The Pressure of Growing Up

About a couple of months ago, I was watching an Indian kids’ dance reality show with my parents. My sister is a fan of the show and I too liked it. Until that evening.

A pair of girls came up to dance–a competitor and her mentor. The dance was a fusion of classical and acrobatics. The performance was beautiful and magical already. Then came a moment that made it ugly to me.

The little girl hung on to a rope attached to her mentor by her neck. It looked so dangerous that even the judges looked scared. The child kept smiling, though.

“Was such a life-threatening step necessary?” I asked my sister. She did not know what to say.

“It was not,” was my verdict. The show acknowledged that it was dangerous but did not warn the mentor to put a child on such a risk again. Even if she was warned, it was not televised.

Are we watching a circus in the name of a TV reality show? I asked myself.

When a circus puts children in danger for “entertainment”, we usually feel bad. There are several organizations working to rescue them from the illegal, perilous, and underpaying circuses.

The TV show is similar to the circus in putting the children in peril for entertainment. They may claim it is safer, but the children are swung on harnesses, rings and trailers with very little visible protection beneath them. Days of training against the fear of falling, and yet they smile. Everything they feel is overcome by the appraisal of talent and the way they handled the performance with maturity.

Maturity comes with training and experience. When a child becomes matured at an early age, she understands discipline, as well as responsibility. Being matured, however, is not the same as growing up into an adult. Some adults never mature.

But children participating in reality shows are not only expected to be matured, they are also expected to act like adults. It’s cringey when a five year kid dances on adult-oriented songs like Sheila ki jawaani, Munni badnaam Hui, and so on. It’s even more frustrating when you see how the kid became a helping hand to her poor family changed the economy and lifestyle forever. Parents living off on the income of a child less than sixteen years old! Isn’t it child labour?

When a three year child comes to my home and dances and sings “Didi ko magani bhaisakyo merai paalo chha”*, it looks and sounds cute but have we not unconsciously placed on her mind that she should be wed soon after her sister marries.

Children insist on listening to a popular song because we play those for them. We never care whether they are suitable for them or not.

About six months ago, one boy, four years old, came my home with his mom. They live in my neighborhood but very rarely come to us. As soon as he was in, he asked his mom her phone and ran a video. He read the lyrics of Shape of You and sang along. I had not heard the song before. I watched the lyrical video. One line caught my attention, I’m in love with your body.

Body? I asked the singer in my mind. Not “you” but “your body”! So you’ll leave her once she loses the shape.

I wanted the kid to turn that song off immediately. I disturbed him. “Do you know what this song means?”

I knew he did not understand. He looked at me, smiled ignorantly and shook his head. He did not stop, though. I did not have power to stop him. And now some girls are learning to dancing on the song. [Facepalm!]

Children all over the world are now undergoing the pressure of growing up. Recently, a twelve year girl won an extremely popular American TV reality show. In one episode, she made her puppet flirt with a male judge. People found it cute. A twelve year old, albeit indirectly, flirts with an adult and we find it cute. What sort of world are we living in?

I don’t know how many people think the way I am thinking. I don’t know if I am over-thinking. I don’t know if the things I am thinking are problems for all. But if there are problems, they must be resolved, and I am yet to discover an effective solution.


* A line of a popular Nepali song that translates to: “My sister is already engaged, it’s my turn now.”


Who did it?

On Mangsir 18, 2074 (December 4, 2017), three days prior to the second phase of general election, an explosion at Chapali, Kathmandu injured 11 people. One of them was the candidate former Minister of Health Gagan Thapa. He was shown to put on bandages around his forehead but some hours later, he was seen at Reporters’ Club and he spoke for more than an our without showing a trace of injury.

I don’t know if the injury was faked. The mainstream media never said it was faked but there were others who said Gagan Thapa was somehow involved in the explosion and that it was one thing that would fetch him “sympathy” votes. He did win the election. Another rumour that surfaced was that there was involvement of the Left Alliance behind the attack. What we got to hear after the elections was that anti-election group led by Biplov did it.

We all know Gagan Thapa won but what happened to the 10 other people who were hospitalized? They were not in news after the election.

