Thursday, November 17, 2016

A blind knitter

As a mission to make 200 caps and neck warmers this winter season which will go to many children's homes here in Nepal, I need many women who are ready to volunteer. To meet the target on time, I started organizing many Volunteers Meet for Knitting programs in many cities in Nepal. First it started in Nippani, Chitwan. A church provided space for the event and helped gather women to volunteer. Not just that, this church in Nippani also helped raise fund for wool as well. With the help of my pastor brother and his friends in this church, they helped us to raise fund for 50 children which is a 25 percent of our total target this year.

This event will take place in Kathmandu in the mid of November was already fixed before we organised one such event in Chitwan in October. Here, we organised the event in association of an NGO, Yuwalaya Youth Resources center which is a part of a Youth Action Nepal. In both city volunteers came in with two basic reasons. One to make it for children who are less privileged than us. The other reason  for volunteers to take part in  it was  a desire to learn.

During the last couple of weeks, I have encountered many good hearted women, in both age group young and middle aged. They came to knit for children as well as to learn new patterns as well as better techniques than they knew before. Luckily I could  meet the both expectations from the volunteers in both city.

Sometimes we meet some people in life and when we meet we are just spell bound to that person for who they are and what they do in life.  I met Sabitree Poudel  as a volunteers during the event that took place in Yuwalaya - Youth Resource Center, Min Bhawan, Kathamndu.  She is such a delight of knowing as an individual. She is a masters student of sociology who study in PK Campus. And when she is not just a student, she teaches computer in National Rehabilitation Center for Disabilities which is where she works. Perhaps that is not a complete introduction of her until I tell you she is a total blind girl. She surprised us knitting perfectly; yes  one straight one backward too without a mistake. She knits perfectly despite her eyesight hindrance. Because of what she did for our project, I felt obliged to teach her couple of easy patterns which she can use in most of her knit works as well as she can remember it well. I taught her [ well I explained her allowing her to touch the work I was talking] one of my favourite pattern which I use mostly.She learned it fast and next day I saw her with another woman, teaching her a pattern which I I would have thought ‘she could not have learned it’.  But who am I; to think what she can and what she can't. She already have proved me wrong by knitting with my thinking - you need eyesight to learn knitting.

And she did it perfectly.

When she was doing the new pattern she also surprised me saying I have made mistake at one place and when we checked there was a mistake. Do you really need eye to find mistake in your work ?
When I am thankful to all the volunteers in both places I am specially thankful to another volunteer, Jandhavi Dhakal who sat down with Sabitree and taught her so patiently when all others were too busy on the work they had in their hands. I am also thankful to Ashma Aryal who is another half blind young friend of mine and who coordinated with all the volunteers for this event.

More to be thankful in life.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

What I learned after Meeting Richard

Newly painted home
Richard Ivy and his three team members came from US, Arizona here in Madhavpur, Chitwan for about a week. It was a week's stay in which they have finished painting the Nabin Children’s Home in a week’s time. This kind of fast act and work is almost unthinkable for average Nepali, unless; it's the work of ginie.

In his team there was one not too old couple, Robert and Debbie, who looked in their mid fifties, and a college student Rene Chavez. Rene helped painting the house while Robert and Debbie Kiel was busy praying whole week. When I sat down with them over a lunch on the last day, Robert said, during this time he had seen some miracles of people being cured from disease that seemed unrepeatable. Robert made it more easier for me to understand it; saying they were ‘emotionally healed’. I believe in healing that takes place in church or under tent organized by Christians. I believe you too will believe in emotional healing, if you are familiar with the term psychosomatic disorder.

Research shows 80% people who are in hospitals, are there; because they think - all the time - they are sick. More you think about your sickness, more it gets you. This is called psychosomatic.

When all the other People were excited about the new paint in the house, Richard was thinking beyond the new look and paint for the house. His prime focus was to treat the roof first, He had observed that it leaks during rainy seasons. He knew water seepage, spoils ceiling, decays the house faster than its time. He wanted to stop it all.  He also wanted to treat the roof for the accumulated moulds from years which he thought was absorbing heat so much from sunlight that was making the children home hotter in part of the country like Chitwan.

