Thursday, December 20, 2007

INSPIRING CHILDREN!!!


"Last Saturday, I had gone in a usual assignment of my internship to a program corncerning with Children. Before reaching there I had thought, the usual...kind of boring programs that I usually end up to. But, when I sat there for a minute and listened to those amazing children talk so confidently and full of energy I had to think they are the ones who will push our generation to do something and prove themselves as the pillal of future!"


Children urged government to address their agendas in coming CA
POST REPORT
KATHMANDU, DEC 15.

“If the children’s agendas are only limited to the politician’s talks instead of being ensured in coming constituent assembly then the politicians, political parties and government don’t have any relevance,” flaunted children-representatives from around the country here at a program on Saturday.
The program was jointly organized by Consortium of Organizations Working for Child Clubs in capital on Saturday.

A child representative Nigam Humagai from Kavre district said, “If children rights will not be ensured in Constitutional Assembly then political parties or government will be irrelevant to us.” We are not only the future pillars of the country but we are the leaders of today so our issues need to be taken seriously by government and political parties, he added.

In a program, children representatives from 48 districts of the country forwarded twelve-points demands among which declaring schools, child clubs and children related areas a peace zone, preventing the use of children in armed force or spy or any kinds of political activities, and involving children while making plans and agendas related to children are included along with other demands.

In a same occasion, different political parties and representatives of organizations working for children made a joint commitment on their twelve-point demands. Pradip Gyawali, central member of Communist Party Nepal (UML), signing a commitment said that parties need to be more sensitive in children’s issues because due to their age group (below 18) they can not take part in ballet. “It is our responsibility to take their voices in right place to implement them efficiently ensuring their rights,” he said.

Also speaking in a program, Gauri Pradhan of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) said, “Our political parties are very sensitive towards children issues and easily agree on agendas with promise of implementing them efficiently. However, it is never sure when they are going to implement.” But, NHRC will always keep working along with children to ensure their rights and issues from grass-root level to high level, he added.

After witnessing the commitment by political parties, Sikendra Kumar Ram, a child representative from Mahottari is hopeful. “Almost all political parties of Nepal have signed their commitment along with national and international organizations working for children so I am sure our agendas will be addressed by government soon.”

After the signed commitment from political parties they submitted their 12 points demands to Subash Chandra Nembang, the Speaker of House of Representatives on Saturday.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Maoist Revolution in Reels!


There was a special premiere show of ‘Laal Salaam’; a movie of Maoist movement in Nepal at BICC in Kathmandu last week. Lets say the movie through the eyes of Maoists: a Maoist perspective!

Started in a kind of documentary style, the movie gives the glimpse of Maoist Movement and how it turned into the civil war in the country.

The whole story of the movie revolves round the starting from Maoist declaration of insurgency as an underground party to the peace talk success to the participation in Jana Andolan I and II demolishing the autocratic rule of the King Gyanendra in 2062/63 B.S. It’s all about their journey from underground party to armed insurgency, then to the place in parliament and constitutional government of Nepal.

It’s also the walk of a woman named Trishta from a simple village girl to the combat fighter in Maoist army. The domination in the society in different names, fighting against it and dying for the believes in better future in the battle field.

In the beginning, you might feel awkward at the romantic dialogues between two lovers just before going to attack a barrack. Might even wonder what the director is doing by putting that dialogue in the movie with so much sweat.

Sometimes it seems it is too much exaggerated and yet has failed to raise enough issues for the declaration of war and is not convincing enough. The movie presentation is also poor. It is cinemascope but the picture quality is very poor and not impressing at all. Dialogues also fail to get much attention and appreciation.

The movie could have been better. In trying to include important events in the movie director has messed up the plot and characters. Characters are not well developed, or presented. Well, artists are not touching enough either. Their acting skill needs to be improved from silver to platinum. They look good only when they are fighting. Though Prabhakar has good story but making it alive in the movie has been like a mistake.

As it is the movie which has hands of the party itself, audience expectations may fly high but you might find yourself disappointed for expecting something really good because till the end you wait for something good to happen which doesn’t. My suggestion, don’t fly too high, it will be crushed like a potato.

However, the very instinct of trying to bring the event/civil war which was so much glorious to many people which changed the history of Nepal and started the new path in the country; is appreciable. It must have been more like a re-living those moments for many Maoists and people who were directly and indirectly involved with it.

The movie has not been able to prove its point strongly and clearly as a revolutionary artist should have as progressive peoples’ expectation. However, you will get some glimpse of the 12 years of civil war so the movie could be worth to watch for some of you movie-lovers.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wind beneath Wings!


TEACHERS ARE THOSE WHO USE THEMSELVES AS BRIDGES OVER WHICH THEY INVITE THEIR STUDENTS TO CROSS; THEN HAVING FACILITATED THEIR CROSSING, JOYFULLY COLLAPSE, ENCOURAGING THEM TO CREATE BRIDGES OF THEIR OWN.
- Nicos Kazantzakis

Whenever I read this quotation of Kazantzakis, I remember how much I depended upon my teachers and still depend on them for most of the knowledge I have and try to achieve. I remember my teachers who are so much supporting, inspiring and always encouraging us to move forward and give a power to dream and hope for the best. They are so much dedicated in what they do. Lucky me… I have living heroes in my life! They have been and they are wind beneath my wings!!

However, not everyone is lucky!!!

During this Deusi-Bhailo Program in Tihar, I met with Sak Bahadur Magar, to whom I adoringly call “dai” as he makes me feel like his younger sister. He is a teacher by profession and yet a student himself doing his master level in the same college of mine. I don’t know how but during the loud celebration of Tihar we end up talking about serious subject.

I had genuinely told him how tough it is to be a ‘Teacher’ and taking the responsibility of being teacher. I had told him at that time and I still think I am not ready for that role yet and I am not sure if I can take that responsibility of being Teacher to the coming generation even in the future.

In our culture, Guru (teacher) has been put above our own parents and worshipped as a god from its origin. They are the source of knowledge. They are heroes in their students’ eyes. During the growing up, a child spends more time with his teachers than with his own parents now days so it is for sure that they depend upon their teacher wholly. If there is conflict between the sayings of our own parents and teachers, we believe in our teachers than to our parents. This also shows how important role teachers play in child’s development and in shaping the child’s mind for life long. How the child turns in the future depends also on the teacher who taught him. So, if the teacher takes the responsibility by heart then students are in good hands but if it is taken lightly, one teacher can damage the whole future of students.

Today, the subject matter came again when Jayaram Lamsal, one of my classmates talked about his teacher in college (+2) who had said “If you (Jayaram) were good-enough then you would have taken Science instead of Humanities faculty.” The teacher used to teach English to both science and humanities faculty. This shows how humanities faculty (art and social science) and its students are looked down by our society, even the teacher who teaches the same subject. As well, my friend got discouraged by that teacher with that kind of insulting comment for following his dream and his interest.

Same way, my brother Ajay was told by his one teacher that he should change his subject to Commerce as he thought Ajay was incompetent to study Science. Of course my brother was shocked and hurt by that (I had seen it in his eyes while he told me about it). But, he took it as a challenge as I knew my brother would. Now, he is one of the toppers in his class and already working in projects as an Architect. Therefore, I am sure, no matter how painful the comment was for my friend Jayaram too; he will take it as a challenge rather than being frustrated and believing in what a ‘so-called teacher’ had said to him because no genuine teacher would have told such things to his own student.

At the end, all I want to say to those who are teachers just by name/status is that: If you can not encourage your students to do their best in their dreams; at least; please do not discourage them! If you are not able to use yourself as bridge and can not bring yourself to encourage your students to create bridges of their own, the least you can do for taking the responsibility of being teacher to them is not to discourage those students who want to create bridges by themselves. That will be the noble act of anyone for taking the responsibility of teacher while not actually being ‘Teacher’ as an innocent eye of learning hearts sees.

Never forget, teachers are wind beneath their students’ wings. This fact should not be forgotten by anyone when becoming teacher and while taking the responsibility of being Teacher.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Quiet Kathmandu!

Of course, we had to celebrate this Dashain too with no water, no gas and no petrol as usual. But this time there was more to it. Something new got added. Good or bad? Hard to say anything yet but the festive season made Kathmandu very quiet!

