life lessons

DEATH NOTE

Before you start calling or texting me after you read the blog title or before you even question my state of mind, I want to assure you all that this is a regular post. You do not need to worry about anything. It has been a while since I wanted to write about the emotions, if any, that people who know me will feel after I die. This is a genuine statement. Sometimes, we just have to accept how fleeting our lives are and should not underestimate the value of our lives. When I first started writing this post(January 2017!), I was on my way to NYC on a bus. I had the wildest thought of surviving the journey and then publishing it when I got connected to the internet. The wildest thought is just one of many complex emotions that makes us humans: the will to live. After all, who does want to die, right? Ever since then, I was tweaking few sentences now and then and had labeled this post as a draft. Somehow, I felt I was doing this post injustice by not publishing it sooner.

Death Note is meant to thank and also apologize to all people whom I have had a connection with in my life. This is just a regular blog post that I want all of you to read. I do not know when I will die. Maybe tomorrow, next month, in five years, or even at 64. Hence, the beauty of this uncertainty inspires me to write to you all before it is too late.

First of all, as always and will always be, I want to thank my parents for everything they have done from the moment I was born into this beautiful world to guiding me in becoming a respectable person either by giving me reliable advice based on their experiences or by criticizing my actions and showing me the right path. At the same time, I want to acknowledge the efforts they put into ensuring that their children are getting the best from their lives and, like all parents do, always hoping for our best. Sometimes these efforts go unnoticed by us, and I want to apologize to my parents if there have been such moments. Maybe I did not call you for weeks, or maybe I questioned your advice rudely. Whatever the case, I am sorry about that.

Next, I am profoundly grateful to my elder brother and my younger sister for making every moment of my life worth something to be cheerful about. Without you two, life would have been too dull as we would not witness each other’s short-tempered behavior when we did what the other did not want. Lovely times. To my brother, thank you for introducing me to the world of Arsenal. Without its beautiful football, my life would have been very boring. Arsenal is a family to me; their win brings me immense joy while their loss greets suffering (as is the case right now). Furthermore, thanks for the advice that you give in different aspects of my life and for showing your concern regarding what I do. On the other hand, I love my younger sister, and it is so much fun to tease her all the time. Making her angry by doing insane things is always going to be one of the best moments of my life. It comes with a complete package: her subtle micro-expressions, the short temper that she shows and my laughter that follows shortly. Sister, I will always want to see the best of you and hope that you live the life you have always desired. After all, a brother needs to take care of his nakkali sister, right? Thanks again to my brother and sister whom I consider the closest friends.

10626326_947386598622290_1883296058641439949_o

Like brother, like sister!

Moving on, I would like to thank all of my extended family (uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, grandfathers, grandmothers, maternal uncles, maternal aunts and everyone who fall in this circle) who have been my second family and guided in every way possible. Thanks for being there when I was away from home and worrying about me. I apologize if I have made some mistakes that have hurt your soul either by not calling you often (honestly, I find it difficult to keep track of all the members of my extended family) or by not following your advice. Thank you for being there.

Budhanilkantha School has been my third family. I cannot truly express into words the best ten years of my life that I spent in this school from 2004-2013. The importance of this school has been so much that I have written numerous posts about my school experiences in this blog. Of course, the members of the family need some attention too. To all of my friends, I have a confession to make: I don’t have any best friends; it is too difficult to differentiate. Kudos to anyone who had. That is a decision I will never be able to make. Thanks to all of my 3000 D batch friends whom I studied with together, played together, teased together, basked in the sun together, went to picnic together, fought together, made sweeping changes in the school together, danced after our events together, confronted our teachers because we thought that was in the best interests for all, spent weeks not talking to each other together, cheated in tests together and what not. I can write a book about all of you. The essence of our stay in the school is so high that when we meet and decide not to talk a single thing about school life (coz we tell the same stories again and again and again and never get tired of them), we end up talking about it somehow and spend the entire day reminiscing about our school lives. A distinguishable BNKS trait! As a side note, I apologize if I went out of my way and had hurt your feelings in any way possible and thus would like to re-cherish our friendship. Apology to anyone whom I had been rude to or whom I did not help when you requested for it.