He went to the market looking for a chemical called borack [?]. When we did not find that chemical in small city like Narayanghat, he managed to get it done by vinegar. The workers poured about 20 liters of vinegar on the rooftop, once it was scrubbed properly with steel wire to get rid from the moulds. Vinegar, will stop moulds reappearing anytime soon. After that they painted white weather coating to stop the leakage and also to reflect the sunlight to stop absorption of heat. I asked the store owner how much temperature it reduces ? He said about 5 degree Celsius.

His focus was not just the paint that our eyes see instantly  but to protect the home from future seepage, heat  and decay also. I have not heard Sukdev talking about all this not even for his new home.

How come you know so much about painting ? I asked him. Because I have made mistakes many times while painting my house that's why I know all this, was his prompt response.

Project was Under budget : at the last day of project, he said he is under budget now, when there was plenty of work to be done.  First, time when he went to the market he realised he had sufficient money with him, as he had got the quotation on highest side.  But, once the work started he was surprised that people add so much water on paint and they go for double coating, instead of single like in US. There was no plan to paint doors and windows but new paint on the wall automatically demanded the fresh paint on doors and windows. And the  kitchen counter needed properly tiled to protect the newly painted wall.

without paint
Another reason for this under budget is use of nonprofessionals to paint the house instead of   professionals who were needed to do this work on time.

Richard did not like the color my  brother choose to paint the house. He went three shade darker than the color I do not like. Richard and I seemed to go for the softer color whereas Sukdev preferred  darker color mainly for exterior look.  Here the Richard’s take on it helped me to get things a lot better than being control freak for things that is not going as you wish.

Its his house, let him have it; his way, he said. My response was it's not his house its children’s home [ it was his home before they shifted to new home about seven years ago].

There were so many things that was not going as it was expected before. Even then the house   painting was almost done and it looked beautiful.

I asked him looking at what you have in front of you are you happy now ?  Yes, I am happy; his response was fast. Do you think it's worth coming here and doing all things ? he said, yes with a big smile on his face and a twinkle in his eyes.

Back in his homeland Richard is a very successful architecture. He runs his consulting company  with the help of a dozen team members. At 70 year his physical frame may look frail but he is as active as a man in his thirty and his brain runs faster than a computer when  it comes to seeing a big dream for this children home my brother runs here in Madhavpur Chitan. He is scared at times. Maybe, just maybe; he might lose the race against time when it comes to doing all the things he wants to do here for this children home before he dies. He says there is a lot to do. His fear may have something to do with his mother, who died just a week before he landed in Nepal. He has a father who is 93 year old and lives in Virginia. When he returns to US, he has to go back to virginia to see his father and then take back four days road trip to be in his hometown in Arizona. Before, he left for Nepal, his hectic time schedule kept him busy almost breaking his back.

He goes to Two Rivers Church in Arizona where around four hundred people visit  in a week. It was his church who had help him to raise funds for this painting and then sent him here as a leader of the team.  

The Team from US & Richard is with Red T-shirt
Where you put your focus makes the whole difference in life, in short term as well as in long term. His focus on roof was beyond the new painting on the wall that our eye can see instantly, it was much more than that.  Let it go. The marigold painted house of somebody you know is not something we should take seriously and personally. Losing someone you love so much doesn't mean you waste time crying for the loved one. He was too busy working for others who were less fortunate than him in so many ways and all  he was thinking how can he make it better.  This is living in true sense.

Now, I know a lot about painting a house and to care rooftops. I rarely meet a man who is warm, wise, knowledgeable and kind hearted  at the same time. I truly admire the man like Richard.  

Saturday, October 8, 2016

How to make meat as Dashain Delicacy

Boar's meat
Dashain is incomplete without the meat delicacies. I love cooking meat and pickles for dashain. I am a huge fan of hot spices which we add in our meat during festival times. I like it, if the scent of food please our nasal senses first, long before we eat it. Plain meat which do not have aromatic scent fails to impress me. The whiff of aromatic food do have a strong power to remind us that there is festival going on. There is something good going on. I love that scent; of festival and of good feelings and mood that comes from the food that is being cooked. Aromatic food do have power to make us feel good and boost our mood; about us, about the life that has to offer all the good thing with it. We are healthy and we can enjoy and digest the heavily spiced up food.