So quiet that it felt like an ancient Kathmandu has revealed itself once again to make us see what a beautiful city it is…quiet, calm and far from the maddening crowd. With half of the population of the city gone to celebrate Dashain in their own countryside home it was hard to find any shops opened, had to walk miles to find another soul walking in the road and with very few vehicles running, no traffic, no horns and no pollution, Kathmandu felt like not-Kathmandu.

Usually our capital city Kathmandu means centralized economy, centralized population and centralized government of the country. It is the most crowded place, talk about pollution and you end up finding every kind of pollution discovered in the world and something more on it. There is shortage of everything in all seasons of the year. And yet we are so used to the life in it that it feels weird when it is quiet, calm and less polluted.

But who knows, quietness could have different faces!

At the time when I was being frightened with its quietness and the loneliness; and when every Nepali were busy with their celebration mood for the festival our government had the flashback. As history proves, from the takeover of Bhaktapur city by Prithvi Narayan Shah that in festive mood, Nepali can accept things that are not usually accepted in the usual times without a rage shown in streets. The idea was re-discovered six years ago by then King Gyanendra by declaring his son Paras as a Crown Prince during this same festive season. As expected, people did not protest it much as it would have been if it was in other usual times. So, the present government which is said to be formed out of the great people's movement in 2006 but in actual was born out of ruined womb of monarchism (more conformed after the Prime Minister's shown love towards King in very diplomatic words clearly declaring his views of Nepalese public as IDIOTS!) followed the same idea what Gyanendra had re-discovered and made full use of it.

The result - price hiking of petrol, lubricants and gas!

Of course this was done very quietly when Kathmandu is still very quiet.

My salutations to our Government! Though it can not come up with own ideas it very smartly follows other's ideas. All of my appreciations! But, as the good and loyal citizen I must say though the idea of using the quietness and celebration mood of the festival is highly appreciable, Quietness and Calmness is NOT always good. Every one of us has heard about the calmness felt in air before storm comes. If anybody does not agree with this saying; don't go too far for example, just look at the fate of Monarchism in our country.

It is still quiet here in Kathmandu so the finale result has not come yet. Wait till festive season is over and also let every youths come back to Kathmandu valley. Then the finale result of this quietness we are feeling right now will erupt, in what form it is hard to say.

But, mark my words, please! Finale result is yet to come and frighteningly it seems it is not going to be very good sight!!!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Congratulating Prashant!


Since nearly one and half decades of my life in capital city, this is the second time I have been awakened by Kathmanduties from my deep sleep at this hour of the night. The first one was during the People’s revolution of 2006, when the whole Kathmanduties rallied whole night to protest against King Gyanendra. The second one is going on right now in the celebration of Prashant Tamang’s victory in singing competition on the program “Indian Idol”: a Sony TV reality show!

Prashant Tamang was declared Indian Idol – 3 on Sunday night after getting more votes than other finalist Amit Paul of Shillong from the total votes of 7 crores.

Now, it is exactly 2:30 in the morning and I am hearing slogans like “Prashant Jindabad!” (Long Live Prashant!). People are on the road shouting slogans, whistling, hooting and there are fireworks! The craze for New Indian Idol is going on even in Kathmandu, I can hardly imagine what must be going on in Darjeeling from where Prashant is. As I saw in televisions, Darjeeling’s people were on the street as well for celebration rally…the environment of there seemed ecstatic.

We can’t deny the fact that in this Indian Idol competition, Nepalese took more interest than other two previous competitions simply because Prashant Tamang; an Indian soldier, is from Darjeeling and is also from Nepali origin. Many people who are Indian but were originally from Nepal supported him and even did campaigns to support him and eventually made him Indian Idol through SMS voting.

Anyway, what I found the most remarkable and beautiful thing about this particular Indian Idol competition was friendship between these two finalists. Prashant Tamang and Amit Paul of Shillong never let the stress of the competition come between their friendships. I never felt any hint of neither jealousy nor competition between them which definitely stood them apart from previous Indian Idol finalists. We could feel the bond of friendship between these guys; the way they supported each other and accepted each others victory with smiles that is very hard to see in this era of competition.

Now, My CONGRATULATIONS to Prashant Tamang and wishes for his bright future. Also, all my praises for Amit Paul who is very talented, very good looking and with down to earth personality. I believe that even without the title of Indian Idol on his head, one day he will be one of the most famous singers of India with his potentiality and personality. Good luck to both of you!!!

Here, the celebration is still going! And I can assure you that Kathmanduties are desperately waiting for Prashant to hear him sing. But, they don’t have to wait for long as he is going to give numbers of concerts in valley with his other Indian Idol competitors from coming 29th of September. Everyone (especially Youths) from valley is eagerly looking forward to those days! The slogans that I can still hear outside my window conforms it all!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Blatant Terrorism!


Last Sunday (September 2) terror struck Kathmandu valley people when series of bomb blasts hit the capital city killing two and injuring 22 people.

That day I was in home, having a quite day! Then, I heard about the news in television which shook me with terror. As a regular user of public vehicles, at the same time I felt myself lucky not to be in those places where those unfortunate events took place.

Though when I had heard the news for the first time I had felt fear, insecurity with lots of dilemma about the incidents. Felt sorry for those who became victims of this blatant terrorism! But, right now as I am writing this I feel the anger rising up in me. Anger: at those people who in the name of political revolutions are killing innocent people, at government for not being able to give enough security to public and then at myself for not being able to do anything about it.

I know there has been a foul play, one reason for saying this is because 3 different groups from Terai region have claimed the responsibility for bombings. Even a child will know it could have never been done by 3 different groups from the way attack was planned. Planner and doer is someone else and responsibility is taken by another person just like the “so-called” driver took responsibility of killing famous lyricist Pravin Gurung on road accident while actually the person who run-over Gurung was Paras, then Prince of Kingdom of Nepal.

At the moment I am feeling pity and anger at those people who did and took responsibilities of violence. In my opinion, they are coward people without dignity. They are shameless people who are happy to announce the murdering of innocent peoples. I am sure; they will feel the burden of curses and tears from the victims’ family and relatives before they go to more excruciating place than hell if there is any.

At the same time, I have to say what everyone is saying and seeing; the interim government is also not as effective as it should be. Just by this incident we know how the security system it is giving. Not being able to find clue about things shows its weakness. Moreover, looking at the slow pace of its investigations and government not giving it a serious thought and action on time makes me prepare for not being surprised if this government fails in its responsibilities like conducting Constitutional Assembly Poll on its deadline.

Looking at this all…looking at my country’s situation and observing the today’s world with my eyes, I am angry at myself! I know things that are unfair but I can do nothing about it the same way I could do nothing in these bombings to stop it or heal a wounded heart of victims family. I pity myself on my helplessness. Neither can I do something nor can I close my eyes not to see things that are unfair and unjust to my understandings!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Man of Difference!


On August 1st we Nepalese felt proud of being Nepali, Mahabir Pun made us proud!

This year’s one of the winners of Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership was Mahabir Pun. He won the award for his innovative application of wireless computer technology in Nepal, bringing progress to the remote mountain, connecting Nangi village to the global village.

Not wanting to work under the American lifestyle he had returned home from USA a decade ago to live his life in his country. He tried to do different things like yak-rearing, chicken farm but didn’t succeed on it like he wanted. Finally he came with the idea of wireless computer technology in Nangi village and with the help of some foreign volunteers and his contacts he succeeded in fulfilling his dream of joining this remote village with world which also earned him the Magsaysay award of this year.

After winning this award, he became center of media. Most of the daily newspapers of Nepal covered this news with banner headlines, he was interviewed in most of the electronic media and there was talk about his struggle and success. Within days, he became the house-hold name in society. For his success he was felicitated in many different programs from different organizations and community. As he is from Magar community as well, the community took his success like its own and organized different programs to congratulate him.

In felicitation programs, I was surprised to see our Ramon Magsaysay winner. He was nothing like we would normally expect to see. It was felicitation program for him so I had thought he would appear in formal dress. But, he was there in his slippers and something like a jogging dress! I found him very simple, man of few words and shy…and obviously the person who does things without caring what others say. We can assume him as a man who prefers to do things with his own ideas, process and on his own time. He said,” I didn’t do anything new; I just used the thing differently that was already invented by someone else. Like Coca-Cola industry did by adding “something” in solution of sugar and water to make Coke. We don’t need to invent new thing…they are already discovered by on or two already so what we can do is use that discovered thing differently!”

