The Imprints of a Soul

(Part 1) A Labour of Love.

I admire the hands of the craftsman,
Nimble and quick,
Steady and slow.
Weaving the lives of
Those who do not know.
The same feet,
Carrying the load.
Toiling, struggling
for this chapter
to close.
Sweat, for the child
still unborn.
The pages are torn.
Wandering devotion
instilled in faith.
You have the answers.

Why do you wait?


(Part 2) The Trials of Time

Symmetrical to the heart
You have within,
Are the grains of sand
that make up this land.
Watch from your seat
as history is formed,
Or lies,
For all they know.
In the future,
They speak with their eyes closed.
Repeating stories
That have already
been told.
an end
to a seed

You can’t find a place.
There is no place to go.

Bollywood is a time machine (no kiddin’)


— Ashesh Maharjan 

Hindi movies are crap. And I know it isn’t the first time you are hearing this, they really are, except for few (very few). But here I am taking this challenge to write against this cliché. No kiddin’.

Hindi movies have a special place in our (Nepalese) hearts. Cheesy as it may sound, but it’s true. Whether you like it or not, whether you admit it or not, it has become a way of life for almost all of us. I don’t mean bollywood movies when I say ‘it’, I mean our secret admiration for the cheap, corny bollywood movies. Now, don’t tell me you don’t, once in a while, feel like doing nothing but sit back relax and watch a hindi movie channel. The fact that those channels stretch an hour long movie into what seems to be for ever with their advertisements matters less. You just want to get hold of the remote and turn off your mind and watch. The ‘mind turning off’ part wasn’t figurative, you can literally turn it off since you already know (not guess) what’s next in the movie.

I’m a huge fan of, say, Ron Howard or Steven Spielbergh. And I’m not kiddin’ when I say I watched this movie, as recently as a few months ago, in which the so called ‘hero’ is a dancer, singer, super-man, every good thing you could possibly imagine, and of course romantic at the same time. My point? Is that I don’t ‘not watch’ them. Reason? I feel damn good. Not good as in ‘wow!!! WTF’ good, but ‘good day, sunshine’ good. Now, don’t get me wrong, no, the director of photography of these movies aren’t at all masters, most of them are crap. Well, I know you are dying to know (LOL) where my talk is heading. Ok, here is what I mean.

Imagine yourself as me. No don’t do that. Imagine you as yourself but you are a 10 year old and you feel swell as hell because you just learned how to ride a bicycle by yourself though you sit on top tube instead of the seat coz you aren’t tall enough. You rush to tell your sister that you didn’t even notice you were riding by yourself and that you are ‘awesome!’ Your sis gives a damn coz she is a Sharukh Khan fan and Zee TV’s showing ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’. And you go and lay flat on the couch and start watching, though the sound of people cycling and playing cricket just outside your room in the courtyard makes it impossible for you to fully hear the movie. These are the days when movies start making sense for the first time in your mind. These are the days when you have your first of crushes on a girl in your school. Not because she is a John Petrucci or a Blink-182 fan, but because she doesn’t cry on the way to school or she has neatly cut fingernails.

The movie ends’¦ You stretch yourself up (coz hindi movies are at least 2 hrs long and with the advertisements they are 3 to 4 hrs at the very least) and you dab your tired eyes and you open them to find yourself in the present.

Enough of time traveling. Basically, what I mean is that it’s obvious that hindi movies are the first movies that we relate to. We weren’t born movie critics. We can’t watch the first movie of our lives and tell that the plot of the movie was shitty and all. So, we have no choice but to feel fine watching these movies of our times missing our sisters and our brothers (he was the one backing up my bicycle LOL).

Flawed Nutcracker

— Ashesh Maharjan 

Here is one good way to get an internet connection.  You go to the internet head office once a day for a week or two just to get them ready to set up a router or switch or what ever so. They agree to install not because they think they should, but because you don’t seem to give up trying and they are sick of seeing your face on a regular basis. Then you wait for a month without any signs of connection. (That’s the length of time between two full moons.) The cause? Only god knows. In fact you don’t wait. You call the office every single day for twenty days and technicians come every other day to take an endeavor to make it work. Each time they come, they have an excuse for failure. Someday they don’t have a clamper (an instrument used to staple the head of a RJ-45 cable, which looks like a nutcracker), other days they don’t bring a ladder or they simply can’t tell where the problem is.

After twenty days of futile effort, they decide that they are a little more than dubious about the 83 meters of ethernet cable which connects the switch on the electricity pole to your computer. Which means, an extra charge of Rs.83X20 if you had paid for this faulty cable, fortunately you hadn’t. You had decided not to pay a dime until you are assured of the connectivity, which was an apt thing to do.

Now this is where things get really freaky. You call the office to say how peeved you feel at what is going on. And instead of being sorry, the man on the other side literally yells at you for not paying the dues. He wants you to pay rite away if you want the cable replaced. But he wouldn’t say anything more than ‘it seems to be the only problem, can’t you see?’ when you ask if he was certain that the new cable will work. You hang up confused and enraged.

