Tuesday, 19 August 2014

यो कस्तो संयोग हो ?

साल २०७१, श्रावण महिनाको ३० गते शुक्रबारको दिन थियो त्यो । किन किन मलाई भर्खरै दिवंगत भएका नेपाली सिनेमा जगतका नायक श्रीकृष्ण श्रेष्ठकी पत्नी श्वेता खड्कालाई सान्त्वनास्वरुप एउटा पत्र लेखौं लेखौं जस्तो लागेर आयो । पोहोरको साल मात्र आफ्नी मायालु आमालाई अकस्मात रुपमा गुमाएकी मभित्र आफन्तको मृत्युको पिडा कति गहिरो हुन सक्तो रहेछ र यस्तो अथाह चोटबाट पनि क्रमश: कसरि बाहिर निस्कन सकिँदो रहेछ भन्ने अनुभव ताजै रहेकाले त्यसैको आधारमा मैंले श्वेतालाई चिठी लेखें । जब उनलाई म सान्त्वना दिंदै थिएँ, उज्यालो भविष्यको आशा देखाउंदै थिएँ, मेरा आदर्श पुरुष, मेरा बुवा यो संसार त्याग्ने क्रममा लाग्नु भएको रहेछ । यसका बारेमा म पूर्ण अनविज्ञ भै, श्वेताको अवर्णनीय दु:ख लाई आत्मसात गर्ने प्रयाश गर्दै थिएँ । त्यो पत्र लेखिसकेर मैंले आफ्नु इमेल खोल्दा बुवाको दुर्घटनाका बारेमा थाहा पाएँ 

यसैगरी, यसको ठिक एक हप्ता अगाडी, श्रावण २३ गते, शुक्रबारका दिन थुप्रै बहुमूल्य सामग्रीहरु संग्रह गरेर राखिएको हार्ड ड्राइव अचानक आफ्ना हातबाट खसेर धुलो भएको घटनालाई लिएर मेरा मनमा उब्जेका भावलाई समेटेर मैंले अंग्रेजीमा 'चेक, मेइट्' भन्ने लेख लेखी यही ब्लगमा छापेकी थिएँ। त्यो लेखमा आफूभन्दा ठूलो अदृश्य शक्तिका अगाडी मानव जाती सधैं निरीह र पराजित रहने तथ्यलाई औंल्यैएको छ । यस्तो निरीहतालाई आफन्तलाई गुमाउँदा लाग्ने चोट संग पनि जोडिएको छ 


मलाई लाग्छ, एक हप्ता भित्र लेखिएका र उस्तै विषयबस्तु समेटिएका यी दुवै लेखले म स्वयंलाई निकट भविष्यमा आफूमाथि आई लाग्ने वज्रपात सहनका लागि तयार पार्दै  थिएँ ! यस्ता कुरा गर्न मलाई कुनै अदृश्य शक्तिले नै प्रेरित गर्दैथियो! 'मृत्यु' जस्तो तीतो सत्यकै सेरोफेरोमा आफ्ना भावनाहरु पोखिई रहेका बेला मैंले श्रावण ३१ गते शनिबार यो परदेशमा आफ्ना पूजनीय पिताजीको मृत्युको खबर सुन्नुपर्यो । सबैको जीवनमा यस्तै हुन्छ । फरक सिर्फ कुन समयमा, कसरि  र कसलाई भन्ने मात्र हो । आफ्नु वेदनाले आफुलाई ढपक्क छोपेका बेला आफ्नु अगाडी लमतन्न पसरिएको कालो रातको अन्त कतै देखिँदैन ! यसले गर्दा झन् झन् कहाली लाग्छ! कालो रातपछि उज्यालो दिन पनि आउँछ भन्ने कुराको हेक्का नै रहँदैन!

ऐले मेरो सूर्य अस्ताएको छ, मेरो जीवनमा औंसीको रात आएको छ ! यस्तो संकटको घडीमा म आफूलाई पूर्ण: विश्वासका साथ  सम्झाउँदै छु, सान्त्वना दिंदैछु, "मेरो जीवनमा फेरि पनि सूर्य उदाउने छ, फेरि पनि पूर्णिमाको रात आउनेछ !"

{The pictures on this blog are posted here with permission from their owners or have been gathered from various sources on the Internet. If you are the copyright-holder to any of the photographs herein do not hesitate to contact me. They will be swiftly removed if desired so.] 



Sunday, 17 August 2014

Pain

Why must I be hurt?
Suffering and despair,
Cowardice and cruelty,
Envy and injustice,
All of these hurt.
Grief and terror,
Loneliness and betrayal
And the agony of loss or death --
All these things hurt.
Why? Why must life hurt?
Why must those who love generously,
Live honorably, feel deeply
All that is good -- and beautiful
Be so hurt,
While selfish creatures
Go unscathed?
That is why --
Because they can feel.
Hurt is the price to pay for feeling.
Pain is not accident,
Nor punishment, nor mockery
By some savage god.
Pain is part of growth.
The more we grow
The more we feel --
The more we feel -- the more we suffer,
For if we are able to feel beauty,
We must also feel the lack of it --
Those who glimpse heaven
Are bound to sight hell.
To have felt deeply is worth
Anything it cost.
To have felt Love and Honor,
Courage and Ecstasy
Is worth -- any price.
And so -- since hurt is the price
Of Larger living, I will not
Hate pain, nor try to escape it.
Instead I will try to meet it
Bravely, bear it proudly:
Not as a cross, or a misfortune, but an
Opportunity, a privilege, a challenge -- to the God that gropes within me.
                                                                                      - Elsie Robinson