When I go to any kinds of program, usually I find most of the speakers/leaders if asked to say few words on something…they will forget that “something” and go on babbling about “You know I did this and I did that…blah…blah…” There are so many people with only words, no action! And there was Pun who says “well, I am glad to win the prize but I am not excited. I always worked as if I had duties to carry out. I was not doing anything by expecting any award!” I remember one of his interview in local FM radio where he was accused of not appreciating enough for the award he got by some audience.

Over all, when I observed him, the way Nepali people and media jumped with the pride at his success…to me it seemed he was wondering What all this fuss was about! May be that was the reason for him saying, “well, the way media is saying things about me…coming back to Nepal leaving all the facilities and good life opportunities in USA as my greatness, I don’t think it as so. It was my self-interest to be back home, I preferred to be home than in America, I don’t see anything greatness in it!”

Yup, he is surely a man of difference!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Rakshya Bandhan




Today is Rakshya Bandhan (Protection-Bond) day. Whole day whichever channel I switched to there were programs on the importance of this day. Indian TV-serials were continuously broadcasting about the celebration of festival by showing the affection between brothers and sisters. The festival that celebrates the bond between brothers and sisters…Every year, sister ties a kind of decorated thread on her brother’s hand to make sure that her brother is safe from every evil thing. This also gives responsibility to a brother to look after his sister, protect her from any danger that might come on her way. A day that is celebrated to mark the protecting relationship of siblings, is not of my Magar community so is not celebrated by us. I had not even heard of it till I had come to the capital of my country. But, we too have other festivals that celebrate the bond of siblings! Therefore, this day which is celebrated in the same theme of my culture’s festival “Maghe-Sankrati” brought back my memories with my brothers and I missed them!

I have always considered myself as a lucky person because I am blessed with three big brothers and they are the greatest brothers of the world! They have named me with their fevourite TV serials characters so I have more than five names. They baby-sat me and carried me on their back. Brushed my hair, even did my laundry. They were there to hold my hands when I was just learning to walk for the first time. They were there to teach me speak my first word then they were there to teach me how to write my first word. From the moment of my birth they have been there for me…holding my hands and giving their tremendous strength, encouragement and support for me to walk in my life with dignity, dream and direction!

Thank you brothers, for being there for me, always!






(P.S. Tholo da, Mahila da and Aju as you all are geographically far away from me right now I miss you all. It would have been great if we were all in one place and had verities of greatly cooked food by our angel bhauju with jokes and chit-chat that we used to have. Also on this day, I want to say how much I Love You and How lucky I feel to be born as your sister. I am proud of myself to be your sister. Thank you so much for being my brothers and loving me as you do!)

Friday, June 15, 2007

DANCING COMDRATES!
















Today is going to be one of my most memorable days in life. Three day long "Bhumya Puja" or "Bal Puja" (worshipping the Earth) of Rukum-Rolpa Magar community has started so 4 top-maoists leaders from Magar community- Badal, Suresh Ale Magar, Ananta and Pasang were there. It was my first time that I had meet Badal and had a small chat...well, it was something, a feeling of joy! It was great!! :)
But what took me by total surprise is when they started dancing "Bal Dance"! I couldn't believe it with my eyes. I was even more surprised when they were dancing as if it was their profession....so comfortable with dancing! Well may be it is because when I think of dancing I have cold sweat!
Okey, now enough of my chit-chat, let me introduce our dancers! On the topmost; he is our Member of Parliament Mr. Santosh Budha Magar. Then on right side there are Pasang, Journalist Ujir Magar and Magar Youth Leader Jhakendra Gharti and on left side there are Suresh Ale and Pasang . Then further down on right side there is our Badal...enjoying! and on left side Suresh Ale in dance-action! Now the last one is...when they got tired they took short break before they started dancing again! They are Badal, Ananta, Suresh Ale and Jhakendra. They look just Magar with "pheta" on their head, all "not so tall", all with that mongolian nose...short and small, small eyes and of course look at them...all look so healthy; makes us know that Goddess Demeter loves them!
My fevourites were Suresh Ale and Santosh Budha. They were just great!! Should not be missed if you want something memorable in your life. I can guarantee that!!!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Students' Future Under Cloud!


In the same season of last year, I remember; a dozen of young girls in school dress were laughing and whispering to each-other at the backside of the Khulamanch where Maoist’s ‘Victory Mass Meeting’ was going on. On background we could hear one of the representatives of Maoists Women Association giving speech to the huge mass gathering. However, the girls didn’t seem noticing.

When I had approached them, they had looked at me with those innocent but curious eyes.

After talking to them I had come to know that they were there to participate in the mass meeting.

One of the girls, Ramila Maharjan studying in grade 9 in Shree Sharaswati Higher Secondary School, Thochu, Lalitpur had told that she was happy at the success of peace talk and was hopeful that there will be a peace in the country. She had also added that, with the new crack of dawn in the politics of the country there will be changes in the school policy as strikes and bandhs has ruined the life of students.

That was the hope of not only Ramila but of every students of this country when peace talk was success between Maoists and the contemporary government last year. However, that was the hope of last year! It was THEN, it is NOW! Now, when I look around I don’t know what Ramila and other whole students are thinking, wishing, hoping or praying for at this moment. I don’t know about them but, I am disappointed and frustrated! I regret for Hoping. Especially right now!

Today, there is a Kathmandu Valley bandh called by agitating ‘teachers and students’ unions - Educational Republic Forum (ERF) and All Nepal National Independent Students Union-Revolutionary (ANNISU-R). The strike is against the lathicharge on the protesting teachers and students outside the Ministry of Education in Kathmandu on Friday that left about 80 teachers seriously injured.

It has been more than a week that schools and higher secondary schools have been closed by agitating teachers and students who are protesting against the problems of private school charging hefty fees, and are also demanding in the rise of teachers’ salary with facilities. There was a call for dialogue from government but after Friday’s incident it is under cloud. If something is not done to solve the problem sooner then students’ life will be under thicker and darker cloud in coming days than it is now, it is for sure!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Wounds yet to Heal!


When her name was called she had slowly stood up and with tears rolling down her face had told “My daughter should have been alive.” Her daughter was tortured to death by Army after a group rape in army detention camp (2004). She was just 14 years old and was studying in nine grades.

Last year, Devi Sunuwar, mother of victimized Maina Sunuwar had come in the program organized by the Amnesty International Nepal on the occasion to celebrate 6th Anniversary of the UN Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. When she had started her heart breaking story about loosing an innocent daughter, whole hall had fallen into silence and there was not a single face that didn't go through the same pain, fear and anger of Sunuwar. I was not the exceptional one in that group of people.

I experienced and saw the same expression on participants' face last week when watching a documentary "Dwanda Ra Balatkar: Shesh Smriti" (Conflict and Rape: A Relic) based on the stories of victimized women from both parties; government (army) and Maoists rebels in 12 years of Maoist movement in the country.

In these 12 years of civil war, we saw different faces of conflict and decadence of humanism. More than 13,000 people lost their life and almost everyone lost their loved ones and relatives. Pain of losing loved ones was one side of the war on the other side was the suffering that women and children had to go through. Like in every war of the human history, in this war too women were the most victimized compared to others. Some of them were group raped when they had gone to jungle for timber and grass, some were raped and physically tortured in the name of rebel or government spy and some were raped and kicked with boots infront of their family even infront of their husband. Whether they are Sarita, Kajal, Sita or Radha they all went through same pain- group rape and physical torture from both parties. Some lost their lives, some lost their reasoning power, and some regained their unconscious state after months of sickness and yet are afraid to speak about it due to the fear of being punished by involved parties and also outcast by the society. Devi Khadka, Maoist rebel (now she is a member of House of Representatives) was raped by army in detention center, through her story we came to know rape was even used as one of the war strategies. Numbers of women were abducted by Maoists too who were also sexually abused and used as sex-satisfying objects in their camps. Therefore, when I saw the documentary I strongly came to realize that this war is painted with tears and blood of innocent women.