I would like to thank all of my teachers in Budhanilkantha School who were more than just teachers as we had the luxury even to discuss the EPL matches and tease them if their team had lost. Such was the atmosphere that we thought of our teachers as friends and shared interesting stories with them while they would openly share theirs. Thank you to all of our teachers who gave us valuable life lessons that we still keep with us and thanks for your immense passion for teaching which has made us what we are today. Also, I apologize if I have hurt your feelings when discussing some issues, but I hope you understand that there were genuine reasons (best interests of the students 🙂 !) behind those actions.

Lastly, I would like to thank my friends, seniors, juniors and the fantastic professors at Ramapo College whom I currently have the luxury of spending my time with. Trust me, you have also contributed greatly to who I am today.

Of course, when you write such post, there will be people missing in this list and who feel they should be included too. Apologies from the deepest of my heart. I would like to thank all the readers who have finished reading this post. Else the blog post would fail to serve its purpose and mine too. Once again, I would like to reiterate that I am in the best state of my mind and this post is just a medium to express my gratitude to all people who have had significant impacts in my life.

Thank You. Arigato. Dhanyawaad.

Advertisements

AND THUS, I ANNOUNCE MY CANDIDACY FOR NEPAL PM

It’s official. I hereby announce that in the next few years, I will be running for the position of Prime Minister of Nepal. Do vote for me, you always-complaining-about-leaders-but-never-realizing-that-it-was-you-who-voted-them Nepalese compatriots.

Phew. Be cool. Deep breath.

Really, just three sentences were all that I needed? Writing about that eased the frustration that I had accumulated over the course of my life. Well, you never know the power of three sentences!

Nepal’s political scenario is something that I have written about often. Some are filled with anger, some with desperation and some with an attempt to make a genuine point. None of them are as promising as it must have been. I mean, look at us. All we care about is putting blame on those 70+-year-old leaders whom we should be giving more elderly respect. Sorry, should not have said that. But I just did. So, screw you.

Where was I?! Ah, announcing my candidacy. Seriously, I want to fulfill the prophecy of being the nice and handsome PM who steered the country to the new era just like Justin Trudeau is doing in Canada right now. Then, Nepalese will not have to complain about an uneducated person becoming the PM or elaborating about the history of UK PMs who had their education at Oxford College. Come on, people. I understand your sentimentality but that is not how things get sorted out. Nor it had ever been. Never. Someone needs to stand up and just declare his candidacy like I am doing right now.

What’s that? My spidey-senses are already active.

What is this author talking about? Is he stupid? Is he mocking the person who pushed PM Deuba too far in the ‘Sanjha Sawaal’ discussion? If you are so full of confidence, then why don’t you run for PM some day.

More blame. Poor us. Some habits never die. Something does not go our way. Find a person to put that blame on. And to answer your question. You bet, I did. I am mocking him. But not only him. You, me, the entire Nepali voters. We need to understand that pushing our PM to his limits is doing no good. The video will become an internet sensation in the Nepali diaspora. Maybe get retweeted a lot of times. Or commented on. Or find some bloggers, like me, to write about. The incident will be ephemeral. People will forget about it sooner than you think. That is the world we live in. The social media world. You only become famous for few seconds before others snatch the fame from you.

450-496384608-take-action

This is serious stuff. (Image source: Buzzzle.com)

I hate that I have to do this. I love it, too. Finally, I don’t have to see my people sitting on their sofa and complaining about Nepal never getting properly developed or never getting freed from the chains of corruption. The sooner the prophecy turns true, the sooner the agony will vanish. Nepali will be able to focus on improving their business and divert their time to discussing intellectual matters. I don’t recall the last time we had meaningful discussions taking place or laid out the blueprints for a bright future. I don’t recall a time where we put together our list of strengths and used that to our advantage. Isn’t backbiting about others’ weaknesses one of the proud things we do when we have nothing else to do? This is one of the worst ways to waste our time. Nothing to gain unless the person we are backbiting about isn’t there because we are not giving that person a chance to improve on his weakness.

