What is Justice?

From my recent article on Medium…

What is justice? Is it based on objective evidence or subjective judgement? I had not thought much about these questions until I watched Death Note, the 2006–2007 animated series.

Death Note is about Yagami Light who finds a notebook (aka Death Note), dropped by a Shinigami (God of Death), in his school. Using the notebook, he can kill anyone whose name and face he knows. Seeing the rotten world around him, he decides to use the notebook to get rid of criminals.

Ryuk, the Shinigami who dropped the Death Note in the human world, asks if it is the right thing to do. Light replies that people will on the surface say, “It’s not the right thing to do”, but deep down they want all criminals to be executed.

Murderers get away with little to no punishment using money and political influence, several cases have become stuck on the court, smugglers are caught only when the “setting” with police does not work, honest people are scared of the crooks because they control everything from the economy to government, and the media, criminals wave at cameras without any fear. Living in such circumstances, would I have done what Light does? If I say no, I am not being honest. …

I got stuck (Is it a good sign?)

I was thinking about it every time I had some leisure. I had discovered a “mind-blowing” way to convert my short story “Leave Me Alone” into a novel. I had worked about eight chapters within a month. These chapters would end the first part and I was ready to move into the crucial second part. Then I suddenly felt I needed a prologue. A chapter apart from the rest of the story that would create suspense. (It already had some suspense. I was trying to mix some spices.) That prologue introduced me to the major problem in my plot: how was my heroine doing what she was doing?

I had worked out the “why” and I had thought I knew “how” but things got complicated. I was teleporting her to places where I wanted her to be, and she was doing things the way I wanted in an unnatural way. My story is not a fantasy. It’s a contemporary psychological thriller. No way was I going to introduce myself opening doors for her (I feel this would make a good sci-fi!), and neither was I going to let anything happen just like that. So, why the plot hole?

I don’t know. Maybe, I planned in the wrong manner. Perhaps the changes I had brought about in the prologue rang the bells. Whatever it was, I believe, was for the best! How would I make others believe in an unbelievable story? I’ve stalled it until I find a solution.

***

I felt an itch. Actually, I’d been thinking about it for a few days now. I had linked “Quest” with “Leave Me Alone”, and the latter with “The Peacemaker” (I have built its concept but not written a word yet. Or, can I say it’s first chapter is already in “Leave Me Alone”, just in another POV?). So, because there was a link, I was thinking of completing “Quest”.

The biggest problem in this rewriting was that my old computer is dead and until it’s repaired I had no access to the “latest” version I created about last year. Or, so I thought. Then I searched my phone. I found the original version (Thank God!). I checked Google Docs. There were eight chapters each of last two versions. Now the problem is: I first need to sort out which “doc” belongs to which version. Then I need to compile and (probably) rewrite.

This rewrite is going to be fun. I have a guide. I have versions in third person and in first person. I need to decide what to use now. I have events in different orders. I might have to reorder, delete and add. I have written four or five versions of “Quest” already. I must make it my final. The solution for the plot problem I had discovered last year, is going to make it interesting. But the biggest challenge is to stand out as the self-proclaimed genius! (After sorting out the problems, I had called myself a “genius”. Damn, that’s a crown I cannot handle!)

Personal Achievements in 2074

Some months ago I had decided that at the end of the year 2074 B.S., I would make a list of some of the achievements I can boast upon. I discovered 8 points.

1. Edited and Published a College Journal

Publication of the Journal

On Falgun 2073, just before the end of the academic session, Prof. Dr Tara Nidhi Bhattarai had announced that the final year had to publish a scientific journal. I had been nominated the Editor-in-chief of the journal unanimously by my friends. I had added four friends and had completed the Editorial Board.

The real job began in 2074. After a week since the end of our final exams, I called for the articles via our Facebook group. By the end of the month, we had very few articles. I had to ask for them again with a stricter deadline.

The Editorial Board initially received 15-16 articles. We worked with what we had and then making sure that very few percentages of students had submitted, we asked again.