Were those who did the explosion caught and punished? We don’t know. This is really strange. A former Minister is bombed amidst his cadres before the election and ten people are injured. Gagan Thapa should have been burning with rage and should have demanded the arrest of the bombers within twenty-four hours. But no one has been arrested till date.

Who did it–Gagan Thapa, Left Alliance or Biplov Group or somebody else? Where is our police force, intelligence and investigative journalism?


On Bhadra 7, 2072 (August 24, 2017), an incident in Tikapur Kailali shook the nation. Seven police officers, one of who was a Tharu, were brutally killed, and a two years old baby was shot. After the incident, hundreds of Tharus were tortured for being involved in the carnage.

Who did it?

The government blamed the Tharus. Resham Chaudhary was accused of being the mastermind behind the killing of the police. But there were rumors that the attackers were highly trained and that they could be a gang or R&AW agents from India. The Tharus blame the police for burning their huts.

For more than two years, Resham Chaudhary is in India. Before he fled, he was a popular media personality. I used to like his Gaijatra albums that were released during the period of censorship. (The king was in power then and the only way to express dissatisfaction was through the comic satires during the festival of Gaijatra.) When he was accused, I could not believe that he could plot for such a heart-wrenching incident. But he fled. He might have his reasons but running away is never a way to say that he is good.

This Mangsir, he came in news again. He was nominated for the elections held in Mangsir 21 (December 7) through his relative. (He is still in India.) Nobody opposed it and he won the election with an overwhelming amount of votes.

The police says Resham Chaudhary a Most Wanted criminal. The fact that Election Commission allowed him to be a candidate says otherwise. Who resgistered his  nomination and why? 

Now that he has won, the Election Commission wants him to come and fetch the certificate of victory. The police says they will catch him. This is not to the first time an accused has won an election. But they have walked among the policemen without a trouble. 

I have a lot of questions: What stops Resham Chaudhary from coming Nepal and claiming victory? Police? If so, will the police arrest him? Will the police let him go after political pressure? Will the victims of the Tikapur incident ever get justice? 

And the biggest of all: Who really is the mastermind behind the incident?



नेता कसरी बन्ने ?

अलि पुरानो फोटो नेताहरूको । स्रोत:

नेपालमा अहिले चुनावी चहलपहल निकै नै छ । नेताहरू घरदैलोमा व्यस्त छन् तर घरमै बस्नेले चाहिँ सायदै तिनका मुख देखे होलान् । खैर, “तिनीहरू नेता कसरी पो नेता बने हौ ? अनि हामी चाईँ कसरी बन्ने ?” भन्ने प्रश्न कसैलाई उठेको भए ती प्रश्नको जवाफ खोज्ने प्रयास यो प्रबन्ध हो ।
चरण १: यी प्रश्न आफूले आफैँलाई सोधेर नेता हुने गुण छ कि छैन पत्ता लगाउनुस् :

के तपाईं:

१. धुर्त हुनुहुन्छ ?

२. अरूलाई औँलामा नचाउन सक्नुहुन्छ ?

३. स्वार्थी हुनुहुन्छ ?

४. अर्काको मन दुखाएर हाँस्न सक्नुहुन्छ ?

५. आफन्त, नातागोता, साथीसँगी, गुरु वा जोसुकैलाई कोखामा छुरा हानेर अघि बढ्न सक्नुहुन्छ ?

६. जनताले जे भने पनि कानमा तेल हालेर सुतेजस्तो गर्न सक्नुहुन्छ ?

उपर्युक्त गुणहरू तपाईंसँग छ भने मात्रै तपाईं राजनीतिक नेता बन्न सक्नुहुन्छ । नत्र त तपाईंको यात्रा सुरु नै हुँदैन । भइहाल्यो भने पनि कतै कुनामा बसेर रुनुपर्छ ।

चरण २: प्रवेश

चरण १ मा पास नभए पनि चरण २ मा आउन सक्नुहुन्छ तर दिगो उपलब्धिका लागि चरण १ मा भएका कुराहरू आफूमा जतिसक्दो चाँडो लागू गर्नुहोला । फाइदा तपाईंलाई नै हो । अब जान्नुस् यो चरणमा के गर्ने:

