Lost in a fancy world…
I loved Gummi Bears sooo much. (Didn’t know it was call'd The Adventures of Gummi Bears though!) Since my mind was ‘completely vacant’ today, I took refuge at youtube. It had been years that I last watched this show. It’s still as lovely as it used to be. Besides this, The Mask (SMOKINGGGGG!!!) and The Darkwing Duck (hmm raatoin ke saaye mujhse khabraaye, mein hoon Darwing Duck!!! hehehe) are my favourite cartoon characters…
Here’s the Gummi Bears intro song:
People pack bags before leaving (leaving? not exactly), but I got my published write ups archived. And here’s a bundle of my The Kathmandu Post articles (for my reference).
January 31, 2008
Lost in a fancy world…
Googling is good for bloggers!
It took me be back to this wonderful community project: incinq. Whenever I land here, time flies without a flurry. A good place to learn about everyday people in the most ‘interesting’ way. Here’s my incinq- I tried to capture my mood through a self-portrait and 9 words. Try yours, good luck!
Saturday, June 16, 2007 (link)
guy, immortal, neutral, on the mouth of dormant volcano
revolution, pursuit-of-happiness, change
January 30, 2008
Prose on myself once again…
‘Always a flood of words’-- exactly that I was. Whatever I did to kill my time, be it painting, writing poetry, doodling, taking photographs, making videos, speaking to top it all, I was always doing the same thing in different ways. Now I realise that I was always trying to ‘express myself’.
And, when my brooding mind started to long for attention I sought the world to be like my utopia where my dreams lived me. Without them, I’d have been already dead. Always trying to excel, always trying to be No. 1-- that was me. Only when they said that I realised, “What’s wrong in being second?” Life’s lessons were remarkable, very influencing.
“Don’t get drowned in tears just because others do not understand you. That’s exactly what happens…” But I didn’t know. Nobody told me that while I still grieved longing for attention. They praised me but never took pain to understand.
Classroom lessons, I skipped. College never fascinated me. I loved sleeping till normal office-goers would have had already reached their offices. I would be ‘working’ when half of the world was already sleeping. I would spend many sleepless nights just to get the ‘coding’ right. I left poetry for programming. That was me. I left computer in college because I was not there to study history, I wanted to learn programming. Exactly that I was.
Each night, everyday something gnaws at my heart. Always so restless, this disease. A desire to learn something new, do ‘something’ drives me each morning. I cannot sleep if I’ve wasted time in gibbering. And that’s what I do- endlessly talk about my ideas. Never made any plans, everything just happened ‘by chance’. Today I believe more in doing things, than talk about them.
In the last few months, my inclination has shifted so much from this play of words to portrayal of human emotions and actions through reels. I was always afraid to experiment. Couldn’t afford filmmaking. But now, I’m eager to wait, learn and train myself. I cannot express myself better. This country, our politics, this life, everything now looks like a part of a beautiful novel, waiting to be ‘filmed’. Maybe this is what is growing up. Now that I’m going, leaving all these stories behind, what else could I take along than memories?
I was always wondering why I am not like other ‘normal’ people around me. I had almost started to feel so lonely, so miserable and on the verge of hating myself because I could not be (and I did not want to be) like them. This madness, this strong desire to ‘express myself’, became exactly clear to me in the last six months here. I cannot live without being me. Why am I so emotional, so reactive?
“You set yourself for a fall by demanding impossible things. Your friends should matter more than your goals or principles. What’s the good of being such a revolutionary if no one will ever like or listen to you?” My ‘last’ diary opens with this reminder but I couldn’t tame myself, we are all selfish creatures.
But dreams are what I am, perhaps, a poor show of rich dreams. Maybe there’s a treasure for me somewhere, maybe I’ll also meet my Fatima. We’re all dreamers here, but only some of us repeat the same ‘mistake’ over and again. We believe such stories and start chasing dreams!
(Note: An edited version of this write up was published in TKP today. Here’s the pdf file.)
Guide to becoming a better blogger...
Here's, at last phew, Digit’s Fast Track to Blogging. I’d found this manual to blogging very informative and useful. It’s the best thing for a beginner. I’d tried to get it for you even before those guys (god knows when they’d get world-weary of preaching “stop piracy, stop piracy”) gave it on their dec DVD. I must say I’ve learnt a hell lot more in a few months through piracy than reading those corporateagents for last few years.
And, please download the second part (from chapter ) of Chen Jiangong’s ‘masterpiece’ Curlylocks. (I’ve not been able to read any of his other works…) There are eleven chapters in the book. I was traveling in a bus- and started reading him again. Needless to say I enjoyed it more than I did before. I was giggling while other passengers were sneaking, staring at me-- puzzled, curious. A very powerful book. It was me. And, I want to get the tone back. My writing suffered a lot last year. Perhaps, in a few months time, if I continue to strive really hard, I’ll get my voice (style and quality) back.Curlylocks I (chapter 1-3):
January 29, 2008
Study of Ingmar Bergman’s Persona
in psychology, the personality that an individual projects to others, as differentiated from the authentic self. The term, coined by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, is derived from the Latin persona, referring to the masks worn by Etruscan mimes. One of the Jungian archetypes, the persona enables an individual to interrelate with the surrounding environment by reflecting the role in life that the individual is playing. In this way one can arrive at a compromise between one's innate psychological constitution and society. Thus the persona enables the individual to adapt to society's demands.