The other board members got extremely busy. I took the help of Grammarly to edit the grammar and spelling. It took more than a month to compile all the 29 articles. Then we had to prepare cover pages, and print the file out. We published Geology, Vol. 8 just before the Dashain. I was the happiest man that day because I had spent almost 5 months of my year for the

2. Photoshop Basics and Inkscape

The tools of Adobe Photoshop always scared me. Because of that, I could never go through its basics even though it was installed on my computer for years.

This year, a fortnight before the publication of the Geoworld Journal, I decided to learn GIS on my own. I downloaded QGIS and completed a tutorial I obtained at a website. After that, when I looked at Photoshop, it did not become as challenging as it used to be.

I learnt to select, crop, change image size, resolution, use brush, paint and so on. I never completed other tutorials on QGIS (must learn it completely by the end of 2075), but I learnt how to manipulate images and now I am able to use another application Inkscape to produce vector images. My current Gravatar is one of my earliest works on Inkscape.

3. Got the Bachelor’s Degree

A day before the publication of Geoworld, the results of the final year was published. And obviously, I got the Bachelor’s Degree. I took the certificates much later. I was happy but not as much as I wanted to be because I am not earning anything.

4. Gardening

In the month of Bhadau, I was writing a chapter for a novel. The garden in the setting was beautiful. Small trees lined it and beautiful flowers bloomed. As soon as I wrote that scene, I went up to our terrace and saw plants basking. The soil had dried and the plants did not look good. That day onwards, I made a routine of watering them every evening. It soon turned into a habit and now, whenever I don’t have to water them, I feel like I have missed something.

My parents, too, are happy that I have been at least watering plants every day. That their terrace garden is not dried up.

5. Learnt to ride two-wheelers

I had a fear of riding bikes. I still do. But I had to overcome my fear after Tihar (in November) to learn to ride motorbikes. It was extremely difficult and tiring in the first week. I was just catching up in the second week when the course ended. Nevertheless, I could ride a scooter. Riding a two-wheeler requires your mind working in several directions at a time. To bring balance to a vehicle that is clearly imbalanced was a difficult achievement.

6. Learnt a lot about life from a little kitten

Just at the end of the first week of my motorbike training, I found two kittens crying inside a drum under the stairs. The mother left the kittens and we adopted them. One month later, the male was taken by the mother. We see them running sometimes on the terraces of our neighbours.

The female, however, refused to go with the mother cat and stayed with us. She was growing well and just as we thought everything was fine, she went downstairs and got caught by dogs.

Her life and the grief she gave me at death made me understand that nature and life were cruel. I also learnt a great deal about cats and other animals, their behaviours and the problems they face because of us.

7. Tribhuvan University (TU)

The day I went the Office of the Controller of the Examinations (OCE) was the day I stepped into the TU premises for the first time. It was quite depressing because of the unmanaged system and earthquake-affected buildings.

However, when I entered the Tribhuvan University Campus area, I felt a magical calmness in the surrounding. It was so influential that I forgot the chaos of the world outside.

Last week, I got admitted for the M.Sc. The classes will begin from the second week of the New Year.

8. Quora

Quora happened to me all through the year 2074. In Baishakh, after the final exams, I got back to the website because of some of my friend’s posts on Facebook. I realized that I had answered a few questions in the past and they were still generating some views. So, I got excited and began answering questions on Geology and Nepal.

On the second week of March, I was provided a “Top Writer 2018” badge. I have about 300 followers and my answers don’t have much views compared to so many popular users but obtaining the badge felt great. I reserved the celebration for New Year, though!

200th Post: Feeling a Little Lost

I am feeling a little lost since it’s been so long since I wrote a blog post. I am more nervous now than two years ago, when I wrote the first post on this blog. But I think everything will be fine once I hit the Publish button.

I had been planning to write something else but saw from my Dashboard that this was going to be my 200th post. I had been away from blogging for quite a long time (probably the longest since I began my WordPress blog) as well. So, I wanted to reconnect to all of you out there and express a few words of gratitude.

Thank you WordPress for providing this platform. 

Thank you readers, followers, friends and relatives. You all have been a source of inspiration. I don’t know how many will see this post but I want to shout out again: Thank You! Without your support through likes, comments, admirations and encouragements.