New dawn in the country came with the success of Jana-Andolan I and II in 2006, peace-talk was a success and there was a hope of human rights being restored. People believed that persons responsible for tortures and murder will be punished and they will get justice. But, it seems our hopes will just remain hopes and nothing more as I read in the Kantipur daily on Monday (May 21) that about 35 police and army alleged of abuse and murders by Raimajhi Committee were just given punishment of 2 years without promotion by government.

If people alleged with murder, rape are out of the allegation this easily I will not be surprised at all when victimized people's families take states law in their hand to punish the guilty ones. We all know how "catharsis" works!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

MY FIRST STEP!


16th Friday'07, it was a day of excitement, a day of expectations and a day for search of lots of unanswered questions. For a girl that hardly dares to leave the lovingly-protected familiar surroundings - it was a challenge! But, as I am also a lover of challenges I accepted that challenge and kept that part of "ME" tightly locked in the house who always wants to be under the wings of family protection. My family supported my decision as I think they knew I was finally ready to see what life has kept for me. So, that day I prepared myself to take my first step towards my career as a Journalist.

Early morning, around 5:30 my brother Ajay dropped me at Ratnapark where a bus that would take me to Hetauda was waiting. As I was earlier than other participants I got chance to make myself comfortable in a nice seat. While I was sitting there I went through the program schedule of my visit. Program was to attend the Annual Meeting of Nepal Magar Students Association which was starting at 10 am of that day and was supposed to end next day afternoon so that we would be back to Kathmandu by Saturday night. I also had made my own plans about what I will be doing while I was attending the program. To carryout my plans I was fully prepared (really?); a camera to capture the event, a notebook and many pens and pencils to jot down about the program, quotations of speakers and decisions made by organizers; some papers and a book to read on the bus and finally my bag contained something which was not totally a journalistic equipments and that was my Magar dress! I smiled at my preparation and made my mind to make good use of everything that was in my bag.

When bus finally started moving around 7 o'clock I took a deep breath and wondered what experiences I will be gathering in Hetauda. They say journalists have a sense of knowing things before it really happens. Well, to tell you the truth, I couldn't think of anything, my head was totally blank. I had no idea what happens in the annual meetings of students as it was the first time I was participating in such programs. Moreover, it was my first visit to Hetauda which also worked as a banning agent to my assumptions and imaginations. So, what was happening next was a total mystery for me. This heightened the feeling of adventure in me and at the same time made me think if I have enough qualities to be a good journalist. You must be wondering why I am questioning myself on my chosen career. Don't worry, when you finish reading this article you will know why.

It was a big bus and was carrying more than 100 Magar students including me, of course! When I looked around in the seats of a bus I saw some familiar faces in the crowd of total strangers. There were also some girls who were as strangers to me as others were. Though they were total strangers I felt as if I knew them, as if they were close relatives. Here, I need to say one thing, I am not a racist and I can't know what other will think when I say I definitely feel comfortable to be around my community rather than in another community just the way I feel unthreatened when I am with my family from other people. I will never take loving my family more than my neighbor as being racist or indifferent to my neighbor. I take it as a human nature, to want to be in a place where you think you belong. I also take it as a kind of existential crisis. Everyone is in search of owns identity and it is easier to find that in the community which is familiar to you. Wanting to belong somewhere is a social nature of human. And it is undoubtedly easier for the person to have a feeling of belonging in the community which brought him/her up. So, not feeling them as strangers though I had never met them before was not me being racist instead it was a feeling of commonness as we share more or less similar kind of cultural values. So, I don't feel guilty about my feelings of belonging there. I have to respect myself to respect others. Same way, to respect the world I have to respect my country and to respect my country I have to respect my society and my community. If only I can love myself I will be able to love others. And I believe, loving oneself more is not being selfish; we just have to keep in mind that when loving oneself more it doesn’t make us hate others and indifferent to others existence…now, where was I? Ohh…I was in bus introducing myself with other Magar students. After introduction with others, Mahesh dai to whom I have known for about 2 years, who is a singer as well as a poet and song-writer came to sit next to me. He was also going as a journalist/photographer to Hetauda. We updated about ourselves and talked about everything. When we had started talking I had thought we would not be able to discuss lots of things and get chance to ask some of my important questions about the meeting. But, when I had finished my every queries I was surprised to find out after 2 hours of leaving Ratnapark we had not even passed the Thankot. While talking I had not even realized we were in traffic jam! I can't believe myself how I can want and believe to be a future good journalist when I forget to see what's happening around.

As it was also a Shivaratri we were stopped from place to place with rope on road by children and youth to ask for money; a kind of charity. As I recall it, we were at least stopped in 20 places by them which was the reason for us to reach Hetauda around 3 pm. As we were students we didn't give any money to any groups instead I noticed some guys teasing the girls who were stopping us for donation. In the bus I also happen to enjoy the live Dohori competition between girls and boys. They had good voice and their theme of the song was very funny for me as they were flirting with each other through song. It was lots of enjoyment. However, I didn't stay awake enough to enjoy it fully. When bus had started I had felt my stomach not in so jolly mood which of course effected my head and I felt sick as soon as bus started to move in full speed. So, to stop from the churning headache I closed my eyes and tried to sleep which I eventually did. It helped me from stopping to throw-up. When I woke up fully, I was in Hetauda, still feeling sleepy. This sleepiness and sickness habit of me made me miss beautiful sceneries on the way which is another habit I would love to kick out of me!

After everyone got out of bus we prepared for rally and within some time we were marching towards our destiny…the stage where our program was going on. When we entered the gate everyone turned their heads towards us and welcomed us with applause. I smiled and bowed my head before rushing to take pictures of speakers in the program. With other journalists and photographers; I was there standing infront of the people and trying to get the good picture of everyone and everything that I felt would give some news sense. I was clicking pictures when Mahesh dai came to me and said he had not had lunch that day which made me feel very hungry myself as I realized I also had had nothing. So, around 5 o’clock we went outside and had some shale-roti and tea. That was our breakfast, lunch and snacks of that day! When we returned to the program from tea-house it was already dark and program was coming to end. I clicked some pictures and we were led to OM CHALACHITRA GHAR by volunteers where continuation of program was to take place.

Around 7 o’clock, the entertainment program started. Magar dances were performed by the participants and organizers along with songs, jokes and music. It was very enjoyable! After we were fed by fun we were offered food which definitely tasted real good though rice was half-cooked, dal was too salty and curry was too little. After dinner at 12 o’clock our program “Banda-Shatra” started. Central Committee Members along with President Bhojbikram Budha Magar sat on the stage while representatives and participants sat in chair with eyes half closed and yawning at least two times in every five minutes. We; photographers and journalists stood between stage and audience-chair to click pictures of both side easily. There were specially four people to click pictures :- Mahesh dai, Chhabi dai, Padam dai and me. We made plans to check everyone in every corner to click pictures of those who slept most funnily. It was the game to keep ourselves awake. We would click pictures and show each-other and have a great laugh between ourselves. The plan worked well. Our President was in the center of the stage and after 5 minutes of the program had started I noticed something which made me smile. He was dozing and if nothing will be done by nobody I was sure he would find himself flat on floor with his face down. As I saw no one was ready to do anything I went for his rescue. I took my weapon with me: my camera and with sign language told to the person sitting next to him to push him a little so that I could take picture of him. The person understood and did as I had asked so when our President opened his eyes, right at that time my camera flashed…Click! Later when I saw the picture, our president was as confused as a newly baby is when it suddenly sees light for the first time. My group had good laugh and it helped us to stay awake for a minute longer.

