VICIOUS CYCLE OF RESILIENT NEPALI

If people were to analyze the political turmoil surrounding Nepal, they would discover that its citizens seem to tolerate everything and move forward with their lives as if nothing happened. Nepal’s politics has been full of governments that did not complete their tenure due to the circumstances that other political parties create. Ten months in and the government collapses before it takes another few months for a new government to change all the policies that the previous government implemented to favor its own. This has created a political instability in the South Asian region. What is amazing is that the citizens do not seem to take any concrete action that would drastically change the political system. They have accepted that Nepal will never progress or fail.

Nepal will be stable. That is what most Nepali seem to think. There has not been anyone who can lead it properly and who would selflessly devote the time necessary to steer the country towards the path of being a developing country. I admit that most of our political leaders have been running around to place first in the Prime Minister race without ever realizing that they are running out of their tracks. All rules work for their favors, not against them.

What concerns me is not the rise of competent and able political leaders but the stereotypes Nepali people have based their faiths in. They feel powerless to act against the political system which works towards achieving all the political gains of a party and not for the good of citizens. Obviously, the citizens have criticized and debated the effectiveness of the government in all the areas possible. What has not been done is taking strong action to uproot the bad political practices. Sure, the government will pretend to listen our demands but it will never implement our ideas. This is why we need to step in.

Youths are the most prominent demographic age group in Nepal. They are also the work force capable to topple the government if they feel the necessity to. Ever since the Rana regime ended in 1951, youths have only hoped to see their country prosper. Their hopes have been shattered. No generation has witnessed the birth of selfless political leaders who would forget about the agreements tabled by their political parties and who would make bold and tangible steps to check corruption and bring programs to push the nation to compete with other countries.

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Nepali people be like…waiting for someone to make something happen!! 

Youths need to take in charge of political parties and collaborate with other parties to implement projects of national interest. Projects that include generating electricity from local hydropower projects, introducing new international standard highways, banning strikes once and for all so that education, tourism, medical and transportation sectors are not affected. Many political leaders have pledged to ban bandhs but the culture is so dear among protesters that they believe it as the only way to address their demands.

Youths need to step outside of their comfort zone and take extra effort to record any wrongdoing by the government officials. This will expose corrupt acts and the public will be informed about it. The perpetrators will be humiliated at their actions and then they may change for the better.

The frustrations that youths have need to be channeled to work their ways to government jobs where they can work towards creating a entrepreneur work force. They can change the system within the organization and allow future employees to continue their legacy. With technology, these youths can start movements to change the political system and influence neutral Nepali citizens to join in their crusade. We have waited too long to witness the birth of a prosperous Nepal and it is time that we do it as an independent entity from the government. Let the movement begin!

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?

THOSE SOUNDTRACKS

Listening to soundtracks is the first thing that I do when I want to concentrate in a work that I am currently doing. The pleasure I derive from this act is matched by none. The ambient atmosphere that I feel when listening to soundtracks helps me to focus and give my best in completing the assignment at hand.

Songs are in a completely different stage than soundtracks. They influence us to memorize the words and sing along with them. This way, we lose concentration in our work and, instead, we try our best to learn the lyrics. We all have experienced this phenomena wherein we memorize a song after listening to it for a certain number of times. There is no way of knowing that we are in control of our present situation as it seems that the song is desperate to stay in our conscience for a pretty long period of time. In other words, the lyrics are addictive and can contribute to losing concentration if we are completing our course assignments.

However, since soundtracks have no lyrics attached to them, we are not distracted. Whenever I work on my homework assignments, I have made it my habit to listen to soundtracks from YouTube or Spotify. Time seems to stop when I listen to playlists as I am glued to the rhythm of the tracks and the beautiful melodies created from a mix of musical instruments or by even using crazy mediums such as a glass of half-filled water.

Soundtracks need incredible amount of time to make them appeal to a wide audience. They literally need to pierce our hearts and change our state of mind in order to make a lasting impression. Also, since music is an industry, composers make sure that their works deserve attention from the listeners and motivate them to produce even more soundtracks that stir our imagination and lift our moods.