१. तपाईं आफ्नै पार्टी खोल्न चाहनुहुन्छ ? यसका लागि विचार र (वा) कार्यशैली मिल्ने (यसमा अरूलाई थर्काउने कार्यशैली पनि हुन सक्छ) एकदम धेरै मानिसहरू भेला पार्नुपर्ने हुन्छ । अरूलाई कन्भिन्स गर्न पनि धेरै समय र उर्जा खर्चिनुपर्छ । समय अलि बढी नै लाग्न सक्छ यदि तपाईं चरण १ मा भएका गुणहरूलाई नजरअन्दाज गर्दै हुनुहुन्छ भने ।

२. यदि तपाईंलाई छिटो माथी जानु छ भने चाहिँ स्थापित पार्टीमा लाग्नुस् । धेरैजसो मानिसहरू ठूला पार्टीको सदस्य बन्छन् तर साना पार्टी पनि शानदार पो हुन्छन् त ।

एउटा उदाहरण दिउँ है त । मेरो कलेजमा थुप्रै पार्टीका भ्रातृ संगठन (भन्नलाई स्वतन्त्र विद्यार्थी युनियन) छन् । नेपाली कांग्रेसको नेविसंघ र नेकपा एमालेको अनेरास्ववियुमा लाग्नेहरूको संख्या धेरै छ । खिचातानी पनि यिनमै धेरै छ ।

साना पार्टीका भ्रातृ संगठन धेरै छन्, कार्यकर्ता थोरै । कम्पिटिसन शून्य बराबर । सदस्य बन्नेवित्तिकै माथिल्लो पद हातमा । अनि पावर पनि ठूला संगठन जति नै । हेर्नुस् त काइदा !

कुन ठाउँबाट राजनीति सुरु गर्नुहुन्छ भन्ने कुराले पनि फरक पार्दछ तपाईंको जिन्दगीमा । एक चोटि फेरि मेरो कलेजतिर आँखा डुलाऔँ । तपाईँ प्रायः देख्नुहुनेछ, नेताहरू :

  • नयाँ विद्यार्थीलाई भर्ना गर्न मद्दत गर्दै हुन्छन् ।
  • पुराना विद्यार्थीका समस्या समाधान गर्दै हुन्छन् ।
  • विभिन्न कार्यक्रम गरिरहेका हुन्छन् ।

यिनीहरू पब्लिक रिलेसन (Public Relation) बनाइरहेका छन् जुन भविष्यका लागि लाभदायक हुन्छन् । मेरो एक जना साथी छ जसलाई म जुनसुकै बेला फोन गरेर जुनसुकै काम लगाउन सक्छु । भोलि ऊ कुनै चुनावमा उठ्यो भने म भन्दिन्छु नि “यसले काम गर्न सक्छ” । उसले यसरी भोटर कमाउँदै छ ।

आफ्नो समुदायमा राजनीति गरेर अघि बढ्न चाहनेलाई चुनौतीको पहाड नै आउँछ । चरण १ मा भएका गुण नभए पहाड फोर्न गाह्रो हुन्छ ।

चरण ३: कुटनीति / चालबाजी

महाभारतमा शकुनिको भूमिका सम्झनुस् त । कसरी धृतराष्ट्र र उनका छोरालाई भड्काउँछन् । उनको धुर्त्याइँले पाण्डवहरू जुवामा मात्र हारेनन्, कुरुक्षेत्रको युद्ध पनि भयो ।

कुटनीतिक चालबाजी एउटा कला हो । राजनीती गर्नेहरूले आफूले भनेको ठीक, अरूले भनेको बेठीक भन्ने पारेर जनतालाई आफ्नो पक्षमा पार्छन् । अझ कतिपय अवस्थामा अस्थिरता ल्याइदिन्छ्न् ।

गेम अफ थ्रोन्समा लिटलफिङ्गर भन्छ:

अस्थिरता सिँढी हो ।

यसका उदाहरणले मेरो मुटु चिरिन्छ । हाम्रा नेताहरूले पनि अस्थिरतालाई भर्र्याङ् बनाएका छन् । जब स्थिरता आउँछ, उनीहरू माथि हुन्छन् । पुष्पकमल दहाल (प्रचण्ड) ज्वलन्त उदाहरण हुन् जसको बारेमा मैले चर्चा गरिरहनै पर्दैन । 

