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.

taking absentee from news

I have been a news freak.  I love listening news and browsing news websites.  It’s fun. Since few weeks the news have made me sad. From the terrorist attack in Iraq, Turkey Airport attack and so on. The stress that these news produces and the fear that they plant is irreversible. It gives you the feeling if a terrorist is in the same train that I am taking. It’s sad but these feeling comes to my mind when I take the train. What kind of world we are living in? We are getting better and we are advancing in science and technology which is the single most beautiful thing. Yet there are people in the world who doesn’t see solution  in peace. They have to murder, kill more people , an eye for eye. Soon we are all going to be blind.

The sad thing is that these news are at your fingertip. I think about families that lost their loved ones in the war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and civil war in Nepal. Those who have lost it all. They want revenge and vengeance and more wars. And more news to stress us all.

They say that world crime has gone down significantly and world is a better place than it has ever been. I hope this is correct or at least I have to believe so.

I will not visit any news site for a month. I will try to close my eyes. It’s not the right solution but I am just a drop in the ocean and I can not direct the wave of the ocean to a right direction. Or can I?

Nepal //heartbreaker

Right after stepping foot at Tribhuwan Internationl Airport in Kathmandu, you get the sense that something can always go wrong. Your luggage might take hours to arrive or the custom officer is so cunning that he/she will do their very best to give you the impression that you are not welcome. Forget the sign, Welcome to the Nepal, you are not. The only international airport in Nepal doesn’t have a good toilet. Anyone can feel disgusted with the the foul smell. The worker who was supposed to put the luggage in the belt was so busy using his cell phone that he made all the passenger wait to get their luggage. The first impression of Nepal for anyone visiting it for the first time will always be very sad and exhausting. As a Nepalese who have lived abroad and traveled, every time I land and fly out of Tribhuwan International Airport I feel sad and think of what could be improved and only thing I can do it imagine.

There will be a long list of complains. And that’s what Nepalese are best at, make a list of complain. At first I was a complain machine. I just complained to myself. Why ? People opening a wrapper of chocolate and throwing it right there. I asked myself why would someone open a wrapper of chocolate and throw it on the ground. This is just an example. There are several factors to why? But the main thing we should ask is why and probably that will lead to a day when people will actually start thinking that the waste they throw will come back to them in one or other way.

Those were all the complains I had. Just the glance. But in reality Nepal is much more than just a big bag of complains. It has a lot to offer and a lot could be done to make this country a better place to live. I have no hope for a drastic revolution. At first when the Maoist came to power, Nepalese thought things will be done differently. Then came the constitutional assembly and the earthquake. Nothing opened our eyes. We have a joker prime minister at office and he is best as a comedian who hasn’t even completed School Leaving Certificate. The whole political system is a joke.

Besides all this Nepal is a beautiful country with a huge potential. What we lack is a good leadership and a better bureaucracy. Nepal has the most corrupt bureaucracy in the whole world. 80% of Nepal’s population is Hindu and these people worship everyday to for a better life in Heaven but sadly when on earth these people engage in corruption. If there would be 100 rupees allocated to make road in Nepal then only 10 rupees will be utilized to actually make the road and the rest of the money goes into someone’s pocket.

Nepal is a sad story. A failure. And its a manpower machine. Nepal sells its manpower to countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Dubai, Malaysia , Europe and USA. Nepal is a sad story for the money that people make in those country is not used for opening new industries or to create more jobs in Nepal. The money is spent to buy lands. The price of land is skyrocketed. And those hard working Nepalese are putting money on land. This time when I was in Nepal, I felt very very sad for my country yet I somehow felt that tremendous love for the land I belong to. I felt sad because we are divided.

Nepal is a very diverse country full of languages and many ethic group living in harmony.

With the new so called political revolution agitated by the Maiost. Its been disturbed. And we are not the same people anymore.

These five years abroad has shaped me in a way. No matter what , Nepal is my root. And despite all the imperfections , I feel like its calling me back. I have seen it all. What makes a man happy? Nothing. This endless search for perfection. This love for more material , more perfection and more. This endless search. And somehow it has occurred to me that knowledge is what is beautiful. It doesn’t matter where I live. If I do a job and engage at work. I will not die because of hunger or it shouldn’t be difficult to live a decent life anywhere. So this realization occurred has made me more happy. Despite all the hindrances and all the not workings and being with all the wrong people. I have somehow developed this cheer for life.

You might wonder what does it have to do with Nepal? It has to do everything with Nepal. Nepal , despite all the not working , it has silently invited me to just get back and work.

It has to do with Nepal because it doesn’t really matter where you live. What matters is where you find your happiness. And everyday I have been dreaming of starting in Nepal.

