Until April 26, a happy man living his life as he wants, doing what he loves doing, and with that, succeeds to get 2 millions social media followers….a story of Rahul Vohra, a 35-year-old actor and vlogger, whose life takes downward spiral in a week’s time to never go up. FOR NOTHING!!
After 4 days, May 8
His wife posts this on her Instagram.
Later on May 11th, she penned the note in Hindi to say, “Rahul left behind several unfulfilled dreams. He wanted to do good work, prove his worth in the industry but it is all unfulfilled now. The people who watched him suffer are responsible for his death. They continued giving us false updates. I’m not the only one who is going through this situation, there are thousands of Jyoti out there who have lost their Rahul due to poor healthcare system. Don’t know how such people can sleep peacefully leaving someone to die. #justiceforirahulvohra I want you all to fight against this Not for my Rahul, but for your Rahul, your Jyoti.”
This shocking death of a talented actor due to the incompetency of the system left everyone in shock, anger, sadness, that millions stood for “justice” on social media. It made a round of news and talks among media consumers.
Two weeks passed by since. Probably everyone has forgotten the incident by now. All the “stay strong, we are with you,” comments and messages are lying dead and cold in the posts. Opinions passed against the hospital and government are probably already being forgotten. Life most have moved on for everyone except his wife and loved ones.
This incident got me into thinking:
Question 1: When I cry for help on social media here in South Asia, does it really work other than bagging sympathies?
Question 2: When I die because of the bloody corrupted third-world system, how long will the anger and frustration last among the people?
Question 3: Does a death of an influencer actually change anything?
I like to think NOTHING!! I am just another dog born in a third-world country who happens to be well known by mass but end of the day, I am just another dog, destined to live and die like every other dogs. Only difference is, my death will be known by many.
Then I think of those countries, where at least you don’t die because of scarce, because of incompetency, because of corruption, because of ignorance. My options — either go migrate to those world or do something to turn this part of the world into “those world,” so that at least generations to come will not die like dogs from third world country.
There is nothing in between.
Rest in peace to all the beautiful souls from “Third World” who had to die because of the system.
In Ujwal’s Gift to Erica, I found a reminder to myself.
The moment I got the news about Ujwal dai not being with us anymore, I went numb. I was feeling terribly heavy that I wanted to cry my heart out. I could think of no one but Aalok. I called him and we both cried over phone. That’s when I got to learn that he along with Ranju are doing the final rites of cremation. Apparently, Ujwal’s dad had told them, “you guys are his family, his children, and Ujwal would want to be this way, so do as you feel right.” They played the role of children, did the needful while bidding adieu.
Next day, I called Aalok and I was told that there was no “13-day kriya” as generally Hindus do. Nevertheless, people could visit the home and meet the family members and Erica Bhauju (wife of Ujwal dai). I wanted to meet Erica Bhauju. The last time when we met, we had spoken a lot on personal side of our lives. She was sharing how they met, how they got married, why they don’t stay with parents and staying separately in a rented house, and how with all that, life is still beautiful and balanced. I was quite fascinated by the way they been living their life with their terms.
That cheerful face of bhauju with Ujwal dai in boxer next to her and all the conversations were playing in a loop inside my head. I was feeling terrible for myself and for her, that I so badly wanted to meet her. So me with my wife went to meet her.
We entered the premises. Nearby entrance, there was a picture of Ujwal dai with candles and flowers. In an open space, Bhauju was sitting talking to visitors and in another corner, there was an old lady that I learned was Ujwal dai’s mom. There were smiles on those faces. As soon as I saw that, I felt relieved because amidst the sadness and the grief, there was no as such depressed vibe and desolation but acceptance of the reality with a smile.
Aalok pointing at me asked Erica Bhauju, "chinnu bhayo?" (do you know him?). She with a smile said "kina na chinnu" (of course, I do). Looking at my wife, she said "So, that's your wife...we had spoken a lot about you in our last meet."
