alma mater

DAI, EK PLATE MO:MO LYAUNU NA!

Mo:mo. Nepali Dumplings. THE 8th wonder of Nepal. THE staple food in the afternoon. THE most talked about food in Nepal. THE food that Nepalese can do anything to get their hands on. THE food about which many have already written numerous accounts and their fascination with it. THE food which did not get any mention from me until now. This post is about the stories I had when this mo:mo was/was not around.

Well, if you are one those people who spent a majority of your schooling years living inside your school and rarely get a chance to taste exotic dishes such as mo:mo, then the sight is truly divine. The moment I and all the students who went outside the school to nearby shops (we were restricted to go outside the school boundary), the first thing that we did was to gather around a thela and ask for three or four plates of mo:mo. For some, it was seven or more plates in one go. Normally, we get either eight or ten mo:mo in a plate. It was a common practice to see BNKSians out in the streets every Friday in the mo:mo shops and spending upto NRs. 100 per plate. We tasted Everest mo:mo, Sangam mo:mo and Darjeeling’s Unique mo:mo. I really liked Darjeeling duo’s mo:mo. Truly, one of the best treats we got although they only served vegetable mo:mos.

In my senior year at the school, our group of School prefects would go outside Narayansthan (our school address) and eat mo:mos. We continued this tradition when our friends gave treat to their fellow peers when they got the opportunity to pursue undergraduate degrees in the US. Even in birthdays, we would take our friends for mo:mo treat. Mo:mo was our first choice in almost every celebrations.

Once, after the school had organized its Annual School Fest in 2012, me and my friends, Sawal and Bibash, went to Darjeeling duo’s “Unique mo:mo” pasal. Midway into our treat, three of our female friends came in and they had to wait for an empty table for their next turn. We finished our mo:mos and were preparing to go out. However, these girls decided to block our paths with their feet stretched by sitting in a bench and covering the alley. Now, for anyone not familiar with Nepal’s culture, this may be a casual prank. Well, it is not. In Nepal, you are not allowed to jump over girls or touch with your feet as our culture believes that girls are pious and tantamount to goddesses. Now, in that particular instance, our beliefs were about to get shattered. The girls were too stubborn to let us go. We did not have any choice but to go against our beliefs. We could not do it for numerous attempts. Then, the inevitable happened. For the first time in my life, out of absolute necessity, I forgot my beliefs and escaped from the trap. I became a bad boy. As for my friends, they passed easily after the girls were amazed by my antics and decided not to block my friends’ paths (or so I guessed).

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Bibek and Sailesh having mo:mos in Cafe Himalaya in Queens, NYC.

In another instance, Prabesh, Rajnish and me were just returning after visiting few places in Pokhara, my home town. We were obviously tired. Then, we decided to have …. mo:mos! Well, Prabesh (who also lives in Pokhara) took us to a new mo:mo shop and it was in an area that I often went past whenever I went shopping but which I never had stepped inside. Samrat mo:mo pasal. It was the first time that I had entered this shop and the first time that I had a free vegetable soup before I had mo:mos. A new experience for me.

When I was around 11, I had my first taste of chicken mo:mo. Always, me and my sister would order vegetable mo:mos. Once, when our cousin brother came in, he decided to order chicken mo:mo without consulting us! Once it was ordered, we had no choice but to taste it. We did. Our first taste of chicken mo:mos.

A few years later, I had my first taste of green colored mo:mos. Yeah, from “8 o’clock Restaurant”. Interesting, I thought. A new experience.

Even in my home, we cooked mo:mos every once a month. A family get together. My siblings and I helped our parents and our kaka and kaki. It was here that I first learnt how to make mo:mos. The best thing about cooking at your home is that you have the appetite to eat more than 40 mo:mos without any difficulties. My maximum is 35 mo:mos in a space of one and a half hour. I really miss my home’s mo:mos. No emoji can express it. I am honest about it.

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My birthday celebration in Oct 2014 with mo:mo treat in New Road, Kathmandu. 