Saturday, 16 August 2014

To Weep Because

To weep because a glorious sun has set
Which the next morn shall gild the east again;
To mourn that mighty strengths must yield to fate
Which by that force a double strength attain;
To shrink from pain without whose friendly strife
Joy could not be, to make a terror of death
Who smiling beckons us to farther life,
                                                       And is a bridge for the persistent breath;
                                                       Despair and anguish and the tragic grief
                                                       Of dry set eyes, or such disastrous tears
                                                       As rend the heart, though meant for its relief,
                                                      And all man’s ghastly company of fears
                                                      Are born of folly that believes the span
                                                     Of life the limit of immortal man.

- Sri Aurobindo
Reference: # 21 in “Les poèmes de Sri Aurobindo” (bilingual edition)
{The pictures on this blog are posted here with permission from their owners or have been gathered from various sources on the Internet. If you are the copyright-holder to any of the photographs herein do not hesitate to contact me. They will be swiftly removed if desired so.] 


Friday, 15 August 2014

चरिमाया कि श्वेता ??

लेखक: फक्कड़ जोगी

रात्रिर्गमिष्यति भविष्यति सुप्रभातम्
भास्वानुदेष्यति हसिष्यति पंकजश्रीः। 
इति विचारयति कोषगते द्विरेफे 
हा हंत हंत नलिनीं गज उज्जहार॥

[हात्तीले थुतेर फालेको कमलको फूलभित्र रहेको  मौरीले ठान्छ --रात पछि बिहानी आउछ, उज्यालो भएर घाम लागेपछि फूल फ़क्रिञ्छ। ब्रिहदरान्यकोपनिषद  ]

स्वेताका बारेमा लेखिएको डा शर्माको ब्लग पढ्दा माथिको श्लोकको सम्झना भयो र केहि कुरा थप्न अनुमति मागें।

एकै एकै समयमा दुइवटा युवाहरु नेपालले गुमायो । एउटा युवा श्रीकृष्ण श्रेष्ठ सर्जक भएकाले प्रख्यात भए र अर्काले भने बिध्वस मार्ग रोजेर कुख्याती कमाए । ती घटना संगसंगै दुइवटी उम्दा युवतीहरु पनि चर्चामा आए। श्वेता श्रीकृष्ण संग सिर्जना कर्ममा जुटेकी रहिछन् र संसारिक अर्थमा निर्लिप्त मायामा रहिछन् । ती रंगकर्ममा डुबेकी युवतीले चाहदी हुन् त ठुलै नाटक र बबण्डर खडा गरेर मेडिया लाई मसला दिन्थिन होला तर बिचारी स्वेताले वास्तविक जीवनमा नाटक उति जानेकी रहिनछन् ।

उता चरिमाया भने वास्तविक जीवनमा ठुलो नाटककार रहिछन्  । यी त मानब मुजुरनी पो रहिछन् । यता चरी प्रेमीको सैया उठ्न पाको छैन उता उनी कस्ती असल, समाजसेवी, सच्चा प्रेमी हुन् भनेर प्रमाणित गरिमाग्न गुहार गरि हिड्न पो थालिछन् । उनका नक्कली  तर्कमा मक्ख परेर अझ केहि सिकारु नारीवादी त चरिमायालाई एक  धन्य नारीका रुपमा प्रस्तुत गर्न पनि पछि परेनन् ;  उद्देस्य --सस्तो लोकप्रियता र अर्थोपार्जन -- ऎकै भएपछि कुरा मिल्ने रहेछ क्यारे । हुनत चरीमायाले चरीलाई मान्छे बनाउन प्रयास गरेको सुगा रट पनि सुनियो तर अब उनले अरु कतिलाई मान्छे बनाउने हुन् भन्ने पो डर छ त !

यता श्वेता प्रेमी गुमाउनु को मुर्छाबाट बौरिन सकेकी छैनन् उता चरिमाया देश देशान्तर थर्काएर उनका फड्के प्रेम कथा र त्यस संग जोडिएर आयेका लालची प्रसङ्ग बाट आफुलाई मुक्त गर्न असफल प्रयाश गर्दैछन ।

यी मानब जीवन जगतका दैनिक प्रसङ्ग हुन् कति यस्ता कुरा निस्कंछन्  र कति बिलाउछन् । एक जोगी महाराज भन्नु हुन्थ्यो -न त संसारका चना चपाएर सकिन्छ, न त कुरा गरेर सकिन्छ  । कुरा गरयो कुरैको दुख ।

गुरु राधास्वामी भन्नु हुन्थ्यो -- हामी आफ्नै आफ्नै भुमरीमा बटारिएर, लतारिएर निरन्तर स्या स्या र फ्या फ्या गर्दै दौडिरहेका छौ । कता र किन दौडेको होला भनेर रोकिने र सोच्ने सम्म फुर्सद छैन । बल्छीको माछो झैँ बिबिध लालसामा उनिएका छौ।  भुमरीलाई टाढा बाट हेर्दा मात्र यसले कसरि बिध्वन्स गर्छ भन्ने देखिन्छ । बल्छीको माछोले जति बल गर्छ उति जाकिन्छा।

सारमा दुवै युवाको मृत्यु भयो तर एकले सत्कर्मको छाप छाडेर गए भने अर्कोले दुस्कर्मको। छनोट आफ्नै आफ्नै हुन्छन, आफुले भिरेका मादल आ-आफ्नै तालमा बजाउने छुट सबैलाई छ । तर समाजमा चरिमाया जस्ता र तिनका पृष्ठपोसक हरुले भने दुस्प्रवाब नै पार्छन।  फेरी पनि छनोट आफ्नै हो --चरिमाया कि श्वेता ?