As soon as I finished watching Bergman’s ‘masterpiece’ Persona (1966) last night, I started it over again. But it was already or so, and couldn’t help flaking out. I had really ‘understood’ the film and was awed, a lot more impressed with its rich cinematography and subject. (This is my first Bergman film.) Bergman seems to lay more emphasis in the medium throughout the film. It remains a ‘film’, all so mysterious, both real and unreal, a film that effectively shows what I’ve always believed in: we are all just the same. Bergman himself wanted to call this work ‘A Bit of Cinematography’ at the beginning (1).
I’ve not been able to fully decipher the montage- the hammering of a nail into a hand, the cruel slaughtering of a sheep. At first screening, I couldn’t even notice the erect penis. Only after a little research today that it occurred to me that I’d missed ‘something’. Sexuality is used as a vehicle to con/fuse the two ‘different’ characters- Elisabet, an actress, and Alma, her nurse.
The boy, shown in one of the montage films at the beginning, reappears towards the end. As the boy was one of the ‘seemingly’ dead bodies, he could be already dead. It could be one of the reasons of Elisabet’s silence. When
But I think Elisabet can’t feel
Elisabet has tried but she can’t love what she had always hated so much (her baby). If she does, then it’s again pretence- ‘compromise with life’ (and perhaps fate). But she is already tired of playing so many roles, now she wants to be herself. She hates her son. If she wants to be herself, then she must hate him because she can’t love him. But how could she hate/hurt her own child? That is not what society expects us to be.
We live in a family, in a society, and we all have to pay certain price for the ‘security’ that it gives. We must be, even if we don’t want to be, what we are ‘supposed’ to be. Putting a big fake smile on lips most of the times, we greet people, shake hands, hug, and being ‘me’ is not only irrational but impossible at such times because ‘we live in a society, man is a social being’. That’s what we learn in the society, that’s what we are taught from our birth- to compromise, always try to be what you’re not, and eventually the mask we put on during our childhood, youth or maturity, the one mask that we put on for the longest period of time is what we become, is what ‘our identity’ becomes. And, we are forced to accept, believe. If we choose not to, then they punish us, they crucify us. Nobody wants to be an outcast. Most of us choose to silently, and effectively, play roles that our circumstances demand, and we strive, we suffer to fulfill ‘our goals’. Some people who have problems choose art as the medium to express themselves, to be themselves. But then too, the pain is always so real.
Here’s the part of ‘communication’ between Elisabet and her physician:
“Don’t you think I understand? The hopeless dream of being. Not seeming, of being. Conscious at every movement. Vigilant. At the same time the chasm between what you are to others and to yourself? The feeling of vertigo and the constant desire to at last be exposed. To be seen through, cut down, and perhaps even annihilated. Every tone of voice a lie, every gesture a falsehood, every smile a grimace.
Commit suicide? Oh, no. That’s ugly, you don’t do that. But you can be immobile, you can fall silent. Then at least you don’t lie. You can close yourself in, shut yourself off. Then you don’t have to play roles, show any faces or make false gestures.
But you see, reality is bloody-minded. Your hideout isn’t watertight.
Life seeps in everything.
You’re forced to react. No one asks if it’s real or unreal, if you’re true or false. It’s only in the theatre the question carries weight. Hardly even there.”
January 28, 2008
Also thank this curlylocks…
I’ll tell you a long story of humiliation some other time. But that old man in my office says I “misused” their office scanner for my personal work i.e. to scan this book for you people.
The way he talked to me was so humiliating, I tell you now that I’m resigning this month, don’t know if I’ll ever take up a job in ‘their' institution in future.
As far as I remember Mysanar.com freely distributed electronic copies of ‘Soch’, a nepali book. That was good starting.
But this is Curlylocks, from a 1988 Chinese Literature book. My favourite story. This is the first part (up to chapter three), but I’m trying to find time to scan rest of the files (around 20 pages) soon. Either in my friend’s house or by misusing office scanner again. Since they don’t give me enough money (my salary cannot even buy a pair of those Adidas shoes- my well wisher once told me), I can’t afford to pay for my social service stints.
