The Songkran Festival from Nepal

The term “Songkran Festival” comes from Thai language – the water-festival of Thailand where it is being celebrated by splashing water on one another which is basically a gesture of sharing love and happiness. This festival is similar to a Hindu festival which we call “Holi”.

In fact, the essence of both of these festivals are basically the same – sharing love and happiness and to show a sign of closeness and affection and to wish well for each other. The only difference between these two festivals is that we Hindus celebrate it with colored water while Songkran festival is being celebrated with plain water. The another stark similarities between these two festivals is that they are being celebrated with the advent of spring season in both countries.

This time “Holi” has been largely peaceful in Kathmandu with just 35 arrests being made by police – unlike yesteryear when there were approximately 660 arrests being made following untoward events such as traffic accident because of drunken-driving, pelting hard water-balloons targeting female which had lead to serious injuries earlier.

Thanks to Metropolitan Police Department that has somehow managed to bring this harrowing situation under control. It has come as a sigh of relief to most who have to travel during the festival day as well. The stricter measures has brought denizens of Kathmandu to feel safe and secure and have been able to go on with their work even on the festival day.

In another way, however, these kind of stricter measures are damping our way of celebrating festival in more humanly and traditional manner. After biking across Kathmandu this morning I experienced that we are loosing the charm and vigor of this great festival as we are basically being confined to our rooms, apartments and our homes. In another sense, this wonderful colorful day has largely been observed as a black-and-white day while people are confined in their homes munching items of meat. Even I have toothache today, and I don’t know how long is it going to last!!

Since the festival is being celebrated in two successive days depending on the regions of Nepal, the terai belt (of course including my hometown) of Nepal is going to pick this color tomorrow.   And, I am already missing it this time as well.

For me, the festival was just so-so as I was also the one who was confined in my room with just my computer and internet as my companion. It has been almost 10 years now since I left my home for my higher education, and since then I have not yet been able to manage to go back to my home and celebrate with my family.

But, as the saying goes: “There is always the next time”, I am quite optimistic for next year. Hope next year is going to bring some colors to my life.

Happy Holi to you guys (friends in Nepal, India and elsewhere in abroad) and happy belated Songkran festival to my friends in Thailand.

In the hands of adversity

When you have the tools to pen down your thoughts, ideas and imaginations of fantasies you are short of words, phrase and idioms to shape it. But, when you have whole bunch of ideas and creativities flowing through your mind you are far from your tools. This is what happening in my context.

I am missing my computer clattering keyboard most of the time – specially when I am overwhelmed with school of thoughts rambling in my mind and its all because my laptop has turned out of be a portable desktop due to worn-out battery backup strength. So, finally, I thought of coming down and getting befriended with my haplessness rather than being a mutineer to it.

Sometimes, I think we Nepalese are more resilient in our creativity and our nature of acclimatization with uninvited impending difficult situations which often come as a surprise. And, the political impasses and unending and protracting deadlines for the promulgation of constitution of Nepal is the best example to cite as of now.

It is not long gone that we have come out of civil war in Nepal and, therefore, the entire milieu is in total disarray, confused and kind of havoc. But, we have that charisma and the flowing resilience racing through our veins. We are still surviving hundreds of basic human rights cuts. We are still escalating in the hands of adversity, and this is really something to be acknowledged with whole-heart and getting praised for.

Even after this much of turbulence we are going through, I feel proud to point out the fact that Nepal has not lost its position in overall development and more particularly in tourism sector which is one of the standing pillar to country’s economic next to remittance which is holding Nepal from vacillating from its position.

We, the young generation of Nepal are still optimistic that we will come out of this quagmire doesn’t matter what’s going on in Nepal’s polity. We are entering into a new phase which can better be termed as “Brain-drain to Brain-gain” system – a theme which has primarily been used by Biotechnology Society of Nepal (BSN) in its seminars and conferences.

