Narcissistic Opinions: /peri pat eh tic/ noun

There were days longing for something I didn’t understand properly. I don’t think I do now as well. I don’t even know what I was searching for – something along the frame of utter senselessness of existing, of being someone or something.

Along the shores of Dar es Salaam, there is a strange ennui. I can feel it in my bones that it is different. Very different than that of Kathmandu. I didn’t know that ennui’s could be different. It all seemed the same. Suffering, that I can understand. It can come in various shape or fervor. I am used to it. I understand it even though I don’t need to. But I have vanities of my own. It is relative. When a group of convicts passed the work site of a Nazi concentration camp, they were envied upon by the Jews. Because they probably had toothbrush, a comfortable bed with mattresses and knew the whereabouts of their family and relatives. They knew who were dead and who were alive. Such is suffering. But ennui,  I do not understand.  It never ceases to amaze me, the weariness of which comes in different flavors and knowledge. This is a new revelation.

I was subject to some unsavory scrutiny by a stranger yesterday. He judged me based on my voice and the facial features. I don’t know why, but I didn’t like it then I normally should. Not that he adjudicated entirely wrong but he did it so improperly and with a vehemence. I should have been used to it now. But something violent stirred in me too. Perhaps alcohol on an empty stomach. I pacified the passion within me with some instant meditation – a bat was flying over our heads and I tried to catch a glimpse of its features while on flight. I put on a poker face and somewhat took in remarks with some sense of dignity. For most part I managed to ignore but I had to say something to make him think of his flawed ways. And when I was about to commence on this noble act, I suddenly felt that that I’d rather should not. I should give him more confidence my being passive. I should play the long game. I should make him suffer more. He was somewhat full of aversion towards my kind – which he also misjudged. And not trying to correct him would be his punishment. His continuous and mindless hatred, an uneasy soul and mind was my revenge.

A rich and mighty Persian once walked in his garden with one of his servants. The servant cried that he had just encountered Death, who had threatened him. He begged his master to give him his fastest horse so that he could make haste and flee to Teheran, which he could reach that same evening. The master consented and the servant galloped off on the horse. On returning to his house the master himself met Death, and questioned him, “Why did you terrify and threaten my servant?” “I did not threaten him; I only showed surprise in still finding him here when I planned to meet him tonight in Teheran, said Death

Freedom is a curse, decried Sartre. I look at the blue horizon where ocean blue meets the sky blue. I am free to do so – to think about my emotions deeply, to translate it into something I could feed off, to listen to it and not act on it, to remain in a perpetual gloom because of misinterpreting it or simply to stare into it without a thought. To interpret Sartre would be too easy to understand him. Because when we writes, everyone understands it differently. So that’s easy. I wouldn’t want to understand him in my own way. But he doesn’t provide an answer too. He’s a thug. He’s a messiah. Who cares. It’s one’s choice to do so, that he agrees too. I think I will stick with Carmona here: “ Once thrown into the world, man is responsible for everything he does…The most priceless possession a person has is his power of choice; it is also life’s greatest shackle”.

END. 

 

On Avocados and Sweat

I tell myself not to turn into Josheph Conrad. If its not accommodating, then make a home out of it. Every time I concede to wistful lust of Africa, I reprimand myself being such a pussy. A pussy is warm and tender. I can’t be warm and tender now can I? I need to be strong, adventurous and arrogant like a dick. 

The country is immense and the people are kind but I still have not quite found a profound sickness that suits to my temperance. It’s the mojo that I have lost that I am grieving over. I am in need of a heart. A heart that can bear my sporadic self-professed darkness which I keep going back into where I find comfort and where I find it homelier than home thousands of miles away that’s cuddled between the dust and green hills which almost never bars the sight of snow capped mountains. Oh what a relish! I wish to see those mountains again. Not because it appears splendid or grandee but I need the feel of my old ways. To find my way into the mojo that I have seemingly lost.

I abhor my own body. Its crowded with sweat, flies, beef and avocado. I feel it wants to give way to the anguish that such climes bring forth but I hold myself tight and think, this too shall pass. How many of my brethren have been here, I wonder. A man from the Himalayas in Africa! That’s quite a sight in servitude and suffering. I tell to my most un-Serb of a Serbian, ‘Vlad, brother, I feel the sun but I don’t feel the warmth’. He replied back sheepishly, ‘You need to do weed man’. He he is wise. He lives in the jungles of Tanzania doing who-knows-what sort of research pertaining to trees. He gives me warmth for he is as outlandish as I am. I am pretty sure that he thinks first and then he feels the thought rather than opposite of what most people would do. That’s why he is wise. His mojo is intact. 