Thank You!

​के पढेलेखेकाले देश बिगारेका हुन् ?

“पढेलेखेका मान्छेले देश बिगारे ।”–कसैले लेखेको थियो फेसबुकमा । पुस महिनामा देखिएको यो पोस्टको बारेमा घरमा छलफल भएपछि डायरीमा टिपेँ । समाज, कलेज, स्कुल र आफैँलाई नियालेँ अनि फेसबुकमा भेटिएको त्यस वाक्यको पक्षमा केही तर्क निकालेँ । ती तर्क पालैपालो राख्छु । आफूलाई पढेलेखेका मान्छेमा राख्छु । यसो गर्दा म आत्मालोचना पनि गरिरहेको हुनेछु ।
१. पढेलेखेकाले सानातिना काम गर्दैनन् । उनीहरू सानातिना काम देख्दै देख्दैनन् । भन्नलाई काम सानोठूलो हुँदैन भने पनि खाना पकाउने, फोहोर सफा गर्ने, झाडी उखेल्ने जस्ता कामलाई तल्लो स्तरको देख्छन् । केहीले त्यस्तो ठानेनन् भने पनि सकेसम्म पन्छिन्छन् । मोबाइल र सामाजिक संजाल ती कामबाट भाग्न सहयोग गर्ने साथी भएका छन् ।

२. पढेलेखेका मान्छे घमण्डी हुन्छन् । मास्टर्स, पीएचडी गरेका विद्वानहरूले जुन सम्मान पाउँछन्, त्यसले गर्दा ती अभिमानी भइदिन्छन् । पीएचडी गर्ने मान्छेले एउटा विषयको सानो अंशमा विद्वता पाएको हुन्छ । तर ऊ यसरी प्रस्तुत हुन्छ कि यस्तो लाग्छ उसले नजानेको केही छैन । पीएचडी ज्ञानको अन्त्य होइन भन्ने बिर्सेर ऊ ठान्छ, “म जति जान्ने कोही छैन । मैले कसैको कुरा सुन्नै पर्दैन ।”

३. नजानेको कुरा ‘मैले जानेको छैन’ भन्न नसक्नु पनि पढेलेखेका मान्छेको अहमको पराकाष्ठा हो । शिक्षकहरू प्रायः यस्तो विमारीका सिकार छन् । विद्यार्थीमा पनि यो रोग सारिदिन्छन् उनीहरू । यो रोगले शिक्षक र विद्यार्थीलाई एकअर्काबाट टाढिन सहयोग गर्छ । शिक्षक र विद्यार्थी नै एकअर्कालाई विश्वास गर्न सक्दैनन् भने राम्रो पठनपाठन कसरी हुन्छ ?

४. आफूले बिगारेको कुरा पनि अरूले सपार्दिओस् भन्ने ठान्छ्न् पढेलेखेका मानिस । अधिकांश समय अरूलाई गाली गर्दै बिताउँछ्न् । कतिपय बुद्धिजीवीहरू त राजनीतिजस्तो तुच्छ केही छैन भन्छन् तर ताक पर्दा राजनीति आफैं गर्छन् ।

५. पढेलेखेकाले कुरा घुमाउन जान्दछन् । शब्दजालमा माकुराले पुतली फसाएझैं फसाउन उनीहरू माहिर हुन्छन् । नियम पनि उनीहरू नै जान्दछन् अनि नियम बङ्ग्याउन पनि । एकछिन कुनै चोकमा गएर उभिनुहोस्, जानाजान ट्राफिक नियम पालना गर्ने पढेलेखेका मानिस सयौं भेटिन्छन् । सरकारी काम नगर्ने, काम छिटो गराउन घुस दिनेहरू पनि पढेलेखेका मान्छे नै हुन् ।

आफूलाई सधैं सही र अरूलाई सधैं गलत देख्ने, अरूका कुरा सुन्न नचाहने, आफ्नो ज्ञान सीमित भए पनि सर्वज्ञ ठान्ने पढेलेखेकाहरूकै कारण हामीले दु:ख पाएका हौँ भन्ने निष्कर्ष पो निकालेँ मैले त । सहमत हुनुहुन्छ ?