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One of my favorite soundtrack album! (Image credit: trailermusicnews.com)

Mostly, I listen to soundtracks from anime shows and popular composers from the movies that I have watched. I love listening to the Official Sound Tracks (OSTs) from anime such as Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion and Death Note. These two shows provide me with such a great list of soundtracks that I listen to them on repeat mode for an entire day. Death Note’s OSTs are my favorite pick as all of them are equally soothing and exhilarating. There is a playlist from YouTube channel EpicAnimeRequiem of the best soundtracks of Death Note which I encourage you to listen. My other OSTs from the anime include Code Geass: Continued Story, Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni: Dear You, Anohana: Secret Base, Angel Beats: Ichiban No Takaramono, Code Geass: Madder Sky and Cowboy Bebop: The Real Folk Blues. I also listen to some OSTs from One Piece and Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood. When listening to these soundtracks, they increase my productivity, reduce stress and avoid negative emotions.

As for the non-anime soundtracks, I prefer listening to all of the tracks composed by Hans Zimmer and my best composing company, Two Steps From Hell. They both produce epic soundtracks that just relax my body, decrease fatigue and improve motor reflexes. Since I am a big fan of Batman, Zimmer’s work in the Dark Knight Trilogy appeals to my music taste. Also, I highly regard all of his OSTs featured in Christopher Nolan’s movies, most notably from Inception and Interstellar. They are simply astounding. As for TSFH, I love the soundtracks from its album SkyWorld. Occasionally, I listen to this playlist from YouTube channel Epic Music VN as they have some of the best soundtracks from popular online video games and movies. This does not mean that I do not listen anything except the ones mentioned above. There are many movies that have appealing soundtracks which I listen every once in a while.

Soundtracks have become an integral part of my life just as songs once were. With no lyrics to hum often, they help me to complete my tasks without any disturbances. I highly value the time that composers dedicate in creating heart warming soundtracks. Their devotion to craft tracks encourages me to push out of the comfort zone and value passion and time to craft my own products. I highly recommend readers to listen to soundtracks and discover the benefits that they can inculcate in our lives.

 

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.

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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!

NEPAL GOVERNMENT, PLEASE LIVE TELECAST YOUR TALKS

All is not well in Nepal. Beleaguered by poor leadership and unstable politics from time to time, it has not been able to steer towards development. On top of that, the growing stalemate between the agitating parties and the government regarding addressing the rights of Madhesis in the recently promulgated constitution has worsened the humanitarian crisis. Now, where am I leading this talk up to? Well, I have tried to understand the situation in Nepal from every perspective, but I have failed owing to the limited knowledge that comes out.

What is actually going on in Nepal? Who really imposed the economic blockade –India, Pahades, or Madhesis? Who is blaming who? Whose rights are we exactly talking about? Wherever I look, I find loose ends. Nor has any article in the newspapers or any person connected to the incident directly been able to clear out my dilemmas. I feel that all these self-proclamation of being a part of sub-groups is not valuable when talking about being a Nepali as the major group.

Madhesis are holding talks with the government to fulfill their demands. Sure enough, they have every right. On the other hand, the government says that they are holding talks with these agitators but in vain. Well, what did it say in order to convince Madhesi leaders to reach to a consensus? Getting authentic answers is the crucial link to understanding Nepal’s protests.

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For this purpose, is not it applicable for the government to publicly show the discussions it had with the agitating parties? Then, the rest of Nepal will be able to identify who is on the right side and who is on the wrong side. It is that easy. As our government makes the discussions in the parliament available, why does not it show what the talks with the Madhesis are really about? I am sure that most of us agree that we are on a neutral side because we don’t seem to understand the situation any better. We can decide who is doing what. Then, we can voice our support to the appropriate demands.