Biotechnology Society of Nepal (BSN), Research Institute for Biosciences and Biotechnology (RIBB), Genesis International, Everest Biotech, Intrepid Nepal are some of the shining examples to name which have graduates from international as well as National graduates.

Nepal which is sandwiched between two giant fostering states (India and China) seems to be another glittering little stone in between the boulders. Nepal is one of those fostering countries which even battered by several stymies – political and social, which is still escalating when it comes to maternal health and child care, education and the world of mass media and communication. And, I feel proud to flaunt that our country is engaged in generating more than 2000 potential medical graduates every year – a big-leap on the health sector.

Our School Leaving Certificate (SLC) board examination which is the landmark of national system of education is still doing great with approximately 547,165 total examinees appearing for this year board exam. And, our government even with its hobbling feet is supporting it with its total investment for year 2013 amounting to NRS 280 million. This is really something to wow for when the total examination centers are 1786, 1786 superintendents, 21, 890 assistant superintendents and 19,860 security personals being mobilized to give it a successful completion.

Wish, Nepal will always rise and shine just like this even in the time of adversities.

The Spring

As the blue ink flows through my gifted parker pen that has got my name engraved with golden calligraphy, I can feel the smoothness with which it is giving me company to pen down my thoughts on this clean white sheet of blank paper. During my educational voyage I have always been so fascinated by two things: stationary and computer technology – and, I am still. And, today, I have got both things in my possession – a nice white sleek “Sony Vaio” which people often get confused and usually they pop out, “Wow! You got a MacBook?!” And, my usual expressing is just one smirk.

I am not bragging about things here. Not of course! But, the fact is, I just want to reiterate the fact on the development this world has made. Both of these so called my bragging processions are made in abroad, and not of course in Nepal. So, practically, I can’t at least boast for just owning it from somewhere else.

After years of experiments and research scientists have brought this wonderful utilities to our doorsteps, which I guess might be the generation of calm, concentrated, smug mind. After all, how can you even think of progressing if your mind is out of whack just because of burden of thoughts which can be considered as secondary factors such as political stability in country, safety and security in every front of life and the fulfillment of basic necessities.

We are so hapless that we have been battered so hard by all these secondary thought- factors. So, basically, the point is, we are not going to develop anytime soon because we are not inundated with those secondary factors, so that we can think sharp and straight with calm and cool mind.

Now, there comes another thing, what we call “change” – a positive change, of course! Our country (Nepal) was in the list of “developing countries”, which I guess was 17-years back when there was surge in new companies, offices, organizations, factories, schools and decent infirmaries – that was what I call a positive change. But, 17-years down the line, afterward, we have now made up a new ranking in the portfolio of development and now we are generously being coined as “least developed country”.

So, now again, this reflects another fact that how far we are from the development. And, not to mention, it would be just a sheer imagination or say day-dreaming to even think that some day we will be mentioned in “developed nation” category. So, forget about making another revolutionary pen like Parker or a computer like MacBook.

The thing called “development” does not come out all of a sudden from nowhere. It takes days, months and years to build something, and for that reason also it is said that, “Rome was not build in a day”. We need to do something everyday for a continuous and progressive development and that has to be based on the solid base of political stability in a country which provides basic needs of the general people – which is sense of security, fuel and energy.

I think the whole world is doing something, everybody is developing in someway, and that is why the world is rising against the tyrants who have obstructed their constructive way of life and a vision to think bigger picture of life. Arab spring and Bangladesh spring are some of those examples.  It’s not the seasonal spring we are talking here – it is more about revolution and the changes it brings in the society. The only difference between these two springs are that one is the one that enjoins women to put veil on their face and headscarf while other is trying to remove those veils and resisting putting veils on their face.

But, we Nepalese are so staid and stolid that nothing touches us. It appears as if we have been tranquilized. I am just waiting for the day when all these sufferings will ooze out because I am sure that everything has a threshold level and someday it will reach to the level of lethality, and I surmise that, that day is not far enough now which will be penned as “Nepalese Movement” in our history.

Think big; think out of box!