Here in the USA, I consider it a treat to taste mo:mos. I had first taste of mo:mos in the eve of Thanksgiving day at my kaka‘s home in Dartmouth, three long months after I first came to the USA. I tried to help my kaki to prepare raw mo:mos. I was disappointed at my poor performance. I managed to prepare three mo:mos by the time she prepared 17 of them. Poor me. I managed to eat around 30 mo:mos that night. Who wouldn’t if it was the first in a long time and in a foreign country?

Immediately, in the Black Friday day two days later, ten of my friends decided to check out Cafe Himalaya mo:mos in Queens, NY. I had heard that it offered the best mo:mos in all of NY. What I heard was true. It was too good. $7/plate spent good. By the way, you would get almost six plates back in Nepal.

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(Clockwise from bottom left): Rajat, me, Bibek and Sailesh having mo:mos at Cafe Himalaya in Black Friday.

One month later, at my cousin sister’s home in Boston, I had the luxury to taste mo:mos once again. Another great treat. Another more than 30 mo:mos. Fantasy turning into reality. Three mo:mos treat within a month.

So, yeah. When we talk about mo:mos, we focus mostly on the texture and the taste we get in various shops. We compare the rates. What we fail to appreciate are the stories we connect to ourselves. Stories of desperation. Stories of fantasies. Stories of new experiences. Stories of coming near to opposing our beliefs. Stories of connectedness. Stories of friendship. Stories of watching live sports together. A whole bunch of stories inspire the very best in us. It is all possible just because we yearn for that one plate of mo:mos whenever we find time to have one.

DEAR BUDHANILKANTHA SCHOOL

Dear BNKS,

I have already written couple of posts to thank for the opportunities that you provided in my nine years of stay that shaped me into the person I am today. This post is not about the same set of achievements every BNKSian receives. I will focus on what you can do to make drastic changes to cement your legacy in Nepal.

Every alumni has a desire to see his/her institution mature and set examples for others. As a SEBS (Society of Ex-Budhanilkantha School) member, I want to help the school in whatever way I can and repay my debt for supporting me in those nine fabulous years. Probably the best years of my life. The experiences I gained after my high school graduation have allowed me to come up with some suggestions that you can implement. In some cases, I want you to challenge yourself and set an example for schools around the country. It is something I think is possible as we have a large and intellectual SEBS members who want to contribute in any ways possible. Here are few suggestions:

1) UPDATE YOUR WEBSITE!

This is the most important thing that you need to do. I am glad that you finally changed the cover photo in your home page. I remember that the previous photo of Road Race event had been there for couple of years. I do not care which photo you put there as long as you update your website every once in a while. This is BNKS we are talking about. There are so many stories in you. You should know that better than anybody. When I browse the website, there is nothing there. Literally. Even if there is, those details have not been updated. I mean, come on, you can get help from the students or even ask some alumni to work in it. Do not ask for recommendations. We most probably have given many. We need someone to implement them. In this digital age, websites are the most preferred medium to get information. Anyone wanting to explore BNKS will get less than 1% from the current website. I know we do not have ample amount of time. That is why ask for help. Ask. Gather volunteers. Put the request in the notice board. You will be amazed to see the turnout.

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A snapshot of your website. (Image credit from http://www.bnks.edu.np and modified by the author)

2) BECOME TECH-SAVVY

Yeah, anyone surviving the 21st century knows this. Technology is the most important factor that can truly affect the progress of an institution. You can reach new heights if you invest in technology. Just look at the example the solar power installation has given to the school. It is groundbreaking. Why not take technology to a similar level? When we talk about technology, internet comes to mind. The school’s internet may not be super fast but with what we have, we can achieve more in different areas. We can use it in our library to go digital. I know this talk has been going on for long but we have never asked why it was not implemented. The Council of School Prefects can look for the matter and inform the mass about it. Library is the key area where use of technology can be taken as a reference for success.