Please note that I am not voicing against any sides. What I want to know is the truth behind the protests that has been going on for more than hundred days. I want to analyze whether the decisions that the government is making authentic or just mere acts. I want to know how few Madhes groups justify the action to attack ambulances and then burn them knowing that there are victims inside.

We know that technology is accessible to most Nepalese, living in Nepal and abroad. Just once, please, please Nepal government, can you feed a live discussion about how you have been addressing Madhesis’ demands? You can at least do that to the people who nominated you, can’t you? Just for once, show what Nepali people have been missing from the news. Help us to analyze the crisis and reach to a decision. Improve our understanding and correct us if we have been blaming the wrong side.

You can do that. Please Nepal government. Only once. Then, we will never use our Right to Information Act again! We promise.

HEY THERE, 30s MANASBI!

Aanch jhilke, k chha yaar tero belaako zindagi? Chill haaniraaxas ta?

I am literally laughing right now because it’s too weird for me to write a letter to you. Yeah, you. You, moron! Now, where should I start?

Ahaa, how about what every one of my time asks to his 30s future self –Have you married? Love or arranged? Nepali or foreigner? Wait, what? You don’t want to answer! Are you shy? Haha, all right, all right. I did not mean to ask such personal questions (although me asking myself is not personal, duh). Where was I? I don’t intend to lose your interest in my banal talks.

Hah, ok, ok. I will get to the point. The most important thing I really wanted to ask was this one: Have you returned to Nepal? Because, right now, I had decided to return to Nepal after my graduation. Wait, you did not?? Then, ladies and gentleman, behold the clichéd answer that comes from my 30s mouth: “Times change, pal (with a typical Nripesh pose)… We are then forced to change.” Or “That time, we were kids. Now, we are adults. We don’t dream anymore.”

I suspect the following scenarios then: you got a job, well paid, maybe $1,000,000 per year (that’s huge Manasbi! No wonder, you are living a boring life. Hah, contradicted you, twake) or even more, found a girl, married, and then, lived happily ever after… Just like the ones we watched in Disney movies. Or, maybe Nepal banned you from entering the country because you stirred the internet with your radical views in your blog in a not-so-distant-future. Or, the worst case scenario…..you know what it is, right? I don’t want to think about it. I will leave it up to you.

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Hello on the other side…

So, do you remember when we talked to each other through the reflections in the mirror? You became the future guy and I talked on and on about countless stupid ideas. You would then comment on those ideas and extrapolate the efforts that I currently have in order to guess whether I will turn it into reality or not. A couple of those ideas included forming a tech company based in Pokhara with strong influence in Myagdi (our birth district), living the life that Phunsukh Wangdu lived at the end of 3 Idiots, earning US$s by outsourcing your CS talents and then pushing the Nepali communities to embrace tech in every aspect of their lives (besides the unlimited times they spend surfing to like statuses in FB or Twitter), and completely relying on solar power for your home or office (hopefully, you will have one).

We sure dreamed big. Those were the glorious days. Freedom, we had enjoyed. Well, we had promised to deliver the results (after all, we were heavily influenced by Elon Musk’s insane ideas and his craziness to make them happen). So, did you? Or, is it the money issue? Man, money is always there. But, did not we figure it out?

I don’t know how you are spending your life in your time. Just don’t follow what most people do. Get a job. Go to office at 8. Work until 5. Return home. Dinner. Sleep. Live life like a DC current. Mundane, pal. We had talked about it. We promised not to follow that path.

Does your era rely on TV?? Isn’t that obsolete? Isn’t it time to watch through goggles and with the use of holograms? Sounds interesting, if that is the case.  

Oh, I remember again. Did not we plan to fully utilize the lands we had in our village to modernize agriculture and hold Skype (provided it still is the first choice) with our office employees from our village? At the same time, work together with Mahabir Pun and advance Myagdi district!

When I think about those ideas right now, I firmly believe that they will one day be possible. I don’t know why I wanted to write to you. Your future is uncertain. Still, there is a part of me that still seeks answers to these questions and still a part of me that wants to encourage you to have an adventurous life.