The biggest obstacle of our generation is that we fail to recognize that the promising candidates share the same ambitions and hopes as us. We refrain from voting for them because they just don’t have any experience in politics. We think that they are just a new breed who have lived in East Blue all their lives and not ventured into the Grand Line or even the dangerous New World. We forget that their aim is to reach Raftel, the furthest point in One Piece.

You know the greatest paradox of all time: You require experience to get a job. You seek a job to get the experience. Such a crazy world we live in. When I first voted in Nepal, I did not vote the promising candidates because I believed that would be a waste of my precious vote. I thought they showed good promises but lacked any political experience to do the job properly.  My amateur thoughts. Instead, I voted for the old parties’ candidates. I know some of you did the same. I am pretty sure if I run for PM, not many will vote for me because I am unknown in the Nepali diaspora. Just as was the case for Arsene Wenger when he was officially the manager for Arsenal FC; however, given the chance, he went on to become the greatest manager Arsenal FC has ever known.

So, just give the promising candidates a chance. Maybe they will fulfill our prophecy. Whatever happens, stay with them. Have faith. Have your parents and families believe in these candidates.  Don’t let selfish feelings cloud your rational judgment.

Stop complaining and putting the blame on someone else. Stop waiting for that Someone who will put this country out of misery. Stop hoping that someone brave enough will challenge to oppose the bandh. Stop hoping that someone will ask questions that will break the hopes of the leaders. Stop talking about all of your miseries. Stop this chain of events. How long have we been waiting for this miracle? It’s been years. No one has arrived or will arrive. We should all make our moves. Let’s do this together.

So, have I made you believe in me? I announce my candidacy once again. Now, will you vote for me?

DOES ACTION FOLLOW INSPIRATION?

 

Here is a cliched fact. We are the sum of all the experiences that we encounter as we live. These skills may be good or bad. In either way, we feel inspired to do something new or change the way we carry out our tasks. Whatever the reason, most of the time we are inspired. The surge of adrenaline pushes us to become ambitious, and we begin to imagine taking action to turn those immature ideas into reality. Alas, the effects are ephemeral.

Imagine that we recently finished watching a documentary about the life of Elon Musk. It strongly depicted his visionary in turning an impossible idea into reality. The struggles and sacrifices and the criticisms he had to overcome to become the most influential figure. The story about how he founded PayPal and sold it to concentrate on SpaceX and building fuel efficient electric Tesla cars.

If we know more about Musk than I have mentioned here, then we might have already been inspired to do something new. The jumbled impossible ideas in our head will start to make sense as the neurons connect and provide meaning to our thoughts. So far so good. An hour later, we are still as determined as we were when we finished watching that documentary. Ok. Turn the clock 12 hours forward, and I bet that we are spending our time talking about the hundred reasons why Messi retired from the international stage. The inspiration is no longer there.

20160529_184328

Nature sure inspires us but for how long can we keep under its influence?

Sometimes, all these thoughts do not make any sense. The brain is fooling us. It wants us not to indulge in tedious tasks. For the brain, less means more rest. We slowly lose productivity in our daily tasks.

Or imagine watching our favorite TV series or movies. I bet that most of the time, we come out inspired at the end of the show. Then, we are energetic for the time being and after few hours, we are back to watching something to get inspired once more. The cycle repeats.

In my case, I am writing this post after more than three-month hiatus. Between this post and the last post, I have been inspired to write at least more than thousand times. I never made it to writing one, though. The thoughts about spending an hour in front of the laptop and writing a blog post so that it can influence those who read could never outsmart the idea of watching cool YouTube videos for that hour. I lost the reason for my writing. I decided that it required a lot of efforts and a lot of edits before it gets published. There was no profit in writing a blog post, or at least that was what I thought. That was it. Excuses piled up and before I realized that it was making me less productive, it was already too late.