कोखामा छुरा घोप्ने काम पनि चालबाजीको विशेषता हो । एकजना मेरो छिमेकीलाई चुनावमा “टिकट” दिने वाचा गरियो । पक्का आउँछ भन्दै बधाई दिने पनि भेटिए ।

मनोनयनमा भने उनको नातेदारको नाम आयो । ती नातेदारले विरोध गरेनन् । मनोनयनमा हेराफेरी गर्न सक्नेलाई ती नातेदारले हातमा लिएछन् । यसरी आफन्तलाई पनि धोका दिन सके तपाईंको राजनीतिक यात्रा उकालो लाग्नेछ । शुभकामना !

चरण ५: अरूले जेसुकै भने पनि “बाल” नदिने 

अरूले तपाईंको गल्ती औँलाइदिए भने तिनको औँला काटिदिनुस् । यो त तपाईंले सुनेको प्रमाण पो हो क्यारे ! यसो गर्नुस्, सुन्दै नसुन्नुस् । हुन त यो गुण तपाईँमा पहिले नै छ । जति गाली गरे पनि, जति सरापे पनि, एउटा कानबाट छिरेको कुरो अर्को कानबाट निकालिदिनुस् । यसो गरेपछी न अरूको पिर, न प्रेसरको चिन्ता !



१. यी चरणहरूलाई नजरअन्दाज गर्न त तपाईं राजनीतिक परिवारमा जन्मिनुपर्छ । बा प्रभावशाली थिए भने त उनले बसाएको जगमा चुनावैपिच्छे जीत दर्ता भइहाल्छ ।

२. माथि उल्लिखित चरण र गुणहरूमध्ये पब्लिक रिलेसन र सानो पार्टीबाट उक्लिने उपायबाहेक अरू सबै व्यङ्ग्य हुन् । सिधा भन्ठानेर त्यसै गर्नुभो भने मलाई अवगाल नआओस् !

अझै सजिलो बनाइदिन्छु । यी काम नगर्नुस् :

  • चोरबाटो नलिनुस्
  • नकारात्मक चालबाजी नगर्नुस्
  • कोखामा छुरा नहान्नुस्, जेल पर्नुहोला !
  • रचनात्मक प्रतिक्रियालाई आत्मसात् गर्नुस्

३. नेतामा हुनैपर्ने दुई कुरा हुन् : ज्ञान र बोल्ने क्षमता । यी दुईलाई प्राथमिकता दिनुस् ।

शुभकामना !


[प्रस्तुत लेख मा How do I become a political leader in Nepal को जवाफको नेपाली रूपान्तरण हो ।]

Communist Alliance: “A Game of Probabilities”


The question I asked last week while the alliance was declared. I was shocked. I mean, how could a party that is in the government (CPN Maoist Centre) decide to work together with the party that is a staunch opposition of the government (CPN-UML)? But Mr Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda) said:

“Politics is a game of probabilities to a huge extent.”

As far as I understand Nepali politics, the probability of Maoist Centre and UML coming together was extremely low. Not long ago, Mr Prachanda had broken an alliance with Mr KP Sharma Oli, almost filed an impeachment and Mr Oli gave a resignation from the PM. Not only did the Maoist Centre break the coalition, they went ahead and supported Mr Deuba.

We got another former PM Dr Baburam Bhattarai in this alliance. He had broken up with the Maoists, because of his bitter experiences with Mr Prachanda but he’s back joining hands with him.

What was going on? I think:

1.Polarization: Polarization has often been termed as negative but we always expected fewer political parties, didn’t we? This election-time polarization is most probably a step into that stability we wanted. However, this is not a complete polarization. Maoists did not leave the government to make this alliance. If this was a complete polarization based on political ideologies, I think we would be alarmed.

2. Selfish interests: The political leaders and parties of Nepal do everything for the “sake of the nation and the people”. Have we progressed though? The “leftists”, while making the alliance, again said that this is an important step in stability. I’m skeptic. Look, this is just an alliance, not unification. The larger probability is that after the elections are conducted and winning a large number of seats, Mr Prachanda, Mr Oli and Dr Bhattarai will play the same old blame-game, break the alliance and we’ll fall into instability again. I believe not many Nepalis will say, “We didn’t see that coming.”