I think this aromatic meat takes me back in my memory lane and all I am trying to do is to bring back my childhood and relive the childhood as an adult. Where Dashain used to be a big event in the year. I do not think anyone was living the moment when they prepared great food. Everyone who prepared such lavish dashain food in that moment left me a deep impact, a very good memory in life, which never vanish from my  mind laste in our taste bud for decades after the childhood is gone.

I know now I make meat differently than they used to make it when I was child. If not all, there are many spices that I choose not to add in my meat. I do not know but I have come out my own five hot spices; which includes, green cardamom [sukumel], clove, nutmeg, staranish and jaipatri. Timur is another spice which I use to get rid from the natural scent of the meat. Yes all meat not just buff or goat’s pungent scent. And yes, without bay leaf my work is incomplete when I make meat. These are the spices I use almost every time I cook meat and do not wait until Dashain or another festival to enjoy the well scented food. Good scent is one major part of the food I cook.

Yesterday I have five kg of domesticated boar's meat. When there is this big meat at home during dashain, I am given the department to cook it better and I love that part. So, with the cook I prepared it like this. I like marinating meat before I cook. Sometimes I really do not have much time so at least ten minutes is better to marinade it but in general you should keep it aside for about half an hour. My time to marinade is for about six hours and sometimes I leave it in fridge for more than 12 hours to marinade.

My favorite five hot spices
Receipe : Before marinating I add spices like this. this is for five kg meat which is enough for 15 people. I take 15 timur and grind it with sea salt. Before grinding it I remove its black seed or else it will give you that uneasiness in  your mouth later on when you stay to relish the meat. Then in that same mortar where I just grinded about 15 timur, I add five green cardamon [we call it sukumel here], ten cloves, one third of a nutmeg, one and half cover of a full jaipatri and one and half star anise. Grind it all in mortar and try to make it as fine as you can.

Then spread it over the big bowl where your meat is finely cut and cleaned. I recommend you not clean meat more than once. Then I take two medium size whole garlic, chinese is better. About 30 grams of ginger, five medium size onions,  finely chopped. Add chilly and salt as to your taste. I like hot, so I add about 10 - 12 Akbare chilli that is small but it's very hot, to give it a spiced up taste. Now you can use your grinding machine or mortar to make fine paste it all. Again, spread all that paste in that big bowl of the meat. Now spread five teaspoon of mixed cumin and dry coriander dust, one and half teaspoon of turmeric powder for good color. At last add 100 grams of mustard or sunflower oils, and then marinate it with your hand. I keep it aside about an hour or so for marination. This is my minimum time. My normal time is six hours for marination.

When it's time to cook it, I heat a big pan which we call karai here, over gas and then transfer all the meat on that karai. This is the right time to add about five bay leaf. Stir it for some time and then cover it, In the beginning high heat is needed and after fifteen  minutes lower the gas heat and bring it to medium heat and let it cook with its cover for about twenty minutes. Once the water dries out, let it covered up for about ten minutes and then it's ready to serve.

Black Timur
If you like tomato add about half kg just when all the water dries out and  then cover it up for ten minutes. However, festival meat is better off without tomatoes on it.

Timur [Sichuan pepper] cures my boredom and anger. The moment I bent on the mortar to grind it; all my anger, irritation and boredom vanishes in an instant. It is also believed that this also kills bacteria from food as well as inside our belly. Its ability to add the strong smell in meat makes it my number one spices to keep in meat. I cook not just I like cooking but I know it as a lasting impact to make in the mind of people even after years pass by. Cook for a reason, cook for a memory and cook for a festival.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

No more vomiting during long distance traveling

I was one of that person who used to feel sick from the time I rode bus for a long distance travel. I vomited all the way to the home of my brother where I normally go to spend my holidays. This is just a five or six hours driving distance by bus or 21 minutes far from air travel.   Did I tell you I vomited in that short travel  also.

I travel for couple of reason a week or a ten day off from my work in city. A reason to seek a way out from concrete jungle.

I used to talk about my sickness to everyone who used to travel in bus. I encountered many people who were not affected by travelling sickness and many who were like me, who threw up heavily. The thought of riding a bus made us sick to the stomach. Some suggested eat before traveling, I tried that and it did not worked out. Some said, do not eat before travelling. I tried that and that also did not work out.

There were times I was less sick or vomiting. And there was time I vomited heavily that made me more sick. When it comes to making me sick it also made the others on bus to feel sick with the kind of smell that comes out from food after remaining certain hours inside our belly. No wonder, I also blamed rough driving  as one of the reason that made me sick when I traveled.

