Archives for category: Critique

I had been wanting to take a trip to Palanchowk Bhagawati temple in Kavre district for quite sometime but the realization of that plan was prevented by the dark specter of the perennial nuisance of Nepali life:  Bandhs.  To quote the wisdom of the Nepali language: baddar ko hat ma naribal. Having neanderthals for leaders is quite a burden to our Homo sapien populated country.  How would you explain the failure to draft a respectable constitution within two + one year especially when you have 601 people chosen to work on it?

So when the roads finally cleared I made my way to the Palanchowk Bhagawati temple.  The road to Palanchowk Bhagawati temple stems from Araniko Highway that begins in Kathmandu and ends in the Nepal-Tibet border.  At Lamidanda on the Araniko Highway, I took the narrow but black-topped road to the temple.  The temple is located on top of a lovely ridge overlooking the Panchkhal and Tamaghat valleys to the south and west.  Palanchowk is considered a sister temple to both Shobha Bhagawati and Naxal Bhagawati temples in Kathmandu.  The temple area is quite busy during Saturdays, and a lot of people did go there too along with me in the aftermath of the bandh.  After lighting a diyo for world peace in Palanchowk Bhagawati temple, I headed to Dolalghat.  Dolalghat is a Newari settlement on the banks of the Indrawati river through which the Araniko Highway passes.  Approximately one kilometer from Dolalghat lies the confluence of the Sunkoshi and Indrawati rivers, both of which are part of the Saptakoshi river network. In the serene environment of the place where the union of two rivers took place, I wonder how long it would take for peace and civil order to be established in Nepal.  I wonder for how long the people of Nepal would  have to suffer due to the mistakes of the men chosen to lead the country.  Also, I took this trip on Ganatrantra Diwas (Republic Day) of Nepal which due to the hand of fate happended to be a bandh-free day in the districts through which the Araniko Highway carves through.

The Valley of Panchkhal in Kavre District

Panchkhal Valley with the Dhee River in the Foreground

The Palanchowk Bhagawati Temple

Faithfuls in Queue at Palanchowk Bhagawati Temple

The Ornamental Snake (Nag) on the Palanchowk Bhagawati Temple

Statues and Graffiti at Palanchowk Bhagawati

Bikes outside the Palanchowk Bhagawati

Bridge Across the Indrawati River at Dolalghat

Indrawati River

A Ferryman on the Banks of the Sunkoshi

The Sunkoshi River

Confluence of Indrawati and Sunkoshi Rivers

Sankhamul ghat,  located in between Lalitpur and Kathmandu districts is not far from the confluence of Bagmati and Manhara rivers.  Sankhamul bridge conveniently connects Naya Baneshwor to Patan. Sankhamul ghat (Hindu crematorium) is bejeweled with old Newari buildings and temples. It is on the banks of the Bagmati river whose holiness has been stained by becoming a filthy, public health hazard and an a perpetual eyesore. Bagamati is the river which is representative of the Kathmandu valley. Though it is often touted as a “Holy River”, it has been begrimed by urbanization and mass rural to urban migration. When the denizens of Kathmandu valley began installing modern toilets, Bagmati was reduced to a holy sewer. The width and flow of Bagmati decreased as the years passed and Kathmandu began its nightmarish metamorphosis into the “Sick City” that we are all so familiar with.

Sankhamul Bridge

By-Products of Modernization

Sand Mining in the Bagmati River

Sand Mining in Bagmait River

Sankhamul Ghat

The Gate to Urban Wilderness

Stand for Holding the Funeral Pyre

Temples on the Ghat

Confluence of Bagmati and Manhara Rivers

The Jailed God

Scavengers of Leftover Offerings (Prasad)

Women Waiting to Fill Water Containers Despite Being Less than Five Meters from the Bagmati River

As I reflect upon the status quo, I pose this question to my brethren from Nepal and beyond….

IF PEOPLE FROM BENGAL (BOTH WEST BENGAL AND BANGLADESH) ARE REFERRED TO AS “BENGALI”, THEN WHY ARE PEOPLE FROM NEPAL REFERRED TO AS NEPALESE AND NOT NEPALI!!!!!!

Quote:

“We ain’t asking for shit. We takin’ it!”

