Sunday, July 19, 2015

Art on the wall - the unseen healing

Photo and wall paint by Sajes Tamang
I have been to Manichuood on 3rd of July. I was there as a quake volunteers  with a team of Youth  Motivation Camp. A local school have been reduced to rubble after the quake and youth action Nepal have help them build school through crowd funding on social networking sites which helped them to build one shelter TLC - Temporary Learning Center - with three classrooms. Mr. Punya Bhandari, Programme Coordinator, who took active part in this project from the very beginning starting from raising funds to involved in this work as a volunteer to do everything, so that the school gets its shelter fast and children get a chance to go to school sooner was invited by the school management for a function. It was also the day schedule for TLC handover ceremony to the school management.

It was a beautiful shelter from outside, and when I looked inside the plain wall looked just stared blankly from all sides. I thought, this would have looked better if it was painted. Back home I quietly, searched for some artist ready to volunteer for such work. Facebook made this work really easy. Couple of  young artist instantly responded. Quake hit nation, so everyone is ready to do anything for this country. Then, I shared this thought with Bhawana Bhatta, general secretary, Youth Action Nepal. She instantly liked the idea and said we can start it soon with Basu Higher Secondary School, Bhaktapur.

In the first meeting, the artist was little bit unsure of doing it, all alone, even though; he had done similar type of painting work before. We have little time to handover the completed [zink sheet] TLC, to the school management. Therefore, we started painting wall very next day of our meeting. Before that, the artist had gone to see the classroom, size of wall and also to get some idea from the school management to discuss about what kind of paintings would be better inside the classroom of young children.  

That helped artist a lot to get clear idea about the paintings, so he worked accordingly, selecting some good pictures or children.  Most of us shared first days wall painting on our post on facebook. The response from people was overwhelming. Arpan Bhuju, civil engineer, who is leading this particular project from the very beginning, visited to see the work. When we reach almost the final work of a wall, then he shared with me, I was not convinced about it when I heard about it in the beginning but after seeing it, I have to  admit I was wrong about it. Its so good and unlike other rebuild and reconstruction this a lot different yet it has lasting impact in the mind of child. Hearing that made me feel good about it.

Bhuju, the engineer is involved in many other construction works as a leader that is going on under the banner of Youth Action Nepal, which primarily focus on TLC. So, I asked him, will you make this a prime part of all your construction from now on when you build schools  ? Yes, was his answer. That approval meant a lot for me to come up a new solution to heal young children of quake hit nation, in a way; that do not necessarily mean to spent lots of money on it.

One of the team member was telling me that, with this cost which we spend on this painting could have allowed  to buy one bundle of zink sheet that would have been more useful for other projects. Do you also think this painting just added ‘extra expenses’ on this budget TLC ? what is your take on that comment, I asked this to Bhawana Bhatta. I was really curious to know her opinion on it. Of Course, we need shelter as primary need, she said  and further added, but; there should be no comparison between the cost of shelter over our head and the art on wall. Music, art and sports have different and unseen way of connecting and healing people in every society. Everyone need mental shelter as much as roof over our head. One does not diminish the importance of other in anyway, because these are absolutely different things.

 from left the artist - Sajes Tamang, Sunita Giri, Kanchan Bhattarai, Arpan Bhuju and Roshan Nepal
There is no doubt, we all seem to be agreeing on one point, that this art on the wall, can do more than what meets eyes. It can do more than a group of adult counselors visiting  school and running a counselling session or telling them to paint the thought on a blank paper. When they see it daily in their classroom, they will go home after school and then they will do it without being told. This art piece will inspire them, encourage them and entertain them that too without using a single word. There is this famous saying, a picture speaks a thousand language. If that is true, then a wall painting can tell a story that is possible after using ten thousands words.
When the wall got finishing touch from the artist, it was not what I could have envisioned in my mind, staring at blank and boring walls. It was a hundred times better than what I have thought after seeing the plain walls of a school in Manichood. The programme coordinator was telling me all the way about its lovely scenes and fresh air and the power it can have in our mind. Maybe he is right about that fresh air, but I think its the blank walls that was inviting anyone [not just me] to write something, paint something on it. So, this way I must say my visit to manhood have been fruitful to get an idea that may help a society.

One single organisation can't do this work alone, to paint all the school walls of young children. If, lots of other people get inspired to paint art on blank walls, then it will be a way to help a bigger society through art.  Because, this is an invisible way of healing and educating children.  Therefore, I would like to urge more people to get inspired from this. How lovely it would be if everyone who are in rebuild and reconstruction paints the wall for school children.