The night was so cold, at first taking a nap in the chair was impossible for me. But, around 3:30 in morning when annual report from Central Committee was being presented my leg sent me a secret signal that it can stand no longer so I went to sit next to Mahesh dai who was taking rest for his eyes as well as his legs and camera. After 5 minutes of rest my eyes must have got jealous of my legs as they would not open when I tried to. It was impossible for me to read the report and next thing I realized was my ear also started to send me the sound as if it was from far-far away while the big volume-box was just in front of me. Everything felt useless at that moment so I gave myself to the Goddess of sleep with a big yawn. When I woke up I looked at my watch and found it was already quarter to 4. Stretching myself in chair I looked at the places where my friends were standing to click pictures before I took a nap. I didn’t see them so I turned my head here and there and gave a laugh when I saw them all asleep in chairs next to mine. They were sleeping in such a pathetic and laughable style that I was about to take their pictures but they awoke before I could succeed at my plan. Wide awake we got ready for our job again till the program ended at 7 am. I came out of the cinema hall to wash my face and brush my teeth. As I had no toothpaste I went to buy one and brushed in the water from tank along with some other participants. Still I did not feel fresh…I was drowsy, tired and about to collapse. At this time I understood the meaning of my teachers sentence “Journalist’s life is a life of a dog! 24 hours job and not a career for the house-dolls!” Well said! But hey, I don’t want to be a house-doll and I am not going to be the one!!

As we had finished our program earlier than expected we hit the road around 9 am for Kathmandu after we had our breakfast. Everyone slept in the bus as soon as they were in seat, of course excluding the driver, helper and ME! I really wanted to sleep but due to the girls problem (monthly periods) my stomach and back started paining so hard that I could not breath well. That made me stand mostly the half way home. It was painful and I felt nature has really done injustice to women. But what to do? It is a real problem but then life will lose its value if there is no struggle, no pain and no obstacles in the way. And we need to be prepared to face anything as my brothers tell me. From this time I am going to be ready, prepared for these things so that they won’t make me weak to go for my destiny, my dream and my aim.

So, this was my first visit to Hetauda and to that kind of program. It was one of the great experience of my life. When I came back from the Hetauda I felt I knew more about myself. I got lots of ideas about how my life will be in future. And most of all, I met many people from around the country, listened to their ideas, their opinion, their perspectives of looking at the things and shared mine too. What can I ask for more when I got something that is going to shape my future. These experiences and information have given me a treasure-box where I am going to add more of my coming days experiences to make it full so that I can be what I am planning to be in coming days by utilizing these treasures. I know I don’t have enough qualities of a good journalist right now but this kind of experiences are going to be my base, my root which will give me enough strength in the future to be what I have always dreamed of - a good journalist.

Thanks to those who are helping me to realize my dream, my destiny and are always by my side to support me in every step that I have been taking since I was born!!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

WATER: TEARS OF US!


I have to write this. I have to…else there is the chance that I might get mad or even die. There is a heaviness in my whole body specially in my heart and it is tormenting my mind. It seems as if my whole being is questioned. I don't know if I can think properly and live normally when the whole world of mine has turned upside down.

Yesterday, was a day I cried. Cried…you will think women usually CRY! No, not me including many women you have not met yet. We know our tears. It is precious to us! It doesn't only wash our pain in this world which you have so kindly made ONLY Yours, it also makes us strong to live and struggle for life and death.

Drops by drops my tears fell from my eyes. And I let them fall. That was my tribute to those who changed the traditional social evils for us but had to live the life of hell themselves. I saluted their bravery, bowed my head for their determination…their vision and their search for Truth.

I knew it was just a movie. A movie that dealt with problems of widow-system in India during early 19th century. Still, from the starting of the movie I totally forgot it was just a movie. I could not hold myself in one piece. I felt I was the one suffering in that screen. It hit me right in my heart.

The year is 1938. It starts with Chuiya; a young girl of about seven years old who suddenly finds herself a widow. She even doesn't remember she was married and she had a husband, still her hair is shaved and she is given the white clothes to put on. And, as the society demands she is sent to a widow house where she dreams of returning home one day as she truly believes her Ma will come to take her from there. But, then with time she realizes her dream was an illusion. She becomes an old lady in her childhood. She looses her childishness that had brought little bit of colour in the house and becomes used to with the color of black and white. In the house she mainly becomes close to other two widows : a young woman Kalyani (Lisa Ray) and middle aged woman Kaushalyadevi (Sheema). Both of them also don't remember who their husbands were as when they became widow they were of same age as Chuiya. Kalyani is a beautiful woman and she is used as a money maker by house's main widow (Moti-Budhi as Chuiya calls her) by sending her to sleep with high-class people of that place. She is allowed to put long hair and in different room far from other widows. Her revolt starts unknowingly when she keeps a dog without others knowledge. This revolt of hers leads to the decision of her re-marriage with a young man Narayan (John Abraham), student of Law who is though from higher family believes in equality and re-structuring of society. He is one of the follower of Gandhi who fought to bring the changes in the condition of widows as well. But, she is punished for her decision, her hair is chopped and she is locked in the room by the "Moti-budhi" and convinces others that sin will be upon them if Kalyani re-marries.

Devastated with grieve and helplessness of Kalyani, Chuiya kills the Mitthu; a parrot of "Moti-Budhi" while Kaushalyadevi who spends her life in search of salvation (god) by listening to Priest preaching Veda asks priest if widows could re-marry. He says Veda gives widows three options: to go Sati on her husband's pyre, spent whole life as a punishment in search of salvation by ignoring every human desires of happiness and pleasure or to marry with the younger brother of her previous husband. But, he also adds that recently the nation had passed one law that supported widow marriage. This gives her strength to free Kalyani to go to marry Narayan. Kalyani runs to meet Narayan and he takes her to his home to get married. Suddenly, on their half way to his home after knowing the name of his father Kalyani decides against her decision of marriage with Narayan. Later Narayan knows his idle father's true face; the face of hypocrisy; the face of women exploiter.

Kalyani returns to the widow house but she is not allowed to enter by the Moti-budhi. With no where to go she decides to drown herself to death. Her death brings chaos in the life of Chuiya and Kaushalyadevi. Chuiya wants to go home again while Kaushalya tries to find the truth of life. At this time, the incident of Chuiya being sent to the house of high class person as Kalyani was sent to by Moti-budhi changes everything. When Kaushalya finds Chuiya physically abused (raped) she looks after the sick Chuiya. At the same time she hears Gandhi was in their town so carrying Chuiya she goes there to see him. Gandhi before leaving the place by train says, "Brothers and Sisters, before I used to believe God was Truth but now I have come to realize Truth is the God!". Kaushalya runs after train and gives Chuiya to Narayan telling him to give her to Gandhi. She stands in rail-track looking at train then at the place where she came from. This way there is a beginning of their new life; Chuiya is able to leave the society which is so rooted in the mud that would have engulfed her if she had not left while Kaushalya is sure to defy the exploitation done upon widows as she knows what is the Truth of life. This is their new beginning…

The movie is fantastic. Thanks to Deepa Mehta who has been able to show the society of that time through the eyes of three women of different generation. She has given birth to three most amazing women of that time who are within us too.

Apart from the story, cast and the presentation what I appreciate most is the use of symbols in the movie. Everything is presented symbolizing something and yet within this also there is simplicity to understand what it really wants to give. The title of the movie; "WATER" is itself very symbolic. Water…must have been made from the tears of those women who were forced to detach themselves from society, exploited by the higher class people and kept away from their desires. It also could mean the Society where women like Kalyani are drowned to death and like Chuiya will have to struggle to bloom like a lotus flower does in the muddy water.

At last I wonder why Indian Hindu fundamentalist vandalized the filming set of the Oscar nominated movie. People might think it is the movie condemning the Hindu religion. But, I didn't find such thing in the movie. It has certainly condemned the society but not religion. And even if it is to condemn the religion there was that kind of trend during that time, its written in the history so when someone tries to show that part of society why to get so aggressive and violent. Moreover, there is balance in the movie, it is not condemning the religion but to those people who have misread and followed it according to their vested interest in the name of religion. Narayan stands for the person who has understood the true religion. He, playing flute (murali) shows his love towards his religion (Krishna). He and the Priest who reads Veda to widows are standing as an idol Hindu people. They have understood and followed their religion in right way. So, more than saying it against the religion we should say that this movie is against the people who forced the society to become the vase to fulfill their vested interest in the name of religion. It is against the so-called high class, intellectual people who mislead the society.

This movie gave me insight that I was unable to achieve before. My life will never be same from this day. WATER has changed something inside me…it has awakened me for good!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Celebrating my 75th Birthday!


Tomorrow I am going to celebrate my 75th birthday!

I know, my husband is going to celebrate it exactly the way he has been celebrating it every year for 10 years.