​A Month in Palpa: Some of the Things I Learnt

I spent about a month (26 days to be precise) at Palpa with my friends and teachers for field-work on Geology. It’s a matter of 100 marks after all. But life is not only about university lessons and exams. There are a lot more things to learn.

A view from Tundikhel, Tansen

1. Life’s uncertain

The day we left for Palpa, we were happy. Though we were in the cabin, 7-8 of us could gossip freely and we did not complain. The uncertainty of life showed up after we reached Siddhababa as it got dark on the way. To our dismay, the bus had a damaged dynamo. To state it straight, the bus lacked headlight. We searched for torch lights to help the driver, which was in vain. When the bus took sharp turns, my heart leaped out to my mouth. We prayed, we sought ideas. Another vehicle from behind helped the driver see the road. When the bus stopped at Dumre, Palpa, we shook hands with the driver, cheered and thanked God. The next day, when I saw the road and the gorge of Tinau River, I felt that it is a miracle that I’m alive.

Gorge formed by Tinau River

2. Schedule cannot always be followed

We began with a schedule. We had to follow it but we did not. What should have been done on the seventh day was completed on the first day. It created a lot of confusion. It was difficult to understand what we did but as time passed, we understood what we had done. Learning under a schedule is easier but there is no need to panic if the schedule is disturbed.
3. We can’t observe nature well from inside a bus

Three buses were reserved for daily travel (traverse is the word geologists use) along the Siddhartha Highway. While we were in the bus, we had difficulty in observing geological features. There is problem in connecting things with places when we try to recall. When we walked along towards the end of the exursion because of protests against Federal Model, we understood things really well.
4. There’s always a way to discover fun

When there are so many people around you, you never have to feel low. Even when there is a lot of work to do, you get support from them. Your mind is more inclined to fun in those times. I also found that we look for fun when we are under restrictions. Sometimes, noticing small movements and chats can also give immense pleasures. Enjoying things in the present can help a lot in overcoming troubles.

Boys find fun on the last day of field

5. Togetherness

Most of us have lived in closely-knit families. A lot of problems arise while we are away from family. Homesickness is a problem to many. With the support of friends, this is no big deal. Together we celebrated successes and soothed failures. Together we solved the financial problems we could get into. Together we worked and together we succeeded. Together we bacame family of a sort.
6. Thankfulness

Spending a month at an entirely new place is difficult. Without the help of local people, the school we stayed and all the stakeholders, it would have been impossible. We thank them for their support. We thank our chefs without whom we would not have got food in time. We thank our teachers for the knowledge they imparted. We thank each other for tolerating and cooperating. We also thank our families who have undergone several challenges before and during our excursion.
7. That feeling when you’re leaving

I don’t get a perfect word for this. I was happy that I was returning home but I was also sad that I was leaving the place that had sheltered us for about a month. I still remember the faces of people who bade us farewell. Was it a kind of attachment, a kind of bond I had made with the place and it’s people? Maybe I left a part of my soul there so that I can remember them everyday.
I heard someone say, “You may get a lot of chances to earn money. To earn memories though, you have a very few chances.” Memories of the camp, friends, people and places have formed this article. I proudly share my priceless article for all forever.

पाल्पा 

१.

प्रकृतिको पाएर शृङ्गार नन्दन वाग झैं

आह्लाद मधुर सुन्दर राग झैं

स्मृतिको कन्दरामा बस्यो पाल्पा

मस्तिष्कमा लेखियो नमेटिने याद भै
२.

दक्षिणमा चुरे, महाभारत उत्तर

हवामा छ उडेको गुलाबी अत्तर

मन हर्ने चन्चलता खोलाहरूमा

सिन्दुरे लाली हर प्रहर

३.

तानसेन हाम्रो अहा ! राम्रो दख्खिन मुखमा

घामले सधैं उज्यालो पारी बसेको सुखमा

पहाडी रानी झलल्ल बनी बिहान साँझमा

बसेका छन् अमिट छाप मुटुकाे माझमा

Speechless

[A poem I started out of a random thought some months ago. I hadn’t completed it then. When I saw it today, I completed it. The last part differs from what I had planned the day I created it.]

