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Oct 29, 2020

The Nepali Economist Podcast: Episode 07: The Value of Money


Dear readers,

After a long hiatus of almost four months, I am finally back with another episode of my podcast - the seventh episode. In this episode, I discuss the concepts of inflation and deflation and how they impact our lives. I also discuss the ways to shield ourselves from their adverse impacts. I have presented examples of hyperinflation of Zimbabwe and the deflation of Japan and explained why the prices of bitcoin is likely to keep rising.

Please check out the episode and let me know what you think. Also, please let me know what topics would you like to see covered in upcoming episodes. You can mail me at nepalieconomist (@) gmail.com to send your messages.

You can listen to the seventh episode here:


Oct 18, 2020

Social Media and the "Perfect Lives": Podcast


Dear readers,

Global Shapers Kathmandu Hub of which I am a part of (Currently the curator) has started a new podcast on mental health and well-being. For the first episode, five of us gathered and discussed an unprecedented event in our lives - the pandemic and the lockdown. We discussed how our lockdown experience went and what lessons we learned? We talked about how there is a trend to present your life as perfect in social media and the pressure it is creating on us and what can be done about it. 

Please do check out our first episode and let me know what you think.

 

Oct 10, 2020

साम्यवाद किन असफल भयो ?


(My Nepali translation of the article "Why Communism Failed" by Bettina Bien Greaves)

रुसी क्रान्तिको तीन वर्षपश्चात् एकजना अस्ट्रियाली अर्थशास्त्री लुडविग भन मिसेसले साम्यवाद असफल हुने तर्क गरेका थिए र त्यसको कारण पनि व्याख्या गरेका थिए । सन् १९२० मा मिसेसले लेखेका थिए, साम्यवाद वा समाजवाद सफल हुन सक्दैन किनभने यसले स्वतन्त्र बजारलाई उन्मूलन गर्दछ जसले गर्दा बजार मूल्य हुँदैन र अधिकारीहरूलाई उत्पादनसम्बन्धी योजना बनाउँदा मार्गदर्शन गर्ने केही पनि हुँदैन । यो विवादास्पद भविष्यवाणी गर्दा मिसेस खासै चिर-परिचित थिएनन् तर पछि गएर अर्थशास्त्रको अष्ट्रीयाली (स्वतन्त्र बजार) विचारधाराको प्रमुख पैरवीकर्ताको रूपमा उनी चर्चित भए । सन् १९७३मा उनको मृत्यु भएपछि उनको सिद्धान्तका नयाँ अनुयायीहरू थपिए जसमध्ये केही पूर्वी यूरोपबाट समेत थिए ।

सोभियत संघ निकै उच्च आशाका साथ प्रारम्भ गरिएको थियो । केन्द्रीय समितिले योजना बनाउने र सबैको लागि यथेष्ट भएको सुनिश्चित गर्ने सोच थियो । कालान्तरमा राज्य विलय भएर जाने भन्ने थियो । तर सोचेको जस्तो भएन । सोभियत राज्य छिट्टै नै निकै शक्तिशाली हुन गयो र संसारकै सबैभन्दा बढी दमनकारी मध्येको बन्न गयो । १९२० र ३० को दशकमा लाखौं रुसी जनता भोकमरीले बिते ।

Photo by: Steve Harvey/Unsplash


मिसेसले औल्याए जस्तै, समाजवादी उत्पादनमा प्रयोग हुने कच्चापदार्थ, श्रम, औजार, तथा यन्त्रहरू बजारभन्दा बाहिर हुन्छन् । तिनीहरू सरकारको स्वामित्वमा हुन्छन् र सरकारी योजनाकारद्वारा नियन्त्रित हुन्छन् । कसैले पनि तिनलाई किन्न वा बेच्न सक्दैन । तिनीहरूको बजार मूल्य उत्पन्न हुँदैन किनभने तिनीहरूको विनिमय हुँदैन ।