Maybe you should go out and carry out our ideas if you have not been doing so. Get out, now. NOW. Don’t let family responsibilities or workloads impede your lively spirit. Be young. Come on, pal. Let this letter remind you how I look upon you. Be my hero. Push yourself. Influence other people’s lives. Only then will you be able to create a legacy among your countrymen. Isn’t that what you always wanted? Leaving a legacy behind. Isn’t that what you learned from Luffy, Naruto, Roger Federer and so on some ten years ago?

Waiting for your days….waiting…make me proud.

Yours Yourself,

Manasbi from 2015

PS: Ah, couple of extra things that I wanted to ask you. Has Arsenal won premier league titles? UCL? Who is your new lawn tennis best player as Federer had already retired by then? Who is your new favorite soccer player? As One Piece has ended already, did Luffy find the treasure? If yes, then how? What do you read in the manga these days?

WHEN NEPALESE VOTE FOR A NEPALI FOR AN INTERNATIONAL AWARD

Two days ago, CNN named Maggie Doyne as the CNN Hero of the Year. She was the third winner affiliated to Nepal, after Anuradha Koirala and Pushpa Basnet, in the last eight years who was awarded for making huge impacts in the lives of Nepali. As a Nepali myself, it surely made me proud. Honestly, sometimes I think that whenever there is someone who is nominated for an international award, Nepali community will do whatever it can to make sure he/she gets the award. It is no coincidence that the pattern has repeated in the last couple of years.

In October, when Maggie Doyne was listed in the top ten, Nepalese knew that she was the founder and CEO of BlinkNow, a nonprofit organization that is helping over 400 children from poor communities to educate and prepare them up to post-graduate level with the establishment of Kopila Valley Children’s Home and School. Then, it was time for Nepalese to spread the word like a wildfire in the internet. Many urged to vote for Maggie and then thousands joined in. Their dedication finally paid off two days ago.

Nepalese feel a great sense of responsibility to show their gratefulness for someone who is involved in benevolent work and who gets recognized by the international community. It is something we closely connect to with the person. Even if they are foreigners, their contributions to the Nepali community stands out. We automatically categorize them as Nepali. They become our family and their happiness is our happiness. So, we become desperate to vote them. Most of the time, we will have become victorious.

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Next time you see a Nepali nominated for an international award, there is high chance he/she will eventually win it.

 

Sometimes, I feel strange that a country with a small population has a bigger influence in an international award. Sometimes, I wonder why countries with wide internet access and with large population do not commit enough to win their countrymen. Perhaps I think that maybe they do not have to, as they continuously win other prestigious prizes. But for Nepal, just to see someone who represents/kind-of-represents the country is a great achievement. We have very little that we can symbolize ourselves proudly in the international arena besides being home to Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) and Lord Gautam Buddha to name a few. It is why Nepalese do not want to leave these chances that will help in cementing their country’s name in the world.

It was no wonder that Sano Babu Sunuwar and Lakpa Tsheri Sherpa from Nepal were named as People’s Choice for Adventurers of the Year 2012 organized by National Geographic Society. They had amassed the majority of the 72000 votes. Even in this case, Nepalese made sure that they took the title. In another instance, in 2007, Nepalese collected enough money to go to India and vote for Prashant Tamang, an Indian from a Nepali-speaking community in Darjeeling. They made sure that he won the title of Indian Idol. And, they were successful.  

The vast circulation of voting guidelines over the internet followed by a sense of responsibility from Nepali is more than enough to make sure that a Nepali or someone affiliated to Nepal shines throughout the world. The probability for this is so high that the next time you see a Nepali or someone who has contributed greatly to it nominated for an award, you will notice that he/she will have eventually won it. Just watch to deduce if I was wrong or not.

 

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.

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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!