For the first time in my life, I got asked ‘Have you climbed Everest?’. It was quite a feeling. That of nostalgia and the feeling of being a Nepali residing outside the country I so much hate. It was quite interesting for me because never had I knew such a calamity of loving my country. A series of fleeting facebook memes about ‘Don’t you fucking dare ask a Nepali that’ passed through the neurons of my brain which usually filters down any feeling of love, desires and bad memes automatically.

But in sooth, I was quite happy that I was pressed with such a ridiculous enquiry. Aha! This is what an expat feels like in lands far far away. The feeling that my little brother always laments of but I always had failed to understand him. I usually end up shrugging his stupid feels but here I was empathizing with him. He has always been known to be an emotional bloke. He’s quite our baby. But so am I. I don’t dwell on bothering’s of real time situations. I once cried watching a movie trailer on Youtube.

So, here I was thinking over where I am physically standing in context of globe and I was quite amazed that now suddenly a paroxysm of fear and uncertainty held me to my guts. The fear of being really alone as a citizen from Himal and the uncertainty of if I can really accommodate myself into this strange land. I knew I can adapt but to find oneself homely is another thing. I live in an apartment and I pay a hefty sum for it but it still feels like living in a hotel. Living in a hotel is perhaps more accommodating than having to do all the things that I never quite ever did in my life, like cooking, doing laundry and dishes, checking the electricity meter, shopping for groceries and looking into weird sites for expats who want to be friends is beyond me. It sounds like a first world problem, but what am I to do if I have always lived like a vigilante till date in my own country. Lately made myself so homely at a restaurant (which my dear friend and brother owns) that the waiters would ask me where I was if I even missed a day. So now I here I am associating Everest (which I have actually never seen except in photos) with homeliness.

Its quite strange to even think of home at the moment. It never felt like home all my life. I don’t even miss Nepal. I don’t think I will ever. But this creepy new feeling that Nepal is fucking awesome never ceases to amaze me. I always complained and whined and cursed about everything. But now people ask me ‘How’s Nepal like?’ I can’t believe of the things I say to them. I am hyping up the bloody country. It’s certainly not because I am homesick or that I rather enjoy my life in Nepal than in Tanzania. For the first time, I am actually describing (not analyzing) Nepal and I am finding it hard to stomach that it’s actually a really good place to spend your life in. It’s hard to digest something that you truly believed to have sucked your whole life. And now suddenly that it doesn’t suck comes in with the epiphany that nothing in life is constant and in its entirety. Just like happiness and sadness. No one can be entirely happy or sad.

A dear Neapolitan, Stephano is at home in Tanzania. Not just his fluency in Swahili but his temperance is that of a citizen of this wonderful country. He probably just hates it here as he hates it in Italy. He knows who he is and knows what he doesn’t want. Well, he will be a first time father this July and will probably loose his mojo for a brief time but he will surely regain it back effortlessly. ‘I have been in your stage in life and have had my fill of it. It’s not that I don’t like parties and weed but there are more important things in life’ he admonished us like an older brother. He is used to sweats and avocados. He has his mojo intact. His mojo reminds me of my own strength and perseverance. How far I have come. How through the vicissitude of teenage angst and existential crisis, I managed to retain my hope for humanity and accept that beauty of human consciousness which glides in crescendos and diminuendos of the good and the bad. To accept both and move forward is truly a feat for any individual living in our times.  

It’s merely been a month here in Africa and I am lost in the wilderness of entitlements that expats living in Masaki probably dwell upon. The land is a far cry from rest of the country but I cannot avail from thinking that it is disengaged from rest of Africa. The only thing African about the peninsula is the climate. As I promenade through the much embracing blue beaches of the city or sojourn in touristic islands nearby, it makes me forget how much I am detached from Heart of Darkness that Conrad so magnificently yet preposterously went on about. Stephano warned that one can easily forget one is in Africa. By that he means that I shouldn’t forget that I am in another man’s territory where I am more than welcome but that I shouldn’t forget about my roots back home and live modestly. That is to say, smile more and show more gratitude. It is very good for one’s soul too.  I think its high time get back my mojo, drink a lot of water, consume a lot of avocados and accept the sweats.