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.

not rush //in Finnish capital for 3 years

I wonder with the rush and the way time is slipping. It feels like yesterday that I was in Vantaa Lentokoneasema for the first time in my life to start my new beginnings in Finland but its already 3 years. Now, the city seems so familiar as if I have known it for years. The language sounds familiar though I do not understand it so much. The easiness in moving from place to place and availability of  means of transportation at an affordable cost round the clock makes this city even better to live. Yet another thing I love about Helsinki is population density. After living in Helsinki for 2 years I had been to few other cities in Europe like Amsterdam , Paris and Brussels but one thing I didn’t like about them is the crowd. The trains and bus – All Full with people. In Helsinki a bus is full if everyone has got a sit and there is no one sitting next to them. There are days when I am the only passenger in the bus when I get back from Helsinki to my apartment in Espoo. Being born and raised in a very small village in Nepal, I am not a big fan of crowd. The first time I had landed in Kathmandu- the nepalese capital, I was almost lost with the “crazy-city” and unmanaged urbanization that had led to chaos and I was clearly able to see how the natural resources like rivers and mountain were literally raped by the new resource hungry breed of urban dwellers.  Before I was in Helsinki I had this image of a rush and crowded city- like most capital cities. But Helsinki made me happy in the very first place. Well, Finland’s population density is so low that people who lives in remote areas of the country finds Helsinki too crowded and lacking nature. I laugh inside — go to Kathmandu to see what crowd means. Well, it all depends upon how we are raised and what is the definition of crowd and rush. For me, I grew up in a tiny village with a population of less than 1000 and knowing almost all the people who resided there and closely tied with nature for most of our needs. Well , the rapid urbanization after the civil war is over has made the village almost empty but I consider my first 13 years of my life ; I lived in pure bliss and happiness. Attached below is a -not so good quality- picture of the place.

Bishauna Village

Bishauna VDC

Happy Mother’s Day

My mother

Whereever I go, whatsoever I do.

My heart will be with me.

Where you live

MY MOTHER.

For me, my mother is my greatest Guru. She is the creator. A bold hearted person who can take right decisions in hard times. A struggler who always believes that Future will be Good. An optimistic person who continuously performs karma without expecting what the fruit she will get at the end. For me, my mother is the purest form of unconditional love. Even if I trip the world in search of love , I will never find the one like my mother does. There are number of things my mother taught me, the first thing is giving and sharing. I grew up in an environment where my mother was always keen to help needy people by offering them something. The old clothes that I warn were not thrown or destroyed but they were given to some poor families that could not offer them. There are many instances that she has offered food to a total stranger who appeared to her saying he/she is hungry.

My mother always suggested me to personal development and being independent. Her only dream and expectation about me is that I should someday get back to home with knowledge to support my life. She never got chance to go to school but I am the one who will make her dream of going to school and gaining knowledge come true.

To sum up, like every mother for a child, my mother is the best mother. One who will never leave me in any difficult situation , one who never thinks bad about me, one who loves me selflessly. For me My Mother is the God I want to worship.  I wish for her longer life and good health.

Happy Mother’s Day !!!

Kagbeni : esto babbal movie (such a great movie)

Wow ! This movie that I am watching right now is the one of the best nepali movie I have ever watched. In fact its the only best movie that Nepal saw. I had heard so much about it from my friends and I felt like watching it. The acting does not look like acting. Too natural… I will write more about it soon I finish this movie. The movie’s name is Kagbeni and it is filmed in the the wonderful landscape of Himalayas. I would like to more about the location where the movie was shot. Kagbeni is one of a remote village with an a population of 1200(Source: wikipedia) of Nepal where many Sherpa, those tribe of people who are highly adapted to living in high altitude with extreme cold. The houses and living style of people facinates thousands of tourist and visitors visiting Mustang, the northernmost district of Nepal.

Poster of Kagbeni !(Source: holleywoodnepal.com)

Now about the movie. The movie is a thriller in a sense. It tells about a mysterious paw of a monkey with magical power that fulfills the wishes of the one who holds it and ask for the wish. But if the paw does not belong to that particular person then the result will be harse. It tells what that we should always be able to know limit for our wishes. Its a strong ethical message. The film is vividly able to present the hard life of the people living around Himalayas. The main thing that attracted and made me to like the movie was its presentation and acting. The film does not even looks like acting. The language they use in the movie is not formal but exactly the same as nepalese society do use. These days I have been following Nepalese movies thinking that if we, the nepalese, do not wish to watch them then who will watch. At least , I can not be mean for writing good about such a appreciable work such as Kagbeni. But the quality of video was not good because I had to watch it in YouTube. In general, I enjoyed the movie and if I have to rate it then it would be certainly *****.

Nepal : Where dreaming is hard.