But why so much hesitation? Why can’t we push ourselves beyond our limits and not slack in any possible ways? Why do we need to wait to get inspired until we watch the next exciting show? The reason is that we don’t get any incentive even if we had completed that task. To illustrate, let’s say that we want to create a new social media app that can challenge the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram. We begin to work on it. Midway, we convince ourselves that there is no reason in continuing our work because our efforts do not get appreciated. We are not getting any chocolate. We are 100% sure that our idea will not persuade any investor. We are 200% sure about wasting our time, and that is when we quit on our idea even though we had watched a movie 12 hours earlier where the protagonist never gives up and shines on the big stage.

Why can’t we continue our inspiration in building something until we reached the end product? Or are we just lazy and living in a different reality where putting in efforts is not the best way to enjoy our free time? Or did someone inspire us to do so?

SHH…THANK YOU LETTERS IN YOUR INBOX

Yeah, you guys heard it right.

In the next couple of months, I have decided to send a thank you note to almost all the people who have made differences in my life. The degree of difference does not carry any weightage to me. Even if people lent me their pencils in the exam, they deserve a thank you note.

I know it will be tough. That is exactly why I want to do this. On the new year’s day 2016, someone in the WordPress community talked about his experience of writing a thank you note to all his LinkedIn followers throughout 2015. He had written almost 1100 unique thank-you email/LinkedIn messages. It was amazing to see someone devote a part of his time to thank others who devoted theirs.

So, yeah, the inspiration from that blogger has influenced me to push myself. There are no fixed people in my list. It could be anyone. Family, friends, teachers, mentors, coworkers, brothers, sisters, followers. It could be in any medium. Email, text message, Viber message, Facebook message, or you may even get a phone call from me.

Now, most of you may already be thinking, “Since he’s a blogger, he is definitely going to write the same messages to all his people. Just CTRL+C and then CTRL+V.” Sorry, I won’t. Where’s the fun in that! If I decide to implement it (which I won’t), I will have finished the task in one day.

20160123_164522

Life’s too unpredictable as the weather! That is why I am gonna go along with it. (From left: me, Bikash and Achyut)

When you think about it, the task I am going to carry requires a lot of effort and thinking along the way. I have to emphasize about the relationships that I have developed with these people and mention few incidents with them that affected my life. Talk about how encouraging they were. Debate about how their weird opinions shaped my cognitive skills. Appreciate about the sacrifices they gave me in order to make me a better human being. Idolize about their visionary insights into some pressing matters that I was interested in. Pardon about any differences we had over the course of my life. Grateful for their considerations into picking me for their works. Providing me with even the smallest suggestion in whatever problem I was leading into. Anything in the way they molded me into the present Manasbi.

Tough work, right. Well, lo and behold, any day in this year, you maybe the lucky one to get a thank you note from me. Take time to read that. I may have spent days to write those two or so paragraphs. I am not so picky about getting a reply back because I may not be an inspirational figure to you in any sorts. Just be patient about getting one from me. You may or may not get it. It all rests on probability.

I am looking forward to learning from this awesome experience and share my thoughts along the way. Lastly, the very absolute reason that I wanted to do this was because sometimes I feel that life may be unpredictable and ephemeral at the same time. I may or may not live to be 80 years old. I may die this very instant, next day, next month, next 5 years or next 30 years. What I do not want to do is wait before it is too late to thank all the people who helped me along the course of my life.

Take time to imagine what the body of my letter to you folks would be like!

