nepal

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?

Advertisements

AWAKENED: EPILOGUE

This is your 364th time since you first realized of your ability to come here.

364, huh?!

The same number that I used to identify myself in my alma mater. Brings back a lot of memories. Have I told you about the time when I got the last position in Cross Country or the time when I nearly drowned in the swimming pool or when…

Ah, come on. Not again.

Sorry, let’s forget about my alma mater coz I tend to go on talking about my experiences.

Yeah, that’s typical you. Hahaha.

So, how are you doing lately? Got something to hold onto.

Nah. Not since you left me. Although I won’t deny there will be something in the next few weeks.

Ah, so you have set your eyes on something precious.  

Yeah, it kinda surprised me when I found out. Forget about that, will ya? Tell me, honestly, have you been able to track her down?

20160511_142301

Who are these mysterious characters having an unusual conversation? Stay tuned. Don’t miss this new series.

Oh, her. I forgot about that. My bad. What if I said “yes”?

Maji de?! When was it?

Sunday, I think? Nah, Monday… Oh, wait. One week right after you left. Hmm. Just kidding.

(a long pause)

Hahaha. Do you know that you are the only one whom I can laugh with for a long time?

 Always the same reply. Isn’t it time for you to answer seriously? Why do you want to keep her away from me?

Keep her away from you? Stop fooling around. She’s not important. That’s all.  

Not important, you say? Then, why did you deliberately come here?

Look, who’s talking here. Trust me. Trust your friend.

Friend. Yeah. Once. A long time ago. Now, you are just a fleeting presence in the minds of everyone you had a connection with.

Such harsh words. I can bear it anyway.

Next time, you are gonna tell everything about her. I will make sure about that. (about to exit) See you, my …

(exits)

As for me, the journey to search her continues in this lonely place.

 

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!

 

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).

20151127_203705

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.

12095253_1185330938161187_538967674297036842_o

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.

12291100_1231027286911229_5335347549214309638_o

(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.

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)

REALPOLITIK AND NEPAL

Wikipedia defines Realpolitik as “the politics or diplomacy based primarily on considerations of given circumstances and factors, rather than explicit ideological notions or moral or ethical premises”. In a nutshell, people who implement realpolitik are able to modify their ideologies as long as their plans focus on the vested interests of the nation. In 19th century, Otto von Bismarck used realpolitik to unify all German-speaking states into one nation. During his reign as a German Chancellor, he faced oppositions that had ideologies opposite to his; however, he would diplomatically align to their principles so that they would not be an obstacle to fulfilling his grand plan.

In Nepal, realpolitik has the potential to transform its politics and build selfless leaders. Currently, Nepali politicians are so stubborn in sticking to their ideologies that they fail to acknowledge the wrong directions they often take Nepal into. The end result is that the citizens struggle to cope with the political instabilities.

In addition, the motive behind being a political leader in Nepal is to finally become the Prime Minister (PM). Interestingly, this job is the epitome of a successful political leader. It explains why there are a lot of incompetent applications for the single post and why there has always been two PMs every year. If a PM cannot deal with a major crisis, then it is certain that he will lose his position. The opposition parties will vote for no confidence in the parliament and the next day, newspapers will announce the resignation of the PM. Then, there will be no government for two-three months until another senior most political figure from the opposition party will be sworn in the office.

537354_4101079693286_309509384_n

“Shall we raise politicians who will practice realpolitik?”

Had Nepal’s politicians implemented realpolitik in their lives, Nepal would develop at an unprecedented pace. They would no longer bother adhering to the selfish motives put forward by their political parties; instead, they would take stringent measures to steer the country towards development.

For example, KP Oli led government has not been able to take any concrete measure to end the political stalemate and deal with the unofficial economic blockade imposed by India. Even after 100 days in his office, PM Oli cannot invite the agitating Madhes-based political parties and reach a consensus to end protests. Some analysts have even termed his tenure as a fiasco. Realpolitik persons would understand the subtle reasons behind Madhesis organizing protests without basing their decisions in preexisting stereotypes and take required actions. They would not hesitate to go against their parties’ decisions as long as their decisions solve such issues.

Nepalese need leaders who practice realpolitik. They need people who take decisions based on the situation the country is in. They want to be governed by politicians who change their moral ideologies according to the era they live in. They want to be followers of the government that places the interests of its citizens before the parties’ interests. They want laws that genuinely punish and not grant amnesty to corrupt leaders. They do not care if the government ultimately fulfills its selfish demands. As long as Nepal continues to progress in every possible sectors and, Nepalese can meet their daily needs without any political hassles, Nepalese may one day take the parties’ selfish motives into consideration. After all, history has taught that Bismarck fulfilled socialists’ demands and cancelled his plans to oppose Catholic Churches even though he viewed both of them as potential threats to his grand scheme of unifying Germany. Well, realpolitik ensured he remained in power and allowed him to accept differences so that when time came, Germans would unhesitatingly vote in favor of Bismarck’s dream.

One day, I hope to engrave Nepalese politicians as the next Bismarcks. One day…

 

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?

 

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.

394605_449577395060761_633990124_n

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.

bnks website

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.

608f0-1012322_657969384217025_2106616721_n

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 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.

download

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.