mero sano sansar

I explore.


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Wedding musings

I was waiting for a right time to write this till now. Finally as a graduate I can now (YAYY! for completing a degree). Seeing all these photos of extravagant weddings make me nothing but sad. I am genuinely happy for you but seeing you celebrating ‘the milestone in life’ which you achieved doing nothing just seems pointless. Let’s have a real talk here now, the guy/girl you are marrying is probably the one you were in relationship with or is someone your parents arranged for you to get married to. Yes, being attracted, falling in love and all that dating might have taken some effort but isn’t it normal for people to get attracted to each other? And you automatically do things for them or say for yourself because that makes you feel good. I am not against wedding really, but seeing this unnecessary dramas and expenses in wedding which often leaves parents in debt makes me wonder if that lehenga or jewellery or whatever you wanted so badly is worth anything?

People my age give me this big talk of having a big fat wedding because its once in a while and honestly, I wouldn’t be writing this if you were to spend your hard earned money over spending your parent’s money recklessly. On top of that, I don’t understand why aren’t we celebrating or prioritising real achievements in life, like getting a degree, securing a job that you wanted to, or the promotion you get or the venture you started is successful. Isn’t that the real achievement? You actually have to work off your ass off, without saying day and night to have that result unlike wedding. Yes, weddings are important but instead of wasting money on all that extras and all those things that will hide somewhere in your cupboard for rest of life, can’t we just do something simple? The unnecessary want to show off of who’s got what and ‘I can do better than them’ feeds nothing but negativity in society and the coming generation. And giving all that stress to family for nothing doesn’t make us any good person either.

I might sound like anti-cultural, anti-weddings or whatever but standing up and voicing out for what I believe is wrong, then be it because I won’t probably be shamelessly taking a piece of a furniture as a gift from my parents when I get married. 25 years ago, when my parents got married, my mother was sent off to my father’s home with bed, wardrobe, dressing table and someone I know who got married couple of year back had the same thing. It clearly is a dowry, not a gift. When I opposed to why they were sent off with all those and why didn’t the bride and groom oppose it, I just received an answer that it was important. Seriously, in this age, if I cannot even stick to my own words of being against dowry or simply not being able to afford something as basic as such, that raises a serious question, am I ready to take on responsibility that comes with getting married? The answer is No! In this competitive world, if you don’t even have that source yet to take care of yourself and your family, how can one do for two families?

My thoughts may never resonate to you and I might just be labelled as ‘wanna-be’ but this seriously doesn’t bother me, not even a bit. I believe in celebrating hard work and weddings, birthdays equally not by giving my family a headache and most importantly not doing things to pleasure the world but myself and my loved ones who mean the world to me.

(P.S. I am totally up for wedding anniversaries though because that takes a great deal of time, commitment, compromises to be together.)

 


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Is Nipol even a word?

Another day, another rant!

I have been venting out a lot lately and this time its about the ‘wannabe’ pronunciation. Fortunately, I had the chance to volunteer and spend a year with people from Afghanistan with very little english. I worked as a volunteer teacher and besides the linguistic barrier we had, it was the best time of my life and the experience is something I will never forget.

The first and foremost thing I told was to be themselves while communicating i.e. speak confidently while expressing themselves. I kept reminding them English is our second language and as long as you are morally correct and that someone understands you, it is a great job considering the fact that most of them had never been to school or had dropped out very early. Fluency and being able to communicate properly matters not the fake pronunciation that we do to make us sound nothing but stupid. Pardon me for saying that, for everytime I hear a Nepali saying ‘Nipol’ or ‘Catmandu’, I just don’t understand why do they do that. Yes, you might argue people from other nationalities won’t understand but hey! I haven’t came across a single person who didn’t understand my clear and correct pronunciation for it. The fact is, there is a vast difference in the alphabets, sounds and the way our brain has adapted in process of learning a language which makes it harder for people to correctly pronounce some words. Taking an example of a Chinese surname, Zhang. As a speaker of both Nepali and English I simply say ‘Jhaang’ but in reality its ‘Jaang’ a bit more nasal which is very hard for me. It wasn’t till too long that I said ‘jalapeno’ for jalapeño instead of ‘halapeño’. The main ideation is there are hundreds of languages around the world and it is very normal for people not being able to get it correct the native way. But on saying that, as a native Nepali speaker if I start twisting my tongue around to make my words sound fancy, that is a problem. Embrace the authenticity, accept if you are wrong and most importantly don’t forget this differences is what makes up special.

Bottom line, Nepalese stop making Nepal sound like Nipple!


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Respect teachers, not!

Recently watched a program how a good teacher changes ones life and read a news about how students are punished to death by teachers in Nepal. That made me want to write about all these wonderful (not) teachers I was unfortunately student of in Nepal.

The teachers I have come across in life, minus few who I will remember and respect forever, are nothing but a nightmare. Male teachers touching and holding a girls hand while handing out papers, giving extra marks just because she is a girl to sexually harassing and ridiculing them as an object amongst their peers. Favouritism seems to more inclined towards female teachers that I have come across. To avoid gender stereotype, I will be writing about teachers in general because that is what defines them.