Any kind of scent that came inside and outside used to make me sick. The scent of diesel passing from the end of bus made me sick. The scent of petrol traveling in the annals of pipes and ending up as smoke made me sick. Scent of tarpaulin made me sick. Mix scent of many people inside the bus made me sick. It could be of sweat, hair oil, or the deo they sprayed in the body. The bad taste of music played by driver made me sick. Food I eat on the way decided to come out after five minutes of staying inside my belly. And when I drank water that also came out.

If there was a drop of spit inside my intestine that also used to come out. And until it came out, it troubled me. It made me throw up so much that my belly could not hold anything, not even water that I drank to give me energy to travel; as I avoided eating due to high risk of throwing up any way. It was less embarrassing. Seeing even  the water coming out game me an idea to detox myself.  So, what I did was; I used to drink lots of water once there was nothing left in my belly, which anyway came out within minutes. It was that time I thought I am  detoxing myself, a very cheap mode of detoxing. It would have cost me hell if I  had to do this in hospital but riding a bus made is so easy and affordable.

The ghost of traveling made me so sick that I avoided traveling more. More I am not exposed to traveling, more I was sick of it. There was also time I returned to Kathmandu from Chitwan and smell of bus kept  me sick for a week even thinking about it.

Do I have to say it now. it was embarrassing to the max. But , just because I was embarrassed does not mean the vomit will not find its way out. The sound I made was even more uncomforting. The combination of both was mother of all embarrassment, which I faced for more than 12 years.

If you are suffering from travel sickness you must have heard and then tried many stupid ideas to avoid vomiting. I have to admit taking avomine was one of the most uneasy way I have tried once. Sure it stopped the vomiting but it made me more sick. It made me more sick afterwards than letting it go of what was trying to come out.  Needless to tell you, I tried it once but never took the avomine again. The most absurd idea of avoiding vomit came from another man who himself suffered from travel sickness. Some body told him to sit on  the half cut coconut shell during travel. I forgot to ask him did you hear it from a madman ? Some suggested, keep a coin inside your mouth during travel. Just recently, somebody shared with my brother keeping a coin on our naval and tapping it might work. He insist there were some whom it worked.

Thank God, even in sickness I keep my sanity  intact and did not tried those absurd ideas. But, yes I did try  eating before traveling, which did not work and not eating before traveling which also did not work. 
Sometimes eating on the way did worked ! mostly all those decided immediately to come out just when the bus picked up the speed.

Last year before heading the talk of my travel sickness came while talking with a group of young friends.  Ishmita, a college girl recommended, if you suffer from travel sickness why not you try tatura. Titaura is like pickle which we can eat anytime in a day. Somewhat I like this idea and bought a packet of titaura after riding a mini van heading to Chitwan. We have all kinds of titaura available in market. Titaura and pickle is our specialty here in Nepal. What I can say of this small thing called titaura is, if France has 3000 varieties of cheese; we have as much the variety of titaura available in our market.

However, I bought a gravy tamarind titaura. This is something you can make a small hole in one side of the small packet and suck it, without spoiling your hand during travel [Some sure prefer other kind of titaura that is suitable to their taste buds]. I did not like the smell of it, yet eat it knowing; anyway it will go out in couple of minutes. But, eating it saved me from throwing up. Then after more than an hour later also I was not vomiting. Then I realised it worked. It was first time in my life I had not vomited while I was on long distance travel route. Do I have to tell you I tried it this year also and again it worked. This is my second year without vomiting in bus and making it to my destination. This year the small packet titaura was made of lapsi pulp, tamarind and lemon. The mix combination of all acidic fruits which I love too much was so good and tasty. And suddenly it was better than a medicine that help me to avoid vomiting.

When I don't vomit I can know the name of places I pass by in bus and then can chat with the person who sits next to me and the enjoy all the beauty of  scenery that some beautiful place offers me. So, this small favour from titaura will not be undermined and I am going to recommend all those who  suffer from travel sickness to take titaura of your taste to avoid yuking.

Thank GOD ! at least it helped me !