 

EPITOME OF GROWING UP

“परिपक्व हुनु भनेको यथार्थको महसुस हुनु हो।

जिन्दगीको सुत्र फेला परेपनि आफुसंग त्यसको लगाम नभएको स्विकार्न सक्नु हो।

आफुले बुझे भन्ठानेका कुराहरु अझै बुझिसकिएको छैन रहेछ भनेर थाहा पाउनु हो।

आफुले सत्य ठानेको कुरा भन्दा अरुको सत्य रहेछ भनेर देख्न सक्नु हो।

प्रत्येक जटिल प्रश्नको सहज उत्तर हुदैन।

त्यसैले समयलाई स्विकार्न सक्नु हो सायद परिपक्क हुनु।”

– प्रधानमन्त्री आशा, “सिंहदरबार” टेलेसिरिअलको भाग सातबाट

“Growing up is the realization of reality.

It is to know the rule of life and yet, accept the lack of control over it.

It is to discover that there is much more to things that we feel we’ve understood.

It is to see that there are alternate truths to the things we feel are true.

Growing up is accepting that you don’t always have an answer.”

-PrimeMinister Aasha, From episode 7 of Nepali mini series “Singha Durbar”

 

The above monologue encapsulates the epitome of what it means to growing up. At the end of that episode, the lead protagonist realizes that growing up is accepting what happens in our realities and letting ourselves open to new interpretations that either others come up with or which we improvise over the course of our lives.

Many a times we do not question the truths that we had established from our experiences. For us, our truths are the only ones out there. We do not conform to new outlooks that others have formed. We reject the idea that there are new interpretations to what we perceive from our lives. If we hold these thoughts, we are not making any progress in our lives. We will not have developed mentally or socially. We will have failed to growing up.

Humans need to evolve. Their evolution is the collection of individual evolution. When individuals accept whatever is happening in their realities, then they are growing up. These individuals do not waste their time in questioning the realities they live in and blaming these realities for not being in sync with their realities. They have concluded that their only option is to move forward. They know that they can improvise their future in order to make the future realities as close to their realities as possible. Even if they fail, they move on and try again to realize the impossible. I am implying that they do not worry if the realities they live in go against their expectations. They would be foolish if they did that. If they are doing what I just discussed, then they are growing up.

1009912_669628876398065_639349923_n

The moment we realize that there are different interpretations to this picture is the moment we will come to the possibility that we are indeed growing up.

For example, it is interesting to read what other bloggers write in their blogs. Unconsciously, we may even feel that writing a post for a blog requires less effort. After all, most bloggers use informal tones in their writing. By experience, we may also have stored in our conscience that informal writing is effortless. Well, when we do begin to write, the very reality we just established breaks. We slowly unravel the truth that informal writing requires the same dedication as a formal writing. We understand that informal writing needs the same words as a formal one. Both use diction in a similar way, and only their styles are different. In this case, by involving in a new experience, we infer that there are alternate truths differing from our own. By accepting this reality, we have grown up mentally.

Now, all of my above explanations assume that we will get answers when we question our realities. Well, it may not always be the case. Not everything we come into contact with is fathomable. There are many things about which we do not even have the slightest idea. The only thing we can do is to accept that these things have a reason to exist and that we have yet to find answers to them. For example, theists believe that gods created the universe; however, cosmologists argue that it is impossible for gods to create a universe because there was no time variable possible until the universe actually formed. In other words, since time did not start until the universe existed, how is it possible for gods to exist in a reality where time does not exist? Well, as someone new to this question, we can take whichever side we want because there is no definite answers to the arguments.

In the above case, we failed to get an answer. The bright side is that we will continue to search for answers to the unanswered questions. We accepted that not all questions have answers and that is the key to growing up. In a nutshell, accepting that we have no control over our realities and being able to open our minds to innumerable explanations of our own realities are the key traits to assessing our development. So, have you grown up?

(Quote credits: Search for Common Ground Nepal’s SinghaDurbar Episode 7)

PHALAANOLE TA HAI…

We have democracy in Nepal. The problem though is that we aren’t quite enjoying it. Sure, there are right to free speech, right to expression and right to information but we never exercise them to the fullest. Our conservative culture has affected our mindset as we seem to value too much of what other people think about us than believing in ourselves.