January 27, 2008
my country. this is
Again it’s curlylocks reading the road, that’s where ’m going and to do, yess, right book at the right time, ‘m excited long been in natural, aha, trips, people, ’m good at communicating, mingling, jingling waiting cursing everything. I look forward to freedom to write my dirty mind… what caged me? hell. away from these icky newspapers aha in my lost paradise. That’s what I call it- ‘m sure I won’t miss all this. All like that false country image bushed in hellholes. Perfect trip! Having agued so long for wilderness, refusing to domesticate my tantrums (fucKINGycl), I can’t look myself in mirror- what’m I doin here? among these ‘socialised’ somebodies? this identity- ooh- being nobody, freaky encounters, aaaaaaah yup EVRERYTHING!!! that’s how soul attains nirbbana, what is real-spiritual-cosmic-ultimate-lifelong-haunting-memorable-
horrendous-reveries-andsaintlikeAWAKENING! I really miss my papers. I’ll sit and read for hours, hours, lost and fantasizing, and actually working them out dottily ‘m sick of stories, haven’t found a thing that excites, everything upsets lot of the times, dysphoric, dyslexic, suicidal, ghost of those forefathers stalking now and again… mygranddesignwouldegestthesescums. meahater of everything? except those chicks no nooooooh those comely bitchesandtheirattitude!!!! Big smiles, hello, ohYOUfuuukuuu? Anha, yea, yea, yES SIRRRrrraaaahyeeee. am done drinking? “oooh like dad like son!” too tired of thisshit ‘m true nomadicsoul- I’ve dreamt myself wandering those streets.. don’t remember how they looked like where hundreds of I wandered and have left themselves, found themselves, want to feel that, those mountainsriversandbeaches… bohemiannightsits!!! returning to nature… don’twanttowritethisthisslife so early, cannot, film, paint, melodramatic subaltern (helpless)?, hohohohohohobabyyyyyyyyyyimamachhoman, understand? without basic ‘artistic freedom’ here, amongst hellow-journalists, realintelfluctuals, gad, thatsmiiiiii hungryforeverything. Morningbrawlkungryday not sure no peace inside, alwayspissedoff. But nobody needs peace. Nobody will exchange their soul for this ALIEN soil- this ain’t my country- this is your NEW NEPAL. Don’t expect me to be a new nepali which I detest being I veritably HATE them, dyaheeearme IHATEEVERYTHING EVERYTHINGEVERYTHINGEVERYTHING. ‘mdamnsuffocatingrealhardhere, helpmeeplease. ‘m no INTELLECTUAL! Just a young creative league (my YCL) cadre lost midway sans a tracecreativityanytresses now…
January 26, 2008
Today, I got a new ‘reading project’! Suman dai made me calculate time. How many pages a minute? 3.5? That way I got a month to complete the biggest books world literature in a relaxed way.
“This could be your project. Read them and write about your experience. You gave six months to classic works- but were they worth that?” he said with twinkling eyes and suppressing that smile on his lips.
Here’s the list.
War And Peace
The Brothers Karamazov
But last night I started reading On The Road. I don’t read. Load shedding forced me to do something! (Y’know it just ain’t my habit to start scribbling papers these days…) In that candle light, I read few pages and dozed off… Now, these huge books! I really hate big volumes. I don’t have time. And, I’m so restless. When I start reading something, I think I must finish it as fast as it could be. (That’s why I never painted a Mona Lisa.) I finished The Alchemist within 24 hours. Didn’t sleep that night. But The Kite Runner was an eye opener- it has revitalised my thirst for printed words. And, I’m too ashamed to confess that I’m yet to complete this spiritual classic- Autobiography of A Yogi. But I wonder if this is what book reading actually is. They take years to write. At least, I should also spend if not less then exactly a double time to read their works. Only then, it’d be worthwhile-- a true tribute to the great wordsmiths.
January 25, 2008
You ask me why I dwell in the green mountain;
I smile and make no reply for my heart is free of care.
As the peach-blossom flows down stream and is gone into the unknown,
I have a world apart that is not among men.
“Tell me how to ‘learn’ music.”
He replied, “It is to be felt.”
But I want to ‘understand’ what it is. Except few stints with guitar, I never found time to experiment with this method of expression.
Apurwa has been an inspiration. I see that zeal there. I’ve not heard him playing yet. Couldn’t attend his concerts. But soon, he says, once his exams are over, he would record an instrumental piece.
He said he has two concepts for the music video- his music could follow the happenings or the opposite. I told him that I wanted to follow his music. Maybe, after this month I’d be working on that.
Prabesh dai has also asked me to be prepared to accompany him for the Mustang tour. He is planning to shoot a documentary.
“If you come with us, we’d discuss the content and share ideas…” he said.
But the tour would be towards the end of February. I’m not sure if I’d be here till then. I’ve my own plans. But I also want to get the first hand experience. It would be a great opportunity to ‘learn’.
“In few years time, once the construction of roadway is complete, it will lose its virginity,” he warned.
I agree. “Okay,” I said at last.
That’s the best advice I’ve got in the recent years.
I liked the description- artist. He said I am an artist! Am I? I’d long forgotten this thing. But it was because of him that I’m exploring music.