ME:

Saw her again, passing by the street;

Had opportunity to meet

Graceful she; radiance on her face

All of a sudden, fear made me retreat.

If you had helped me a little more,

O God!

I would have felt blessed!

But you helped me less;

If not, I would not have been speechless!

GOD:

Don’t blame me, kid

For the mistake you did.

The rain had passed, the sun was bright

I did everything to help you with my might.

ME:

If you had helped me no less

Tell me, my Lord! Why was I speechless?

GOD:

I can’t answer that

When in doubt,

Ask your heart.

ME:

Tell me, O Heart!

Why do I crave

To be with her

But fear

Whenever she is near?

HEART:

Lub-dub-lub-dub-lub-lub-dub-dub-lub-dub

ME:

And the heart goes on

Beating.

I can’t understand

What it’s saying!

O God! Teach me

The language of the heart.

Where are you, O God?

Where have you gone

Leaving your child alone?

I know you left.

I know I should do it myself.

I’ve the problem;

I’ve the solution.

However, I’m distressed,

Stressed

But well dressed!

So that I can hide

My inabilities

And my problems

That are not getting less.

I stare at a wall alone

And speechless!

Prometheus and Democracy

I saw the names of Prometheus and Epimetheus for the first time in the story Pandora and the Box of Troubles. The story did not say much about Prometheus except when his brother Epimetheus says that Prometheus would be angry if the box of troubles was opened. Pandora opens the box and releases the troubles despite the warning. I don’t know what Prometheus did later. Nobody has told me.

Some years later, I saw these brothers named as Titans in a B.A. level textbook. (I don’t remember the book. I was in Grade Seven, probably.) Titans had a war with the Olympians–not those who participate in Olympics –but Prometheus and Epimetheus supported the Olympians. I found that particularly strange but there was no answer. I, myself was not much interested at that age.

When I had intense desire to recall the Greek Mythologies, I used to look up the Wikipedia. There, for the first time, I saw that Prometheus did one rebellious thing against the Olympians–stealing the fire. I got interested but could not go through all the article.

This October, I found a Grade Nine English textbook (not the Government prescribed) where I found the story of Prometheus again. This was the same story in which he stole the fire. This time, however, I could make sense of the story. What a rebel he was!

Prometheus was a life-long rebel. When Cronus and his other brothers (the Titans) were busy “ruling” the world, and not taking care of the people they ruled upon, he and Epimetheus helped Zeus and his siblings (the Olympians) fight other Titans. I forgot the details but I think I read that they enlightened the Olympians on the strengths and the weaknesses of the Titans. The Olympians won.

When in power, they did not take care of the people they ruled. In other words, they turned into tyrants just like the Titans. Prometheus saw humans suffering and he decided to rebel against the Olympians. The best way he found was to steal fire from Olympia and give it to humans. And also to train in how to use it. He succeeded in his goal but not without Zeus’ knowledge.

Zeus did not like what Prometheus did. So, he was punished. I won’t go through all the punishments he went through but the introduction of Pandora was one episode in it.

What can we learn from the story of Prometheus?

I see a trend of repeating history in this story. The ways both the Titans and the Olympians when they gained power are similar. Throwing the Titans and establishing the Olympians seems like a dictator being replaced by another. When that happens, people suffer even more. They think the second dictator is better but it is not the case. That’s when rebels like Prometheus come up. They teach people to fight the dictators and established a system of ruling. The result is democracy.

The story of Prometheus, thus is in one way, a way to understand the foundation of collective wisdom–democracy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

UN Day: What We Expect from the UN

We don’t want the United Nations’ Organization (abbreviated UN or UNO) to become another League of Nations. We don’t want it to fail in it’s objectives. Because we know, without the UN, the world is certainly going to face a nuclear war.