Most of the time, when we begin to think something new and daring, we immediately focus on what other people might say. It has become our culture to accept everything that these people say about us even though only 5% actually make sense. We hear from them that phalaano (a person of interest to the discussing party) has done some amazing stuffs or phalaano has become a successful entrepreneur or phalaano wears traditional clothes and thus respects culture and, so on. Such accusations are carried out of concern for someone close but they take negative connotations.

The victims are forced by the parents/families/friends to become someone that these people admire. The perpetrators want their beloved to copy what phalaanos are doing. They want these victims to be as successful as phalaanos. In all the situations, the victims’ opinions are not entertained. Not at all. It is as if democracy has lost its charm in such situations. The effects are that people become less creative and lose confidence in themselves.

20160110_173245_HDR

Be ourselves, no matter how stupid we may be!

Now, it is true that these victims have absolute rights to not hear what others want them to hear. That is not the case in Nepal. The intricate relationships that we value even to our distant of distant of distant relatives compel us to think about our next actions before these actions become the cause of disappointment for our family in not respecting their opinions. Consider that my parents want me to become a very successful and dutiful son just like my distant of distant of distant uncle’s son. I do not have a choice to argue that I do not want to be like the dull phalaano. If I say that, then I am a bad son. No arguments. End of story.

Most Nepali have the habit to think too much of phalaanos. They view stories of phalaanos as the epitomes of role models. Phalaanos are their deities. Hah, they never realize that they are wasting their lives in taking others’ opinions to their hearts. Hah, they have never experienced the freedom when they give a damn to what their seniors are blabbering about their favorite phalaanos. 

I was also one of those Nepali. In due time, I did not care what other people thought about me. I did not care if they thought of me as stubborn, stingy or bad-tempered. Or if they want me to be like Bikash-phalaano, Sunil-phalaano, Dikendra-phalaano or Prabesh-phalaano. I have learnt to correct myself if someone kindly points out my wrongdoings but I will never be like those phalaanos. I will be Manasbi. After all, if I try to become like those phalaanos, what is the meaning of my existence? Who will be Manasbi? If I try to go with their ideas without arguing, then what is the point of having a brain that took millions of years to evolve?

It is crucial that we realize the significance of being oneself. We may have some crazy ideas. That should not just stop there. We should blindly follow our next steps and see where they go. If we are wrong, then we will push to improve our efforts. If those ideas are successful, we will finally understand the meaning of our rights to democracy. If we think some of our culture needs to be changed or that we need to westernize ourselves, let us go for them. As long as they transform us for the better, our conservative societies should not prove to be a menace in how we live. Trust me, this small transformation will be the key to unlocking creativity of thousands of Nepalis. So, shall we start being Ourselves?

 

RELATING TO FICTIONAL CHARACTERS

Fictional stories exist in various forms with interactive media topping the list. We watch our superheroes battling against the villains who desire power to rule the world or a regular student who inspires his friends to make a difference in other people’s lives. After either watching the countless TV shows or reading them in books or newspapers, we tend to relate our lives to the fictional characters in those mediums. That, for most of us, is exciting and inspiring.

Over the last couple of months, I have finished countless anime shows and two real-life TV shows. Anime shows include Death Note, Full Metal Alchemist:Brotherhood, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, Stein’s Gate, Cowboy Bebop, Ano Hana, Baccano, Ef-A Tale of Memories, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Garden of Words, Children Who Chase Lost Voices, 5 Centimeters Per Second and Parasyte. I have also finished most of the animated DC movies released after 2007 that revolves around Superman, Batman and the Justice League. Also, I am currently on the latest episodes of The CW’s Arrow and The Flash. Now, these shows have exposed me to a lot of characters whose lives have affected me in some aspect.