Monday, August 8, 2016

Rings of Power

What is power and what makes a thing or a thought a powerful one in our society. Who is behind a thought, is there an institution or a person behind it ?  Lets try to understand the rings of power.
Sex : Sex is good for good and bad for bad people. To some sex is love to some sex is lust. To some sex is biological need, to some it's the only way that helps the universe get going. However, there are people among us who view sex as a power play tool.  There are people who believe more you have sex with more people longer you live in life. Is that true ? the existence of superior sex and inferior sex is based on this thought who is powerful on bed ? Who can dominate one another on bed ? Why two different sex can't co-exist under the same roof when they have to share just one bed ? The whole concept of sex should be on union not on fighting for power play.

Money : There is this famous saying, money is not god but is not less than God also. When it comes to money there are whole world divided in two groups, one worships money as if it's god; as it solves half the problem on earth and other group view it as root of all evil. How come one takes it as supreme power and another sees it as root of evil ?  instead of knowing the root of its cause, we have people who will run after money or and some plainly blames it for all the bad things that happens in our society.

Religion: The thought of God is very personal and it is all about faith. People are always seeking to be in the like minded circle. A reason to talk and share view and believes when it comes to God. people are divided in many groups of religions. And there are feelings of supremacy among the many types of religions. It's really interesting to watch two group when one religious group beliefs my religion is better than yours. Religion is a kind of groupism. More people have been killed in the name of religion than in wars.

Politics : Politics is absolutely for people who like the game of power, because for them it's a center of power. Some like to be in the opposition of power and like to challenge the people in power. Everyone choose the kind of party that represent their own thought pattern. Some stick with politics purely because they are afraid of being  left out.
Education : Education is answer to all kind of darkness. It is education which can give us freedom for all types of shackles. We have all kind of education center there are all kind of faculty nowadays that are being taught in schools and colleges. Some, some gives importance to science and technology and some give importance to art and literature, gives importance to spiritual study. Paranormal science is some interested and I went to study commerce even if I had keen  interest in psychology.

Entertainment/ businessmen / science and technology : celebration is one of the most important part  of our life. Under this we can put all forms of art, sports, music, dance, literature and other way to express us. Celebrities are viewed and respected like god in some society because they do not talk about the other power games but just teach us to express us freely. They teach us to let some of our emotions flow. Game help unite all community regardless of caste, creed and nationality, celebration is above all kind of groupism which breaks all barriers that is build around us by other power players. When one sings a song our emotion melts down, when we dance fear flies out from window, when we read some books it unclogs some of our brain nerves and connect us to that part of life where we have never been. All these makes us feel more normal and that is what the entertainment industry do. Business covers also science and technology not just the other business in our society.

Movie, television, singing, dancing, literature, sports, painting, sculpture and other arts. Some worship the art and some artist shines like a bright star.

Media [public communication] : There are intellect people in media who can help the mass to understand what is going around us, in the society we live. They tell us about the new books, new technology, new invention, new leader, new hero or the rising star in sports. They are the one who help us to understand the cult in religion. They help us to understand the corrupt politicians and how this powerful politician’s handsome son is in broil of sex scandal. Although, there are good journalist there are also some journalists who never get tired of talking negative things around us and they think busting scam is their main job. Luckily, in every society there are some journalists and intellectuals who show us the right path to future.

What is interesting is a politician needs a religious guru for guideline, a religions guru needs a politician to amend some bill for the better society. A journalist needs a politician’s help to  crack some news and a politicians always needs journalists to rise and shine in news. A businessman needs a powerful politicians to get some deal approved, and a spiritual guru to realize some problem in his life. A religious guru needs donation from a businessmen. Every education institution needs mass to come and study what they teach in their universities. Every star needs general public to come and enjoy his/her art or talent. Every man and woman need each others back to support each other and move on in life and create a new life. So, who is in the center of power of ring of power ?

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Unleashing the Creativity Within

Last week I deleted some designs which I have downloaded from internet for the blankets I am making for my charity project. Most of the designs were sunset. I thought big and bright colored sun in the center of a blanket would be better and nicer. Because, this is my first year of making blankets; so I wanted to have some clear cut idea about how the complete blanket should be. When I sit down to make something, whatever it is, there has to be clear cut picture of it, in my mind first, before I start it. Just like sweaters. I start making sweater, only if; its color, blend and design  is complete in my mind.

