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The Oblivion of Pride

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By:  Subhas Chapagain

As children, we learned through our schoolbooks that being a Nepali is a thing of pride. We recited
poems that hailed martyrs from the past and we learned by heart the stories of our long-gone warriors. When I think of this as a grown up, I feel that we were rather being taught to grow a hollow ostentation for things that we didn’t do and places that we’d never seen. And now that I’ve become a youth, I’m not so proud of being a Nepali anymore. It’s as sad as it sounds, but it’s true.

‘Pride’ for one’s nation becomes a rare feeling when you’re a part of a generation that has grown up along a decade long war, countless crimes, corruption, impunity and myriads of insurgencies you’d want not to experience as a civilian. It’s not a pride to be part of a social construct whose thinking has been blinded by ignorance and poverty, where the corrupt makes mockery of the liberal. Rather, it’s a shameful truth to behold that rule of law is a long gone friend of us, and the clouds of unrest never really cease to hover our skies.   If I’m sane, brothers killing brothers is surely not a thing of self-glory, neither is having to be lured to carry grenades and bombs, burn tires and smash shops; to be fooled with lustful dreams of freedom and be pushed towards an abyss of uncertainty.

 We all share equal credits for creating a socio-political system that in itself is adulterated with avarice, nepotism and lack of willingness. There’s no dignity in chasing dogs only to invite pigs, and in offering garlands to self-indulged politicians who are prisoners of a never ending conflict of personal interests. Our system is a mere mastery of rhetoric. So called leaders were always at a play, are, and always will be. They are the axe-men of a cursed orchard; and most of their sharp edges are villainous. Weaker branches are their targets, and they despise the wilted leaves. All caterpillars are their prey, yet they have dreams of butterflies to sell. Their visions are eternally blocked by deception and greed and they never learn to cherish the colorful bloom. Thanks to their sinful apathy!

We, as a nation can’t be proud of
 the height of the Everest 
given the measure of depth in which
 the roots of our national problems lie. 

By the virtue of these sorcerers’ trickery, poisonous seeds of division are often cultivated. They are specious preachers of humanity, while, under the mask they waive layers of conspiracies that take innocent lives. And sometimes, these lives can be as naïve as of a two years old toddler’s; or of a wounded man in an ambulance being taken to hospital! It’s a cosmic injustice to those who believe that nothing can ever replace the force of life. But our credulous civic sense has continually failed to perceive a bigger picture of these happenings. We’ve been so rigid on our ideologies that we constantly deny to admit any other point of view that contradicts to ours. All of these have invited a dreadful turmoil where our national fraternity is being played upon, and our brotherhood shattered into pieces.

We, as a nation can’t be proud of the height of the Everest given the measure of depth in which the roots of our national problems lie. Deeper than hunger, poverty and inflation, there exists a symbiosis of crime with political power. What adds to the plight is an awful indifference that has long been poisoning the conscience of our citizens. Misprinted lies have been inherited and we have somehow managed to bypass our civic responsibility to a point where humanity loses the game. The Spirit of Buddha must have been annoyed by the deeds of those who brag upon his prehistoric existence in their land, and in a forgetful irony, burn people alive. Having witnessed such incidents, I can’t by any means feel proud for being a Nepali.

But things, as they always do, can change. And they must, anyhow. There’s no other way! It looks difficult, but it’s not impossible for us to ascend towards progress.

Though we’ve had nothing notable till date to boast upon as nation, there are some symbolic achievements that manifest our willingness and potential towards positive growth; especially on the matters where the youth are involved. The exemplary contributions of young heroes like Mahabir Pun and the success reached by young scholars like Lujhendra Ojha are always a source of inspiration for those of us who believe Nepalese are capable of coming up with significant, acceptable ideas that can change lives for better. It’s depressing when we look at the fate of our brothers who are still doomed to waste their sweat and blood under the heat of gulf; but still we can’t deny that guided by a proper leadership and motivation, contemporary young generation in Nepal is capable of bringing up promising results in matters of national concern.