He’s introduced me to works of a number of artists that I’d not have if it was not due to him. Since I was listening jazz for the last few months, he said surf digitaldreamdoor.com to find good music. He was the one who introduced me to deviantart.com. Both sites are useful, the first informative, the latter inspiring.
Yesterday, I listened (watched) Wes Montgomery for the first time. Needless to say, he was terrific. This morning, I spent few hours listening to John Coltrane (A Love Supreme). Again it was pleasant, soothing experience. I listened to the whole album. But I want to understand, interpret their works. There must be something beyond than that pleasant experience. I want to know why the works of Wes, Davis Miles or Coltrane are titled the way they are. What is this wonderful Thelonious Monk that I’m listening actually? (Youtube is a great place to watch these classic works.)
Besides my monotonous, ‘mechanical’ office work, these things are keeping me busy. I told Apurwa, “Sometimes, I wonder what I am doing here. Now I think I’m living my story.” Today, I turned back to take a glimpse of that Yamaha drum set at Thapathali. Changes are subtle but noticeable. (Used to read 8th Day on Mozart few years back, but it was all Greek to me.)
Not a waste of life. Yesterday, Suman dai introduced me to Chinese poet Li Tai-Po. Started reading his works. The two were my instant favourites…
Moon over Mountain Pass
All the birds have flown up and gone;
A lonely cloud floats leisurely by.
We never tire of looking at each other -
Only the mountain and I.
The birds have vanished down the sky.
Now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together, the mountain and me,
until only the mountain remains.
Tr. Sam Hamill
Remember Autumn Leaves? My 'biggest' youtube hit so far!
(All photographs by Rajendra. Now he is also in US. Biplav says he is also trying to get into filmmaking... Wish him good luck!)
January 23, 2008
Confidence is the key… And humour indispensable!
Published in The Kathmandu Post on Oct 22, ‘06
I had left my job for the last few months. All this time, I was writing, editing and blogging into my website, and to the editors of the English dailies. The past six months have been a period of tremulous success, a sort of an eye-opener and a richly varied experience.
And a few days ago, I happened to ogle this advertisement for the post of reporters, editors and so on. I decided to apply despite the fact that I've no academic qualification in the respective field till date. But I have been writing, and I didn't even give a single bit of attention to these otherwise major issues. For sure, that confidence is the key but I wonder if I'd been subconsciously ignorant.
I've always been very fond of writing resumes. I labor hard to experiment with styles, and colors and with my ever changing taste. As I was typing that application, a kind of optimism eased the challenge of presenting myself as a brand.
I was writing since the fifth standard. And from TKP to THT, and from these broadsheet dailies, I've moved on to several Indian broadsheet dailies. I am a vivid reader, and I really wanted to showcase my vividness.
I'm writing a book, and all this helped the flickering flame of hopefulness resist the devils of fear and inferiority. As I'd expected, I got a response in my desktop the same day.
This man, who introduced himself as the manager of the media was someone I was going to work with. He sounded much younger than I'd anticipated. Obviously, I didn't feel nervous while inquiring over the venue and time for the 'battle-field'. And there I was, sporting myself in a number of clothes for that 'first and last' sort of impression. When I'd finally arrived at the venue in Sifal Chaur, you would have confused me with a man in black. Slightly nervous, as a 'dai' asked me to be seated in a room next to the room where my would-be bosses were interviewing other candidates.
"Your turn kid…" Perhaps, he would have said this, but to have an intriguing ji associated with my first name gave solace to my restless heart. As I entered the room, I was greeted by these three men I had long wondered about. I'd a room in my mind, as we happen to see in so many masala movies, where these people would ask you questions in turn. Then a phone would ring, even if you have already impressed them, they would be unable to provide you this job. And you would try to smile hard to tell them that 'it's all right'. Phew !
See, I got knack for passing my time this way?
"Your resume is very impressive…" The first comment boosted my last bits of esteem. "Thank you" and the interview had already begun. It was a very nice meeting, and I hate to call such opportunities as 'interviews'. Forget about the job, just think about presenting yourself with utmost care. I did what I'm good at, I wasn't pretending to be what I was not. And towards the end of our wonderful discussion, I was pretty sure that they were really interested in me. Warm handshakes were never as relieving as I felt that day.
They had called altogether seven candidates that day, and I was able to make into the list of the 'short-listed' ones. After the interview, I headed towards my teachers' offices; they also work for much respected media houses in Nepal. But I was able to meet none of them.
The phone rang that evening as it used to, but the joy it offered to me would be not dismissed even after displaying my thulo moblie, the pet name of my UTL phone-set, after 1000 years in a museum in Louvre or in other places ! "Congratulations, you've been selected." the voice over the other end of the phone expressed his happiness for my deja vu. In return, I congratulated him for this as well. But what is this thing called contract? Oh Jesus! I can't stop wondering about it.They have asked me to come on Sunday to sign on the papers !
