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
Faith faith go away
Let me respite, leave me misery,
Awaking seeds of sorrows do sway
Heaps of lust which trample and scurry,
This Landscape of absurdity.
I’m just an artist. I’m just a witness.
I stand in the midst of this danger
Disheveled on random love and anger,
Vexed of life and insatiable hunger
As I fall in love and loathe a stranger.
Faith faith go away
Down the market and onto a quay,
Why don’t you take a ticket to ride
And I’ll just love and hate and yearn and chide,
For my life needs it all.
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’.
I used to have sudden, violent urges to be free. I wasn’t at liberty to parade my perspectives and judgments. Let’s say, I was rather inhibited by my social milieu. I met people who were absolutely and relatively free. I, on the other hand was relatively enslaved. I stayed inhibited since my teenage years where I had my share of run-ins with drugs, high life and incoherent family values. These restrictions made me yearn for freedom and I used to imagine that to be free was to be able to say no to family life. I abhorred family life and societal values. I still do to some degree. My family wasn’t a conservative one but when your daughter is doing drugs and hanging out with prodigies for her classmates who in spite of their nomadic life and drug use were destined to succeed in life. I on the other hand had no idea what I was gonna do. I was a fuck up.
Little conviction, even less talent and big dreams was what I had to my name. A day dreamer, a nihilist, an atheist and a rigid moralist. My sense of propriety was so gluten free that once in school I told my teacher that a high mark in one of my papers was erroneous and I had only earned second rate marks. When that Department recalculated my paper, it was true. They gave me a point for my honesty and I gleefully accepted the gift. My friends made a mockery out of me that day. I still feel like an imbecile. In soothe, I was a hair-raising hippy from the 60’s. I don’t like the hippies, but since we human beings tend to brand everything, I was an unreasonable hippy adrift in the purgatory of spiritual cum hedonistic measures. Anyways, I said fuck to humanity during my adolescence when a girl I had been having an affair left me like she’d left her truly yours. The whole roller-coaster of an affair turned me into a savage. I became a Patriot.
As a jingoist, I wasn’t a brilliant one. But I wasn’t bad either. It sounds ridiculous to measure patriotism but everyone measures it anyways.
‘What have you done for your country?’
‘Fuck you, I eat local momos daily to support the local economy’.
For my part, I deliberated a hunger strike to call into attention the misery of my fellow countrymen. It turned out to be miserable for my friends instead. Well, I can proudly say that I once hadn’t eaten for three days and nights straight. There in hunger, my patriotism faded.
Continue reading The World Is A Vanity Fair
The annus horribilis has passed so swiftly that on its eve I come to realize how important our lives really are. Neither had I any time to reflect nor did I care to engulf myself into this sweet disposition I so much used to obsess over. A year of action. A year of service. A year of unity and revival. For someone who lives most of his time ruminating the existential paradoxes and divine comedies, it was a year worth having lived and most importantly, having survived a melodramatic one. Here are six conclusions from a melodramatic Nepali myself: Continue reading SIX CONCLUSIONS FROM THE EARTHQUAKE YEAR