 

 

GUFFGAAF EPISODE 1: PLAGIARISM IN THE CONTEXT OF NEPAL

I have teamed up with Bikash Gupta, author of the blog “By the Sidewalk,” to create GuffGaaf. It is a platform where we talk about various subtle issues and share our thoughts. We are hopeful that you will listen to our podcast and enjoy our presentation. We have done our best to share insights in the concerned issues. To be effective in our next episode, we strongly urge you to comment various aspects of the podcast so that we can deliver more terrific ones in the future.

Right now, we are in a starting phase and since we wanted to check how the response would be, we decided to use Nepali language as the medium of communication. For those who are not familiar with Nepali language, downloading the podcast would not make any sense and we are sorry for the inconvenience that this will cause you. However, you can be hopeful that we will be able to deliver future episodes in English.

The two presenters: Bikash Gupta (left) and Manasbi Parajuli (me).

The two presenters: Bikash Gupta (left) and Manasbi Parajuli (me).

For those familiar with Nepali language, you need to download the file in order to listen to our first podcast. I will only be able to link the file since embedding such files are not allowed in the free version of WordPress. Maybe someday I will be able to upgrade to a premium plan and then you can easily listen to the podcasts. I hope that you will appreciate our efforts by downloading the file. We apologize for this issue.

In the first podcast, we discuss about our experiences plagiarizing our projects, essays, poems when we were assigned these works in our school. We also talk about some flaws in our education system that does not penalize the students but appreciate the time they took to google pertinent information. At the end of the podcast, we share some ways that plagiarism can be controlled in the context of Nepal.

Please listen to our talk and provide your valuable feedback.

Link to the podcast: Guffgaaf Episode 1

Please click in the link to download and enjoy!

GIBBERISH TALK: READ AT YOUR OWN RISK, HONESTLY

wE havE bean dairected 2 write ina dIfFeReNt weigh. for example, why do I need 2 begin these sentences with a CAPITAL later & why can’t I end this sentence with ? . rulessssssssssssss$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$…………..

Eye have learned that English is a crazy l                                                                                                                                                                                                      a n                                                                                                                                                                                                 g u a                                                                                                                                                                                                 g  e.

seluremos# gniwollof ton ma I yhw si taht ebyaM. I did not no-tis but are you feeling difficult 2 rEaDD > Or

am

I

at fault to disrupt the pace

of your reading!

What I wanted to say was that we don’t need to follow some rules. Rules surely play an significant role in shaping our writing. We are able to convey our thoughts easily that way.

You probably experienced some sort of difficulty in understanding what I wrote above. That is because I went out the conventional way of writing methods. I ignored the punctuation rules and even jumbled the capital/small letters. But, some of you really enjoyed it! I would have enjoyed it if I saw someone writing this way. That is because it was creative.

For those of you who try something, write something from a different perspective. something in wwitch others will question your writing but appreciate your methods. yeah^^^^ I have to bee careful eef my english language tea-cher finds the above introduction to directly contradict the rules of the English language….but i feel free when i wtire tihsway.

Making sense

  Making sense

there r no limitations to the way i present my writing…………it is unusual()()() do I really need to have a title in my post above???????? what about a conclusion?? and the contents………… you seemed to have come this far

even

if

                        all                                                                                                                                               I

         talked

about

                  was

                                                    gibberish…

                                                                             but

                                                                                                the

                                                                          reason

                                                       you

                                         managed

               to do

that is becau se

you aa-

re habituated

to readingg

a short work

to

find eats purpose…

u fill that sth big iz coming up but nothing comes.

and I understand that….

haha..

sims like….

                 i

                 have

                 snatched

                your precious

                    (Yeah, LOTR’s precio-

                   sssssssssssssssssssssssss)!

                    ——————————————-

                                  the

only big

difference is

that I don;t ha’v a

magicalllllllll riinggggg

rt now!

Hah,

that’s it for now……………..

I did not have any topic to write abt…. i tried to come up with one

but

ended

                         up

                                                           with none! sry abt that..

  but,

it is interesting to do some crazy stuff sometiems, is not it//

i wil-

l

come

htiw

na

gnitseretni

dna

th’t-provoking

topic nxt time…