Again, so many masala movies are queuing up into my mind. "You can't marry for another five years..." Okay, I wouldn't even if you force hard to marry me with as mysterious and illusive creature as women! "No girlfriends…" Ah! That would be troublesome. "You have to work here for the next ten years !"
Voila! I got a job for next ten years so early. I wonder what amount of advance I would receive. I really want to buy that leather jacket in that shop in New Road, and that Arnold's picture showing him in his underwear so that his muscles are well admired ! Yeah, yeah, I know that its time I stopped watching those movies. But what about the contract? I still can't stop wondering about it.
Was so tensed again. Switched off my cell. Went for about an hour long walk around New Baneshor.
Wrote few depressing notes to Anup, a moment later he came online. Was feeling good, now that he’s gone still feeling worse. This video, I made it for him. After that, the next Monday we met for the last time. He said they declined his visa application. I couldn’t believe him. I couldn’t. Then he said he was kiddin’. His interview was postponed. It was my holiday- but I had switched off my cell again that day. And spent whole day, I don’t remember what I was doing, with my pc. That same week, I went for the retreat. The next week, he left for the US when I was still inside. Can’t get over his words- “you’re the guy I won’t forget… your pc , your room inside my heart…” Happy? “Life moves on…” he said. But it doesn’t remain always the same. I know, but why have I started to hate any changes? Don’t want to change anything, this intense pain, even it is bearable now. “Baani bhaisakyo…” How long can it hurt? This is what I wanted to write. This is what I need to write.
January 22, 2008
I didn’t tell her a thing when she asked. Now that she can’t even listen me- why, why am I telling these things? But nobody is ready to listen today, and I’m wretched. I AM. Don’t even know why I’m so terrified, I sense something going terribly wrong. What I don’t know, but am just not feeling well. I tried to write a poem, after such a long time, and I couldn’t get the lines right, don’t feel bad, it happens. But why is everything happening so fast these days, that I’m not being able to keep myself updated, that I can’t maintain my pace? Since my days near an end here, of this utter loneliness, I’ve started to panic. I’ve become really serious about my career. It’s time for a radical change (improvement) in my way of doing things. I’ve become an otiose in my office (because I could do much more). It’s hard to take such a decision, some of them say it’s too early, but I can’t stay. It’s not my time to feel ‘secured’. It’s time for me to be on streets. What do I want to be? A journalist? That’s what I am asking myself these days. Now suddenly it seems as if I took up journalism by accident (I used to write). How could I boast of this beginner’s ‘success’? Now, when I am here, I’m asking myself- do I really want to be here? I didn’t want to a few years ago. Now even if I want to, I cannot choose to stay. At times (most of the times) I ask childish questions- do we really need to work? Work for others? I can still become a good journalist. But this ‘desire’. What would it be like? I really want to see Mumbai. Delhi. For next few months, I’ve made up my mind to stay there.
Today I was on feet again. New road. Sahid Gate. Singhdurbar. Maitighar. Naya Baneshor. Then one Rajendra Kunwar gave me a ‘lift’ on his bicycle! I didn’t know a thing about price hike, yesterday I was in Thamel. My holiday. And, when I reached Sahid Gate at around 2 in the noon, I became aware of this thing. I know, but should I care? I wrote a news on Madhesi leaders again today. Does that mean I care? For me those protests have lost their meaning. I could only see people warming up themselves burning woods, papers and tyres in the middle of the road in various parts of the city. This is how we rebuild my country. I like shouting at people. Today I enjoyed barking again to shut their businesses. Tomorrow, maybe to shut this country. To shoot myself? Everything is just so draggy, so wearisome these days, that nobody is ready to listen- not even me.
I love this. I’m enjoying everything. Feels good when it feels sick. I can’t hate this or anything. But I can choose to be or not to be. And, I choose not to be. I’m again writing for myself. I’ve always done that. Just few hints for me. Just few things to remember tomorrow. Someday, I’ll return here. I swear I’ll. Nobody is ready to listen today. And, I don’t want to tell anyone. (It won’t make a difference.) Nothing changed. Nothing will. I’ll always be me. Sorry.
They say I am I, but who is this I-am-I
If I am I, would I not know who am I?
Because I am I, I hardly know who I am.
June 29, ‘04
(from a collected Haiku works)
January 20, 2008
Coming of age.
'Art by Suman' (i was so shy, didn't want to claim this piece!)
Holly Valance- australian singer
Shadows! Just lost...
The Face of Mady [Ma(n)+(La) dy].
Had a lot of time for such things when I was growing up inside 'a cage'... 'Invested' myself in reading, writing et al then, and that made me!
I tried to copy the original published in THT. Around 2003-04.
And, double too! I remember facing several difficulties while writing in this script. So, I also 'developed' separate characters for double repeating alphabets!
Yeas, necessity was mother of invention! When I became aware of other 'scripts' like mine, I lost interest. I wanted to do sth unique, not a typecast.
January 18, 2008
Had fun reciting this while my youngest brother, Sadbhav, was busy shooting me… I’m ashamed of myself for my video. So, here’s just the reading. Enjoy.