I remember when I and Rajat (our school captain) urged the school authority to make the school’s official Facebook page. We were told that students would then use Facebook often in their IT times. Desperate, I secretly opened a BNKS page which Rajat also encouraged to do. Well, I did not share the page info but that is another story. One and a half year later, you finally made your FB page. I am glad that you realized the potential it had to the BNKS community even though the execution was a bit late. I want you to do the same thing in other areas. It is just a matter of putting in that extra effort to achieve something big.

3) USE GOOGLE APPS FOR EDUCATION

This is absolutely necessary if BNKS wants to make dramatic progress within classrooms. All the universities and colleges in the USA and even in other parts of the world use this service to act as a server and disseminate information to the targeted members in the institution. It is how I have been getting info about college activities, how I do not need to remember email address of the person and just their name, how I have been getting feedback from my professors, working in the same document in a group from different locations. Google makes it possible to do all these. Now, you maybe already thinking that it costs huge amount of money. It does not. It is free! Well, most of the Google services. This is incredible. I can see the potential implementing Google Apps for Education can have in all the departments around school such as classrooms, subject departments, teaching staff, kitchen, maintenance department, principal’s office, library… The communication between all the BNKS members will be highly efficient and the productivity will rise. Moreover, the school will be using less amount of paper and contributing to lessen carbon emissions.

Including all the students in this program may not be possible since all cannot have access to internet at the same time. Hence, the school can initially make it mandatory for non-students (teachers and administrative staff) and the post-SLC students to participate.

Forget delaying to implement other suggestions, make it a first priority and get amazed to feel its benefits. Be Digital.

4) USE QUORA

I love Quora. I have written even a post about it (Quora, Quoraer, Quoraest and Why It Matters). It is why I request you to make it mandatory for the students and the teachers to use this Q&A platform. All those years I spent at IT classes hearing our teachers not to use social media sites makes Quora the perfect choice to spend time on. When we browse for new knowledge, we do not waste our time.

Mandatory may be hard to take in. Maybe our teachers can influence students to share something they learned in Quora in classes. Students seek knowledge and being a part of a community that encourages to gain knowledge is beneficial. I encourage current BNKS students to make it an integral part of their lives.

5) STOREHOUSE OF ONLINE CLASSES

In my 9 years of stay, you never shut down when the entire country’s schools were shut down when strikes and bandhs were held. Most of the teachers lived inside the school and this helped to continue our classes without any interruptions. We never worried about missing classes. Even today, this aspect of my Alma mater stands out as the most important quality. I wish it was possible for other schools, too.

In this regard, with the talented teachers that we have, why not start recording our classes and freely provide the digital content to other Nepalese students who are missing classes. Think about how students have been hampered by the current political turmoil. Why not set an example and help those students? It would turn out to be most important thing that you have done since your inception. You started the trend of recruiting students from all over 75 districts every year and are already pushing efforts to have a 50-50 gender ratio in every batch. Now, it is time for a new one!

However, recording classes needs a lot of investment. It is why SEBS can be of big help. You will surely receive generous donors who want to contribute to this enormous project. I assure you that our school can be the next MIT OpenCourseWare of Nepal! MIT’s OCW has helped many students in the undergrad level around the world to learn from the best professors. Maybe, in the near future, we can help countless Nepali students to get the most out of their classes and make out for the missed class! I can already sense the legacy you will make when this project goes underway.

6) ENCOURAGE STUDENTS TO WRITE BLOGS

Honestly, we did not write or share personal stories outside of classroom when we did our subject assignments. If those were finished, we rushed to play in the Middle Pitch or grab a book from the library to read. We did not write anything. It is a hard fact to take in. It is why you need the teachers to influence their students to start their own blogs and write in a weekly basis at least. As someone who likes sharing personal stories, maintaining a blog has helped me a lot in becoming the writer I am today. Sometimes, I wish that I had maintained a blog during my school days. Hence, I want every student to write something. Anything. Students do not need to compulsorily maintain blogs but they do need to write! You may argue that writing for Bhanjyang is already there but this is done yearly. Encourage everyone to write in a weekly basis and share the events going on in the school.