As for the help in case of blanket, the only guideline I have in my mind was, multi color, square shapes made by wool which I grew up using as a child in Bal Mandir. So, when I first made one, it was a lovely mix of colorful blunder, which I will never repeat again. Although, I am blind when it comes for art and painting but Manish Lal Shrestha is my personal favorite artist here. I love his paintings because he too, use all those bright and vibrant colors in his paintings. It’s so calming and soothing when you look at his painting, despite his choice of bright and vibrant colors.  

Slowly, donation started coming in and I had money to buy wool of all colors. Now, I have balls of lovely, bright and vibrant color in front of me. When I saw it, I forgot everything I have seen for ideas. I started working on what was in my mind. Those color in front of me was my inspiration. As for the clue, I have what I had seen as a child. More I made it more the complete picture started forming in form of blanket.

 Things that makes my knitting easy :

Healing therapy : I keep saying this, knitting is mediation and is a cheapest therapy every woman can afford. If you know how to knit, you never have to go in a meditation program. Somebody said that charity work is selfish deed, because we do this for our own deep satisfaction more than the one, who is going to receive our good deeds. So, when we  are knitting for charity by giving our valuable time for others, this work of ours must heal us from deep within. But how can this be possible ! ? ! Let it go, let it go everything, when I say everything, the things we make and the things that is deep inside us. Let it go. All the creativity that is trapped inside us must come out, all the colors that looks beautiful together in your mind must see the sun on earth. Don't be afraid to let it out in your work and designs. Show the world what you are capable of. Be bold when you start your new project and see how it feels when your friends see it for the first time. Let everything out, share it with your friends and let it go from you. See, what all you can make and give. Enjoy the process of expressing yourself through color, blend and designs. Like I say I make my statement with color or my knit work says a lot about me. You know I look great when I wear the sweater I design for me. I never feel that good in the dress I buy from market. That gives me deep satisfaction. Just work on it.

Keep it simple : When I knit I have to keep it very simple. It has to be so simple that I can put my eyes all the time on TV and watch my favorite program while I knit. Watching romantic or comedy movies makes it so easy to finish my knitting projects.

Work on your favorite color : when it comes to wool, I love all colors with some exception. Working on colors which I like makes my knitting whole lot better instead of working on color which I don't like.  Working on colors which we don’t like drag the time of our project.

Creative mind creative work : remind yourself we are not working in Chinese factory. If we have a design in our mind, before we start our project then it excites us to see when are we going to complete the work in our hand. You are the boss of your new design and you are the boss of your color selection. No one can see it until it's complete so give yourself a chance. Let it out see how creative you are and can be. Yeah even when you know you are not the one, who will be using it once the work is finish.  

Give yourself a rest : in my case that rest is when I wait for more donation to come in. It's about two days at max, every time I need money to buy more wool. That rest time helps me to think beforehand how my next creation will look like. Then it's easy to move fast when my wool comes. Tired brain and hand can't create the lovely product that your friends appreciates truely !

Here are my six new designs of blanket which gave me enough confidence to delete the designs which I have downloaded from internet. This is how I say, I love all colors. Color selection saves time to speak much; yet I am telling you, this is my hobby, my project, my passion, my pride, my stress buster and my mediation. This is how I make statement when I let my creativity flow. For use of bright and vibrant colors in my work, I say my inspiration is artist Manish Lal Shrestha. For me this is more than a blanket; this is how I play with colors in my painting. 

And yes, Sabita, thank you for clicking pictures with your Samsung mobile.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Allergic to dirt, dust and dirty places

It seems that I am always at the brim of boiling point when it comes to reacting, when I see dirty place. Sometimes, I think it's not an acceptable behavior if you are a Nepali. It is surprising to see tolerance for dirt and dirty place. It's so accepted habit.  I mean to say, for an average Nepali its ok with unhygienic kitchen, smelly toilet, or stained utensils that is used  either in toilet or kitchen. It's so in its look that stings eyes and raise a question how come people close their eyes even if they are college educated. How come some people can take it so easily and not be bother by its ugliness. It's expected you do not raise a question on its cleanliness, dirt, dust and dirty nature of average Nepali. You are expected to  adjust with all the sickening environment and be accepted by your community.