No comments, please!
“There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun.” - Pablo Picasso
Lakshmi reminded me of this beautiful song…
A proof of my sudden art attack! (link) Still cannot believe I could go so far…
Saiyan (My translation of Kailash Kher's song in English!)
I don’t wish for riches
I wish only for your love
I’m yours, dear
Saiyyan ... Saiyyan (dear)
If you touch me
I can die in peace in love
Dear, come into my arms
I long to melt within you
I wish ... I could lose myself in your entirety
Saiyyan ... Saiyyan
My days are lively with joy- my nights sing
they make me lost every moment passing
I’ve lost myself as I win you
Now I live just for you
I wish I could look at you forever
I wish I could worship your image
All my relations begin with you
Saiyyan ... Saiyyan
I wish I could fall upon your body like a garland
I wish I could sail in love
Across the universe
I wish I could sail through this life in your love…
Saiyyan ... Saiyyan
This is soft warm addiction… and it keeps on rising
I wish you could wake me like never
My heart has now known madness
My world has lighted up
Like a new bride
I’ve become yours, my love
As you adorn my temple with your love
Saiyyan ... Saiyyan
I don’t wish for riches
I want you-
I don’t know anything more
perhaps, you know…
I just know that I’m all yours-
And that you’re mine…
I just know that I’m all yours,
And you’re mine.
I know I’m all yours
And you’re mine, only mine…
July 16, 2007
January 17, 2008
Reflections on our politics and political awareness
Also published in Ohmynews International (link)
We learned jokes about Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala back in school. He was popular beyond his politics; he was our very own Sardaarji (popular Punjabi comic character known for his stupidity)! We laughed at him; we jeered him. We ridiculed his logic; we took pleasure in satires mocking him. It was so easy to blame him, as it is now, for everything that went wrong in the country. We praised Ganeshmaan (who didn't accept the offer to become Nepal's prime minister and recommended senior Nepalese Congress leader Krishna Prasad Bhattarai for the post) but despised Girija. The jokes changed with the April uprising.
One of my colleagues laughed when I told him that I wanted a photograph with this man who continues to dominate Nepalese politics.
Girija is not an old man going gently into the cold night! I'd started to admire Girija on a personal level, not so much as a people's leader. Admittedly, today, we are searching for sound reasons to turn him into a godly Ganeshmaan-like figure! Anyway, that's what we would do after he is gone.
Girija and Gagan Thapas
Why do we praise Gandhi but not Girija, Gyanendra or Prachanda? As if now even the greatest truth from their mouths is distressing. I believe Gandhi when he says, "I do not believe in the doctrine of the greatest good of the greatest number. It is a heartless doctrine and has done harm to humanity. The only real dignified human doctrine is the greatest good of all." But why cannot I believe them when they are saying and doing everything possible for a new Nepal? One wonders if they are leaders of brainwashed cheerleaders alone. "Who next?" Those two commies longing to be Nepal's prime minister, if possible, maybe president? How could we but turn a blind eye to these power-hungry prevaricators and chance-takers?
We just keep asking ourselves, "What can I do?" Not many who want to do something for their country have the courage to become politicians. The lawyers in Pakistan kept politicians out of their agitations, and not without good reasons. Politicians with "swachha chhabi" (this term was heavily used here to mock King Gyanendra when he asked for politicians with "decent personality" to apply for the prime ministerial post during the royal takeover two years ago) are a breed too rare, by chance you sight them on the margins, perhaps, now as if that were their rightful place! Nevertheless, decent people start losing decency in their parliaments. But of our "Singhdurbar" (seat of government), unfortunately, even the prime ministerial throne seems doomed; it's like the captaincy of the Indian cricket team. Nepal's greatest tragedies coincided with the "captaincy" of this octogenarian leader (Prime Minister Koirala). Nepal failed as a state, should we not blame the people, should we not all share the blame? Whoever attains power, we start pulling his legs -- that's our peculiar cultural heritage. We lack leadership, that's why we had no option but to support these corrupt and unyielding political parties during the April Uprising in 2006. The ruling class, from Shahs to Deubas, all failed to become true statesmen or stateswomen. As we struggle with modernization, we've no choice but to believe that a new Nepal would become a reality within a next few decades!
We are so helpless, so dependent. Nepal has made "tremendous progresses" in the last two decades, but we could have done better only if our politicians knew how to work, only if instead of tongues they had courage to pursue goodness and right path! We should not assume that a few days of yogic exercise at Tudhikhel could cleanse their sins, if not turn them into saints. The recent political deadlock clearly shows the moral standards of our leaders, the true face of our "loktantrik" ("democratic") messiahs! Today as if in pursuit of happiness, we "must" go to New Delhi, go to New York! Few would be surprised to see thousands of Nepalese in Kabul, what choice did they have? Now that our "revolutionary government" is even selling our London embassy, where would we bury our face? Where has our glorious pride gone? Such utter debt, but we are forced to live in pretence! We lack leaders, but we boast of plenty, of the likes of Gagan Thapas (many have faith in Thapa, a young, dynamic and popular pro-Nepalese Congress student leader), those who can but only feed false dreams of a new Nepal.
