has a guest appearance in other cartoons, Scooby-Doo to cite an example, I am supercharged and am forced to yell in honor of my favorite character.

After Christopher Nolan directed the “Batman Trilogy” starring Christian Bale, the franchise took onto a whole new level. Fans were delighted that the movie justified the character and were particularly impressed at the way Nolan balanced other characters’ parts in the plot. For me, it too was the best thing that could ever happen in my life. Yeah, in my life! Because the way Nolan intertwined Hans Zimmer’s soundtracks, it was too awesome. Whenever disputes arose among Batman and Ironman fans in my batch, we used the stunning plots and the gripping soundtracks to put the debate in our favor. Sometimes, the disputes nearly turned into a row as tensions arose between the two groups.

Even in the Justice League, Batman is the best of them all. Whenever Superman or Martian Manhunter are out of ideas, they depend on Batman’s intelligence. And as a fan, you are too delighted to share the moment. The JLA series that was aired on Cartoon Network had promising reviews and the show ended with applause from fans worldwide. But, I still feel emotional as it failed to develop the relationship that Batman had with Wonder Woman.

The best portrayal that I have seen of Batman and one which appeals in a comical way are the videos published by the You tube channel “How It Should Have Ended” The video’s filled with professional Batman voice and a lot of funny conversations with Superman. But Batman stands out because as he himself justifies: “Because I’m Batman!”.

PS: No copyrights infringement intended. The videos’s rights belong to the respective owners.

WHAT DOES BUDHANILKANTHA SCHOOL TEACH NEPAL?

बूढानीलकण्ठ स्कुलले नेपाललाई के सिकाउँछ?

केही आशाले  भरिएका वर्षहरुसम्म विकासोन्मुख राष्ट्रको सुचीमा गनिए तापनि नेपाल पुन: अविकसित राष्ट्रको सुचीमा सुचीक्रित् हुन पुगेको छ। सायद यो तथ्यप्रति प्राय: नेपालीको प्रतिक्रिया ‘Reactionless’ कि त ‘Expressionless’ हुन्छ होला। विदेशी सङ्घसंस्था, विश्व बैंक आदिले तयार गरेका प्रतिवेदनको दु:खद तथ्यले सबै नेपालीलाई चोट नपुराए पनि ऐनाझै छर्लङ्ग अनि घामझै  स्पस्ट राजनितिक भद्रगोल, खिचातानिमा अल्झिएको संविधानसभा, आकासिएको बजारभाउ, बेरोजगारी आदि त अधिकांशले देखेको र भोगेको तथ्य हो। त्यसले त कसो नेपालीहरुलाई नपोलिरहेको होला? चित्त काटिन्छ देख्दा, असफल राष्ट्रको उदाहरणमा पर्ने नेपालको आर्थिक विकास अब अर्को दशकको अन्त्यतिर सरिसकेको छ। अब यही अन्योल्ता अनि लाचारपनले त सम्मुनत नेपाल देख्न अरु कयौ दशक कुर्नुपर्नेछ। यद्धपि, संक्रमणकालिन  नेपालले विगतका त्रुटी कमजोरीलाई सच्याउदै अघि बढ्नेछ भन्नेमा पूर्ण रूपमा आशावादी छु म। यति प्रचुर स्रोत र साधन हुँदाहुँदै पनि कति गरिबीमा बाँच्ने , कति  अँध्यारोमा रात काट्ने? यो प्रश्नले हामीलाई झक्झक्यैरहेको भान हुन्छ मलाई। नेपाल हालको लागि अविकसित नै भएपनि  बिग्रदो नहोस्, बिस्तारै नै भएपनि प्रगतिपथमा लम्किरहोस्। अहिलेलाई हामीले गर्ने प्रयत्न यही हो जस्तो लाग्छ मलाई। यसका लागि हामीले पाठ सिक्नुपर्छ, विगतका भुलचुकबाट अनि अरु सफल अनि समृद्ध समाजबाट ।

यहाँसम्मको लेखसम्म अाइपुग्दा ‘बूढानीलकण्ठ’ भन्ने शब्द शीर्षकमा मात्र उपयोग गरेको रहेछु।प्रसङ्ग बूढानीलकण्ठ स्कुल को  ….।

बूढानीलकण्ठ स्कुल मैले अध्ययन गरेको विद्यालय, राष्ट्रकै प्रतिष्ठित एवम् पृथक ईतिहास बोकेको विद्यालय अनि नेपाललाई आफ्ना होनहार विद्यार्थीद्वारा संसारमा चिनाउने स्कुल हो। एउटा शैक्षिक संस्थामात्र नभएर बूढानीलकण्ठ आँफैमा एउटा सानो अनि सुदृढ समाज हो । तसर्थ समाज निर्माणमा बूढानीलकण्ठ स्कुललाई एउटा सबल उदाहरणको रूपमा प्रयोग गरिन सकिन्छ।