 Just a quick recap of the youths’ role in rehabilitation and reconstruction after the earthquakes on April 29 and the days that followed may help one better understand this.
Their voluntarily participation on the post-disaster period was glorifying. Apart from this, after the cleansing of corrupt leadership of our national football, we’ve witnessed crucial victories. Our youths in national cricket team also have been demonstrating a zealot performance despite the poor technical and financial support. What all these instances account to may be taken as a function of strong will-power of our young generation towards reforming our long lost glory. Along with the evolution of information and technology, youths are gaining knowledge and sharing their ideas more than ever.

Voices are being raised more often and there has been a significant increment in social consciousness among them. This shows how constructive the youth might be in developing the country. Moreover, every young man/woman today well knows that it’d be a shame in the eyes of history if we let pass the nostalgia of unrest that we’re living with, to the future generations. We’ve sad stories from the past, yet we have learned that it’s our job to wipe the slate clean. But it’s not an easy job whatsoever. It demands each and every young mind to mold such that there would be a time in our own generation when justice prevails and rule of law is the only rule. This can happen if and only if we all rise above greed, religion, region or caste and accept mutual existence as citizens of Nepal. In that case, we must never forget that we can only grow when we’re united. A new constitution has been promulgated.

It’s a time when youth shall focus on 
creatively urging the political leadership 
to amend, and develop an effective statute

It’s a time when youth shall focus on creatively urging the political leadership to amend, and develop an effective statute such that it maintains the national integrity, and annotates issues of development and transparency. And only when these young voices are heard and youth participation in development is secured, a nation can march towards progress. Time has granted strong challenges and opportunities to the youth of today, and we must act selflessly to be the nation building force. We need to enable ourselves and others to see the necessity of fair and scientific politics. The loopholes in our systems can be filled, but only when we accept to be the change. Our generation should by any means find a way out of the oblivion that has trapped the nation for so long. This is possible lest we work towards building an inclusive society with higher moral standards and sense of civic responsibility. It’s never too late for starting a collective transformation. We might have been frustrated, but we can’t afford to be submissive.

Enough revolutions have been driven by youth in the past, but the real battle now is to reshape the long-lost glory of our country by ameliorating the mistakes committed by our predecessors. Nepal has a strong possibility for break-through in development. We’ve surplus resources and a huge biodiversity that can be managed wisely to uplift our present developmental status. We just need to choose not to ignore it. As a matter of fact, we’ve no other option than admitting to this historical maneuver. And if we accept this challenge, that would be at least something to be proud for.


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Knowledge & Infos

What’s Special Today: November 10

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Chhath:

Historically native to the Indian states of Bihar, eastern Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand and the southern part of Nepal, Chhath is one of those festivals that transcends the caste system that exists in the society. According to the Hindu calendar, it is celebrated on the sixth day of the lunar month of Kartik. The Chhath Puja is a 4-day long ritual specially offered to the solar deity, Surya, to show thankfulness for good health, good life and to request the granting of some certain wishes.

Day 1: On the first day, the devotees after bathing clean their house and eat the food that is offered to the god to protect the mind from the vengeful tendency.

Day 2: On the second day, the devotees are not allowed to drink even a single drop of water but, in the evening, they eat kheer made up of jaggery, fruits.

Day 3: The evening of the third day which is also known as sandhya ‘arghya’ day where a bamboo basket is decorated with various puja materials, fruits, thekuwa, and laddus which are offered as an ‘argya’ to the Sun. Also, the Chhathi Maiya is worshipped.

Day 4: On the last day of Chhath puja again an arghya is offered to the Sun God but this time in the morning. The devotees go to the riverbank to offer arghya to the rising sun and break their fast and conclude their four-day long worship.

Happy Chhath to everyone! Don’t forget to enjoy some thekuwas!!

World Keratoconus Day:

Every year on November 10, World Keratoconus Day is celebrated to focus global attention on keratoconus and ectatic corneal disorders. The day was first celebrated by National Keratoconus Foundation.