Media Literacy and Political Awareness
My last two years have been an eye-opener, a varied experience as a journalist. However, nearly half of this year with the established breed of mushrooming intellectuals makes me wonder when a beginner would stop being dogged at Tinkune, slaved at Anamnagar and doomed at Bhugol Park (Nepal's three English national dailies have offices at these places). Sometimes I wonder if our media is a political party in disguise. Am I working for a party on a political mission? When Prachanda said that the big media houses were afraid of the Maoists, he was right. Who would not be afraid of such a party who are now extending hands to the royalist "nationalists"? Even King Gyanendra says he cares a lot about the country and the people. Is he not a model nationalist then? Today, Maoists themselves are saving monarchy, not others. My greatest fear has been the people's inability to ditch corrupt leaders or identify the real motives of these shrewd politicians who will do anything for power. But we still garland the likes of Khum Bahadur Khadkas (the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority had filed several corruption charges against Khadkas, but the charges were dropped thanks to Nepalese politicians. When he came out of the arrest, a few hundred party cadres were gathered to welcome him) -- what a pity.
Soon, our newly launched FMs financed by MPs would be tools of propaganda, no doubt. When basic education is lacking and superstitions are still rife among the masses, how could we expect a majority to be media literate? How could we presume that the general people can tell the truth from a hundred lies, that our youth are aware of our country's politics, that we won't be lured by easy money or trade our nationality to get rid of humiliating poverty, that our people are on vigil and not vulnerable to anti-social elements that are waiting for a chance to fuel communal conflicts, that our youth are not being brainwashed/radicalized or have not lost their free will? Our history is not an old one -- it's still in the process of making. Who will write it? Those in power, or us? The choice is ours. How many of us dare to rewrite Nepalese history?
Perhaps, it's time to identify the hard realities behind our failure. Unless we have political awareness among the people, unless we have educated masses, the politicians would continue to cheat us. One or two revolutions, a few demonstrations and chhaka jams (traffic strikes) are never enough for what we expect from a new Nepal. "If you want to make changes in the world, you're going to have to be there day after day doing the boring, straightforward work of getting a couple of people interested in an issue, building a slightly bigger organization, carrying out the next move, experiencing frustration and finally getting somewhere. That's how the world changes," Noam Chomsky said in "Imperial Ambitions: Conversation on the Post 9/11 World." Chomsky is right, real changes do not come from people going to one demonstration and dropping out when nothing happens or voting once every four years and then going home: "It's fine to get a better or maybe less worse candidate in, but that's the beginning, not the end. If you end there, you might as well not vote. Unless you develop an ongoing, living, democratic culture that can compel the candidates, they're not going to do the things you voted for. Pushing a button and then going home is not going to change anything."
So how was my last three days? Very eventful. Met this beautiful lady for the first time in the last three years. But somehow I knew her… I wonder if she did. She was so frank and confident. Not so different that me. So, I was always trying to pull jokes from what she said. Was fun trying to (‘fight’) talk with her. She is successful, no doubt. Then, she started measuring her success with the number of her enemies. I said, “I don’t have any enemies, so I guess I’m not successful yet…” I still remember the expression on her beautiful face. I think I bore myself so much- but it was good to see her repeat the word ‘funny’ to describe my comments… seriously, she liked my bad sense of humour! Many things happened. Some good, some bad, but even I enjoyed the bad moments with her… (And, I missed her so much…)
She told me the same thing- PR is important. I know, I know but I don’t like to go and introduce myself. Maybe I’m not confident, maybe I’m afraid… Sunil (Rizal) dai also said the same thing, “No matter how talented you are, you need PR…” Another dai also stressed on the same thing. So, three people in three days after my return (from Vipassyana) have reminded me this. So, I wonder if I should give a second thought to what I’ve been doing- not trying to build contacts! Why do I need I thought? (Yeas, it’s stupidity, I know, I know…) But this stiff neck of mine. It know not how to bow. It can smile, love and bow down with respect… But meeting perfect strangers (no matter how renowned they are for the world) and introducing myself… Oh, it really hurts my ‘ego’.
The answersBut you know it’s so difficult… Well, I’ll try dear…
“Like Everest, hold your head high!”
you say. And I think of the proud head
of Hitler held high that lead to a World War.
The head that scared the world.
I don’t want to rise a head
that may wither human hearts.
“Be deep as the ocean!”
you say. The Buddha’s message of peace
has not stopped wars
or killed demons.
I don’t want to plant a peace
That births buds that are weak.
“Because a student of history!”
you say. The age in which I have been born
has not featured new beginnings.
I don’t want to tell of history
That will puzzle the people to be.