Early morning, he will wake up and whisper me a "birthday song" that he wrote it for me when we had celebrated my birthday together for the first time. With a bright smile of his he will then look up at my photo that's hanging on the wall in front of him. With tears in his eyes he will come near and give a kiss to it. Touching his heart then he will go to the park that we had painted with our laughs and shaded with our tears. In that park, there is the old broken wooden bench where we sat every time we visited the park and created our most intimate memories. He will sit on that bench, carefully put a red rose on the right side of bench where I always sat. He will sit there whole day remembering all those vivid memories that made our life so great. During day if he finds some good listener, he will tell the person our simple love story which was great in itself from first meeting to the last goodbye.

Exactly 55 years back I had met him when I was participating in a special program. Umm…I don't know what was the program about but it was a special program. I remember it because I met the most special person of my life there – my life partner- with whom I was to spent my coming 40 golden years.

That day I was sitting with my friends; and attending the program had never been that boring in life. I was about to doze again ignoring my friends' annoyed murmurs about my sleepy-habit when I heard an opening of the door that made my head turn lazily towards it. There…there…my poor sleepyhead! From that moment it hardly got chance to sleep without the dreams of him in it. Because when my eyes set upon him I couldn't stop myself from staring. Like a fool I stared and stared with my mouths open at what I was seeing. I thought he was an apparition of a Cupid himself.

He must have felt something as he slowly turned and looked straight in my eyes. Oh boy! It shook my whole body with awe. I could do nothing, neither stop staring nor give my always ready dazzling-smile nor turn my head towards anything. Oh…yeah…wait, I remember one thing I did…I stopped breathing! What kind of magic or energy was it I have not found answer to it till today. But, I am sure it was a magic. What else could it be because what he could do to me has never been able to do by anybody. He just hold me right there with his eyes and I could do nothing…I mean Nothing! Not even blink my eyes. I felt butterflies in my stomach and so so helpless at my stupid behaviors. With the helpless feeling and frustrated at myself I was trying to come to my terms and do something when the most sweetest thing happened that was better than any chocolates of the whole world I had ever tasted in life – He Smiled! – that was how I fell head over heels in love with him.

Now, as I see him sleeping there the feeling that I feel in my heart is as it was at the first meeting, if not more. He still makes me breathless and restless. Even when I think of him butterflies are always there in my stomach. As I recall our life, from boyfriend and girlfriends we became husband and wife then parents and then grandparents. Everything changed, our responsibilities changed, our status changed, our life changed but what didn't change with changing time and changing circumstances is our love; love that brought power to cross every boundaries, every barriers.

It has been nearly 10 years since we said our last goodbye to each-other. He is in the world of life and I am in the world of death. But, nothing has changed between us. I still feel that magic, that energy of his which gives life to me and I know it is the same with him. He knows I am always around him to support and to love him the way he does to me.

Anyway, tomorrow is my birthday and I am celebrating it with him by sitting next to him on our bench listening him say his part of our-story. Call it a woman nature but I am worried a little as I am going to be 75 years old tomorrow I wonder if I have grown too old. May be he thinks I have grown old and not so beautiful anymore. I am going to ask him the question. If he says I am old and not beautiful then he better watch his mouth. He is gonna regret saying that and might as well have to spent days without me talking to him!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Knocking on Heaven's Door!


Let me tell you a story. A story about a girl. Girl that always wanted to die. Die…why? She herself didn't know the answer. But one thing was for sure there was a time when she would have been shocked if she had thought about killing herself.

When I had met her for the first time she had given me a bright smile with her introduction. Within minutes I had felt I knew her for years. She made me feel as comfortable as I am with myself. I thought I could talk about anything with her, share every dreams, every secrets, every smile and tears. That day she had walked into my heart and had made it her forever.

It seemed to me that she loved everything and almost everyone. Never complained about her life that was very simple when others observed. And, there was something about her that made her special. Special in a way that everyone loved her and appreciated her. Her sweet and all the time ready smile was something worth waiting for her arrival. That beautiful smile of hers was must for lots of people to have a beautiful day.

I had thought she must have never been touched by a wind that carries pain and tears as she was always jolly and always used to find something funny in everything to laugh about. But, if a person laugh, jokes and smiles all the time; it really doesn't mean that the person is happy and doesn't have any problems in life. I knew about it better on that day when I was roaming round SwayembhuNath. I was sitting on a little stone and trying to think about something good when I suddenly saw a familiar figure squatting near a tree which was near enough for me to see what was going on. I smiled when I realized it was her. But, I was surprised to find her so vulnerable. She seemed she was about to collapse. Her whole body seemed to be burning in pain. From where I sat I could see her tears rolling down her face. I could feel her pain right in my heart. I couldn't go to her and console or ask her anything because something made me see that she wanted to be by herself. Must have been her body language. She let those precious tears fall from her eyes for about a hour. Then she stood up, touched a tree with her left hand and said something to it or was it for someone else, God, who knows. She stood there for long time till her tears stopped and dried. And then she left. I just sat there staring at the tree where she had stood there and cried for long time. It felt like though she had left her pain was still there. My heart became heavy and my sight blurred with tears so I left the place as soon as possible without looking back.

Next day she didn't come to college. I had prepared myself to make her feel good and may be help in someway to lessen her pain. So, I waited for another day, another day and another day but she never came.

About a month later, I heard from friends that she was sick, nothing serious, no wounds, no disease, just sick then sometimes later I heard she had died. Died… how? Doctors never knew. They just knew she had nothing wrong with her body but still she died.
I know why…she was in pain, pain of loosing someone she loved more than anything in her life. I had seen it in her eyes. That pain could kill anyone. However, what she lost I also don't know…could be her love or could be her identity, could be anything!

Born in Wild!


I have always felt that I was born in wild. Wild where I grew up, where I bloomed. I loved the way air smelled there, loved being covered with dry leaves. A wild flower, a wild life!

But, one day in the world of well wishers, one of the well-wishers' saw me and thought I was too beautiful to be in wild. He must have thought who would protect me from rain, sunny days, birds or animals. So with every care of the world, he removed me from my ground. He took special care that none of my roots were damaged. I appreciated it!

He brought me to his world; planted me on his beautiful garden where lots of other flowers made of plastics were blooming. It was safe there. I was totally protected from almost everything. Temperature was just perfect for me, neither too cold nor too hot. Fences were around me so there was no fear of animals stamping me under their feet, no fear of heavy rain nor a flood. Everything was there. Soil under me were made nurtures for me. Never had to worry about water, nor food. Everything was provided in certain periods of time. I was fed!

He used to come to see me from time to time. Always looked at me with admiring eyes. It seemed as if I was the most precious thing in the world. I always enjoyed it. It was flattering! Later on he even brought his lots of friends to show me to them. Everyone looked awestruck by the bluish red color of my petals. They couldn't help themselves from touching me and smelling me. It felt good to have so many people interested on me so much. I smiled at them!

However, I always have a great wish to return to my home. I miss the smell of air, miss the damp sweet smelling soil, miss the sound of dry leaves falling around me, miss the music of rain which was always great to dance in. This world of love and protection is not my world. I love the attention, care given by him but this is not my world. I have always felt I don't belong here. Not that I have not tried to adjust in this world but my colors of petals, my whole being is changing, it is fading away… I am about to be just like others…plastic! So, I long for my wild where I was what I was. I didn't had to turn into something else to make someone happy.

Tomorrow, I am moving out of here!

Monday, February 19, 2007

BACK TO MY VILLAGE!