काममय एवायं पुरुष इति। 
स यथाकामो भवति तत्क्रतुर्भवति। 
यत्क्रतुर्भवति तत्कर्म कुरुते। 
यत्कर्म कुरुते तदभिसंपद्यते॥

[आफुले भित्र पालेका विचारले नै इच्छा लाई निर्देशित गर्छ, ती इच्छाले कर्मलाई निर्देशित गर्छ र कर्मले भाग्य निर्धारण गर्दछ ब्रिहदरान्यकोपनिषद ]

(यी विचार लेखकका आफ्नै  हुन् । यी कुरामा सहमत नभए लेखक संगै सम्पर्क गर्नुहोला। fakkad@gmail.com)

{The pictures on this blog are posted here with permission from their owners or have been gathered from various sources on the Internet. If you are the copyright-holder to any of the photographs herein do not hesitate to contact me. They will be swiftly removed if desired so.] 



श्वेता, सूर्य अवश्य उदाउँछ

                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                 
मिति २०७१/४/३० शुक्रबार

प्रिय श्वेता

सर्बप्रथम म यो दुखद घडीमा 'तिमीलाई अकस्मात परेको बज्रपात सहनका लागि अदम्य धैर्य र अथाह शक्ति प्रदान गरून' भनी भगवानसंग प्रार्थना गर्दछु I तिमीलाई थाह छ श्वेता, मैले जुन क्षण श्रीकृष्ण श्रेष्ठको अकल्पनीय मृत्युको खबर सुनें, तत्काल तिमीलाई सम्झिए I कठै, कसरि सहेउ होला तिमीले त्यो बिदेशी मुलुकमा आफ्नु प्रियतमले चटक्क छोडेर गएको खबर! तिमी त आफ्नु विवाहपश्चात हनिमून मनाउन, आँखामा रंगिन सपना सजाएर इंडिया तिर गएकी थिएउ, होइन र ? विवाह भएको पुग अपुग एक महिनामा तिमीले वैधव्यको शिकार बन्नु पर्यो I तिमीलाई परेको यो मर्म यहाँ तिमीले बाहेक कसैले पनि बुझ्न सक्ने छैन I

सारा दुनियाँ श्रीतिर खनिएको बेला म भने तिम्रो चिन्तामा डुबेकी थिएँ I तिम्रो अबस्थाका बारेमा जान्न उत्सुक थिएँ I शायद एउटा उम्दा नायक गुमाउनुको पिडामा डुबेको देश र त्यहाँका जनताका नजर तिमीतिर पुग्न सकिरहेका थिएनन् I त्यसैले त सारा संचार माध्यममा श्री मात्र छाएका थिए I

हिजो मात्र मैले तिम्रा बारेमा पढ्न पाएँ I मैले जस्तो कल्पना गरेकी थिएँ, तिमी त्यस्तै अबस्थाबाट गुज्रिरहेकी रहिछौ I भारतमा तिम्रा पतिको प्राण गएदेखि नेपालमा ल्याएर दाहसंस्कार गर्दासम्म तिमी असह्य बेदनामा थिएउ रे! अहिले पनि तिमी  अर्धमुर्छित अबस्थामै छउ रे! भेट्न आउनेको लर्को छ रे! सहानुभूति दिनेको भीड छ रे! तर श्वेता, तिमी कसैसँग बोल्नसक्ने अबस्थामा छैनौ रे! तिमी छिनमै टोलाउंछेउ, छिनमै रुन्छेउ रे! तिमीलाई सम्झाउन र सम्हाल्न करिब एक दर्जन महिला तिम्रो वरिपरि बसेका छन् रे!


यस्ता कुरा पढ्दा मलाई सारै दु:ख लाग्यो, श्वेता! तर यतिबेला तिमीले यस्तो अलाप विलाप गर्नु एकदमै जायज छ I तिमीले आफ़्नु पीडालाई पूर्ण रुपमा अनुभूति गर्न पाउनु पर्छ! तिमीलाई थाह छ श्वेता, 'मृत्यु' 'जीवन' का लागि जति सत्य छ, यो उति नै कुरुप पनि छ! तर उत्साहजनक कुरा, यो कुरुपताको तहमुनि यसले अति नै महत्वपूर्ण कुरा लुकाएको हुन्छ I ती कुरा हामीले उदिनेर निकाल्न सक्नुपर्छ I अहिले तिमीलाई आफ्नै चोटले घेरेको छ I तिमीमा त्यो घेराबाट बाहिर निस्कन सक्ने साहस आइसकेको छैन I तर म तिमीलाई विश्वास दिलाउन चाहन्छु, जब तिमी आफ्नु पीडालाई अलिकति पन्छाएर बाहिरि संसार हेर्न सक्षम हुन्छेउ, त्यतिबेला तिमीले अनुभव गर्नेछेउ कि  तिमी अझै पनि अनगिन्ति मानिसभन्दा भाग्यमानी छौ I