Characters from Death Note and Code Geass give perspectives of how powers were used by the main characters Yagami Light and Lelouch Lamperouge respectively in their attempts to rule the world. No other shows have matched the critical thinking skills than these ones. After finishing these shows, Code Geass helped me to realize that having brains was not enough. It was necessary to use powers for a noble cause. Well, unless you reach its final episode, you view Lelouch’s actions to be the same as Light’s actions and then bam, you would make sense about the sacrifices that was made till the last episode. I highly recommend watching these two shows as they completely blow your mind.

FMAB is all about the importance of having brothers by your side. The journey that two brothers take in order to cure the younger brother’s body with the use of alchemy is truly awe-inspiring. The short but intense battles that take place balance the flow of the show. Roy Mustang’s desire to dethrone King Bradley is nicely orchestrated.

98157

Characters from Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood (Image Credits: http://static.minitokyo.net/ )

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Stein’s Gate are time-travel centered shows where the characters mess with time. This creates different timelines and the characters need to deal with the consequences of the Butterfly Effect. I highly rank Stein’s Gate as the best time travel show of all time. The lead protagonist Okabe Rintarou has to undo all of his actions in order to prevent both the deaths of his long-time friend Shiina Mayuri and his girlfriend Makise Kurisu. It teaches just how precious our relationships with other people are that when in times of crisis, we are in a dilemma to save a person at the cost of the other. In other words, it is all about preferences and hard choices. Are you ready to save your love for your long time friend or vice versa? Sometimes, we are left with a difficult question to name one person whom who we want to save between two persons whom we hold as the most important people of our lives. The show beautifully showcased the choice conundrum in terms of relationships and it made a lasting impression in my life.

Among all these shows, Ano Hana was the most emotional show that I had watched. It tells the story about six childhood friends who distanced themselves after one of them drowns in the river. It is set years after the incident happened when the ghost of the dead child roams until her promise is fulfilled. In case you are wondering if it is a ghost series, it is not. With just 11 episodes, the show has many eye watering moments. The desire to unite all of the distanced friends and share the ghost’s promise involves patience and belief that there is ghost among the friend circle. For most parts, the show reminded me how distanced our friend circle can get as we get older. It gave me chills about moving away from my friends and the lack of communication as a consequence. There are some friends whom I have not talked after high school. It is why I created a Viber group of over 30 friends where we communicate and stay in touch. For anyone who is moved by friendship stories and cannot handle serious emotions, this is a show worth watching. I am so obsessed with it that I can watch again and again. Just give four hours for it and you will become its huge fan.

I also loved the remaining shows equally. The point is that when we finish a show, we try to extrapolate the characters’ personalities into ourselves. We find that there is something missing in our lives or something that can fill the void. We take inspirations from them and move forward in our lives. Maybe we even long for the powers they have and pretend that they have effects in real lives. Maybe we even relate the difficult circumstances we once were in. Maybe the atmosphere that these characters are in bear some resemblance to our lives. In my case, I totally enjoy rumbling like Felicity Smoak, imagine processing my surroundings at a speed of attosecond just like Barry Allen does, try my best to think critically just as Light and Lelouch did, try not to time travel and not get into trouble like Rintarou and Makkoto Konno (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time) and, not distance myself from my close friends just like Anohana portrayed. I don’t know why I involuntarily mimic the fictional characters from my favorite shows but one thing is certain-I am in love with it. In doing so I realize the power that these fictional characters can have in my life and it is awesome!

WHY DHOTI IS NO LONGER IN MY DICTIONARY

There was a time when I was taught to call my south Nepalese compatriot with bhaiya or with a derogatory remark, dhotis. Whenever I saw someone relatively black and closely resembling from an Indian descent (as was the stereotype in the Pahadis), my brain automatically used bhaiyas and dhotis to address them. I never realized the negative influence that my Pahadi stereotype had on my life.