After ten days or so when you call the office to check if anything was going on, they send the same old fellows over. This time it takes them no more than a few minutes to fix up the connection. Flabbergasted by what you’ve witnessed, you ask the man to explain. And all he says is ‘It was the damn clamper. We were using a shitty clamper last month.’ Then you forgive them for wasting your month, for not treating you well enough, for being careless, for wasting your telephone calls, for still not being sorry. Finally, you hope that your little tale ends up happy. But you are still disgruntled, for the speed of internet connection you get can only be called glacial. You have already paid and you are helpless now.

Well, I’m confident that by now you have learnt that this is not a good way to get an internet connection. Now, the part that you might not know is that this is an anecdote of mine, which I thought deserves to be written. So, all the ‘you’ in the story are in fact ‘me’. And the moral of the story? It is that the thing that looks like a nutcracker is actually a clamper, and it can sometimes be a pain in the neck. And that ‘sometimes’ is more frequent than we imagine.



“Thin is in” BUT

Couple of years back, that’s at some stage during my college life, I had this neurotically skinny roommate who for myriad hours would be super glued to FTV scrutinizing stick thin models who were just her genetic copies. She immensely bored me because her utterance was highly restricted to calories, exercises, zero size ‘THIS diet plan’ and all that jazz that comes along. She hugely bored me. I didn’t converse much with her and wasn’t really involved in her lifestyle until one day when a common friend of ours asked her if she were an anorexic? Now what was that?

A geek I was and with queries playing hide and seek with my wit, even forty winks became impossibility. Trying hard and still not getting a sleep, I opened my laptop to research what anorexia means?  Google was flooded with anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, a virus of a similar kind.

My research will take the wind out of your sail henceforth, inaugurating with Anorexia nervosa. What I speculated was a bug or a disease but after my search I was surprised to myself to know that it’s an eating disorder typified by refusal to maintain a healthy body weight and an obsessive fear of gaining weight. People with anorexia nervosa continue to feel hungry, but deny themselves all but very small quantities of food. The average caloric intake of a person with anorexia nervosa is 600-800 calories per day, but there are extreme cases of complete self-starvation.

And then comes bulimia nervosa which I spoke of formerly typified by restraining of food intake for a period of time followed by an over intake or binging period that results in feelings of guilt and low self-esteem. The median age of onset is 18. Sufferers attempt to overcome these feelings in several ways. The most common form is defensive vomiting, sometimes called purging; fasting the use of laxatives, enemas, diuretics, and over exercising is also common.

After evaluating all that I explored on the web, my feeling is the emaciated waif look that has caused women to tale-spin into the world of Eating Disorders that can literally kill you. And if you I think I am kidding, you just like I surely had failed to spot some very imperative international headlines stating.

With model’s death, eating disorders are again in spotlight – Americas – International Herald Tribune

The death of a 21-year-old Brazilian model from complications of anorexia has reignited debate about the fashion industry and eating disorders at a time when various cities around the world are considering banning the ultrathin from the catwalk.

Then came another caption in the tabloid of a model named Ana Carolina Reston, who weighed just 40 kilograms, or 88 pounds, when she died in São Paolo, succumbing to an eating disorder again. The world was still pacing with anorexia and bulimia when there was another caption of a model named Luisel Ramos of Uruguay who died of heart failure during a fashion show, finally prompting Madrid to ban severely underweight models from the city’s fashion week that autumn.

I somewhere fall in with these scandalous news being pretty terrifying but then what does an ordinary obese girl do in a world where the small screen is drenched with skeletal images of Lindsay Lohan and Keira Knighteney? In a world where chubby teenaged girls are bombarded with messages saying, ‘Thin is in’. In a world where plump girlfriends do not want to be seen in ‘this bathing-suit’ or ‘that pair of shorts’ or in a world where every disproportionate figured wife is so frightened of the spouse drooling towards infidelity that her first question to him is not ‘whether you want food? Or how was your day?’ but ‘do you think I look perfect in this?’

I know that all the lasses reading, my previous paragraph want to chop my fingers into petite pieces and heat it for some spicy feast but trust me I myself being a girl don’t want to term as a couch potato. Since I don’t want to be termed as a couch potato, what do I do? Go through some plastic surgery or get ‘taped-up’ to mold my body just like the models do or probably starve because my boyfriend wants to see me in ‘that swim suit’ or fight it all.

Fight it all beginning with the former and ending on the Pop-culture’s imposed definition of ‘the ideal body’ combined with the diet industry’s drive to make more money because I being a rational ultimately, know that Anorexia, Bulimia and Compulsive Overeating are NOT about weight and food. Rather they are complex disorders where each sufferer is plagued with low self-esteem, an inability to cope with their own emotions and stress, and many underlying issues that have lead them to their disordered eating.