 

un-flag-square

The UN was established on October 24, 1945. As the world celebrates the establishment of this world organization, I present my views on the UN based on my recent observations. First, my comment on my friend Roshan Bhandari’s post on Write, Share and Discuss:

The UN had big challenges when it was established. Its charter promises a war-free world. But wars have not come to an end. The UN failed to stop the Kuwait-Iraq war, the American attacks on Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. The Israel-Palestine conflict never seems to resolve under the UN. The underdeveloped countries are still suffering. The organizations under the UN such as FAO, UNDP are affected by corruption. You heard the case of rotten cereals and pulses distributed in the remote areas of Nepal and also during the earthquake last year, didn’t you?

The UN looks like a puppet organization to me. Well, it’s almost true that the veto-nations rule it. Especially, the US, Russia and China. If avoiding conflict with Syria didn’t serve Russia a purpose, the nation would have been churned and the UN would not have said anything. The Americans and Europeans have already marched to fight “Islam” in the name of fighting the terrorism, though, and the UN cannot overrule it. The UN is in a state of coma. It does not seem to come out of it anytime sooner.

Criticisms of the UN

I had not thought about my views until last month. I wanted to know if other people also thought that the UN has problems. I googled “Has the UN failed?” and discovered several articles on the internet that represent my thoughts above. There is a Wikipedia article on the criticisms of the UN, infographics that show the failures the organization has met and several other articles related to its problems.
I don’t understand most of the things the Wikipedia article says but I think the biggest problems in the effectiveness of the UN are the five permanent member nations of the  Security Council. These five nations- the USA, the UK, France, Russia and China have veto power by the use of which they can force the SC to make certain decisions. Veto must have been suggested as a way to stop wars but it is not effective. The USA and the USSR (now Russia) have used the power indiscriminately to overrule policies that are against their interests. No permanent nation, like I’ve said above, is going to use veto or stop war if they don’t have their own interests. The USA, the UK and France are also the members of NATO. As the UN cannot stop military activities of the NATO, these nations can participate in war through the latter thus making the decisions of the former useless.
Another problem with the permanent members is that they are top fives among the major arms exporting countries. There is no use of arms in the absence of war. If these arms exporting nations have continued to supply arms and gaining profit, it means wars are continuously going on around the world. The UN seems to check these wars. An even more frightening scenario is the one in which the arms producing and exporting countries are backing up wars in various parts of the globe. If wars help them improve their economy, why wouldn’t they do so?
The another big problem is bureaucracy. Anthony Banbury says in an article on the New York Times:
The world faces a range of terrifying crises, from the threat of climate change to terrorist breeding grounds in places like Syria, Iraq and Somalia. The United Nations is uniquely placed to meet these challenges, and it is doing invaluable work, like protecting civilians and delivering humanitarian aid in South Sudan and elsewhere. But in terms of its overall mission, thanks to colossal mismanagement, the United Nations is failing.
The article says that the UN bureaucracy is slow. As a result, immediate response to a particular situation is difficult. Banbury also criticizes the role of peace-keeping forces in countries like, Haiti, Sudan and Mali. Peace-keeping forces have not been able to bring peace in these countries. If they have, it’s been temporary. And in some countries such as Haiti, where there is not much need for the peace force, they are still there.

Nepal and the UN

In Nepal, the UN and its different agencies have been working in providing basic needs of food, shelter, health services, and in activities related to human rights. United Nations’ Mission In Nepal (UNMIN) helped in the peace-process of Nepal. The WHO, UNFPA and UNICEF have helped in health sector, the WFP is working to provide food in the rural areas, the UNDP on development works, and so on.
Last year, the WFP got into a controversy*. Most Nepalese media and parliamentarians criticized the distribution of rotten food products in the earthquake affected areas. Such claims had also been heard earlier. We don’t know if the WFP is actually providing anything bad, but if such things come up regularly, we’ll be inclined to think that something is wrong. It also questions the effectiveness of the UN agencies.

What we Want

We want the UN to work democratically, and don’t want some nations decide the future of the world. We want the members, especially the permanent members of the Security Council UN to support peace and humanity, not wars. We want all the nations to work together selflessly. We want the developed nations to invest in uplifting the economic status of the poverty-stricken people over the globe, not just on nuclear weapon research and space travel. We want the UN to take these initiatives to bring eternal peace and happiness.
* The title of the article in this link might be misleading.