नेपालको राजनीतिमा सधैं चर्किरहेको बहसको शीषर्क हो : संघीयता  । नेपालमा संघीय  राज्य कस्तो हुनुपर्छ भन्ने विवाद  उत्पन्न भएको पनि वर्षौ भइसक्यो।  के नेपाललाई जातीय आधारको स्वायत्त राज्य चाहिन्छ होला ? यसरी जातीयताको आधारमा संघीयतामा जानुको आफ्नै गुण अवगुण छन् । तर हामी नेपालीबीच मेलमिलाप र शान्ति कायम राख्ने हो भने जात र संस्कृति अनुसार बर्गीकरण गर्नु कदापि उचित हैन। हामी विभिन्न धर्म, जात र संस्कृतिबाट आए पनि  एउटै समाजमा मिलेर बस्न सक्छौ भन्ने सन्देश दिन्छ बूढानीलकण्ठले । नेपालका विभिन्न पृष्‍ठभूमि र क्षेत्रबाट आएर, एक अर्काका भिन्नताका बावजुद पनि बूढानीलकण्ठ स्कुलका विद्यार्थीबीच माया र भ्रातृत्व एकदम प्रगाढ रहेको छ ।

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BNKS students celebrating Saraswati Pooja in the school premises. Source: Budhanilkantha School Official page

मुलुकका सबै जिल्ला, जात, जनजातिलाई प्रतिनिधित्व गर्दै आएका विद्यार्थीलाई समान शैक्षिक अवसर प्रदान गरेको छ बूढानीलकण्ठले । जातीयता जस्तो मानवनिर्मित पर्खालबाटमाथि उठ्न प्रेरणा दिएको छ उक्त स्कुलले । जसबाट निर्माणाधीन नेपालले पनि विभिन्न संस्कृति र पृष्‍ठभूमिबाट आएका नेपालीलाई जातीय सोचबाटमाथि उकास्ने लक्ष्य लिने प्रेरणा लिन सकोस। जातीय संघीयताको प्रमुख  उद्देश्य समानता नै हो । तसर्थ, हाम्रो ध्यान कसरी सबैका निम्ति अवसर सृजना गर्ने, कसरी बूढानीलकण्ठ स्तरको शिक्षा सबैको पहुचमा पुर्याउने भन्नेतिर केन्द्रित हुनुपर्छ । अरु क्षत्रीय विकासलाई प्रबर्धन गर्न र प्रशासनिक कामलाई विकेन्द्रिकरण गर्न त जातीय आधारमै हामी टुक्रिनुपर्छ भन्ने छैन। यसका साथै आर्थिक विभेदरहित समाज बनाउने प्रेरणा पनि बूढानीलकण्ठबाट लिन सकिन्छ। यहाँ नेपालका बिकट जिल्लाका विद्यार्थीदेखि  नेपालका सम्पन्नशाली परिवारका  छोराछोरी एउटै किसिमको सादा चामल खान्छन, एउटै स्तरको विद्यालय पोसाक लगाउँछन् । यसबाट निस्कने निचोड : आर्थिक विभेद हटाउन धनीलाई गरीबको स्तरमा झार्नुपर्छ भन्ने होइन, तर निम्न आयस्तर भएकालाई उत्थान गर्नुको साथै आयकरको मापदण्ड बलियो बनाउने प्रावधान हुनुपर्छ। कर छलीलाई जटिल्ताकासाथ लिनुपर्छ।

माथि उल्लेख गरिएझै बूढानीलकण्ठ स्कुल एउटा perfect स्कुल होइन। यस विद्यालयका  पनि आफ्नै कमिकमजोरी छन्  । नेपालले आज यो मोड लिनुमा बूढानीलकण्ठ स्कुलको कमजोरी पनि ठुलो हात रहेको छ । सक्षम्  विद्यार्थी मात्र उत्पादन गरेर बूढानीलकण्ठले देशको सेवा गरेन । उल्टो यहाँका विद्यार्थीहरु बिदेसिएपछि नेपाल नफर्किनाले देशले हजारौं दक्ष र योग्य जनशक्ती गुमाउन पुग्यो। हामी कल्पनामात्र गरौ, यदि बूढानीलकण्ठमा शिक्षित विद्यार्थी विश्वका प्रतिष्ठित विश्वविद्यालयमा पढेपश्चात् नेपाल फर्किएको भए, आज देश कहाँ पुग्ने थियो ? यहाँ कति नयाँ विचार  र अवसर भित्रिने थियो ? कति उद्योग जन्मिने थियो? जसरी ६० वर्ष अघिसम्म दक्षिण कोरियाको अर्थतन्त्रमा कायापलट ल्याउन कुनै बेला विदेशमा सीप र शिक्षा लिन गएका जनताको हात थियो, त्यसैगरि नेपालको अर्थतन्त्रमा  बूढानीलकण्ठका विद्यार्थीले आफ्नो भूमिका निरवाह गर्न सक्थे। यसका लागि म बूढानीलकण्ठ स्कुल र त्यहाका विद्यार्थीलाई दोषी मान्दिन। अब विगतको आलोचना गरेर हुने पनि केही हैन। यसबाट ठुलो पाठ भने हामीले सिक्नुपर्छ। जनशक्ती उत्पादन गर्नु संगसंगै त्यसलाई परिचालान गर्नु पनि उत्तिकै आवश्यक हुन्छ भन्ने सत्यलाई ध्यानमा राख्नुपर्छ । अबको विदेशिने पुस्तालाई स्वदेश फर्किन लालायित बनाउनुपर्छ।

मैले देखेको भताभुङ्ग नेपालका केही कमिकमजोरी यिनै हुन् । यिनै समस्यालाई मैले नेपालभित्रै देखेको अनि भोगेको सुक्ष्म तर सफल समाज बूढानीलकण्ठ स्कुलसँग दाँज्ने प्रयास गरेको हुँ।

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