We took a seat and started talking on how Ujwal might have caught the Covid. According to Erica Bhauju, they had left for Everest trek along with 6 others, and during the trekking, Ujwal dai had once got a high fever but next day he was fine and continued with the trek. Once got back, out of 8, 4 were tested positive and coincidently those 4 were the group that got split during the trekking, so she assumes Covid must have happened after the split. While having the talk, Ujwal dai’s mom was adding something into the conversation. From general societal point of view, her tone and state of mind was no where appeared to be that of a mother who just had lost her son. It clearly felt like we visited a house of a martyr whose wife and family members despite in grief finding a solace and pride for how their son lived his life per his term and went like a shinning star to never disappear.
As I was contemplating everything, Erica bhauju said this to me:
Even after leaving, Ujwal left me with a gift — the freedom of mourning the loss in my way and comfort — that I don’t have to be treated obsolete and useless as soon as the husband is dead like how many women from Nepal are made to feel. Ujwal always used to say this kriya thing is nothing but religious way of oppressing woman that if a wife dies, husband does not need to do anything but if husband dies, she has to go through the worst treatment in the name of rites and tradition. Ujwal freed me from going through that. I love him and I miss him and I don’t need to prove that by skipping salts, sleeping on floor, covering myself in white gowns in misery. I am still wearing “pote” and tika he gave me because it was given to me by Ujwal in our wedding and if I have to give away all the gifts that he gave me then I will probably have to give up all the memories and our love as well! What kind of tradition and concept it is that you need to throw away the very same thing that holds the memory with the person? At night, I can go back to my bed, eating what I feel like without torturing myself in the name of rites and tradition or culture. My in-laws and everyone in the family are supportive because they know this is exactly how Ujwal would want it. We don’t have a biological child but Ujwal always used to say whole Nepal is our children. I didn’t understand what he meant by that then, but now it perfectly makes sense to me. Look at Alok. He is no less than a son. Running for hospital, doing everything a son does, and then the final rites. Likewise, his idea of social equity now completely makes sense to me. He left by securing the greatest comfort and ease of living my life with unconditional love and support surrounding me, that I would probably not be getting if married to any other guy….
While saying all that, on her face, a sense of pride and immense respect was visible. I totally could understand what she was trying to say and what she must be feeling at this moment of grief and loss.
Before leaving from there, we met Ujwal dai’s dad. All he said was “ek joog ma ek choti janmincha Ujwal jasto manche….I am glad I am happened to be the father of such man.”
As we were riding back to home, my wife said “…this family has so much to show the world how mourning can be done, without being bind by rites and tradition as if without which there is no other way to bid adieu to your loved one.”
I felt like Ujwal dai one last time reminded me “keep marching towards accomplishing the rational and progressive society….people will thank us for transforming this society into the kind that they never thought could be possible.”
Keep reading, keep learning….
Why “Citizenship by descent” is too confusing for Nepalese people in general
Naturalized citizenship means naturalized citizens are not eligible to be PM or President or Judge of the Supreme Court or be the head of constitutional bodies. Yes, can say second class citizen.
If you follow narratives and arguments on discriminatory constitutional provision of citizenship, you must have learned by now that Nepalese people in general are extremely edgy when it comes to debate over citizenship act. In surface, all arguments feel like having a nationalist rhetoric but deep inside, there is something else. That something is conditional thinking rooted to patriarchy.
Let’s start with what’s in the Citizenship Act.
Children born to a Nepali father and a foreign-born mother are eligible for citizenship by descent, while those born to a Nepal-born mother and a foreign-born father will be granted naturalized citizenship.
Note that, having a naturalized citizenship means naturalized citizens are not eligible to be PM or President or Judge of the Supreme Court or be the head of constitutional bodies. Yes, can say second class citizen.
To put it in a perspective, if a Nepali man gets married to an Indian woman, have baby from, the baby has constitutional right to be the PM of this country but if a Nepali woman gets married to an Indian man, have baby from, the baby does not have the constitutional right to be the PM of this country.
Any one with right mind can tell that is outright gender-based discrimination. However, most people from Nepal in general, men and women, fail to see what’s wrong in that. So, why are they failing to see the obvious discrimination? Answer is, conditioned thinking rooted to patriarchy.