Reading and writing needs to go together. Students can be asked to maintain blogs in their long vacation instead of assigning projects that are largely plagiarized. Maybe a class can maintain a class blog, house members can maintain a house blog, department teachers can post new developments in their fields, even the Principal can write about something. Then, we have a collection of blogs ready to be shared with anyone interested in you. Wouldn’t that be great? To make things easy, you can maintain a common site to navigate all these immense personal stories. Then, put the link in the school’s official website.

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As alumni, we will always make time to share our personal stories and about how you can improve!

Well, these are some suggestions that I wanted to share with you. It is up to you to implement. I strongly urge you to turn all of these into reality. It will definitely take time. Once you start, everything that I said will make sense. The achievements will reach you to new heights and a legacy will be born. A Budhanilkantha legacy!

Your well wisher,

364 ‘D’ Manasbi Parajuli

PS: Any current student reading this needs to understand the impact that these can have to the school. They can inform teachers about these and push the school authority to implement. After all, isn’t it our responsibility to give back what the school has done in other meaningful ways?

NEPAL EARTHQUAKE: BNKS IN PICTURES II

From Dikendra Karki, here are some more pictures of the damages caused to the school properties of Budhanilkantha School, Narayansthan, Kathmandu.

1. Corridor of Gaurishankar House 

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2.Corridor of Gaurishankar House

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3. Black Gate Walls turned to rubble

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4. Tents at Garden Pitch

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5. Area in front of Nilgiri and Pumori Houses

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6. Belongings scattered in one of the flats

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7.Black Gate wall premises

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NEPAL EARTHQUAKE: BNKS IN PICTURES

With help from my friend Dikendra Karki, here are ten pictures that speak of the damages from the aftermath of the 7.9 magnitude earthquake that rocked Nepal in April 25 at 1156 hrs local time caused to my Alma mater Budhanilkantha School, Narayansthan, Kathmandu.

1.LEARNING RESOURCE CENTRE

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2. LEARNING RESOURCE CENTRE

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3. SWIMMING POOL

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4. NILGIRI HOUSE, HOH BLOCK

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5. SCENARIO OUTSIDE BUDHANILKANTHA SCHOOL

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6.PUMORI HOUSE

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7.ENTRANCE TO BUDHANILKANTHA TEMPLE

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8.BYASRISHI AND GAURISHANKAR HOUSE

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9.LADIES’ ROOM

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10.ENTRANCE TO BUDHANILKANTHA TEMPLE

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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.

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?

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.

traditional Holi (56)

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

THIS IS WHY YOU MISS BNKS!

All right. If you are reading this, then you must be tempted to discover what the reason really is. Hang on tight as the show’s getting started and the reasons begin to unravel in front of your own eyes. Ok, ok. It appears that I am being too melodramatic, but that is just the obvious example to our emotions skyrocketing when we bring up the topic of our Alma mater. I thought about it deep enough and this is what struck me the most: We had spent a large chunk of our childhood away from home and in that moment, were blessed to call it home again. Now, we don’t forget our homes, do we?

I spent nearly a decade decoding the role Budhanilkantha played in nourishing my traits and turning me into a BNKSian. It was my family away from home. The warm reception I received from my Guide Brother, 264 Rajat, when it was raining like heaven was crying to welcome the new batch desperately, made it more captivating and alluring to be a part of the most respected institution in the nation. The first thing that proved my stupidity was when I asked for Rajat dai’s surname, because that was what I was accustomed to since I was born. 


“Bhai, we don’t use surnames to call others,” Rajat dai’s reply left me dumbfounded. 

Later, I checked my batch mates‘ names on the notice board and found not even a single one’s surname. I never knew most of my friend’s surnames until we were registering for the SLC. That was what stayed on our conscience for the rest of our lives to never ask for surnames for they never justified our works and were just a fragment of imagination we delved deep into. Even now, I find it tempting to ask for a stranger’s name only and stop him when he utters his surname’s initial. 

