Kathmandu // once a heaven — now a hell

Bob Seger in his 1975 song Kathmandu has described Kathmandu as gateway from the chaos of Western Civilization and material life. Little did he knew how the very sacred land of the hippies in the 1970s has turned out to be a wasteland of unmanaged and greedy urbanization where quality air and water is a dream. Kathmandu has transferred itself as one of the most sick and polluted metropol on the face of Earth. I always wonder why people live in that wasteland?

nepal // breathing poison

Nepal’s development has got a problem. It’s unplanned , unsustainable and ugly. This tiny beautiful country of mine lacks a mentality to change and think about health impact such ugly form of development and urbanization. Everytime when I think about Nepal, I think about what I can do to change the way people see waste management, air pollution and healthy living. Nepal is visitor’s heaven and a hell for those who live there. Kathmandu is a very fertile land and it should have been used for agriculture but we have created this ugly concrete jungle. If anyone wants to experience Hell, Welcome to Kathmandu. Extreme air pollution, virtually no traffic rule, the drain water runs outside, Bagmati river is just a big drainage. Everyone is busy selling and making money but what is the meaning of the money at the cost of health. I read a report about how the residents of Kathmandu are suffering from lung diseases.

One thing I don’t understand. Why are we so wild? Why are we so rude? Why do people have to blow horn every 5 seconds despite the fact that the traffic will not automatically move by blowing horn. From educated to non-educated. The other day I had this same talk with my wife and she told me “I just works like this here.”. I know I just works like this here but why? Why does it have to be like this?

My top concern about my country the thing that bothers me most is how lightly people are taking air pollution , water pollution and sound pollution as if it’s nothing. It has consequences. But what can a single person do? What can I do except walking instead of taking bike for short distance. Not blowing horn unless absolutely necessary. Being more polite at road and traffic. Yes, a single fellow. I hope there are more like me.  I hope someday we will see a gradual change. I just hope.

Sometime I close my eyes and imagine clean roads. Clean air. No noise pollution. People not spitting randomly at road. How I wish it would be a reality when I open my eyes. Nepal you make me cry. You disappoint me. It’s not like I am running away from you. You pushing me away.

Being happy with life

On February 15, I got the news that my father had a heart attack in Nepal on the night of February 14. My family lives 200 KM far from Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, and he had to be airlifted because there was no medical facilities that were available to make his situation stable. After 10 hours of struggle, my father was at the hands of medical experts and medical facilities that would make his condition stable.  I could not sleep that night.  I cried like a toddler all night long and that was the moment I thought how important person is my father to me and to the family.  It was a moment to recollect everything.  I had all the time in the universe but I didn’t go back to Nepal for 5 years and.  I missed all those family get together,  the beauty of spending time with my father and mother.  I realized what journey my father had taken to make our life better. This sudden news changed everything.  It changed thr way I see life and my goals.  It didn’t make me pessimistic but content.  Later that week we knew that my father had aneurysm and due to his medical conditions they were like ticking bomb that could brust any moment. Again they didn’t had aneurysm coiling in Nepal and he was treated at BLK Hospital in India. My brother was there to take care of everything and I was thousands miles away in blues.  Waiting for the best news but preparing myself for the worst.  Its been almost two months now,  that my father has been discharged and he will never be same again but we are glad he is alive.  This period when my father was in hospital,  almost a month,  was a period of great transformation in my life.  I had talked with him probably few hours before he had the heart attack over Viber.  I read a lot of about true meaning of life and why are we here.  Not from religious prospective but from evolution’s point of view.  I am an atheist and I didn’t remember Lord Almighty or prayed him for soon recovery of my father.  I just consoled myself thinking this is how nature is,  its wild.  If my father was to take his last breath he had done it all,  all his four children are big.  I am the last child and I was married an year ago.  For many days,   I couldn’t sleep.  I cried alone.  I tried to call my friends,  talk with my wife and relatives.  I keep myself busy. Thinking every one has to face death of their loved ones,  it will be hard but its unavoidable. Its the ultimate truth. It was also a time that I knew who sincerely cared for me. It was a revealing time. I got to know my friends and relatives who will be there for me no matter what an willing to do all they can in their ability. I felt really happy to have these special people with whom I could cry. Two of my high school friends who became close to me are now my brother figures. They did their best from their side. When everything was over I was able to take a long breath and let everything out.

I was so much stressed that I couldn’t take full breath.