Translated by Pallav Ranjan
Last evening, I called Shamir and Sabin to join me at the Australian Film Festival. Then, I also called her. I asked Deelip to come as well. He okayed, but he couldn’t come… It was already late when Sabin came with Nitesh! It was surprise for me I guess. I couldn’t wait for a micro, so I decided to hire a taxi. Like always, my plan came out of blue. So they didn’t know how much money to bring. After I had already emptied my pocket paying the fare and buying the tickets, when she asked me to go to a nearby café I first declined the offer. How can I let her pay yaar? This was my time to pay. So, tyespachhi k k bhayo hola tyo chhahi nabhanaum… but I really felt embarrassed! Kya jindagi! I started with Kheer, but didn’t complete the long list. Keti jatti sukai samajhdaar bhayepani, aafu mahamurkha! Last ma, now when I recall everything I think that was most ‘memorable’ thing. Stiff neck! You should have been there to see how this stiff-neck butthead swallowed his pride? You should have taken a photograph and showed me later. My red, red face! My apple choking at my throat… but my heart was beating fast looking at her photographs. Live the moment, don’t they say. Dialouges sunai yaar dheraiiii, raat bhhari bhai lai tyesko bakhaaan gari gari bore garey. Nuunko sojho garnai paryo! I don’t know her mindset, but ‘honesty aakhanma jhalkinchha’ re. Felt nice to notice her noticing my eyes… For a moment I also started to wonder how I looked, oh my hair… my nose… After I returned from the retreat, who is the moron who cut his nails? (oh slovenly!) Again, I felt so low, oh god mujhe upar uthalo, yeh jindagi hai to kya jindagi haaaiii. When her friend said, “You look so different today…” I was high again, but only if she could say it herself, I’d have got a heart-attack. I didn’t praise her- arey beautiful chhadai chin k ko tariff garnu. Everyone does that! But she should have said- oh you look so handsome today…. Kaan taras gayey yeh sunne ko… (Guruji used to say) “Arey kahan bhatak gayey!” yeas, chhoda yaar beauty ko kura… malai ahile ta samjihdaa pani ramailo bhanda badhi laaj lagi rachha… laaj kati lageko thiyo malai harey…
“You’re getting a square meal through others’ donation. You are living a life of a bikhcchu (monk) here... you own nothing. When you realise that you’re living on others’ ‘mercy’, your ego will get diminished… Until you subdue your ego, how would you learn…” Guruji (Satya Narayan Goenka) said during the last part of his Dhamma talks. When I realised that for a moment I really started to feel so ashamed of myself … Then, he explained that’s the first ‘Paarmita’ towards Nirvana. I had tried to satisfy my ‘ego’ saying I’m going to pay for everything what I had here… “If we charge for what we give you here, what would be the difference between this and a lodge/hotel? So, everything is free here for those who want to walk on the Dhamma path…” But he also said giving donation was the basic duty of any Grihastha… I don’t know when if I can overcome my ‘ego’… Who likes favours? But if there’s love and friendship, it’s not favour but your ‘right’… mori lai k bhhanu mero budhi pani tyestai 30-40 hajaar mahina ko kamaune khojdai chhu bhanera….
My childhood friend Anup and my two cousins left for the US when I was still in the retreat. Missing them, so much. Yesterday, I almost cried while talking to Anup. We really clicked. So many things, so many things… When he said, “You’re the guy I won’t forget… your pc, your room inside my heart…” My throat/chest (the whole part above the chest) started to turn so heavier. Had never felt this. Then I realised that I’ve ‘lost’ him. I realised how difficult it’d be to leave my family here all alone. I know what pain it would cause my mother. “But life goes on…” he said. I will also miss my friends. Oh, this place. This office. So much. But I’m sure Anup will return back to his country. That I’ll return back to my roots as well. But the next few years, don’t know how many though, are for my further education and development. My country has everything but…
Happy load shedding!
January 12, 2008
I’m back from the Vippasyana retreat! I was there from Jan 1-12. Silent- we were not allowed to talk, write, read or do anything to express ourselves. (I used to sing, write, paint, read, watch and did everything in my mind though!) I met few wonderful people there. There was this wonderful boy, Sameer, who told me very motivating stories. The moral was, I guess, start to appreciate yourself. (We broke all the rules on the last day. We chatted (it was me chatting, Guruji’s lecture was over, mine had just started, to ek kahani chalti hai apni yahain…)
I’ll write about my experience in a few days time. (It was a hell lot easier than I’d expected! You must really give it a try… hehehe… “NA BABA NA”)
I’ve one painting in mind. Gotta paint that first…
Here are some of the works of my creative instinct (but not the best ones)… all from 2003/4. I wanted to know how was I then? My brother has preserved almost all of my ‘worthless’ things that I did to kill time during that period of my adolescence…
Today, I can see their roles in my life- in making me what I really am.
A Flower Vase
My first crush...
just pieces of crayons here and there turned into something...