I am very hopeful there will be days, painting wall of school children's classroom will be a prime focus of education board Members, school principals and educators around the nation and all of them will come up with bigger and better ideas to get the attention of children, when it comes to connect them through art and creativity.

My special thanks to artist, Sajes Tamang for giving me more than what I could see with my eyes. All you needed is five days and four helping hands to show us how the mind of artist works. That's why artists are needed to include  in rebuild and reconstruction of the  quake hit nation.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Creative Healing

And, I was hypnotized.

This was my first experience of being hypnotized. No, they did not use pendulum to hypnotize me, they played music to send me in my deep consciousness. Let me put it clear about this art of hypnotism, for some reason I am not much sure of it. Oh, should I be more precise here ? the Indian way of hypnotism is what I have

Hypnotism is the knowledge to tap our subconscious mind. Very few can practice it on their own and most needs to be helped by others. It's understood that we need to be helped by others, even though we our self can be in touch with our deeper self by gaining some knowledge about the subconscious mind and autosuggestion.  I have had some reservations for eastern way of practicing the art of hypnotizing to reach our inner self. I agree, not all are misusing it, but majority are not using it properly either. Thus my deep inhibition about it. Indians are practicing it as  secret art, when other Asians and westerns are sharing it by writing good books to tap your inner power. My best pick on this is, The Fourth Dimension by Dr. Paul Yonggi Cho. I don't like dark side of it which I keep seeing, being the topic of top Indian TV show CID or other crime shows. I always thought why such dark art was not censored as it gives really bad idea to the wide circle of viewers.

Its interesting to know thought that how easy it is to some who have gained knowledge about it and how easily it can be practiced without we even knowing about it. well that's what happened in my case.

Hypnotism through music : To be honest, I am not much of a music lover like so many of you. But, last Sunday at Youth Action Nepal office, we, a group of Quake Volunteers got a chance to experience a creative healing - through music. It was kind of channeling our energy for better result in our everyday life and work. For that, relaxing our mind was as vital as eating food for life. Relaxing is not always meant taking a good night sleep, as some get it. Relaxing also means getting rid of all the negative forces from our head which is keep bothering us even when we are sleeping. Its not that easy to do it in real life as it may sound to read in words. But, that healing through music seemed too easy to do this work, and that is really seemed a magical art. Sunni from Australia and her local team was there to give us this experience and they were telling us that a healer from Philippine was here after the quake to heal the country after the earthquake.

When I was being hypnotized, I did not even know what the music had such strong effect on me [and others]. first, we were told to lie down on floor, letting our hands and legs in free flow. close our eyes. Breath slowly. A member of the healers team said it's for relaxing your mind and body. In the beginning one member of the creative healing group was saying us to breath in and breath out, go deep in your body and trust in ourselves; when we look us from within. The music was played very slow and almost no existing. It did not even sounded like music for couple of minutes. But slowly it became louder and lower and mostly it contained the natural sound like the waterfall or the sound of wind and other such sounds that soothes our mind in a matter of moment, without we consciously realizing it.

If I am not mistaken, this must be the music composed by Enigma, as it has some signature mark on it. As I was under the hypnotism so, wont be able to give you much about the music in detail, one thing for sure it has mixed eastern musical instruments with natural sounds that was played well to soothe our mind and body at the same time. Members of the team were speaking in rotation in calm and low voice, guiding us to visit our inner self. When we were lying there, like that and music was playing; the healers slowly put their hands on our body parts sometimes it could be head with a finger softly pressed on the center of forehead where women put tika. Some times they pressed our belly, chest and touched legs at the gap of about 10 minutes from each body parts they worked on. At one moment, one of the healer raised my hand and moved it slowly in round motion.. He/she had done it so slowly that I don't even figure it out fast, it's been touched and moved.

I paid close attention to this move of my hand that was moving. I appointed my conscious mind to pay attention to my unconscious mind, what is my hand is doing ?  When it was moved in round motion and left after couple of slow motion moves by the healer. It just kept moving in round motion for more than two minutes or may be more. It was amazing, how it was moving on its own, without the consent of my conscious mind; even if I was fully conscious and paying close attention to that move, thinking should I stop it now or let it move and watch how long it keeps moving.

When I wanted to stop it, I found out I can.

However it was not the same case with Sujita, a fresh pass out nurse from college, whose hand kept moving until it was slowly left by the Healing member. What is interesting to pay attention here is, she was not the only one whose hands was moving in the same direction which they would not have been able to continue, if their conscious mind was alert. Had that been done in their conscious state, they would have felt the pain in their hands but as they were in unconscious mind so they did not felt pain, even if, it was moving for more than 20 minutes as shared by the healers later on with us.