-Dr. Dre

Once upon a time, somewhere in the peaceful hills of Ilam, in its scenic roads, there was a blockade. All of the cars, buses, trucks and motorcycles were suddenly rendered immobile by the forceful magic of a barricade of tree logs. When the drivers asked why they should stop their vehicles, they were told that a nice young man, a student in a local college, was brutally assaulted by a savage policemen. Then his enraged friends thirsty for justice, organized a blockade, a bandh in a place called Tinghare. Or at least that is what I was told.

“What happened? Well, a barbaric policeman inconsiderately stopped a public bus. Then all of a sudden with a drunken demeanor he raised his hand on a student in the bus. You know that its the twenty first century and you can’t raise your fist against the students of Ilam. Thus we are forced to carry out this andalon. Justice will be done and the savagery of the police will be exposed. This andalon will show the police who we are.”

That is what a female student showing her support for the bandh told me. I felt the need to ask the following question.

“Are you sure that the fellow didn’t insult the mother or wife of that policeman?”

“Nonsense! That student of our college was brutally beaten up ruthlessly and without any cause. Really pisses me off you know, the way that the dirty bastards can do whatever they want. Nobody has the right to raise their fist against anybody anywhere. We will continue our andolan against police brutality and stand up for our rights.”

I found it hard to stomach what she said. Nothing happens without a cause, you can’t light a fire without a spark.

Meanwhile, in the balcony of a restaurant in Tinghare there was a meeting between the police and the students. According to what I heard, the students were demanding to talk to the police who allegedly hit the student. This is going to be a long day, I thought. Why would the police want to deploy a sacrificial lamb to the students? No homeward bound for me.

Who’s to blame, the police or the students. Or is it God or Lady Luck behind this madness?

As an innocent outsider, it’s hard for me to say. I can only say that neither the student nor the police should have acted up. Everybody should have minded their own business. When this collision of two total strangers from the opposite ends of the universe took place, innocent passerby have to halt their vehicles and put a comma to their travels.

And a bandh seems to be good for business, all of the Robinson Crusoes, me included, in Tinghare had tea and biscuits at the local shops. The college students who came to show their support got an extra holiday.

While waiting for Man Friday, I took pictures.

A Bandh in Tinghare, Ilam

A Man Sleeping in a Bus During the Bandh

Old Men Waiting for the Bandh to Come to its End

The Meeeting

People Peering into the Meeting Between the Students and the Police in a Sekuwa Corner

People Discussing about the Bandh and Having Chatpatte

The Line

Casualities

More Casualities

Man Friday never came, the APF came instead. Armed Police Force came to the rescue with batons.

“Everybody back to their cars!  All of you students who wanna talk come here right now!

Nobody moved a finger. The APF removed the barricade in an instant by kicking away those logs. Traffic resumed. Another short bandh in a galaxy of bandha’s. Too bad, so sad for the students. Just wish I took pictures of the APF annihilating the bandh, I was already on my way to travel through Ilam.

Returned back from Biratnagar. The heat goes on in Biratnagar, used to spend long days over there just wiping sweat off my forehead. It used to be so hot and there used to be so little electricity. Used to read my sahitya during the hot days to fill up my head that had been emptied by SLC exams which is controlled by silk suited horned men with tails. My head is not a balloon, I don’t fill it with air like the government wants you to, like the businessmen want you to, like the doctor wants you to. I am the KrantiKarki, the revolution is gonna come to your computer screen and my magical fingertips that type the magic spell will weave the magic that will short circuit your computer. (HAHAHAHAA!!!!)

Grandfather’s ancient TV was dying in Biratnagar, its antenna bowed down in sadness signifying the disease that was eating its Cathode tube. The TV programmer is responsible. I used to like Hindi music long time ago. Now it is rotting from overuse of miniskirts and copying others and copying each other. I used to respect the News a long time ago too. Now it is rotting from the fear that guides all respectable journalists to tell us keep us eating and eating and eating and make our head a balloon full of air for increased safety from the revolution that will kill humanity. I used to admire films. Now it is rotting from its aversion to innovations, do what we tell you to do and tell everybody to do it too. In the heat everything is rotting itself to oblivion.

O
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Oblivion means the state of forgetting about everything. Close your eyes and forget everything. Remember nothing. Remembering is bad for health, thinking is bad for your mind. That is the present pedagogy, that is how we do everything.

E
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Everything means fake reality and distraction built by the demons who had killed the gods.

D
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Everybody has a demon inside them, chewing their intestines and sucking their blood from their aorta. Everybody is dying from their demons.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT??????????????
Just forget it. Oblivion is death. You need to die to forget.