हेर श्वेता, हालसालै दैवी बिपत्तिमा परि सिन्धुपाल्चोकका सयउं मानिसले कसरि आफ्नु ज्यान गुमाए? राता रात परिवार परिवार नै सखाप भए! यहाँसम्म कि उनीहरुको शव समेत भेटिएन! यस्तो विपदको घडीमा बाँचेकाहरुले आफन्तको कुशको शव बनाई हिन्दू परम्परा अनुसार दाहसंस्कार गरेका थिए। यिनीहरुको तुलनामा तिमी आफुलाई कुन स्थानमा राख्छेऊ? यो त एउटा उदाहरण मात्रै हो I तिम्रो मन संग्लिएपछि तिमी यस्ता अनगिन्ति घटना छर्लंग देखनेछौ र आफुलाई धन्य ठान्नेछौ I

तिमीले श्रीलाई गरेको पवित्र माया त्यसै खेर जाँदैन, श्वेता! त्यहि मायाले तिमीलाई अहिलेको असिम पीडाबाट उतार्नेछ I भौतिक रुपमा तिमीले उनलाई नदेखे पनि आत्मिक रुपमा तिम्रा प्रेमी पति सधैं तिमीसंगै छन् I तिमी आफ्ना अन्तरका आँखा उघारी त हेर! तिमी भित्र हेर, श्रीले दिएको माया त्यहाँ सुरक्षित् छ कि छैन? त्यो माया तिम्रो शक्ति बनेर, तिमीले चाहुन्जेल सधैं तिमीसंगै रहिरहन्छ I

तिमीलाई सहज रुपमा फर्कन समय त लाग्छ ! तर एक दिन तिमी अवश्य तिम्रो शोक पार गरि अर्को छेउमा पुग्नेछउ! यसका लागि तिमीलाई ईश्वरले, श्रीको मायाले, आफन्त तथा साथीभाइको साथले, र मुख्यत: तिम्रै अथक प्रयासले सघाउने छन् I        

त्यतिबेला तिमीले आफू कति साहसी र शक्तिशाली रहिछौ भन्ने कुरा थाहा पाउनेछौ I तिमी अझ ससक्त र खुला ह्रिदयकी भएर आफ्नु जीवन सामना गर्न पुन: तयार हुनेछौ I आफ्ना सपना पछ्याउन सक्षम हुनेछौ I अहिले तिम्रो जीवनमा आएको औंसीको रातको समाप्ति अवश्यभावी छ, श्वेता! तिम्रो जीवनमा पूर्णिमाको जून अवश्य उदौनेछ I तिम्रो संसारमा फेरी पनि झलमल्ल घाम लाग्नेछ I मेरा यी कुरामा विश्वास गर, श्वेता तिमी I

अन्तमा, ईश्वरले सधैं तिम्रो रक्षा गरून् I

तिम्री एक हितैषी  -  व्यन्जना
                          हाल: अष्ट्रेलिया
{Published on mysansar.com on 18/08/14. See the link http://www.mysansar.com/2014/08/14377/#more-14377]


Thursday, 14 August 2014

Is the Demand Justifiable?

There is a new and strange trend developed after the establishment of Loktantra (people's republic) in Nepal; that is, in every sector the part-time or temporary staff are strongly staging protests to get the permanent status. In the same line, Tribhuvan University (TU) is not an exception. The ridiculous protest conducted by the TU part-time teachers and an irresponsible decision of the government to appoint 900 part-timers, who have served the university for at least a year on an automatic contract basis, are a great concern for every intellectual.

A university is regarded as the highest level of educational institution. Therefore, by principle, it must recruit its teachers carefully on the basis of certain criteria. For instance, those who want to enter the university service must have excellent academic records along with teaching competence so that the students would be benefited.

Unfortunately, these principles do not apply in our situation. If you have an access to the "power" you can easily join the university service (particularly TU) as a part-timer. It does not matter whether you have a third division; all you need is boot-licking skills. It is said that the TU has turned into only a recruitment center. Once you anyhow manage to enter there using your connection, you may simply have to teach one period (an hour) in a week, but you will be counted as a part-time teacher and will be eligible to get an appointment on a contract basis. Isn't it interesting?

At the same time, there are hundreds of capable candidates out there who have held a distinction or a first division in their master's degree. They desire to join the TU service but political barrier always exists. It is a bitter reality that every TU campus has one or another sort of political hold. If a campus is dominated by the leftist teachers, they never allow a newcomer who is a democrat, no matter how capable and competent s/he is, and vice versa. In this way, those who do not have any connection or even if they have some sort of connection but do not want to use it because they believe in their capabilities, have been waiting for an opportunity (which might never appear) to join the university.

It is a shame that the students, who have to be shaped and guided properly, are raising their voice to support the part-time teachers' protest or they are ready to guide those misguided lot.

The university must realize the adverse consequences of the unwise and shortsighted government decision and discourage it immediately. Instead of appointing teachers haphazardly, it must open the vacancies every year so that all eligible candidates could take part in the open competition and only the best and deserving candidates could be selected.