Finally after 9 years, my “not being able to go back to my own birthplace” record was broken. Can you express how you feel inside your heart when suddenly what you have been dreaming for years comes to your lap and smiles at you???? No…no…no… words can never be able to explain those heartbeats which beat faster and slower at the same time and also those butterflies you feel inside your stomach… That morning (28th October,05) I was feeling just like that. Racing of my heart could have been due to the excitement of visiting my village again; my birthplace where I spent some of my childhood days. But butterflies in my stomach were not certainly from excitements of seeing my village and relatives again. I am pretty sure of that b’coz it hadn’t started until I had seen the plane that was carrying me. Okey, it may not be a big problem for some people but for me it was like “Catch 22”. First of all, it was my first flight in a twin-otter plane, in fact it was my first flight in any plane! Secondly when I saw the plane it looked like it was going to collapse just infront of my eyes if I happen to touch it with my forefinger; its wings had been black like burned from something I have no idea of and it looked too old to carry any people inside it. Looking at it made me remember all the worst crashes that happened recently in all over the world and I could bet all of those planes must have been 100 times better than this! If I could have any other options I would have run after those options leaving everything behind but what to do I had to be a lamb and take my seat inside it. I guess you remember God very much when you feel you are in a real trouble. That was what I was doing when plane started its job. I was there sitting with my eyes shut and praying “PLZZZZZZZZ God don’t let this plane crash Else I’ll never worship you!” Thanks to my guts for warning God that I was safely landed in my district’s airport; God must have been afraid of me! Now seriously, I had never thought that I would be able to fly with clouds in my life but I did and it was a great experience. Along with this experience I realized how beautiful my country is and how it is formed; its topography. Everywhere there was greenery, smiling hills, laughing mountains, beautiful gorges and not even a single noticeable plain! Amazing!!

Hey..Hey you must be thinking that I have reached the home already. I am sorry but it’s a wrong guess. I have to walk on foot for 2 days from my district’s airport to reach my home. So, you can imagine how hard it could have been for me to walk on those beautiful hills after so long time. And we hardly get chance to walk on plain/straight road; its mostly either up-hill or down hill and believe or not there were so many landslides on the way and road was no where to be seen so we had to crawl like a baby with both legs and both hands. I even thought I was a goat; a very brave goat who is good enough to graze in landslides! Hehehe road is not the only problem, motels are hard to find too. By luck we found one and when I had the food of that motel I didn’t even take two spoons of it. That was not the end of the problem; real problem started when I couldn’t sleep due to insects bite…ohh what a horrible night! In morning I knew from my father that it was the best motel of that area. Yeah…I know it’s shocking! You know I never thought that My God had raised much more big leg to hit on my stomach than those things; I knew it next day. What happened is the most embarrassing thing in my life but I can make fun of it too. I was walking so well in the morning that I thought I was much more tough than I had thought to be. I was talking to my ‘on the way friends’, enjoying the beauty of nature and sunrise. But in noon, my 9 years of city life, hard walk of previous day, two spoons of dinner and sleepless night paid me with full price and even with some tips. There, I was sweating a cold sweat; even my knees were sweating! I had taken a rest after climbing up-hill then when I was about to stand on my foot I knew that I was not going to take 10 paces before I collapse. And BOOM I was right! I even didn’t make to 5 steps. I told I’ll take some more rest so I was there standing with a support of small rock then guess what? I slept there nearly for 15 minutes and when I opened my eyes it was a torture. Then came the most embarrassing thing…my father knew I’ll never be able to walk on my own to home so he hired a man to carry me home I never felt more embarrassed in my whole life. But my trouble of walking with swollen leg was finished and the trouble passed to a man who was carrying me (I am a real plump!). Hey…hey but I didn’t loose all of my dignity due to this b’coz I walked whenever plain and downhill road came!

When I reached home so many people had gathered in my house that it was like celebrating some kind of festival. And very awkward thing is that everyone was staring at me. I felt totally out of place for some time. They were staring at me like as if I was an alien. And I felt the same. Anyway everything was special there. I can never be able to write all the interesting things I did in one whole month. If I give in detail then next day you will be visiting eye hospital and your computer will have to visit or invite a mechanic. But I’ll not fail to say some of the interesting things that may make you think and laugh or even wonder! So what we are waiting for lets start…PLZ WAIT FOR SOMETIME…I AM DOWNLOADING …

Before going to my village I had thought that my village must have changed a lot but it really took me by surprise when I saw actually nothing much has changed in these years. The houses, Jungles, Ghatta (water mills used to grain flour), even trees look as they were before; not grown much! One thing that has changed is people have changed a lot when talking about physical appearances b’coz I didn’t recognize at least 90% of them. Other things are as before. There are no toilets; forget about bathrooms! I was really disappointed when I found “Back to Nature” sign still pasted in peoples head. Luckily, there is only one house which has toilet facility and that’s ours. Ohhh…what a relief! And that was the reason behind me for not staying in my relatives’ houses for long or for night. It’s a real problem!

Next thing is about my village school. It is called “Shree Prathamik Vidhyalaya” (Primary School) and when I looked at it my heart ached. Its condition was horrible. There were no tables and chairs in some of the classrooms and blackboards were in a horrible condition. There were no doors; lets forget about windows. Its roof was covered by steel tin and I was told that in every winter season it’s blown away by wind. And believe or not there are more than 200 students and only 4 teachers are assigned there and on the day of my visit there was only one teacher present. One of them had gone to neighbor village “Kingsi” as Maoists had called him to help them in making some of their documents. Other two had gone to their home some time before and had not returned since. So from this you know how terrible is the situation of our schools in rural areas of Nepal. I was told by the students of another school that in their school they get only about 2 months to study in whole year. I was shocked!

The Maoist Movement has disturbed the daily life of people. They don’t walk freely as they used to; there is fear in their eyes and heart. They are not drop-dead frighten of the Maoists as they used to when the movement had started but there is still fear. However, most of them (except Maoists) don’t believe that movement is going to bring any good in their life. They say that those people who are thieves, murderers, using force upon innocent people to fulfill their needs etc..etc can never be able to get own government or changes. To bring some changes they need support from people but they do the acts which makes people to hate them.’ I heard complains about them all the time. Due to this movement many civil people have lost their life—no crime but have paid with their life, innocence people are being killed by both side (government side too) and there is no one to talk on their behalf. Human Right activists are confined only in urban areas while real incidents take place in rural areas. Many of them don’t know about human rights and they don’t expect anything from them because they know nothing is going to happen. Moreover which one of so called human right activists is ready to go in those rural areas and spent their days instead of being focus of the camera in urban areas for speaking in what they call human right. Not only their life is in danger in a sense of loosing it but it is hard to live there because all the development activities are in dormant state. Schools are most of the time-closed b’coz sometimes teachers and some times students are abducted. All the government offices are closed as respective officers don’t go to rural areas because of the fear of Maoist abduction and have to pay certain amount of money from their salary they have demanded else their life can be in danger. People have to give food or anything they want, have to go wherever they want them to go to join in the programs they’ve organized (sometimes it can take days) else they are fined. When I was in village they had asked our village people to collect some snacks and garlands from each house as they had organized the Farewell Program for their militia. So, I went along with many people to our neighbor village by taking snacks and garlands. Found out that the program was the next day so I just went to see the school where Maoists were staying for some weeks (school was being used by Maoists army for their shelter!), some of them were playing volleyball, and I was told that others were taking classes on the topic “Why Maoists Revolution” I got the suggestion I should join them . I got chance to talk with one of the head of the Maoist army and with a Maoist Journalist. Because they suspect new peoples to be CID or government spy so they don’t talk openly however when talking he (Army) accused me of being selfish. He told how indifferent we (urban areas people mainly students) are of the situation of the country and we are so selfish that we just think about how to get a degree and earn the living , care nothing about what is happening in the country and how other people are living in other areas. He told that others pain don’t touch us and we just think about how to live our life in luxury. It was too much for me so I also accused him of being selfish ! Just kidding!!! I told him that we are trying to be in a stable position before doing something for others; “first of all you need to be standing yourself before you give your hand to help others stand” and that’s not all, not raising weapons against government doesn’t mean that we are indifferent to our social problems. Living in urban areas doesn’t mean that we are not aware about what’s going on in our surrounding. Then to settle my anger I said that he was selfish enough to carry gun while I am selfish enough to carry pen. Then we talked for 2 hours on their ways of life, why joined the Maoist army; later knew that police forced them to join b’coz police tortured them, burned their houses, raped their sisters and mothers, killed some of their relatives. Then came journalist with whom I had good talk. He told about the formation of “Prachanda-Path”, told it was the synthesis of Marx to Che-Guavara’s theory. When asked while mixing all the theories of Marx, Lenin, Mao and so on isn’t there any chances of formation of stinging eschew which doesn’t have any taste of any vegetables he told that there won’t be coz they have got only positive aspects of those theories and they have looked at it that they fit and co-ordinate/help each-other to survive. While talking about why abduction of students and teachers he told that it was very necessary to make them understand why and for what reasons they are doing all this. He even complained that while telling them in their houses they don’t take those things in their mind. Whatever they have told in ten years and not understood by them is understood by them in ten days when they abduct them. Surprising! He told they believe in Materialistic dialectism and so they are running a cultural revolution. He told it was very important as most of the superstitious thinking are due to religious and cultural believes. We discussed on this for hours but I wasn’t convinced neither he was on my opinions about cultural values for identity. Next time in another village (where many Maoist army’s were staying for some weeks before they go to another village) I got chance to meet the commissar (I think! Can be assistant of commissar!) of the Maoist army who was a woman. I had told them I wanted to meet their head they told she was studying. So I went to shop to bye some bangles for my nephews. While I was buying one of the M.army came with gun on her hand ready to be fired. She came to me asked me to come outside when I went outside with her she was furious and asked why I wanted to meet their head and why I came without meeting her. I told her my reasons and she said they had thought I was some kind of CID so they had come after me to search…I gave her my brilliant smile and a nod of understanding but I heard my heart throbbing against my ribs doing bip…bip…boom…boom… Anyway after that I went to meet her and talked about the condition of women in their army and other stuffs. Interesting thing is that when I asked her why she made that village people to go and make toilets in another village (which takes days on foot, waste of time; and so much to walk- hard for people) instead of making them to do in their own village. She laughed and told that they were telling people to clean their surrounding, put surrounding healthy, make toilets but they never listened to them so as punishment they took villagers to another village for 15 days to make toilets in those villages. “If they don’t make their village and houses clean why not to make them clean others then may be they will realize they need to put their houses and surroundings clean.” It was not too bad idea but people hate them for making them do that. There are not only bad impact on people due to this movement. There is tremendous change in the behaviors of the people in aspect of caste. Before there was a big problem due to differences in so called high caste and low caste. Now I saw changes, people are not so narrow minded about caste as before, it’s not totally demolished but changes are taking place. So called high caste people didn’t used to eat by sitting together with low caste but now they really don’t care much. They are somehow okey with it. They have started drinking “Raksi” (local alcohol) from low caste people, however they haven’t started eating dinner or lunch yet but I think that day is not so far when they will start and nothing will come between them to even share one kitchen. Another thing is that they have somehow controlled in too much consumption of alcohol. They allow to drink a little but don’t allow to drink much to get drunk. They have appointed representatives in different sectors (health, cleaning, looking at social problems etc.) in a village and they organize meetings time to time. There if anyone does something naughty or wrong things then they take the person with them for months as a punishment. That’s not too bad for a change I think! But many innocent people are killed when they attack on army as they make villagers to carry dead bodies and wounded army’s from the war place to safer place. Another thing that I didn’t like is that they don’t allow villagers to celebrate Dashain and Tihar and some of other festivals because of that Dashain and Tihar were not like it used to be. There were no traditional dances and singing so it was not as much fun but we did celebrate it. From this I don’t know if I should judge them and their work but when I met them I realized they are after something they believe in else why to spend days of precious life in jungles, wars instead of living with family and sleeping in own house instead of caves.