Keratoconus is a disease that causes the cornea to become weak, leading to the thinning and stretching of the cornea, which may result in the loss of vision. Keratoconus is degeneration of the structure of the cornea. The shape of the cornea slowly changes from the normal round shape to a cone shape which affects the vision. The keratoconus mainly develops in teenagers and young adults and the disease keeps on growing, if not diagnosed in time.  

The disease has no prevention and no treatment. With early diagnosis, the disease can be managed and further damage can be protected. In Nepal, the prevalence of Keratoconus is 1 in 2000 according to the recent journal. So, this world keratoconus day, make a commitment to visit an eye doctor once a year for the early diagnosis of keratoconus as well as other eye diseases.

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KMAG Online Writing Workshop reading materials

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Day 1

Covers communication and types of writing. Please check the following articles.

  1. What is communication and how to communicate effectively?
  2. Types of Writing

Also, check out: How miscommunication happens (and how to avoid it)

Day 2

Covers content management system/WordPress, and how to introduce yourself. Please check the following articles.

  1. What is WordPress and How to work in WordPress
  2. How to introduce yourself.

Day 3-5

Covers the basics of expository writing and CV writing.

Day 6

Covers persuasive writing.Please check the following articles.

  1. HOW TO WRITE AN OP-ED: A STEP BY STEP GUIDE
  2. Handout of video class.

Day 7-9

Covers how to write research-based opinion writing.

  1. How to frame an argument
  2. How to write an opinion piece

Day 10

Personal journal writing (my diary)

Day 11-13

Figure of speech and rhetoric.

Day 14-16

How to frame questions.

  1. Art of questioning

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Types of Figure of Speech with examples (Part 1)

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Accumulation

Accumulation is a figure of speech, in which the points made previously are presented again in a compact, forceful manner. It often employs the use of climax in the summation of a speech.

Examples:

  1. We learned communication, we learned types of writing, we learned rhetoric, we learned figure of speech. In all this, we made new friends, we spent hours together.
  2. He founded Nepal; fought for unification, fought for diversity. Leaving wife and child home, he set to occupy the land of people, land of flowers and trees. And he built a country that we call Nepal.
  3. Your organization, your vigilance, your devotion to duty, your zeal for the cause must be raised to the highest intensity.” Winston Churchill, Speech, 14 July 1941. (This sentence comes after a lengthy passage in which Churchill warns the public that their courage and effort are still needed to defeat the enemy).

Adomination

A figure of speech that refers to the repetition of words with the same root word.

Examples:

  1. I will be somewhere, someday, settled with somebody in some place.
  2. I am nobody, reaching no where in this no man’s land.
  3. In the vastness of universe, I am vastly clueless.

Alliteration

A literary stylistic device, where a series of words in a row have the same first consonant sound.

Examples:

  1. Nepalese never nag about Nepal not nationalising.
  2. Looks like lion likes licking lizard.
  3. Come count my comb.

Adynaton

A figure of speech in the form of hyperbole taken to such extreme lengths as to insinuate a complete impossibility.

Examples:

  1. I will meet you when sun rises from west.
  2. Before I finish the work, I will grow a horn.
  3. Stone will talk but she won’t.

Anacoluthon

Derives from the Greek word anakolouthon, literally means “lacking sequence”, is a figure of speech which consists in the abrupt disruption in syntax. Opens in new window resulting from two non-parallel grammatical constructions.

Examples:

  1. I am hungry – have you never played football?
  2. I miss the burgher at – did you see my daughter?
  3. Never in my life – what’s in your mind?

Anadiplosis

The repetition of the last word of a preceding clause. The word is used at the end of a sentence and then used again at the beginning of the next sentence..

Examples:

  1. It’s midnight. Midnight with stars. Stars with the moon. Moon looking at my window. Window hiding me.
  2. “Fear leads to angerAnger leads to hateHate leads to suffering.”
  3. “Your beliefs become your thoughtsyour thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.”

Anaphora

A rhetorical device that consists of repeating a sequence of words at the beginnings of neighboring clauses, thereby lending them emphasis.

Examples:

  1. When you felt like giving up, when you felt like crying, when you felt like hitting the wall, just do it.
  2. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way
  3. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’ I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state, sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.