Since the very beginning of arrival in Finland I am concerned about the situation my country is going through. Bussinesses are going down. Power cut off everyday for 14 hours is making situation worse. Yesterday while I talking in phone with my friend Niva[Sumana Tamang] , I felt that frustation of a youth searching a destination to normalize his or her life. The biggest problem that we are having is : Knowledge. We have less schools, less libraries, less universities and the very few skilled manpower produced by those five universities are always flying abroad to find better place and seek a quality of life. Institute of Engineering’s job has been to produce engineer only but only few of them live there. It takes so much of my time thinking what will I do when I graduate from here and venture for doing something in my own country. Since I am majoring in Software Engineering , its obvious for me to find a job or start a business with software related aspects. The following things were in my list that I can do in Nepal after I graduate. These services are widely used in Finland. We can make a market for same services in Nepal too. But the BIGGEST problem is power cut off. How can a starting company survive with 14 hours of power cuts off while its entire work require 24-hours being online. But lets hope for better. Lets say things are getting better and Nepal won’t have such problems by the time I graduate or I have to believe that the problem will be less. So, with that belief of problems will be less I have thought of following things after I graduate. But it remains in my imagination only. I will still be happy if something will not happen in future as I planned because I have been doing my best to make them come true but it is not always true that what I dream should come true. Failure happens and they are part of life. They give more energy for doing things in better way and finding oneself.

Concepts:

  • I would like to start a company that provides web services for the banks. The one existing in Nepal at the moment is not as flexible as it should be. User may be able to see their capital in their account but they can not however transfer or do some transaction to pay phone bill or buy  tickets and such services. Online services such as buying in ebay within Nepal is almost not seen. So, it could a thing I could start with my other friends who are studying in India and other country to become Software Engineers.
  • There are altogether less than 10 apps in app store that are provide service about Nepali products.  A famous one might be Nepali FM app which is not bugfree. We can produce application for iOS, Android , Windows platform or other platform to come in near future. The services can include epaper for Kantipur Daily, Checking services for Ncell or other phone companies. Though the presence of smartphone in Nepali market is very few but it needs a small step foreward to begin a journey of thousand miles.
  • We have already discussed about this topic with my family friend Suzan Karki who is going to be a Charted Accountant in near future that we could actually start a school where we could provide more quality education that what we have now. We could start a college to train people in the IT field , so that they need not run to foreign country for achieving their dreams.

Though it is hard to make things right and hard to start something new in Nepal. Its hard to dream because of so many social , cultural ,economic , political factors but there are also so many successful stories of people who did not run for foreign citizenship but returned back to Nepal to countibute it so that someday we can be even more proud to say Where we belong. Despite our history of bravery, we are also to show the world we can make a difference. We are already years behind in technology but the strong belief that we can make things happen will vitalize us. We have example around the globe.

 

 

Let my country Rise

girl by the road

The image is still like a freshly seen sight. I am inside the bus on the hilly road going towards Darjeeling. We are about to reach the border control at Pashupatinagar.
The weather outside is gloomy. I have been listening every songs by Sabin Rai from Sataha I and Sataha II. The road is zigzag. We are passing turns every now and then. I am  covering myself with a warm blanket. As we are moving up to the hills, I can see the beautiful breathtaking hills we just passed. The battery of my casette player goes off too quickly , so I have to use another pair of rechargeable battery now. I am thinking ‘wow here we come to Darjeeling after few hours.’ As, I am thinking  ; I see a girl with doko, a bamboo made basket for carrying differnet stuffs like grass from field or water from water sources.

Doko as shown is the picture below has multiple uses in remote Nepal. It is used for carrying grass from farm, bring water from water source since every house in village are not facilitated with water and they rely on a water resource on a specific location from where everyone gets water using gallons, small water tanks called gagri.

Now, The girl. The image of the girl is like something which is hard coded into my brain. It comes whenever I hear Darjeeling. The girl is carrying dry wooden logs at her doko. The load on her back looks to be really heavy because she is bending and trying hard to walk. I am thinking now I see her and I will forget her forever. She is nothing to me. I see her for about 30 seconds or less until the bus pass the turning. The mangol face of the girl is speaking of hardship she might have gone . Where is the girl now? She is vanished . She is out of site. She will never know there was a stranger who saw her and will never forget the particular frame. The particular time when she is carrying doko and bending. The surrounding is slitty because there is fair rainfall. The clouds are ruling the sky. I believe  she will go home and take a rest and hurry to kitchen carrying some logs she just brought. She won’t have to take sleeping tablet to fall asleep. The mountains and the day to day life has taught her body about the amount of melatonin needed to take her to sleep.

Girl. I remember you, you are still carrying wooden logs in your doko. And I, years after seeing you, am here with melatonin to take me to sleep while you are having a sound sleep.