Have you ever been to the many hostels that is being running in the city ? have you seen the hygienic standards there ? have you been to the toilet ? Have you paid a close attention to the buckets that has ugly stains ? Have you paid close attention to the cups they drink tea, seen the inner bottom of the cup, the handlebars of it ? Have you seen the kitchen and those stained utensils in it ? It's surprising how come college students living there for long could see it everyday and yet not do anything to change those dirty utensils, smelly and stained toilets.

Did you read me when I wrote average Nepali have so much of tolerance for dirty place like smelly and stained toilets and bathrooms, muddy roads and dusty airs that can harm our health. Then how come I also being an average Nepali have so little patience for all this ? just when this question ring in my head, the whole scene of clean process reeled in my eyes, which I grew up observing for years as a growing up child.

I grew up in Bal Mandir. When I was there every morning our room used to be well broomed, dusted by nannies. It was a daily ritual. But, big girls or boys used to do it as a team. They used to work in pair for and that pair was made for a whole month. Every week it is a must to dust out rooms, beds, bath, and wash cloths. There was no way to escape from all that clean mechanism.

I remember how Bhaicha Dai [Janitor] used to clean the surrounding of Bal Mandir twice a day. How he used to clean 18 toilets twice a day including bathrooms, where about 200 people used to live. There was a man named Kancha Dai to clean the big kitchen after every meal. He used to clean the big mess where young children used to eat meal.

Children under 12 year old are considered young in children homes. Children above 13 years   old are considered  big enough for many types of  daily works.

Big girls and boys used to have their meal in separate mess that was joined to the big mess. After every meal they have to clean it. For that also there was a team of a pair. Its upto the pair to decide who will carry water and then who will sweep the floor. First, they have to just sweep it dry and then pour buckets of water. After that sweep the floor again draining all the water. Minimum three buckets of water pouring on the floor was needed to clean mess after meal and it must look squeaky clean was the acceptable condition.

So many donors used to visit Bal Mandir and some times some of them must have  strong ideas on cleanliness, I guess. I do remember one team of volunteers who changed the our tolerance toward the smelly and stained toilets. That team taught us how to erase the stain marks on toilet floors and on pans. It was the time way before the harpic was available in the market. I do remember very well, even if; I could have been under ten years old. We used rough stones to get rid  from those ugly stubborn stains. I think it was that time when we were taught not to give in and try to get rid of those ugly tough stains and smells anyway, if we want clean toilets and environment.

Now, getting rid of those eye stinging stains in the toilet pans or commode is one spray of harpic away. Yet, why the young generation are so tolerant to ugly stains in toilet and bathrooms and kitchen sink ? Normal flush habit is also hard to be seen in our society. All it takes is a habit of flushing for smell free toilet, yet we have so much tolerance for smelly toilets. I have been to many toilets in banks and NGOs where I can see they have posted a notice to flush it. Ironically, most toilet do not have functioning flush in toilets. This is very common sites in our toilets even in A class bank and NGOs.  

Hygienic is another concern here, how many toilet offers soap to wash hands and towel to dry out ? Answer is very few.

Have you ever seen or heard of hostel student's meeting with it keeper. Ask a student who stays in hostels, did you raise a topic on clean toilet, kitchen or utensils ? Simple answer, NO ! They focus on meal mostly on variety of curry or day snacks. Never ever they complain about the dirty toilet, bathroom or the clean dining or kitchen area. Sure there are some hostels which takes care of these matter but it's in very limited number. If you see many of them in the kitchen you wonder why cleanliness and hygienic lifestyle is considered rich and affluent peoples habit ? Why it falls on last priority of average Nepali ? Are we not humans to think side by side for food on plate as well as clean environment after and before meal ? How can we not be so serious to think about it. Have this subject ever been given a priority in our school and college ? Looking at the cleanliness habit and hygienic standards of average college students, there is no doubt it was never ever given an equal priority as much as having food on plate. This mindset raise one question, how civilized we are ?

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Picture speaks a thousands words

There is this very famous believe that picture speaks a thousand words. And today I would like to tell you a story using just pictures from different area of my society. There are men in my society who can argue their hearts out saying that the condition of the women in our society is not that bad compared to the other south Asian countries. 