Because of the patriarchal thinking and conditioned mind based on that, first thing that comes in the mind of most Nepalese when they hear woman marrying a man is — she going to her husband’s place. As simple as that.
All they could see is a woman there onward becoming asset of the man. After marriage, woman is to go to her husband’s place, live by his identity, carry out duties per his world and culture. Then have baby. Even the baby that they bring to this world are from his lineage and culture. She and her baby belong to him and his part of the world, and they should live accordingly, socially and legally.
This patriarchal concept of what a woman and her baby’s life is all about is so strong that they mix it with cross-border marriage in debate like Citizenship. Their mind is conditioned to think that a woman marrying an Indian man surely goes to his place and country, she and her baby live by his identity, carrying out per his world and culture, get legal and social recognition there, so they wonder why do they need citizenship of Nepal by descent?? In contrary, in the case of Nepali man marrying an Indian woman, their patriarchal thinking kicks in with a logic that a woman comes to his home and the baby they gonna have will be his and thus the kid from the couple should be provided citizenship by descent.
They are so blinded by this patriachal way of looking at social construct, that they fail to see:
1) There can be the cases where a Nepali woman marries a foreign man and instead of going to his country, the couple decide to stay in Nepal and build their family, have a child and raise them like every other children. That should not make the child second-class citizen.
2) There can also be the cases that the woman married to a foreign man may leave his place and country for whatsoever reason and come back to Nepal with her child and raise the child like every other children. That should not make the child second-class citizen.
3) There can also be the cases that the woman bears a child from a foreign man outside the marriage and she wants to have the baby anyway. She does not want her child be second-class citizen just because she chose to have a baby from a foreign man.
But no, people are so blinded by the existing patriarchy sociocultural construct that all they see is conspiracy as if a traitor has got into the womb and must be treated like second-class citizen.
Funny however is even in this nationalist rhetoric, they fail to see what an idiot they sound with as long as babies are from Nepali men, it won’t be foreign people flooding nor need to fear the baby being a traitor sometime in the future.
Statically speaking, there are many thousands of women and her children deprived from having a citizenship by descent despite being lived and brought up in this country, all because of the people trapped in the conditioned thinking of patriarchy. And to make the matter worse, they suffer from nationalist paranoia, where all they see is Indian faces.
Hope things get better with time as the level of thinking rises.
Why do we ask questions?
Socrates utilized an educational method that focused on discovering answers by asking questions from his students. According to Plato, who was one of his students, Socrates believed that “the disciplined practice of thoughtful questioning enables the scholar/student to examine ideas and be able to determine the validity of those ideas.” In academia, it is called Socratic questioning. The art of Socratic questioning is intimately connected with critical thinking because the art of questioning is important to excellence of thought. Socrates argued for the necessity of probing individual knowledge, and acknowledging what one may not know or understand.
That’s on Socrates’ way of teaching taken from Wikipedia. Let’s talk about KMAG.
When we started the question segments on KMAG, we didn’t know anything about Socrates method of teaching. We started because we realized questioning is not our culture and we wanted to seed the questioning culture.
There was this one incident where we even spoke about.
The other day, we posted a question, “What is wrong in complimenting a woman for having nice breast or hip?” Responses were amazing. Thank you all. But there were some, who didn’t like the question. They deemed such kind of things should not be put for discussion.
…… there are kind of mindsets who don’t like anything being questioned if is quite attached to their sentiments or belief system . Be it Kumari, be it religion, be it ritual, be it culture or be it social norms. I used to wonder why. Then I recalled my childhood to till this moment. I remember my grand parents, my parents, my seniors, my teachers not liking being questioned their command or ideas. And I remember all the “pujas,” where a “baje” comes with a holy book, instructs to follow words by words, and rests follow quietly without questioning. Following without questioning is our culture. I realized. I learned about our feudal society — all the kings, Kajis and mukhiyas, and how you are not supposed to question their decisions, question their ideas, question their commands. We basically come from a society where questioning popular beliefs, questioning norms, questioning anything that could challenge majority’s belief system or hurt ego of those in power is WRONG, is UNACCEPTED. We are supposed to follow without reasoning, without questioning.