The music was slow in the beginning,  it was loud in between and the healers were moving the sound from one end of the room to other end and one side to other. Sound was traveling on all directions, so it had the same effect in our mind. When we were called back from the spellbound of music, it came to the same sound as it was started in the beginning for about five minutes may be more and slowly we were told to come back to our conscious self.

Once the session was finished we were given a blank sheet of white paper and a crayons to draw on it. We were also encouraged to share our thought on this. A couple of participants said they were feeling so heavy on head. Deepa wanted to know why she felt she was feeling the tremor on earth and felt her whole body was moving like she felt during earthquake.

As far as I am concerned this creative healing energized me and recharged all my energy thoroughly and I felt relaxed. I knew, it was the music that did tremendous work  one me than the healers, that's what I told them when my turn came. Needless to tell you,  I told them give me that music.

It was such a refreshing meditation - if we can use the word meditation here - that, now; I want to learn everything about it and more than that I want that music in my computer, mobile and pen drive. I really want to be the bundle of energy to move everywhere to infect everyone with good vibe that flows from me.

I would like to thank The Hub and Sunni Dawson, the main organizer of this one hour session.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Five statistics that blew my mind

Around 2013 Rakchya Nepal, an NGO did some survey in many dance bars, cabin restaurants, Dohori restaurant guesthouse and massage parlors. Here in Nepal, these places are regarded as ‘entertainment sector’. Menuka Thapa, Chairwoman Rakshya Nepal estimates there are about 40,000 young girls and women and who are working in 1000 restaurants in Kathmandu. The focus group of this survey was 500 girls and women. The data of this report is included in the a that was published on its 10th anniversary.
  1. 98.5% them responded that flesh trade should not be legalized. This contradicts of notion which believes, they want to be in this profession because they can earn fast cash in this profession than other work area. Its learned that, many of them are doing this job due to lack of other job opportunities, which helps them to pick their bill. This is also revealed that this number was increased due to the maobadi war in country.

  1. 92% visitors in this entertainment sectors are from Police and Army, whose age range from 31 to 50. People talk in hushed tone in this country they have no trust and respect for our army and police; this survey reveals exactly why. There are people who try to reason, police and army personnel are separated from their partners for long time, which makes them sexually starved all the time. No wonder, they visit Thamel area for their physical needs. This has other side effect, if some girls who are forced in this sector want to move out they can't expect help from these men in power. In case, of exploitation they can't think of going to police stations to complain about the same. Insider talks its army personnel, who are running many such restaurants in Kathmandu. No, wonder client can visit the place without fear of raid from police because they know who are there to protect them.  They don't  earn better in this work, because of the nature of their client. They force them to have relationship with them and if they refuse police will threaten them to raid the particular restaurant. Its a tug of war between power houses and she is in the middle to suffer.

  1. 90.5% girls and women are doing this work because there is no single earning member in their family. Had there been an earning member they would not have landed up in flesh trade. Male member of the family were forced to join Maobadi or leave country in search of job if they did not wanted to join Maobadi and this left only female and children in home. So she is the sole breadwinner of her family.
  1. 87.5% girls and women who are in this sector do not tell their family members they are in this profession or what is the nature of their work. Most of these girls and women are from other cities of Kathmandu, who landed here in search of job. Because, she keeps her job secret from her family members; so her health issue is at big risk. With little knowledge of AIDS and STD and other related health issues.

  1. 86% girls and women responded they stay in Thamel area and only 14% in other areas, surrounding thamel.

Its not that nothing have been done and no steps have been taken to help these vulnerable group of girls and women who are in this work force. Many have been trained in many work and  resettled back in society. Rakshya Nepal is doing lots to help in this area. Providing many types of skill development training to help those who were forced in flesh trade.

Hard time and poverty is what pushing our girls in this flesh trade, to stop huge number to go in and reduce the number of girls/women from so called entertainment sector in the years to come. Let's say about 1000 girls out from this sector every year and doubling that number every year. Lets put it this way, in the first year 1000 girls/woman will be out from entertainment sector and then in second year 2000, next there will be 3000, 4000 and  in 5th year 5000 girls will be out and resettled in society. By the end of 5th year, 15,000 will be out and resettled in society in five years time. And the biggest challenge for us is to stop the same number of girls/woman to enter that work force, unless they chose to be there with all her conscience. That's her right.

No doubt for that we have to have something big to think and work on it. What can we do to stop more girls and women from internal trafficking that will put them in more vulnerable condition to be displaced in other countries ? As news sources tells us many of the restaurant owners and manpower agencies are also involved in human trafficking, having link to Kenya and other countries.

They should start a business that will keep them together for a sole motto to self help and help each other.  So what can be that product ?