Do you believe in supernatural things? Well before visiting my village I didn’t really used to believe but now I am confused… my cousin brother was sick with his swollen right hand and lots of body pain when I had met him. I told him to visit hospital and go for through chek-up in district hospital (takes about one day walk! Yep there are no hospital facility near by) but he said it was due to family deity. He told me about his weird dream, not actually a dream. He was just taking a nap (half asleep) when suddenly an old man with white hair appears from nowhere and hardly slaps him on cheek and tells that “Why did you had buff?” and twist his right hand. Suddenly he wakes up with a pain in his hand and within a second the hand is swollen and he gets terrible pain in his body. Over here I need to tell you something weirder. In my family (I mean including my cousins, blood related family) we have family deity who looks after us; it is believed! And you know they show in certain area that they exist. Its hard to believe who live in materialistic world I know but men of my family can not have buff meat after they are married. I am not kidding! They get sick if they eat buff. They can eat buff while they are bachelors but after marriage they are not allowed. If they happen to eat by chance they loose hearing power, loose sound; are not able to talk, get blind etc… and the only way to get out of those punishment is to call upon shamans (we call Jhakri) and let them do their work. Sometimes you have to sacrifice chickens, even sheep/goats in deity’s name as he demands through shamans. Then BOOM!!! two to three days later the person is fit and fine. Same thing happened with my cousin brother. He called shamans, they did their process of healing by mantras for whole night and a day and after two days when I met him he was fit and fine and working in the field. Can you believe it? This is not the only example I got about this, I got many other things I’ll share them if you promise not to be bored by these stuffs. Another funny thing about my family deity’s rule is that married daughters of the family are not allowed to go near the place where we worship him. If the married daughter goes there then she is punished just like men who eat buff, sometimes he can twist your head to only one direction, make you whole body swollen. Then again you have to call shamans. What to do b’coz doctors are no help in these matters!

Let me tell you about my favorite picture I tried to take but somehow was not able to. I saw my favorite fruits “Gofla” hanging in the clump with thorns. So one day I went there, checked the spot, chose the best fruit to be captured by my camera, made myself a small place to hang myself on a branch that clump while clicking pictures. Got my cloths tore by thorns, nearly broke my spectacles when I slipped down from my hanging place, got thorns under my skin, couldn’t click the picture b’coz camera didn’t work due to darkness in the clump but I didn’t give up. I put my mission for next day to get my task done while sun gives light to it. Nest day I went but still my camera didn’t work as it was dark in the clump though sun was smiling bright and beautiful. Had to do some work so put my task again for next day for noon. Next day I went to the place and tried to click, still camera didn’t work b’coz of dim light there. So, I went to home to get some chopping materials to chop down some branches to let sunlight enter upon the fruit I wanted to have picture of. My dog was hungry so I was feeding her while my little cousin brother (I have about more than 100 cousin brothers!) came with the most sweet innocent smile on his face and told me “Smita didi! I have got you your fev. Fruits. Here you go!” He handed me fruits and I thanked him. After he was gone I looked at those fruits he had brought for me and smiled. But my smile faded away as one of them looked too much familiar for me. I checked it again and again. To be sure I went to the clump. Climbed on it and saw model of my most-wanted-to-be-picture was gone. I burst in laughter right there, ran home to tell my grandma who said, “your brother is good at solving problems!” we shared the laugh till tears fell from our eyes. Then I took that fruit to grandma and we satisfied our stomach together! I had not let her pick that fruit when she had tried to by telling her my plans and she was most of the time around me seeing every silly activities of me!

Over all I enjoyed my holiday to the fullest no matter what happened on the way to home. It was much more like reviving my childhood memories, learning about my culture, tradition and daily life of people living there. I worked in field, did cattle rearing, went to jungle to collect timbers, dry leaves and grasses and experienced the daily life in that place. Most important thing is that I got time to be with my parents in the place where I belong. I tried to understand everything and everyone and the way world moves around there. I saw happiness in pain; though their daily life has turned upside down due to civil war, they have not forgotten to laugh. Their innocence eyes still sparkle when they smile. They have not forgotten the humanity. But their tolerance capability seems to be reaching at its highest point, which is about to burst. I felt silence talking. And felt my body shiver!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

General secretary of NEFIN been attacked

General secretary of NEFIN been attacked
Kathmandu, Feb 15.

Ram Bahadur Thapa Magar, General Secretary of Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) was attacked by some youths and has been seriously wounded in Kalanki.

Indigenous and marginalized people had called for Kathmandu valley bandh on Thursday to give government pressure to address indigenous and marginalized people's demand of their representation in New Nepal's constitution. To make it a successful bandh Magar had gone to Kalanki when the incident happened. He was taken to Kathmandu Model Hospital where he regained his consciousness. He had to have about 12 stitches on the back and side of his head.

Talking to journalists he said, "After we asked local shopkeepers and vehicle-users to support our bandh I was standing alone on the road side when about 16 youths came and attacked me. The attack looked planned. They definitely knew who I was and whom they should attack.

Though it was said to be peaceful protest about two dozens of vehicles were vandalized and one motorbike was burned by aggressive protesters after Magar was attacked.