Why people here in power, people in privilege status don’t like being questioned? Why they don’t like their society, their norms, their beliefs being questioned? Digging down further, I realized if you give a chance for people to question, there forms a discourse and the discourse can challenge the status quo, if the alternate ideas or thoughts have better logical argument. Religion, ritual, those in power, traditionalist, they don’t like to be challenged. They don’t like to be replaced. So, they discourage the practice of questioning, so that they can feel safe.
The practice has been going on for many hundreds of years. That what is reflected in our grandparents, our parents, our teachers, our priests, our politicians, our bureaucrats’ attitude. And sadly, in some of us. This must change. Questioning does not bring chaos. It brings better reasoning, better logical views, that will lead to better concepts, better ideas, better answers. No matter how stupid a question sounds, it always opens a door to answers. Answers create disagreements. Disagreements create debates and discussion. End of the discourse, the most convincing one wins.
In similar context, we had written again on WHY DO WE QUESTION.
Comments as “bro, what are you smoking?” or “Are you high?” “what a silly question?” “why don’t you google instead” “stop asking stupid question” are reflection of our intolerance towards questioning culture, which they themselves don’t know because they too are the product of very same culture, where parents, where teachers, where managers get offended by questions. The hardwired mindset is still prevalent among our generation.
We sometimes even get comments like this on as simple question as “what does it feel like to be a parent…challenge of being a parent”
Not a parent yet but I am worried if my child became just like you Posting things on nonsense topics & surveying about nonsense things… You should go & get a life rather than having queries on fellow dramatic things.
That came from a girl who someday may become a mother.
Such intolerance towards questioning will never turn a child, into Isaac Newton because he is not encouraged to question why apple falls down to the Earth.
We have our own theory on why people are intolerant towards any question that triggers their deep insecurity or challenges their values/beliefs or poke their perception towards “what are silly questions.” In this post, we will not get there, as we have hinted our theories on earlier post on the topic. We are only giving you the pretexts to take you to the answer, “WHY DO KMAG ASK QUESTIONS.”
Our reasons are:
Have you checked our cover pic?
That is our guiding philosophy. One of the main reason we ask question is because we want to gather what people from our time have to say on different things and topics and subjects and issues. We don’t have a culture of documenting people’s voice, documenting present that humans from future could study. That is why we don’t know what people used to think and feel during the Rana Regime, during Panchyat. We don’t know what people used to think of Laxmi Prasad Devkota or Bhanubhakta. We only know few things based on things said by education and literature board.
This is what KMAG is trying to do — DOCUMENTING PEOPLE’S VOICE FROM OUR TIME.
It may look like stupid thing to ask “what do you think of Nawaraj Parajuli?” but those comments represent people’s view about him in 2020. When asked what’s your view on Sastodeal, those comments tell people’s view on Sastodeal in 2020 that someone from 2050 can come and read.
Likewise, we ask about economy, we ask about politics, we ask about relationship, we ask about anything and everything and those answers are there on Facebook ( some of them are published here in this website as well), as an attempt to document those voices from people of our time from this part of world. It may hold no value to us but for humans from future, this website, this facebook page gonna be a goldmine. Both of these things are here to stay forever, even though we all will be dead. Just like Buddha, just like Bhanubhakta, just like Socrates, there will be Motiram Bhatta or Plato coming to publish these scattered thoughts and ideas. All those researchers, sociologist, psychologists will be coming here to discover the social evolutionary pattern of world, which was not possible because humans from past didn’t leave anything behind for us to study.
KMAG is purpose driven and is here to stay forever as a library.
As said earlier, we don’t have a culture of questioning. Look at this post and read the comments and that’s the thing.
All those “bro what are you smoking?” “what a f* question?” all those billa-intended response to questions are the proofs that we don’t have a culture of questioning. KMAG is here to kill that culture. We wanted people to get used to with all sorts of questions even if sounds silly or useless, so that no one hesitates to question why sky is blue, why winter is cold, why Kumari, why Janai. More common the questioning culture is, more the tolerant society, more the critical mass, more the progress.