3. Politics between the three major parties: The NC and the UML led government were polar opposites during the blockade we faced. UML (particularly the then PM Mr Oli) blamed it on India completely, went on against even genuine demands of Madhesh. Very few people remember that it was continuity of the stance taken by Late Sushil Koirala while he was the PM. After Mr Koirala’s resignation, NC stated it was not a blockade at all. Mr Deuba rose to power following Mr Koirala’s death. He showed an affection with the Madhesh. It was important in NC’s victory in Province 2. Maoists, showing the behaviour of opportunists, wanted to capitalize on that by making an alliance with NC but it did not bear fruit. Now they make alliance with the party that won the largest number of seats in the local level. I believe it’s the alliance that ensures survival of the Maoists and helps Mr Oli gain a upper hand in politics for at least a couple of years to come.

What could happen?

1.Communists win: While it seems good for us that one of the major political ideology becomes victorious, I’m a bit scared. Why? These Communist parties of Nepal are not the communists that are against democracy and capitalism but they still stick to the term because it lures common people. However, the US, NATO and the EU look upon even the word “Communist” against Democracy. I’m scared that they will try creating instablity if they see “Communists” running the Nepali government.

2. Political Stability at least for some years: The Constitution prohibits impeachment of the PM for the first three years but it does not prohibit breaking of political alliances or coalition and it also does not prevent the PM from resigning. I think this will be again used as a tool for instability. With an alliance of larger parties, it might be more stable but will they stick together for long? I doubt.


  1. I am dubious that everything will be nice henceforth and there will be a political stability.
  2. I am scared about world-view regarding the “Communist” victory.
  3. I believe this alliance is temporary. If it becomes long-lasting, I would be positively shocked and smile from ear to ear.
  4. And yeah, I didn’t mention it above but this alliance could be a way for the UML to use government resources. Who knows?

[Note: First published as an answer to What’s your view on recent political development in Nepal regarding alliance of leftist party? on Quora]

राजकुमारीकी र उनकी आमा

सूर्यले बादललाई सिन्दुर लगाएको त्यो साँझ
राजकुमारीझैँ सझिएकी 

कोमल हातमा गुडिया बोकेकी

एउटी सानी नानीका आँखाले 

आफ्नी आमासँग 

प्रश्नहरू सोध्दै थिए–

“आमा घर जाने बेला भएन ?

कति खेप बोक्न बाँकी छ

ईँटा र बालुवाको भार ?

कति समय लाग्ला बनाउन

हाम्रो पनि यस्तै ठूलो घर ?”

“So it goes!”: A take on Slaughterhouse Five

I had never heard about Dresden, I had never heard about Kurt Vonnegut though I think I had heard the book’s name somewhere (I am not so sure) before I watched the Crash Course Literature videos on Slaughterhouse Five. At the end of those two videos, I felt I must read the book.

The first chapter of the book which seems like a preface or the background, is about Vonnegut trying to write a book on Dresden for more than 23 years. He thinks he can do it but cannot pull it up. While still writing the preface, he also adds a case of dialing a wrong number, which we know later on,  had been received by Billy Pilgrim–the main character of the novel. After he meets O’Hare’s wife Mary, he promises that he would not glorify war and call it the Children’s Crusade. Therefore, the Slaughterhouse Five is also known as The Children’s Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death.

Billy Pilgrim’s Plot (Summary and Analysis)

Billy Prilgrim is a prisoner of war (POW) in Germany but he can time-travel. He can be in the moments of past, present and the future. Vonnegut says, “Billy has come unstuck in time.” The life of Billy Pilgrim is not shown in chronological order. In one moment he is a soldier, in another he is a twelve-year-old boy and quickly, he becomes an old optometrist who lives with his daughter in Ilium. He sees his infancy, childhood, adulthood, old age and even death.