Published in an English Daily The Kathmandu Post on Tuesday, September 12, 2006)

[The pictures on this blog are posted here with permission from their owners or have been gathered from various sources on the Internet. If you are the copyright-holder to any of the photographs herein do not hesitate to contact me. They will be swiftly removed if desired so.] 

  


Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Time Factor

Long time no see, Riya (name changed)
How are you? I am missing you. 
                          Your dearest Pankaj (name changed).

This is a love letter written by a second-grader to his beloved. Further, it was ended with a big picture of a heart which was thrust by an arrow at the center. Just above the center 'Love' was written. When I saw this letter I remembered one of the funniest incidents of my past.

I was in grade three or four, I exactly do not know. One day, in my jolly mood, I was singing the song, "Khulla khulla pyar karenge ham donon, iss duniyanse nahi darenge ham donon... (We love each other openly, we are not scared of this world)," on the top of my voice. I hardly completed two lines; my father called me in his room and asked sarcastically, "Byanjana, do your teachers teach such things at your school these days?" At that time I could not realize the true meaning of the song but I sensed that I must have made a blunder. So I was filled with guilty feeling for a long time.

These days children are much smarter. Girlfriend, boyfriend, love, kiss, hug and other sex-related vocabulary are not alien to them. They can openly share stories of love affairs without hesitation. During my teens, my mother used to get annoyed when my male classmates came to see me at our house. Although our gossips were centered around study-related matters or friends, I wished those boys had never visited my house to disappoint my dear mother. Whenever I came home late, I had to face her suspicious eyes and needed to give an explanation for that. In fact, it was not my mother's fault; every mother was over-concerned and over-protective about their daughters on those days.

Now the scenario has changed. Relatively, girls can spend much time with their male friends without having any fear of mothers. Most of the parents take it normally that there can be a healthy friendship between a girl and a boy.

The women of my generation still hesitate to take part in social functions when they have menstruation. From the very beginning girls were taught that menstruation is an evil sign, one must isolate herself from other people because during this period (at least for three days) she is untouchable; if she acts like other 'normal' women she will commit an unforgivable sin. The fear of this unseen sin exists inside them at present as well. On the other hand, menstruation is more a natural phenomenon rather than an untouchable process for today's girls.

What amuses me most is, not only the urban girls, but the damsels from the rural areas are also getting bolder to talk about sexual issues. They teach the community people how to use contraceptives either to avoid unwanted pregnancy or to be protected from sexual diseases like the HIV/ AIDS.

People may not disagree with me that it is time that brings changes in every sector of the society. You simply wait and watch what will happen next.

Published in an English Daily The Kathmandu Post on Monday, July 31, 2006)

[The pictures on this blog are posted here with permission from their owners or have been gathered from various sources on the Internet. If you are the copyright-holder to any of the photographs herein do not hesitate to contact me. They will be swiftly removed if desired so.] 



Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Is Teaching Easy?

There is a misconception about teaching in our society that it is a very easy job. Everyone can be a teacher. If one fails in other professions, s/he finally chooses to join the teaching. In contrast, a common theory of teaching states that it is a kind of art and a teacher is an artist. Only those who have flair in teaching can perform this duty successfully. In reality, it is challenging.

I always remember an incident that justifies how challenging the teaching is. I was in a selection panel to interview a primary school teacher. The interviewee completed her schooling from a private school. Obviously she had a good command over English. The panel asked her to demonstrate how she would teach the 'present continuous tense.' She only discussed about the rules/structures and could not state it clearly that in which situations the particular tense is used. Furthermore, we asked her to differentiate between the 'simple present tense' and the 'present continuous tense' so that her students could use them appropriately. The poor girl could not demonstrate it; instead she blushed.

There was no doubt that she knew how to use those tenses appropriately. However, to know something is one thing and to make others know that is another. In our lifetime we learn many things, we internalize many things and of course we know many things, but can we express all the things that we have learned or we have known? Here lies the genuine challenge for teachers. They must know something for themselves and then they must make students know the same thing using whatever techniques they can. Another aspect, teachers have to always deal with humans who are full of diverse emotions and moods. They are not like lifeless machines. They are constant, but changeable every time. Therefore, a teacher must know students' moods and act accordingly.

Only acquiring the internal qualities is not enough for a teacher. Externally also s/he must have an impressive personality, confident appearance and a good sense of dressing up, otherwise one can easily fall into a big trouble. Once we were on practice teaching, a requirement to complete a B.Ed. level. We had a friend who was competent in subject matter, but when she would enter the classroom with her wobbly personality, she used to lose her confidence. The clever students could see that immediately and they used to create problems for her.

If one honestly chooses to be a teacher, they accept a challenge too. A teacher has to play different roles simultaneously except for the teacher's  - like the role of a parent, a psychologist, a motivator, an artist, an educationist, a mind-reader and a relationship expert. To satisfy every student is in fact tricky in a true sense.

Published in an English Daily The Kathmandu Post on Wednesday, July 12, 2006)

[The pictures on this blog are posted here with permission from their owners or have been gathered from various sources on the Internet. If you are the copyright-holder to any of the photographs herein do not hesitate to contact me. They will be swiftly removed if desired so.] 