Anastrophe

A figure of speech in which the normal word order of the subject, the verb, and the object is changed.

Examples:

  1. Instead of I like Nepal, “Nepal I like.”
  2. World I want to change.
  3. I, her will keep loving till the end

Anti-Climax

It is when a specific point, expectations are raised, everything is built-up and then suddenly something boring or disappointing happens.

Examples:

  1. He killed the king, freed the people, and took the sword and killed himself.
  2. People, pets, batteries, … all are dead.
  3. He loved her so much …he killed her.

Anthimeria

is the usage of a word in a new grammatical form, most often the usage of a noun as a verb.

Examples:

  1. Can you please google to find out the meaning of “anthimeria”? (google is actually noun)
  2. The thunder would not peace at my bidding.
  3. Let’s do some eating. (verb being used as noun)

Antimetabole

the repetition of words in successive clauses, but in transposed order.

Examples:

  1. Eat to live, not live to eat
  2. All crime is vulgar, just as all vulgarity is crime.
  3. Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.

Antistrophe

The repetition of the same word or words at the end of successive phrases, clauses or sentences.

Examples:

  1. There is no Negro problem. There is no Southern problem. There is no Northern problem. There is only an American problem.
  2. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
  3. Nepal is beautiful. Nepalese are beautiful. Her style is beautiful. Her heart is beautiful.

Antithesis

is used in writing or speech either as a proposition that contrasts with or reverses some previously mentioned proposition, or when two opposites are introduced together for contrasting effect.

Examples:

  1. I am rich man who longs for a poverty.
  2. When in war, we long for peace; when in peace, we long for war.
  3. Let’s play with the fire to feel the rain.

Aphorismus

It often appears in the form of a rhetorical question which is meant to imply a difference between the present thing being discussed and the general notion of the subject. Statement that calls into question the definition of a word.

Examples:

  1. You eat meat and you call yourself animal lover?.
  2. How can you call this country a peaceful country when everywhere is chaos?.
  3. How am I even a writer with this kind of writing?

Aposiopesis

A figure of speech wherein a sentence is deliberately broken off and left unfinished, the ending to be supplied by the imagination, giving an impression of unwillingness or inability to continue.

Examples:

  1. Please leave my home or else – !.
  2. I want to go home now. If not.
  3. And she left with. I don’t even want to share.

Apposition

Apposition is a grammatical construction in which two elements, normally noun phrases, are placed side by side and so one element identifies the other in a different way.

Examples:

  1. Nepal, my home, is where I want to die.
  2. My brother, Mr. Suresh, is joining me.
  3. Mr. Oli, a famous politician, is giving a speech.

Assonance

Repetition of vowel sounds

Examples:

  1. Reave, please leave.
  2. Hire and fire.
  3. Write so bright that it will frighten right.

ASTEISMUS (not needed but know it anyway)

he rhetorical term for achieving polite or soft mockery whereby the replier catches a sensitive word and redirects it back to the interlocutor with an unexpected twist. Example:

  • Judge: You’re charged with vagrancy. Are you guilty or not guilty?
    Ollie: Not guilty, Your Highness.
    Judge: On what grounds?
    Stan: We weren’t on the grounds. We were sleeping on the park bench.

Asyndeton

A literary scheme in which one or several conjunctions are deliberately omitted from a series of related clauses.

Examples:

  1. He ran, he climbed, he conquered .
  2. I wanted to participate, i made it.
  3. Government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

Cataphora

Co-reference of one expression with another expression which follows it, in which the latter defines the first. 

Examples:

  1. If you want to eat something, there is pizza in the freeze.
  2. If you want her, she is Ms. Lisa.
  3. He is an idiot. He is a douche. He is lazy. He is my friend, Nishant.

Climax

a figure of speech in which words, phrases, or clauses are arranged in order of increasing importance. Or say, a figure of speech in which successive words, phrases, clauses, or sentences are arranged in ascending order of importance, as in “Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superman!”

Examples:

  1. When there is job, when there is peace, and when there is love, happiness occurs.
  2. We want freedom, liberty and democracy.
  3. Men and women are equal, but above, it’s the responsibility.

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