Another flaws of our society is lacking the knowledge-sharing culture. We never had a culture of sharing what we know to others — blame it to lack of platform or medium or lack of motivation. You can read between the lines and the comments on the following post to know what we meant by that.
And also check this one
People from past always kept their knowledge within themselves and they died and so their knowledge along with them. This knowledge-sharing culture is what KMAG wants to sow. “Google it, instead of asking” isn’t something we don’t know. Real intent is, we wanted our followers to answer so that in the process, they develop a habit of sharing their knowledge, sharing what they know. This habit developed in KMAG will get carried towards their everyday life, in other internet forum, in events, in offices; they may write blogs, write for papers. This is how culture gets born. So by asking questions instead of google, we are being purpose driven in creating a culture of knowledge sharing voluntarily. Also, as have said again and again:
By googling, only we will learn, but by creating a post, everyone will learn.
This one is not always the case but sometimes it is. We question because we want to spread ideas and thoughts without we saying anything, and instead make it said through our audience. Sometimes, we instead of saying “if you are not happy with your married life, divorce and move on” we ask “what should be done if not happy with married life?” and we know the obvious answers that KMAG audience will give. And in KMAG community, comment section is very influencing and powerful. We have come across many comments stating “comments pade pachi mero mind change bhayo” (my mind is changed after reading comments here on page). So why to sound radical and controversial when you can simply make your audience spread your thoughts and ideas?
Being Socrates. We humans are capable of thinking rationally and think critically. Nepalese are humans too. If you have to ask any Nepali “do you think human can be god?” anyone can think critically and answer. But they will get pissed off if said anything like “calling Kumari a God is nonsense” So best way to make people realize and discover truth is not by telling them the truth but by asking them questions and make them think.
Let’s take this post for example, which may look silly and bro-seems-high question
But actually, this question can make some people to think link “damn, if I have to think like pigeon there is no purpose of life, or think like any animal there is no purpose of life…so it’s human who makes up things like purpose of life because of their thinking..and in reality, there is never as such purpose of life“
And that was the real purpose of that post and not some engagement-generating intention or “admin was high.”
You see? Question can be very powerful tools to trigger your otherwise sleeping state or biased state.
KMAG does this often to make you think about stuffs that you would otherwise never think of.
Brain is like muscles. You need to keep moving it to get best out of it.
Under reason 6, there comes many other minor things, like we want to know our audience, we want to encourage them to open up, we want to help them to get to know each others, we want to do social experiment, we want to learn something from the intellects we have as followers, we want to psychoanalyze our audience, etc, which has its own significances and usefulness for our own business growth and personal development. Plus, when we see those Facebook pages from West, where people share their life, their stories, their personal things on relevant articles and videos in comment sections, sticking to the topic and subject, we wish to see that here in Nepali pages as well — People sharing their psychological problem in psychology related posts; people sharing their relationship, parenting, education, career, in respective topics, and not just random rants against politicians and government or some cringe memes out of context. And some of our questions are driven by the idea of creating such crowd and environment.
Kmag is a cave to us, is a HUGE PLAIN WHITE CHART PAPER kept in a busy street, is a canvas, is a recorder, here to document voices of people from our time, their thoughts and ideas, and preserve that for humans from future, a picture of ourselves and our time to look back 30 years from now. Also, KMAG is a farmer sowing a seed of questioning culture, knowledge -haring culture, that someday it believes will be all over the hills and fields — the much needed plants in this land. KMAG is a mechanic who likes to activate blocked part of brains and a researcher who likes to experiment, learn and understand.
One day, we all will die, but KMAG? It is here to stay for generations to come, like a library, like a fossil, like a story teller, with new admins, new followers, new contributors.
That’s why we question. In question, all good things happen.
Thank you for being part of this adventurous journey of ours. You have no idea what a contribution you are making by taking your time out in engaging with our posts.
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