Monday, 11 August 2014

A Teacher's Diary

It is the first day in college for my students, not for me. When I enter the classroom, I see new faces at every
corner. They stare at me mischievously and with mistrust. I can feel clearly that they are not ready to let me cross the threshold of their periphery. I am not allowed to peep into their world at any cost. After all, they are stubborn teenagers. Anyway, our first session, the introductory session, begins as usual. I get some bits of information from each of them. Some discussion on the course outline and the class is over.

Our regular classes commence from the next day. Gradually the teacher-students rapport starts to improve. With each passing day, we come closer. I know scores of things about them. We share our interests, happiness, problems, aims, birthdays and things like that.

We are like a family. Among them, some are aspiring writers, some are poets, some are artists, some are singers, some are dancers and some are orators. They are a creative bunch of people.

For me, they are varieties of beautiful flowers in my garden. In each face I find an intimate family member. Many of them are my source of inspiration. They touch my heart deep down. Really, my students are wonderful. They are full of new ideas. Sometimes they come up with such spectacular things that I cannot help gaping and gasping.

It is not true that all students are equally attentive and responsive when study comes. Some of them never trouble me. They do all assignments sincerely. They raise sensible questions and always make the lessons more lively and interesting with their active participation.

Nevertheless, others talk too much while classes are on progress. Their minds travel somewhere else all the time. There are some who respond to me if I insist, otherwise they sit quietly.

I consider this individual differences is normal. My treatment to all is the same. I believe I never show discriminatory nature because everyone of them is equally dear to me. I accept them as they are, with their strengths and weaknesses.

Supporting each other in teaching-learning process, one day we come to the end of the course. I wonder how quickly time flies away. We spent the whole year together in a blink and now we are going to depart soon.

Ah...a painful feeling. Today is the last class. My heart is heavy and eyes are tearful. My lovely students will not be in my class from tomorrow. We bid farewell. I offer my good wishes for their bright future. They promise to contact me regularly and not to forget too. I am happy for them that they are moving forward in their life.

The story is not over here anyway. Now I eagerly look forward to seeing a new lot of students with strange faces for the next session.This cycle goes on as long as I am in teaching profession.

(Published in an English Daily The Kathmandu Post on Thursday, June 29, 2006)

[The pictures on this blog are posted here with permission from their owners or have been gathered from various sources on the Internet. If you are the copyright-holder to any of the photographs herein do not hesitate to contact me. They will be swiftly removed if desired so.]
    


Sunday, 10 August 2014

Name Matters

Before the hurricane Katrina hit the USA all Katrinas may have been happy with their beautiful name. Later,
most of them wished their name should have been something else. A 13-year-old schoolgirl made a public declaration that her name is not Katrina, she is only Kate.

Doubtlessly every one of us love our name. We want our name to be meaningful, it should not be misunderstood, misspelled or misinterpreted. On the contrary, we have a popular culture to disfigure other people's name and make a fun of them, knowingly or unknowingly.

I am proud of my name. My parents must have thought many times before giving me this name. In fact 'Byanjana' refers to the word power that expresses satirical meanings. Unfortunately, almost all people, who are ignorant about the beauty of my name, relate my name to either Byanjan (food) or Byanjan Varna (consonant sounds); this misinterpretation drives me crazy. I wish they asked me the meaning of this name first before interpreting it.

Meanwhile, the case of my son is a bit different from mine. My spouse and I spent many days to find a suitable name for him and finally named him 'Bishrut' which means a learned person. He is also happy with his name and its connotation, but the problem lies on its mutilation.

To irritate him when people call him 'biscuit' he becomes disappointed. Then all his anger turns towards his parents. He attacks us, "Why did you name me Bishrut? If I had other name people would not tease me calling biscuit." The poor boy hardly knows there is no name that is free from any defacement in our culture.

When such disputes arise I always remember a cousin of mine whose son's name was Sagar (Ocean). Some naughty people used to hurt him by saying, "Sagar, Aan gar;" this would make him cry bitterly. My desperate cousin would comment, "...All the names are problematic! After all, what name can we give to our children? People will disfigure any name!"

Being cautious of a malpractice of bending names like Rame, Shyame, Hare, Binode, Suraje (for Ram, Shyam, Hari, Binod and Suraj respectively) and many more, my nephew's parents named him 'Jaya.' Their logic behind the choice of this name is that even if people twist their son's name, it becomes 'Jaye,' which does not sound bad and more or less similar to 'Jaya' itself.

Our name is our identification. Throughout our life we try hard to prove the meaning it contains. Since all of us want others to respect our name as it is, so why do we forget to do the same to others' name as well? In my experience, the westerners are more sensitive in this matter. They are careful not to write or interpret others' name on their own. Every time they ask people to spell their name and surname clearly and correctly (if they have a slight confusion) so that they could do justice. However, it is another story that some of them cannot pronounce my name correctly even if they try their best.

(Published in an English Daily The Kathmandu Post on Friday, June 16, 2006)

[The pictures on this blog are posted here with permission from their owners or have been gathered from various sources on the Internet. If you are the copyright-holder to any of the photographs herein do not hesitate to contact me. They will be swiftly removed if desired so.]



Saturday, 9 August 2014

Identity Crisis

Reading any success story of a woman, especially from a social background like ours where women are deprived of equal rights, can be an inspiration. Not before long, the Gorkhapatra daily published an interview of a struggling woman where she was described as a celebrated figure in the field of literature and music. A number of awards that she bagged during  the course of her endeavor also proved her success. Her achievements were enough to identify the woman but what the interviewer pointed out intentionally about her was, above all, 'she is the wife of a renowned politician.' It seemed as if without her husband's addition, her identification were incomplete.