There may be truth in that line but I ask in what way ? !  if we see the picture here of the judges that was chosen for 2072. See the picture carefully,  there are women who are placed in the picture as if for decorations. And just count them to be sure how many are there. If you look at the ages of these men, I am sure they have daughters or daughters in laws who could have been trained for this very positions by now but you cant see even these judge's daughters in this picture forget about others daughter falling in their recommended list. However, good news is almost about eight months of this picture was taken, we did get a chance to read in news that a woman, named Sushila Karki was nominated for the position of chief justice first time in the history of this country. We still take pride in it.

Politics is that one area where men dominate all position as if its the area made exclusively for men only and there is nothing a women can do better here. Our men appear in majority of public appearance as if they dont have women in life. It does not surprise me we dont have leaders in our country. But then, remember these are the pictures of our politicians and not pictures of our leaders. Ironically, if we pick a news paper our news men again another men dominated area, our newsmen tells us  what I call is out of ego and professional confusion between a leader and a politician  introduce them as leaders of our society. 

This is the picture of newly established team of a magazine, I picked from their facebook wall post. If you look at the picture you can find more new age generation of journalists than yesteryear men, yet you cant see a single women in this team. I will be very conscious not to pick this magazine purely because what can I find in it when it has such biased team of men. When I posted on their wall are you afraid of the intelligence of women to include her in your team, Bimal Gautam, from whose wall post I picked this picture replied, we dont know any one do you have any name to recommend ! 

This is exactly is the reason I would like you to tell the story via picture !

Sunday, May 1, 2016

The perfect man

Recently, I came across a definition of a joitngre. The description of the man goes like this : someone who has immense love towards his wife, who values opinions of his wife, involves her in his decision making process, someone who shares household chores with his wife; does not mind taking care kitchen and stuffs, prioritizes her happiness and expectations above others; does not hesitate to express his love and affections; stand by her forever.

Maybe this is perfect definition of the man who loves his wife and stands for her. However, I think this definition of a man is incomplete in itself in so many ways than one. It's really hard to believe that guy of this kind ever existed in my society. Never heard of it as I have never read any story revolving around this man and a family prospering in his guidelines that slowly changed even a small section of our society.

If he ever existed then how come we have never heard of a story that also tell us about this kind of man.  In a society where I grew joitingre is the man who should have been in high demand. As my society have had enough of the man dominated society who regards women as second class citizen.

If he really existed, we should not have been fighting for gender equality. Our street have been devoid of drama by women’s right activists.

To my knowledge, the word joitingre in fact,  have been using to hurl insult to the type of men who listens his wife only and this is the reason men of this kind take it as a humiliating. I have never ever come across in my life not in a story or book  that this society tell us about a man who boldly supports his wife and then he also comes out in the world saying, yes I love my wife, do you have any objection with my feelings for her ?

On the contrary, all the men who are termed as joitingre hide his feelings and shrinks when someone calls him joitingre ! As a matter of fact, it's his close relatives who calls him this word than the outsiders. Honestly speaking, it's his parents who use this word more than anyone, to humiliate him in front of the other relatives, if he sides with his wife for decision making process. It's the family secret and insult.

Going through this definition made me feel that, this is the definition that is befitting to those men who are feminist. Contrary to joitingre, men who are feminists also love his wife and stand for her But they are not the kind who needs to hide his feelings from the world.

Feminist men have always been emerged as a strong and a very popular leader in every area not just in politics. American President Barack Obama is a feminist and considered one the great leader of his time. He is not just feminist but he is also proud to admit it to the whole world. Just like him Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is also a feminist and proud to announce it to the whole world for being a feminist. A man who is a true feminist is not shy about admitting he being a feminist. However, this is the not case of with a joitingre.  

The perfection of this definition almost made me cry in guilt for not picking up one man for me. I can't even say that the joitingre cant never be around. But, I don't want a shy guy, not the one who shirks when his close relatives use this word to insult him. I don't need a man who is ‘yes mom’, ‘yes honey’ and then you two are pulling me apart. I don't need a mama’s boy and when his mother tells him joitingre he will cry out and then do not know which side to take.

A real man knows how to balance both.  

I need a man, who is a feminist not a joitingre, who can come out from the dark and say proudly to the whole world, I am Joitingre. Show me, how many men we have in our society, who will stand up and say out proudly, “Yes I am joitingre !”

Needless to go further down to tell you that in my society my man exists only in definition. He sounds perfect in definition however in reality he is gutless. And gutless is useless is so many ways.