P.S. Bon Jovi is a Boy Band

Dear Mr. M, In the morbid bareness of autumn, I finally found, deep inside my heart, a sort of warmth, a fiasco –a friendship, which helped me persevere the brooding lust of death. Leaving behind the beauty of ethereal convictions, I fell upon your knees and you accepted me as I was; marooned by self and vain in nature. As I made strides towards the darkness, essential moments of love and compassion escaped me and primal emotions which sustain life were already numb. Having experienced life, I was disappointed. I wanted to experience death, for in certes I knew it wouldn’t disappoint.

Continue reading P.S. Bon Jovi is a Boy Band

Books v. Cigarettes

Until recently, I hadn’t quite given thought on the cost of books and cigarettes that I am used to buying nonchalantly. I have quite a possession of books since I began reading voraciously seven years ago when the college threw me out of science department and placed me with students of humanities steam. It was due to lack of any aptitude or attitude from my part which led me to first, being suspended from college and then being reinstated in another stream, of course conditionally. I was one of those rotten tomato which the education system in Nepal detests.

I was reticent, observant and a brute at heart; dispatching inquiries of rather derisive nature to the administration, revolting against any sort of authoritative rules and bonking classes whenever I fancied. I was a libertine and the college was my transit to a chaotic vision of teenage glory.

It was truly in college, when I began reading rather voraciously. I had a rather spirited English literature teacher who appeared comical. He was almost five foot and had snubbed nose, puffed cheek and adenoidal voice. For teenage students, he was gold mine for back bench banter. I may have ridiculed him too, back in the days, but I had great respect for a man who had no interest in the banking concept of education.

Since my introduction to literature, reading books has been my favorite pass time. I read everything. From Dostoevsky to Kerouac to Devkota, I read whatever my eyes behold; newspapers, magazines, flyers, political manifestos to Facebook statuses. I even read a lot of phrases which are painted thoughtfully in the rear end of trucks and public buses. I like alphabets and how it reels into words and the words prance around into sentences which in turn become prose, verses, poems, novels and essays. My favorite alphabet is ‘x’ because it looks really cool.

Continue reading Books v. Cigarettes

Narcissistic Opinion: Applying 48 Laws of Power to a Work Place Argument

Having a heated argument with a fellow professional reveals a lot of things of not just that particular person but also about oneself.

I have always tried to stay humble with my work and try to emulate the best of the lot. Admiring without trying to be a sycophant, having conversations without trying to be ostentatious, listening to them without interrupting and working without abeyance. It supported by basis of staying humble in my workplace. Until one day, when a team member (senior) suddenly decides to play an ass. Now, it one thing to appear peaceful and another thing to depict powerlessness. In our post-modern world, I have observed, if anything is at peace then in certes, it is toothless.  In my repetitive reading of 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene, I came to feel that Laws related to character building, especially when law five says, ‘So much depends upon reputation: Guard it with your life’ and Law 9 which says ‘Win through your actions not through argument’ seemed a perfect way of life who usually tends to believe in staying simple yet sophisticated. But what do you do when these laws are in contradiction and you’ve got no other choice but to throw your conditioned self out of the picture and fight like a raging bull and maybe even creating a private Holyfield’s ear incident.  But what really bothered me with this particular brawl was the law number one which blatantly says, ‘Never outshine your master’. Do I go for a Pyrrhic victory or do I stand by the cornerstone of power, ‘reputation’ as Mr. Greene lucidly explained?

When in anger, the primal sense usually hazes all sense of propriety and thus what we have is the current situation with humanity. Now, the problem with this public spat was that I wasn’t in the wrong. Having said that one may think that it is a clear victory but when you bring in underrated parameters like ‘relationship’, ‘team work’, ‘work ethic’ and ‘career opportunities’, it is quite a bit of hard pill to swallow.

Having had a superiority linguistically over my opponent, I used the tactic of law 44 which says ‘Disarm and Infuriate with the Mirror Effect’. Repeating his statement, assuming a faint smile which implied ambiguousness of sarcasm and solemnity, appreciating the logic when there was none and then striking the red hot malleable iron of perceived overconfidence with hammers of truth. The strategy included clustering on tints of sycophancy and of ostentatious linguistic jargons which the opponent clearly was unable to apprehend and thus falling under a trap of intricately designed web of diversion to the original idea that I had prepared to be universally used by all the team members. It was a sweet victory which included another of Mr. Greene’s contradiction when he says, ‘Playing the perfect courtier’ (law 24) and ‘Enter action with boldness’ (law 28).

So proud was I with this public spectacle that I nearly forgot the most brutal of Mr. Greene’s law stated in law 47 which says ‘Do not go past the mark you aimed for; in victory, learn when to stop’ which solemnly provided for my die hard belief in law 1, ‘Never outshine the master’.