It is just an example. In reality all Nepali women have been facing identity crisis, both socially and legally. Immediately after a woman gets married, she has to discard her surname, a temporary legacy from her father, and use her husband's but the husband lives his identity from birth to death. She obtains the citizenship, the most authentic identification, only if she can supply her father's or husband's name. It is ridiculous that a mother, who gives birth to children and fulfills the responsibilities of raising them, is regarded unacceptable while acquiring their citizenship certificate. In addition, a husband and a wife are considered 'better half' to each other; so if she needs her husband's name to execute any legal procedure, why doesn't the husband need his wife's name for the same?

Replying to a query, whether she was happy to be identified by her husband, a housewife in a vernacular weekly said," Yes, why not? We are living in such a society where women are not recognized by themselves, for example, a female lecturer is addressed as a 'lecturnee.' So, for a woman like me who is not educated enough and devotes all her time inside a house, it is okay to be known by the husband's name."

Let alone the  ignorant lot, majority of the educated and conscious women have also been facing the same problem. They have spent all their precious years to shape themselves, to make  themselves in the pursuit of their goals but they are reluctant to expose their potential, instead they feel proud to be recognized by their husband, they always prefer to be shadows of their male counterpart. 

However, as a good sign, there are some women, who are successful to establish their identity through their own effort. In general, Nepali women are suffering from identity crisis. It is high time that  every woman must realize her own self-interest; before being a wife of someone else she is an independent individual, so she must know who she is, what she can contribute to  the society and feel proud of herself for being herself not someone's wife. 


(Published in an English Daily The Rising Nepal on Friday, April 14, 2006)

[The pictures on this blog are posted here with permission from their owners or have been gathered from various sources on the Internet. If you are the copyright-holder to any of the photographs herein do not hesitate to contact me. They will be swiftly removed if desired so.]



Friday, 8 August 2014

Check, Mate!

The Monday evening was just like another ordinary evening until an unexpected incident happened. While I was doing the PhD my husband bought me an external hard drive to store all my data safely. I had saved all important documents in that precious box and kept it in the safest place. On that fateful day I needed that black box to retrieve some of my precious documents to write a couple of articles.

Unfortunately, the box slipped off my hand and bumped on the wooden floor with a "Bang!" I unbelievably stared at it. How could I do that? My intuition immediately told me, "It's gone, baby. You lost all your data in a blink." Yet, I wanted to check if it was still working. No, my instinct was absolutely right. I lost everything that had been stored so dearly working for four years.

At that moment a sense of great loss gripped me tightly. The feeling was similar to losing someone who was dear to you. I started sobbing. When I got hold of my emotions eventually, my mind began questioning, "What was I crying for, after all?" For the lost data? No, my husband had assured me that they could be retrieved. Then, for that dysfunctional drive? Answer: Again 'no,' because a statement given by my father is tattooed inside me, "Never have faith on artifacts; they may deceive you anytime. So, don't get attached to them too much." And I trust his wisdom more than hundred percent.

I wondered, what was my problem? During a meditative moment I heard my inner voice, "In fact you cried for the helplessness of human beings. No matter how prepared you think you are, you can never win the invisible player who is constantly watching your game. At the least expected time he abruptly goes with a broad smile, 'Check, mate!' You are shocked. You think you were playing excellent. You look here and there. No escape. You have been trapped badly from everywhere. You have no choice but surrender to that super player. Got it?"

Hmm...I was convinced. My inner voice was right. Can you believe, the next morning I heard a sad news of someone's untimely death who was significant to me? Even though he was not from my extended family, his family is near to my heart. I felt deep pain for the bereaved family.

Was it just a coincidence or my intuition was warning me in advance about the ill omen?

[The pictures on this blog are posted here with permission from their owners or have been gathered from various sources on the Internet. If you are the copyright-holder to any of the photographs herein do not hesitate to contact me. They will be swiftly removed if desired so.]



Thursday, 7 August 2014

Raising a Singular Child

Gone are the days when people used to say, "Santanle danda kanda dhakun," (May your children sprawl everywhere) or "Euta aankho ke aankho, euta chhoro ke chhoro," (What's the use of a single eye or only child). We know, with time everything changes. These days, especially in the cities, parents have started preferring to have a single child, no matter whether a girl or a boy. The reasons for this may be varied. Some women decide not to conceive a second child in order to balance a career with motherhood. Others have financial constraints. In addition to these, giving a primary attention to education or career, women are getting married at a later age so they do not want to risk their life delivering many children.

Apparently, child experts list several advantages of having a singular child, including parents having more time and financial resources to give the child and the child not having to deal with sibling rivalry or comparison. Barbara Holland, a child expert and writer, also speaks for a single child and says that one child is a manageable appendage.

No doubt, there are excellent tips available on how to parent a single child. For instance, you should focus your entire attention on the child because you do not need to divide your attention and concern between two or more children. You should not spoil your child by showering expensive gifts all the time. You should keep him/her busy in different creative activities so that s/he will not get time to feel lonely. You should expand your family or friend circle to socialize the child, and many more.