“Look, I don’t need it!” The stranger is in dilemma to the question I imposed. That is the BNKS effect and a reason to miss its teaching.

The other most compelling reason to miss our Alma mater is the respect policy that we have developed among BNKSians. For example, there is no way I wouldn’t add ‘dai’ and ‘bhai’ after every senior’s name and junior’s name respectively. That is what I would like to call the BNKS CODE. It strictly states that you ought to call your senior with ‘dai’ placed after their names and no other hanky-panky stuff. Did anybody ever teach me that besides BNKS? I don’t think so. In addition, the respect that others deserve compel us to maintain the discipline and make us an active listener because we wouldn’t want to get yelled at ruthlessly. 

However I put my reasons forth, it becomes more clearer and clearer that the memories we had with every classrooms, black gates, fellow peers, teachers, administrative staff, the datings in milan chowk, the eve teaching, reckless stuffs such as fighting to reserve last bench and first bench, the middle pitch, the cricket ball that spun unscientifically to claim your first ever wicket, the random paper games that you played in your leisure, the illegal importing of foods once you were back from holidays, the brown carpet that you at least once walked to collect your first ever academic achievement, the merits and demerits, the first apology letter for staying in the sun for so long, breaking the tube lights/window panes, giving a damn to study time just so that you could wait for a chance to copy your best footballer’s goal scoring celebration, the romantic gestures that you shared with the girls three tables to your right/left, the first crushes that you never confided to, the rejections that you instantly were awarded with, the make-it-as-it-appears-in-detergent-commercials cleanliness during house checkups, the gaffes that you share literally with anyone coming in contact with you, the mocking that you enjoy when the teacher’s favourite team played against your favourite team and lost, the pain that you bear when you played hide and seek in the dorm, and every other memories that didn’t make my list tend to echo a story so gripping and captivating that it is hard to put down our alumni books if we ever read one. 

Pictures Fade, Memories Don’t: On the last day of our normal classes of BNKS, the 3000D took their time to make the
most out of Silver Jubilee Park!
Everything that you observe on your return to the school becomes a story to talk about for a whole day! Each and every school artifice, the trees that sit alongside the pitched roads, the monkey ladder, the painting that sits outside Principal’s Office, every one of it has its own story to convey to your inner mischievous childhood. Whenever we meet any teachers, we tend to share the moment when they yelled at us, that made us who we are. It is just as we make of it. 

The corridors speak of the time when you had fights with your friend, the ventilators of the time five years back when you broke the glass with a cricket ball, the tree outside the English department remind you of the dominance that the boys of your batch had only for it to be toppled down by the girls of the next year’s batch, the graffiti you see in the toilets speak of the time when you made a fun out of it, the cultural programmes refresh you of your naughty self when you went rampant dancing as a girl in the school’s girl’s all time hit song ‘Paani Mitho’. The dates also evoke some memories deep from your inner self. For example, I remember Feb 14, 2007 as one when it snowed in Kathmandu Valley after 60 years, whereas Feb 14, 2013 is legendarily remembered for the prank that 3000 D shared when more than 30 love letters were shared between boys and girls without the other party knowing anything. 


A tribute made by 3067 Sarthak to the memories that 3000 D shared in BNKS
The list just goes on and on as I dig out the reasons to persuade you to missing BNKS so much. I can tell you only this; the memories that we connect with every material in the school has its own story connected with us, and as we all were in a growing phase they became an integral part of our lives no matter the circumstances we were led into. The moments were cherished and every now and then, just because the time is so fleeting, we regret not being gifted to revisit the best time of our lives whenever we could. Instead, we just sit in front of our laptops and type our own versions of why we miss it so^infinity much. But one thing is certain, every one of your piece will end up with this note:

ONCE A BNKSIAN, ALWAYS A BNKSIAN!

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!