But I learnt to be happy. I learnt to make the best of everyday. To love the ones who are there for us and to make things happen when there is time. On May 03 2016 , I have a flight to Kathmandu. I am going to see my family and I will spend time with my father. And I will try my best to give as much time as possible when he is around.

expectations // limitations

What is the limit ? To what extent can we expect from people ? Our people, from those whom we call ours. Family , friends, relatives and so on. They have a very good concept in Hinduism. Or least I think so. Do your Karma without expectations. It was on a sunny day in August I was sitting in the smoking zone(of course, not smoking), which is really peaceful area in the  University and some other Nepalese folks joined me. A guy who is at least 6/7 years older than me was talking about what he expected from his people when they visited Nepal and came back. He was complaining or may be complain is not the right word about his people not bringing gift for him. Deep inside my mind , I was thinking my family friend or lets say my really good friend , whom I trust my money, is in Nepal and what can I expect from him. I have been heavily criticized on this topic about expecting. What can you expect from people for what you have done to them. Expectations are so shitty things that they hurt. I used to be a guy who used to expect many things from many people but  its kinda lame. It just made me unhappy. Sometime if my friends come with a surprise then its more than enough. The other thing that I learnt over the course of time is you can have uncountable “Hi-Hello ” friend but do not spend a single second for them because they don’t give a fuck what you think or what you like or anything and you can’t expect anything from them. So, one should not get hurt if one of their “hi-hello” friend did not invite in a party or graduation party or anything . And to add to the list  its worse spending hours chatting with someone you will never meet. Call me a rude guy but why would anyone want to spend hours chatting with someone living in Brasil’s rainforest if you are never going to meet each other. For God sake don’t give me lame reasons like cultural exchange – There are blogs, forums, ebooks, books and so many uncountable resources to know about culture.What can you even expect from them? Can they feel you ? I have the same feeling for those who fall in love online ? What if you meet tomorrow and his breath smells so bad you can’t stand.

It was a topic on limitation of expectation. I would say never expect. It only hurts. Just doing your part or fulfilling other’s expectation but not expecting from others is the best thing to do.

as cold as the snow !

My name is Eun Dang. I am 23- years old. I was born in 1988 during a cold day in North Korean province of Chagang. I do not know what might have happen to my father but my mother works in a garment factory. She is lean and thin and wrinkles under her eyes tell the story of her life. My father was taken to Prison Camp because he was caught saying a phrase from Bible and being a Christian is strictly forbidden in out Great Country ruled by our Great Leader. I have completed my six years of secondary school and I after that I have been working in a Machinery Manufacturing Industry as machine operator. I have a hidden Bible with me from my father but I fear it can be cause for my death someday. And its the only hope for me sometime because upon reading it I get a strong feeling that There is God. But God is the imagination for weak people like me to convince ourself. If God would exist then We would have been long freed from this Demon Rule that has compelled us to live in Darkness.

Every day when I get up , I have a feeling that ‘is this real  a world’ or ‘is it fake?’. I am like a machine with such that a fixed time is programmed in my brain

– This article is about my imaginary being Eun Dang and his hardship in North Korea. It will take me almost two moths or until summer to end this post because i have to be him to think how he think and feel how he feel.

narnia

Soon after getting out from work area as the work was over , I was so happy to see the environment where it was snowing. The whole Helsinki at my sight looked as if painted by white colour and I was thinking it took so long for dear snow to come . I believe this time it won’t melt. I am so tired that I am not able to write any more here but the reason I chose the topic narnia was the environment looked like Narna’s icy cold white one. I am so tired. Let me stop it here. Pray for me that I will be able to write longer post soon because these days my motivation has highly dropped due to stress at work and thinking about my study and home .

from the lost diary

I don’t know the exact time rigtht now but I am at Central Library in Kokkola . Today is April 5 , 2011. I am at a corner at the library from where  little of the city outside from the glass. This corner is awesome. The month of April is slitty. The snow that ruled the winter is about to go away. I can see beautiful blue sky outside. The books inspires me to read more and more. When I visit library I get a feeling that there is so many things to learn. Life is short. Here I come to know something and add to my brain something more. Know the world and know myself. Learn about civilization, go on a long journey like the gypsy, read conqueror’s mind, know history, geography and secrets of the world. The water drops are falling down from the corner of the roof from many house making their way throuh the shiny snow. The drops are making mark on the ground. They try and try . In the end they are able to make the mark. I believe this is what happens with success.  Those water drop falling down would not be able to make hole in the ground if they would fall to different place at and not concentrating on one place at a time. How far will I run looking for better ? Where is better? Infact I am the one to invent better. Changing places will not change hearts. When I was a child I used to go to field and jungle to collect grass for cattle at my house. The way for getting back used to be hard mostly. It was in the mountains and steepy. And I used to carry the grass without resting at any place. With thought in my mind as- house is getting closer if I walk one more step instead of resting. During school days, I don’t used to eat meal until I finnish my homework. Where is all that enthusiam and that will gone? I question myself. I now realize how simple life was when I was a child. Now, I see the beautiful weather outside and zeal to do do something has erupted inside me. Let me see where Will I reach?