However, being pretty aware of such suggestions the parents of a single child have to face many kinds of challenges. Obviously, a single child is highly demanding. S/he knows about their importance for parents. Therefore, the child never lets a chance slip through his/her hand without the expected reward. Another specialty of a singular child is that s/he is excessively dependent upon parents; as much as the parents try to make their child independent in study, dressing up, placing playthings properly and so on, as less as the child shows an interest to fulfill their desires. The child demands over-protection too. Similarly, a single child is quite possessive of undivided parental love.
S/he does not tolerate if their parents show any affection towards other children. When the child sees the parents mixing up with 'other' children, s/he gets jealous and bursts into anger. At such a situation sometimes the kid does not forget to threaten the parents, "I'll leave the house and go away, then you'll see..." or "I'll die if you don't only love me." Above all, a single child is time-consuming. The parents have to spend almost all their spare time with the kid -  talking, listening, playing, reading, paying sole attention, and what not. The couple hardly share any private time together as long as the child is around.

Yet, besides facing many challenges and difficulties a singular child is in demand particularly among working parents. In the course of parenting, such parents can learn many skills. First of all, they learn how to manage their anger, then how to be patient and calm. They practise to be a good listener. They also develop their skill on time management. They gain persuading power, to name some.

 Anyway, a singular child is not an obligation but a choice. Parents play key roles in how children behave or develop - whether a child is the only one or one of ten. The difference is that parental efforts and actions are intensified as the number of children decreases. The parents of only child do not have other children to
distract them so they tend to be more focused on their child. They can help their child to self-entertain. The usual tendency is seen to fill the child's life with planned activities or quality time with them, but the child needs to learn how to cope with the unstructured time too. It might not be easy at first - especially if the child is not used to 'alone time.' The parents can help by sitting down with the child and assisting him/her to come up with a list of activities the child can do all by himself or herself. Gradually, the child stops to ask for his/her parents' 100% time and attention, so the couple might get some quality moments for themselves as well.

(Published in an English Daily The Rising Nepal on Friday, March 24, 2006)
[The pictures on this blog are posted here with permission from their owners or have been gathered from various sources on the Internet. If you are the copyright-holder to any of the photographs herein do not hesitate to contact me. They will be swiftly removed if desired so.]


Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Soap Opera Fails to Do Justice

If you ask the viewers of Nepal Television which programme they like the most, you may get a quick reply from the majority of people - 'Tito Satya' (Bitter Reality). Doubtlessly the humour and satire soap opera has been able to win many people's heart, but this widely watched TV drama has not done a complete justice to its female characters and has undermined the feelings of the female viewers.

The main female character in 'Tito Satya,' Deepa Shree Niraula as Deepa, is presented as a beautiful woman from a middle class family. She looks modern and resides in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, but the problem with her is that she is entirely dependent on her husband. She is extremely conscious about her beauty: she wears attractive modern clothes, applies full make-up and highlights her hair. I wonder how can't a woman like Deepa be equally aware of being independent and think of earning herself to fulfill her demands as well as to support the family? She is there simply to serve her husband water, tea or three times meal. Her dependence leads Deepak, her husband, to a suspicion that if she robs his money. Poor Deepa cannot do anything except for stepping back and throwing angry looks along with some defensive words.

Whether she is Deepa, Bijuli or Sweetie, they are portrayed as a commodity. Any man can consider her as his possession. Sweetie is a 'thing' to be possessed by all lecherous male staff in her office. They are free to flirt with her any time they like. They can take her for a date, although they all are married men. Sweetie is merely a 'time pass' for them. What is unconvincing is that she does not have any objection whatever those cunning men do with her. Similarly, neither Suku shows any gentlemanly decency while pampering Deepa in Deepak's absence; nor Deepak misses a chance to approach Bijuli, Suku's wife in the soap opera with his unfair intentions when Suku is not around.

Are these women that much idiot that they do not know about such silly men's vulgar intentions? Why can't they warn or oppose them? After all, they are not deaf, dumb, blind or brainless objects.

There is also a big question mark in the relationship between neighbours. In our society the neighbourly bond  is considered to be the strongest one. Usually no man should throw his dirty looks towards his neighbour's wife, especially when the neighbour is out of the house.

One of the objectives of such TV shows is to raise awareness among general public on different issues. Sadly, Tito Satya is unable to present its female characters in powerful roles. As a result, it fails to inspire women or to strengthen the concept of women empowerment - currently a burning issue. They are revealed as stereotyped traditional women. They are less powerful and less witty than their male counterparts. They are presented as narrow-minded, superstitious, jealous, weak and suspicious lot. They have to tolerate all the foolish activities done by the men, and pathetically they cannot raise a voice for their existence.

In reality, the situation of women has been  improved much in comparison to the past days. They have started to explore their identity and existence in the society. They do not like to waste their time staying idly at home. They have understood the importance of self-earning. They have proved themselves as wise, competent or strong as men.

Therefore, the main reason for depicting women as having less significant roles may lie in the deeply injected male chauvinism of the director cum story writer of Tito satya, Deepak Raj Giri. He may not want to see a woman at the same level as of a man, but what would he do if all female viewers started to switch into some other channels where women are presented as an agent of social change?

(Published in an English Daily The Rising Nepal on Sunday, February 12, 2006)  


[The pictures on this blog are posted here with permission from their owners or have been gathered from various sources on the Internet. If you are the copyright-holder to any of the photographs herein do not hesitate to contact me. They will be swiftly removed if desired so.]