On the day of his daughter’s wedding, he says he had been abducted by the toilet plunger-like aliens known as the Tralfamadorians. Billy says that he had been to the alien planet for years but nobody missed him because the aliens had warped the time in such a way that years would become less than seconds on the earth. The Tralfamadorians are able to see the fourth dimension–time and they can go to the moments again and again. The linear concept of time is absurd to them. On free-will, a Tralfamadorian says:

“If I hadn’t spent so much time studying Earthlings,” said the Tralfamadorian, “I wouldn’t have any idea what was meant by ‘free will.’ I’ve visited thirty-one inhabited planets in the universe, and I have studied reports on one hundred more. Only on Earth is there any talk of free will.”

–Chapter 4, Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut

The Tralfamadorians believe that what has to happen will happen. They cannot change the moments that have happened and will happen. They can see every moment that will occur but they can’t change the bad moments. They look for the good moments and find peace in it.

Billy Pilgrim himself has no free will. When he is twelve, he does not want to swim but his father forces him into the swimming pool. He does not want to come out of the water but it pulled out. He did not imagine marrying Valencia, yet he does. He wanted to die in the war but he survives instead of the characters around him who wanted to survive.

Billy Pilgrim also tries to find moment of happiness and solace but he never finds such an instance. In all the above examples, he is unhappy. Even in the moments he tries to be happy, he is reminded of the war and deaths. As the story progresses, we know that Billy cannot speak about the war to anyone and that has resulted in a mental disorder.

Billy’s mental instability is the result of the losses of his mother, his wife, his father-in-law and most of all, his experience during the war in Germany and in addition to that the fictions of Kilgore Trout. Despite his psychological imbalance, he is saner than the people who thought that bombings on Dresden were justified. Dresden was not a strategic point for warfare, there were no industries that produced weapons and hence, there was no logic behind the attack. Thousands of lives were lost for the show of unnecessary pride.

“So it goes”

This is a repetitive phrase throughout the novel. According to Nick Greene (2014), the phrase is repeated 106 times. Whenever death and destruction are mentioned, the phrase comes up. It is in accordance with the Tralfamadorian concept of time, life and death. The death is inevitable but there is nothing to worry about it. In other moments a dead person would always be alive.

I found this “Tralfamadorian” concept similar to the Bhagavad Geeta where Lord Krishna says to Arjun that there is no need to worry for someone’s death. The death is pre-determined. It’s not in the hands of humans to change it. And there is no need for regretting that.

Billy Pilgrim, too tries to take things as his fate and accepts that he had no power to change them. But it’s too difficult to get out of the trauma he feels. “So it goes”, might give him solace for a while but it is not a statement he wants to follow. It’s been dictated upon him by fate.

Some Memorable Quotes:

“Billy had a framed prayer on his office wall which expressed his method for keeping going, even though he was unenthusiastic about living. A lot of patients who saw the prayer on Billy’s wall told him that it helped them to keep going, too. It went like this: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom always to tell the difference.” Among the things Billy Pilgrim could not change were the past, the present, and the future.”

–Chapter 3, Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut

“Everything is all right, and everybody has to do exactly what he does. I learned that on Tralfamadore.”

–Billy Pilgrim

“It was peaceful in the ruins.”

“American fighter planes came in under the smoke to see if anything was moving down there. They saw Billy [who was also an American] and the rest moving down there. The planes sprayed them with machine-gun bullets, but the bullets missed.”

“The blind innkeeper said that the Americans could sleep in his stable that night, and he gave them soup and ersatz coffee and a little beer.

“Good night, Americans,” he said in German. “Sleep well.””

[Americans had destroyed Dresden only two days ago. These lines brought tears to my eyes.]



SparkNotes Editors. (2002). SparkNote on Slaughterhouse-Five. Retrieved September 10, 2017, from

Greene, N. (2014). 15 Facts About Slaughterhouse-Five. Retrieved September 10, 2017, from

Global Village

“We’ll create a Global Village,” they said.

And they laid

The basic foundations

To connect people

From different Nations.


The Global Village to people is dear;

It’s brought them near

And they understand

The world better than ever.


Is the world getting better, though,

I wanna know

When we are closed

In the closeness

Of this virtual world?

Are we going farther away

From our families?

From our friends?

From our neighbors?

From our society?


How do we balance between the world’s

Real and Virtual?

How do we carry on

Ourselves without

Being enthralled by stuffs

That are not quite real?