 

 

Ram Krishna Banstola

Kokkola Finland

April 5,2011

reminder songs !

Music has been an integral part of me since my childhood. I had a collection of Nepali songs in the magnetic tapes. It was in 2004 that I first had my own Walk-men where I could put my magnetic disk and listen those songs. Before that we used to have a big cassette player at home and it belonged to my father. So, I had very least chance of using it. But I got more financial freedom when I had to help my father in his shop. Then I bought my first Walk-men from a Chinese company costing €5 which was a big sum to steal from father’s wallet to full fill my desire to listen music right at my ear.  I regretted so much because I had to hide it to listen it. My mother is the greatest teacher in my life, always guiding me with moral education. But that time I had to close her lesson for my desire.

When the Walk-men came, I had to invest more in buying head phone and even more was buying my best albums. Father would give me money for school and I used to save it. They used to give me money during festivals and I had to save it. When I had to go to my elder sister’s house to help her in farm, father used to give me more money as I had to stay there for days. Those all sum would go  for buying albums by my favourite artists.

It was during the summer of 2005 that I came across Western music. I was not a big fan of Western Music until I came across Michael Learns to Rock(MLTR). I had to go to my elder sister’s house to help her in farms, I wanted to show other kids in that village that I was different than them because I could understand English songs as well.I was famous among the villagers and famous among those kids of my age because I was listening something different than they could even understand. Since then ‘Rock’ music always attracts me. It was my habit to be different than the crowd, I think its everybody’s habit. Sometime I used to carry game-boy and play it among them to show those kids  how my life was so rejoice in town than theirs in village. I laugh thinking those little joy that filled my childhood. Music was the only friend of mine. When I look back into my High School days, I can not remember any friend’s name with whom I had deep talk or so called ‘best friends’. Everything was music.

MLTR’s song were so beautiful and catchy that I would sing them while listening. I used to carry my Walk-men with me when I would go to gather grass or go to field to look after cattle  and sing like a crazy in the woods. When I listen songs like ‘Paint my love’ or ‘Complicated heart’, it reminds me of those beautiful innocent days when I first came across English songs. It brings all the nostalgia from that era of mine.  During teenage I came across nu metal band called Linkin Park. I became big fan of bands like System of a Down, Metallica, Apocalyptica(Finnish Cello Band), The Doors, Bryan Adam etc when I was in Senior High School and I had my own computer which I got as a present from my father after I completed my Junior High School(SLC, School Leaving Certificate).

During the spring of 2009 , there was a documentary aired in History Channel about John Lennon and his amazing musical journey. That was the moment I strongly felt I should have been born in sixties. The Beatles attracted me so fast. The next day I had a MP3 Collection by The Beatles. Listening nothing but just The Beatles . ‘Yesterday’ had a record of being played more than 1000 times in my iTunes.

Music from 60s to 90s has been my music. Though I do listen to contemporary bands too. It was during the winter of 2010 that I came across Queen and Freddie Mercury.

Here are some songs that reminds me of some particular situations.

  • Paint my love by MLTR

reminds me of those childhood days and those summer holidays that I would wait eagerly to show my ‘gadgets’ to my friends at my sister’s village. When I would sing Paint my Love putting my headphone, they used to surround me as if I was a hero. I was not able to sing other songs but only this one but I would pretend as if I had known everything from the song and even when the song would change I would still sing this song. Hahahaha !

  • Here I am by Bryan Adam

reminds me of those days I spent in preparing for my SLC when I was in grade 9 and 10. It strongly makes me remember my ex girlfriend. I had a mp4 player and I used to carry it with me all the time and this song was my favourite one. I used to wait her until she come and we used to walk together. Then when she left the high school, I had to wait her after evening classes because she had to make some excuse for getting out of her house. We used to meet for around 5 minutes or less sometime even less. But those beautiful moment when our tongues would taste something common of each other were the best moments that would erase all the exhaust of the day. But everything that comes had to go. It went away.

