Loss of a critical voice

“You never know what’s in store in the future. I could get killed, or I could live a normal life,” Yameen Rasheed told me as we were walking around the Islamic Center in Male’, the capital of the Maldives. It was a bright sunny day in 2016. We had just had a nice lunch in a nearby restaurant during which I had asked him why didn’t he focus on his career in information technology – another brilliant talent of his. He told me that he couldn’t, as writing has become a part of his life, and he would rather choose to live with threats than live in a pretended peace.

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Why We Should Express Our Opinions Publicly

“Facebook & Twitter is full of trash! People are writing all sorts of non-sense thing on Social Media.”

I hear that quite often. I am asked about it quite often. There were times – such as after the April 25’s Earthquake – when I felt irritated, frustrated and even angered by what were written on Facebook and Twitter. Everyday, I see Facebook and Twitter; and I find things that people should not post there.

This morning I saw one of my students (and a journalist) posting news with a picture of a woman who was hanged herself. The other day, someone wrote a racial comment regarding a political group. Of course, there are things that shouldn’t have been posted on Social Media.

And, there are quite a lot of things that I come across everyday that I disagree – wholly or partly. Reading such posts gives be a kind of bad feelings – sometime a light one and sometime a hard one.

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Introducing an Alien Called Dr Govinda KC

“By letting the newspaper print my works, I’ve probably undervalued my works.”

Dr Govinda KC during one of his self-financed free camps. Photo: Republica

Dr Govinda KC spoke those words in a packed hall of Hotel Annapurna on April 24, 2010 in an event that was organized by Nagarik & Republica daily to let 15 social heroes doing selfless service to the societies tell their stories. Dr KC was one of 15 and was most reluctant to appear on newspaper or speak in the event.

I was told it needed a lot of persuasion to ensure he is available for the event – and I clearly told the hall why he was reluctant.

A story that appeared on the same day in the newspapers’ supplements began with: “The surest way to locate Dr Govinda KC is to go looking for him in that part of the globe where a major natural disaster has just struck.”

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Where’s Knowledge?

Great nations are built on the back of ideas—not force.

This is the concluding line of an article by Indian thinker Sundeep Waslekar. The article is a thought-provoking one and I recommend all for a read. Although it’s more on India, it is applicable to any society.

After completing the article and reading the concluding line, I was attracted to idea of ‘ideas’. Of course, ideas lead to innovation and innovations to prosperity but where does the ideas come from. The sources of ideas are not only great heads but heads with knowledge.

Any idea needs to be backed up by knowledge for it to become an useful innovation as Plato put it: A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.

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Sadly, Sex Sells!

Nepal debates what’s acceptable and what’s not at a time when sex and foul language are key ingredients of some Nepali movies; and sexually explicit pictures are spread all over Nepali tabloids.

Nepali movies these days seems to be on two streams: the traditional types are those with well-known actors where everything is mixed and targeted for lower middle class audiences; and the experimental new ones targeted for theatres at malls for upper middle class audiences. The second type generates more hype (and most possibly profits) because they are on the theaters where audiences pays more to watch and they also get a lot of mainstream media coverage.

When there were whispers going on about the movies including unnecessary scenes of sexual motivation; the success of Chapali Height made film producers and directors to believe on age-old doctrine: Sex Sells!

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Thank you, Bryan Adams!

Let’s make a night to remember…

Much before world renowned rock star Bryan Adams, 51, sang the line from his famous song, Nepalis were determined to make it the memorable night. The Bryan Adams Live concert at Kathmandu’s Dashrath Stadium was surely live in the hearts of the people for long, long time for many reasons.

Bryan Adams performs in Kathmandu. Republica Photo.


The biggest reason that Nepal will remember the night is because Bryan Adams was there. One of the heartthrobs of music-loving Nepalis, Bryan Adams is the biggest star and the first world renowned music icon to perform in Kathmandu.

When months ago, we saw an handwritten invitation for a press meet about upcoming concert in Nepal that stated – ‘Bryan Adams will be performing’ – we laughed it out telling ourselves ‘no way’. Until a YouTube video in which Bryan Adams himself said he is coming to Kathmandu, we didn’t believe that he would be coming.

But he did – and rocked Kathmandu! Wow!

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Resolutions 2.0 11

I am normally not a great follower of resolutions but despite that I am making a list of 11 things I want to do in 2011.

RETHINK LIFE: I was to do a lot of thinking on life. Review what I have achieved so far and what I expected me to be. This is probably an effect of reading The Last Lecture and Tuesdays with Morrie – two great just-before-death memoir and advices of two professors. Possibly I would also buy The Meaning of Life: A Very Short Introduction to try to understand a little more about life.

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Guzarish: Other face of love

Yesterday, I watched Guzarish – an Indian movie directed by Sanjaya Leela Bhansali starring Hrithik Roshan and former Miss World Aishwarya Rai. The movie – about a paralyzed magician’s petition to grant him mercy killing permission – has been well received by critics.

I liked the movie – more for the performances by the actors and emotions involved in that than the story itself. On a simple storyline, typical Bollywood style, (loves uniting at the end, hero doing all heroics including chasing away mother/lover after accidents so not to hurt them – wow! and hero teaching the son of the villain), the director has put through magical performances by actors loaded with emotions that ensures tears in many pairs of eyes (yes, including mine).

And, Goa – on a little outdoors scenes – is simply beautiful.

Let’s talk about the scene that I liked the most. A court hearing at the house of Ethan (the hero) where the prosecutors question some of those who are nearest and family members to him. I liked it most for a sole reason that it is able to grasp the human emotions best.

Before the hearing, he paralyzed man tries to get support for his petition on his radio show. Most of them say ‘no’ – because he is the real life hero and an inspiration for others differently abled people. The only one who says ‘yes’ is his ex-girlfriend whom he has (though special Bollywood formula of heroism) forced to promise that she would marry someone else and would never contact him.

During the hearing, the nurse (beautiful Rai who loves him), his mother (whom the hero had forced to make similar promise of not living with) and doctor (who had seen him for 12 years) are questions. All of them were really angry to hear about the petition; and are among those who loved Ethan most.

To the questions, they all, despite saying they do not want him to die, talks in favor of his petition. Why? For a very simple reason, the pain they have witnessed in Ethan in person. Nobody else, all those who thinks he is a brave survivor or an inspiration to live (by reading his book or listening to his radio or knowing about him) have not seen the pain – and although it doesn’t matter to all of them when he dies, it did matter to them their idol is no idol at all (all for the selfish nature of human).

For those who have seen him fight the complete paralysis, despite their love for him, they want him to be relived of all that pain. The emotions depicted on the faces of the actors in the scene are simply amazing, and when I put myself in any of the character, I do feel the pain of talking in favor of his death.

Kudos to the actors – and director for the scene – something that truly depicts the human emotions and shows the other face of love!

And, to all, Guzarish is a most watch Bollywood movie because this is the one you would love to remember and talk about for years!

If you are interested in the review of the movie – here is what Republica published.

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