I have been punished many times as a young girl. From asking take off skirt/pants, slaps and what not for a simple mistake of achieving only 80% and forgetting few bits of maths formulae. One of the instances, while I was in Year 12 living in a hostel, few friends and I gathered in room to share some naan/tarkari as there was a power cut off at around 11, out of nowhere hostel warden came in and gave us unnecessary punishment of writing answers to some 5 questions and submit by 6 in the morning while he was having good sleep. All of us were awake all night, feeling upset about getting punished. Who on fucking earth punishes some teenagers for eating food in a room? If we were doing drugs or something, yes thats complicated but naan. That is just one example but there are worse. The cultural, societal values surely shapes ones perception but seriously what can we expect in a country where nothing works, one opts to be a teacher. On saying that, not all teachers are same. Infact, I have come across really wonderful teachers in life and they really cared about us as students and were passionate about what they were doing. Anyone can be a teacher really, whether if they do education degree at uni or just join a school like in Nepal but to be a good teacher takes a lot. Don’t punish or ridicule them, there is solution to everything. If these teachers don’t want their own child to be bullied, sexually harassed, ridiculed for being weak and getting punished for nothing, who gives them the right to do the same to others?


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(Wo)Man

Every time I hear someone bullshit about what women/men should do, behave in a way and all, it boils my blood. I opt for writing over arguing with whoever that is because there is no point in trying to explain. On saying that, the recent thing I heard from a ‘well educated’ person living in Australia he didn’t wanted to marry Nepali women living here because ‘they are skilled and educated just like any other person’. What a pathetic thought is it of the person. Such a vague statement coming from an educated person really made me realise, migrating doesn’t necessarily mean a person will think from a broad spectrum rather feed their narrow mind with all these conservative thoughts.

I find it rather upsetting that we don’t hold ourselves back whenever its about online voting to make women like Anuradha Koirala, Pushpa Basnet, Mira Rai (to name a few) who have proved themselves in the international diaspora but when its about the women in our family, we put them back in that golden cage. Hypocrites! I call them. Belonging to the era when people are embracing their sexuality, where people have proved themselves based on their capabilities not genders, it is unfortunate that we still choose to live in that sad part where we enforce behaviours, thoughts on gender. Sometimes I think, penis and vagina looks different but its a body part similar to all rest of our body parts made up of those cells,tissues alike.

On saying that, women aren’t all that victim that we pretend to be. Infact, we are the ones against us. I have heard some women bad mouth their husbands and female friends because they couldn’t live up to the society’s gender stereotype. Honestly, seeing any househusband makes me feel so good and I respect those people who chose to do what they are good at. It is time to be progressive not just with words and in social media but in reality, in this real world which starts from you, your life and family. Embrace the person for who they are, love the changes and most important, RESPECT a person. We weren’t born with any gender specific roles but as a human being all we can least do to each other is be kind, compassionate and spread peace.


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Just Stop It!

‘Thamel bazar’, ‘Kale Dai’ are recent hits and are quiet catchy too. Bollywood influence, I call it, are the reason why we have all these half naked women dancing around in a song with double meanings. Just a few weeks earlier, I saw a woman (apparently she is an actress) dancing in the song in a cultural program literally with a bra and boyleg on. Her moves were overly sexualised and all the men had gathered around the stage and were cheering, taking her videos. She was excited and was getting all the attention she wanted.

I firmly believe that there is no difference in between any gender but seeing people misinterpreting freedom and right is absolutely upsetting. Yes, human body is all skins and there is nothing sexual unless you choose to think it that way but on saying that, living in a society bounded by values,culture there has to be a fine line between what’s acceptable and what’s not. Showing off your skin explicitly, putting up sexual moves infront of a crowd makes you nothing but an object, something that people look at and pleasure themselves. With movies portraying women dancing amidst drunk men, sexualising themselves, I guess it is normal for commoners to feel it’s normal to portray themselves provocatively. Besides that, the increasing violence in the community, from rape to acid attacks to domestic violence have an indirect/direct relationship to what is fed to us through movies/media. There is a difference between sensual and sexual which we seem to have forgotten and the worse part, all these item songs make it seem that it’s okay to stare at a women’s breast and butt. Not that this is the only cause of the violence in the community but this does add up and encourage corrupt minded people. Being someone who has been inappropriately touched, said things in public, I can say it is very humiliating and the women doing all these item numbers have probably been a prey of it as well. It’s not the matter of clothing, anyone can wear anything but it’s about how we treat others and respect that clearly lacks in those songs and real life.

Maybe all the directors, producers, actors and everyone related should understand their responsibility and present appropriately as people get highly influenced from movies. And with trendsetting movies, Nepalese like never ever become so interested in Nepali movies. Everyone at one point or another gets influenced and it’s totally normal so the people in film fraternity should be able to understand the morality of their influence. Moreover commercial/financial aspect, it would be great if social aspect is highly considered and if they use their platform to advocate for empowerment and change.