  • Ma sansar jitney by Sabin Rai (I will win the world)

All the songs from his album Sataha I and Sataha II reminds me of Darjeeling Tour during October of 2007. The best moments that I remember is she was sitting in the front seat in the bus and I was right behind her. She looked back and asked to hold her hand. I was holding her hand and it was a dusk. The sky was covered with cloud . It was so romantic that we were holding each other’s hand and feeling the common warmth . It was forbidden to express love when there were with teachers during High School days. So, we had to do it hiding from everyone.

  • Leaving on a jet plane by John Denver

reminds me of the last days I was in my home town Pokhara,Nepal before I left for Finland. I have cried several time listening this song at my bed room in Nepal. The last night at home was without sleep, thinking how would I find myself in that crowd. This reminds me of the last moment I left home before I my mother put on Tika (coloured paddy seed worn on forehead by Hindu and Buddhist during special occasion which symbolized best wishes). The moment is so vivid that I still remember wearing a red T-shirt written ‘Rock’ on it and a Gucci short. I was looking at the river which is visible from my house. I remember a tenant living in my house who asked me when I was leaving for Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. It is like a video clip stored in my mind. Every time I listen leaving on a Jet Plane this clip is played in my mind. I do have a mobile version of the video which I recorded during that moment. I will embed it here if you wish to see it.

  • Country road take me home by John Denver and Far Away From Home by Groove Coverage

These two songs strictly makes me remember my first Autumn in Finland. I was terribly missing home and family. First week were so beautiful. New country, new people new friends and new study place, I was full of energy. After a week everything from Nepal was being missed. ‘Country Road Take me Home reminds me of the first day I went to discover Kokkola, a small town in the coast of Ostrobothnia in Finland. I had bought a cycle with a guy from Nigeria in 50€ and I went at my own to see how exactly is the surrounding near my student apartment. I was listening the song on my phone and the thought in my mind was – Ram ! You have come really far ! When are you getting back ? Far Away from home was for whole winter .

  • Patience by Take That and When you believe by Mariah Caray

These songs reminds me of my one week stay in Leuven,Belgium during November of 2010 with my brother. I was so happy that I was able to travel to Leuven at my own. But when I think about it. It was funny to think so. Those seven days spent with my brother were  so beautiful days. It makes me remember a certain sweet smell of some sort of food or environment which I can not describe here. I had to discover Leuven at my own  listening Patience. I was listening this song in plane and even in train on the way back to Kokkola. When you believe makes me remember a certain moment when I am looking outside from the window of my brother’s apartment and there were fallen leaves in the road and there was a machine approaching collecting those leaves.

Finally,

  • Love of my life by Queens (The Particular song sang by Freddie Mercury at a a concert at Wembley in 1986)

This song , not other version but the particular one from the Concert, strongly reminds me of the time when I was in Catch-22 about leaving Kokkola . I wanted to come to Helsinki rather than staying at Kokkola but I was not able to decide. Those days I had recently come across Freddie Mercury’s songs and this particular song became an eternal memory. I was at Kokkola City Library and the snow was melting and I could see snow spikes on the edges of the roofs. On one side I was thinking , I will stay here and graduate soon but on the other side I was thinking I will go to Helsinki. You ,now ,know what I decided.

Well, these are the reminder songs of mine. I believe you will also enjoy listening those reminder songs of mine.

in a crowded bus !

If I were in Nepal, a crowded bus would be a normal experience. During my Senior High School days, I always used bus as a means of travel since I had no motorcycle like some other lucky guys. I got chance to ride a motorbike only after I graduated from Senior High School. So, a bus is something that I love to travel in.

Yesterday I felt like being in a bus in Nepal. The bus was so crowed that there were people standing from back of the bus until the entrance door where the driver sells ticket and see the travel card. I luckily got the seat but I was sorry for those drunken people standing but not being able to hold themselves. One part of my heart was saying ‘Ram , look at him…he is not even able to hold himself but you are in a good condition and you should leave seat for him.’ Then other part of my heart said – ‘Ram… you are tired, working 8 hours during day and evening and even went to school. You can sit down. He is not tired . He is just a drunkard not a old man.’ Guess what ? The other part won and I sat there. Well… but it was big surprise for ‘my beautiful Finland’ to have such a crowd. The reason why I have said my Finland is because Nepal just gave me birth , its Finland that has made me able. It is Finland that is training me so that someday I will be using these skills to do my future job. Kiitoksia Suomi !