My perspective drastically changed when I joined Budhanilkantha school that brought a diverse group of students from all the 75 districts of Nepal every year. Never before had I been exposed to such a diverse culture for I was reared in an area dominated by Gurungs, Brahmins and Chhetris. I had only read about the diverse ethnicity and culture that Nepal boasted of from my social studies book, but I had not experienced it directly Now, I had the chance to refine my stereotyped views in this Mini-Nepal.

I had a daily interaction with almost 60-70 different ethic groups. That was a lot to take in. Why did I need to look them in terms of which areas they come from? Why did it matter to categorize them as Southerners, Northerners, Westerners,  HimaliPahadi, Madhesi,  and Sherpali? Why did my brain have to process their Nepali accents and come up with different permutations to determine their place of origin? Why did I never think that a common term would free me from all these subclasses? That is when I discovered that all these terms were just a bunch of electrons circling a nucleus, Nepali. Yes, it was that easy. These affiliations were nothing but sub groups of being a Nepali.

I rejoiced at the beauty of my interpretation. It was simple yet enormously powerful. I no longer had to gaze at my friends and unconsciously  invite my brain to categorize them before I communicated. I started to call my brothers dais and stopped using dhotis. Calling someone from southern origins dhotis was a shame to the diverse education  I was exposed to and a sign that echoed my narrow-mindedness. I analyzed the society I was brought up in and noticed that it had not embraced a cosmopolitan view of the world. I was surprised that it could still focus its energy on such trivial things instead of diverting its attention to much more important matters.

f985e-1014085_669185809775705_932409476_n

There are more than 40 different ethnic groups but unless I told you, you didn’t know about it. All you saw was a group of students who smiled and laughed together.That is what it all matters.

People have come up with various reasons over what has been happening in Nepal right now. However, what I would like to emphasize is the subtle cause of these problems. Interestingly, the reasons trace back to our narrow mindset when our society taught us to follow the stereotypes. What we did was oppress the feelings of our southern brothers. We never treated them as Nepali. The cumulative effects are being felt right now. Even today, the Pahadis view Himalis as Nepali and their definition even extends to the Nepali-speaking people of Darjeeling, India, but they categorize Madhesis as an extension of Indian diaspora. Does language play an important role to defining who we are? If so, then why don’t we provide citizenship to an American who speaks fluent Nepali instead of making him wait to fulfil the conditions stated in the constitution? Most of us disagree with what I just said. Why? Because it’s nonsense? If we follow the stereotypical view, does not it make sense to legally grant the American a Nepali status?

The above scenario is where our ideology fails and gets highly criticized. Our moral stances have placed a greater emphasis on the dialect that one can converse in than the decades of life spent in the territory. It discriminates a native who narrowly fails the criteria to become a citizen just because he does not speak proper Nepali. It is outrageous to categorize that way. But, like I said earlier, the stereotypes of the pahadi CDOs (people who look after the administration of the district) drive their unconscious brain to not provide a citizenship to a Madhesi who has lived in Nepal for more than thirty/forty years. He is driven by the fear that someday, Madhesis would meekly accept to India’s sovereignty and it would lead to the division of Nepal.

This narrow perspective is what needs to be changed. Unless we care to teach our kids to call and treat their southern friends as Nepali, no amendment in the constitution will ever make a difference. I am not limiting to the kids only. I am focusing on them because their innocent minds are fooled by what we direct them to believe in. The vicious cycle has to end right now and what greater way than to show our solidarity to our southern Nepalese in the current humanitarian crisis. Moreover, every one of us must refine our thoughts and call everyone Nepali. Treat everyone Nepali. Make sure that everyone is treated Nepali. Slap someone who does not treat the southerners Nepali. Leave a discussion that treats Nepali as Indians. Only then, Nepal will steer towards an era of development and peace. Only then will all the blood-sheds that occurred in Nepal prove worthy.

It is with these very reasons that I no longer care if I am a Brahmin or a Pokhreli and I no longer call my people Dhotis or Madhesis. Why? Because we are, above all our classifications, NEPALI!

 

 

YAHA CHHA KHUSI

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

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