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Same but different.

I have become so used to waking up feeling sad, hopeless basically that unwell feeling that every time I have a great wake up, I am confused. I just don’t understand what am I supposed to do. I even think, wow! I never realised that I felt this good. Wonders that happen in mind and body.

The bad mornings, my head feels so heavy in fact my whole body does and I kind of feel that my soul is drifting apart (that might sound crazy but it happens). That sensation or feeling is more like I am being detached with myself. I lay on my bed feeling so scared and confused. I try waking up but I cannot. I try opening  my eyes but I can’t. It is just so scary but I have come to accept that it passes away, all I have to do is give it some time. Even though my body is not ready, I force myself to wake up anyway because I cant just lie down there and let it take over me. Somedays the feeling reaches its peak and prolongs for a while that is when I crave for pain, for death. No, I am not kidding when I say that but its real. I wish for death over that suffering but somewhere inside of me is that fighter who refuses to give up.

There is still so much stigma attached when it comes to mental health issues. Yes, not everyone can see it, understand it and it probably is not something that happened just because of overthinking. You might find it hard to believe the things I mentioned but unfortunately it happens and the force is very strong. Honestly, somedays I myself cannot differentiate if its reality or just something that my mind is tricking me into. I find it very disappointing when people make it sound so facade, everything you go through while struggling with anxiety and depression. There are both the goods days and the bad days like the life we all live. What you call your bad day might be someones good day  and someones worse, it just that we all are different and there is no particular definition to it. Regardless, being a little considerate, a little kind will help everyone. Above all, if you have little to no knowledge about it, just listen to what they have to say without being judgemental.

People with mental illnesses are not mad, they are not making things up and ‘stop feeling that’ is definitely not going to help either. Everyone has their own share of struggle in life and it is theirs. They are trying their best like you to overcome it and there is no magic wand to help any of us to solve all our problems overnight. We all are just the same and there is much more about us than the struggles of our life. We are same but different.


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Abuse.

I just read a news about 13 year old girl raped by her father. Not once, not twice but he had been doing it for past four months. Rape itself is a horrendous act and the fact, the abuser is a father just makes it worse. Physical, Mental, Emotional, Verbal or Sexual, abuse is an abuse and it has no excuse whatsoever.

Abuses are common, way common than we think of it. Everyday there is something happening behind those closed doors and only few of them gets reported. There are laws to punish the culprit and protect the victims. Unless it happens in our family, we forget that we are a part of this society too and we have some responsibilities as well. Victim blaming is way common in cases as such which ultimately makes the sufferer feel guilty and they end up on death bed. If I were to say, I was inappropriately touched by someone very close to me, there will be many questions of who, how and why? They might even add their own version and make it something different or just ask me not to speak because it is a family thing. I strongly deny it. Whatever happened was wrong and it did haunt me. I had no clue what has happening to me back then and now when I think of it, chills run down my spine. Yes, it happened years ago and why am I bringing it up now because I am tired of seeing young girls suffer so much. Staying quiet is just wrong.

I do not hate men but I hate this patriarchal society we live in. We, the new generation who advocate on equality have strengthened it with our (little) knowledge. Calling us stupid doesn’t seem inappropriate considering the fact that with world in our palms, with so called high profiled careers we do not fall behind when it comes to encouraging inequality from our actions.I have been groped inappropriately in public, called names, abused online what not and I represent the hundreds who go through this everyday. And I ask, why on earth you still name it a tradition and drink water off your husband’s feet? Let’s be real, its gross no matter how many times it’s cleaned. Its not about him doing the same to you but I wonder why are we still giving importances to practices as such? Someone writes a post about women empowerment and we share it but at the same time highlight the photos of us happily bowing down on one’s feet. You might be doing it because of your immense love, respect and he might feel the same but do we realise all these small things are actually reasons behind someone’s suffering out there. What message is it giving it to the younger generation? Tradition and cultures represent us but if it still places some human on a top hierarchy and some below, what is the point of it?

Coming back to issue, is physical abuse the only abuse? Being called names, body parts labelled as an object, treated no less, denial of rights is just another form of abuse that happens everyday. If we cannot stop these everyday things that constantly reminds us to set our boundaries just because we are women, what will we actually do if it goes way beyond. Are we just going to shut up and bear all that calling it our fate and for family’s honour? Why are we making ourselves inferior merely based on our genital? Why do we teach young girls to protect their bodies while not teach young boys to respect everyone regardless of anyones gender, caste whatever that labels we have created. There is not going to be a full stop in abuses as long as we let people oppress us. Yes, we let them and yet complain that we are not given an opportunity. It is not the society stopping us but we, ourselves scared of this old cultural practices and thoughts that has embedded in our minds. Why don’t our thoughts of family, why can’t we work together as a team? Why don’t we go beyond the big talks and actually step forward and for once, say no. It may not change the whole world but it might actually inspire your daughter, sister, mother, father, brother, husband, wife, friend whatever they are to you.