आधुनिक उत्पादन अत्यन्त समय लाग्ने र जटिल हुन्छ । उत्पादकहरूले के उत्पादन गर्ने भन्ने निर्णय गर्दा विकल्पहरूलाई पनि ध्यान दिनुपर्ने हुन्छ । र उनीहरूले कसरी उत्पादन गर्ने भन्ने निर्णय गर्दा उत्पादनका विभिन्न माध्यममाथि विचार पुर्याउनुपर्ने हुन्छ । कच्चापदार्थ, औजार, तथा यन्त्रहरूलाई सबैभन्दा अत्यावश्यक परियोजनाको लागि छुट्याउनुपर्ने हुन्छ र कम आवश्यक परियोजनामा खेर फाल्नु हुँदैन ।


उदाहरणको लागि, एउटा नयाँ रेलमार्गको नियोजनलाई हेरौं । के यो बनाइनुपर्छ ? यदि पर्छ भने कहाँ ? र कसरी ? के रेलमार्ग बनाउनु एउटा पुल बनाउनु, विद्युत उत्पादनको लागि बाँध बनाउनु, तेल खानीको विकास गर्नु वा थप जमिनमा खेती गर्नुभन्दा बढी महत्वपूर्ण छ ? कुनै पनि केन्द्रीय योजनाकारले यी असंख्य सम्भवनाहरूलाई मध्यनजर गर्न सक्दैन भलै उसले तथ्यांकशास्त्रीहरू कर्मचारी राखेको किन नहोस् ! श्रमको सट्टा केही हदसम्म यन्त्र प्रयोग गर्न सकिएला, फलामको सट्टामा काठ, अलमुनियम, वा नयाँ सिन्थेटिक सामग्री प्रयोग गर्न सकिएला । तर योजनाकारले कसरी निर्णय गर्छन् ?


यी निर्णयहरू गर्नका लागि योजनाकारलाई यसमा संलग्न असंख्य उत्पादन कारकहरूको सापेक्षिक मूल्य – विनिमय अनुपात वा बजार मूल्य - थाहा हुन जरूरी छ  । तर जब यी कारकहरू सरकारी स्वामित्वमा हुन्छन्, तिनीहरूको कारोबार हुँदैन जसले गर्दा बजार मूल्य हुँदैन । बजार मूल्यविना, योजनाकारहरूलाई फलाम, अलुमिनियम, काठ, नयाँ सिन्थेटिक वा रेलमार्ग, तेल खानी, कृषियोग्य जमिन, ऊर्जा केन्द्र, पुल, वा आवासको सापेक्षिक मूल्य थाहा हुँदैन । उत्पादनका कारकहरूको बजार मूल्यविना योजनाकारहरूले उपभोक्ताको सबैभन्दा बढी महत्वपूर्ण आवश्यकताहरूलाई सम्बोधन गर्नका लागि कसरी उत्पादनलाई समन्वय र दिशानिर्देश गर्ने भन्नेमा अन्योलमा हुन्छन् ।

Photo by: Jonas Jovaisis/Unsplash

 रुसी क्रान्ति भएको ७० वर्ष बितिसक्यो र दोस्रो विश्वयुद्ध सकिएको पनि ४५ वर्ष बितिसक्यो । तर पनि किन रुसी जनताले आजसम्म पर्याप्त आवास वा दैनिक प्रयोगका सामानहरू पाएका छैनन् त ? किन फसल काट्ने र ढुवानी गर्ने उपकरणको अभावमा कृषि उत्पादनहरू खेतमानै कुहिइरहेका छन् त ?  कारखाना तथा तेल खानीहरूको किन राम्रो मर्मतसम्भार हुने सकेको छैन जसले गर्दा उत्पादनमा गिरावट आइरहेको छ ? किनभने कच्चापदार्थ, औजार, यन्त्र, कारखाना, तथा खेतहरू निजी स्वामित्वमा छैनन् । निजी मालिकहरूले गर्ने मोलमोलाईविना तिनीहरूको सापेक्षिक बजार मूल्य प्रतिविम्बित हुने मूल्यहरू विकास हुन पाउँदैनन् । र बजार मूल्यविना, उपभोक्तालाई आवश्यक पर्ने वस्तु तथा सेवा उपलब्ध गराउने गरि उत्पादनका क्रियाकलापहरू समन्वय गर्न असम्भव हुन्छ । यसले गर्दा साम्यवाद असफल हुन्छ ।


एउटा प्रतिस्पर्धात्मक अर्थतन्त्रमा, जहाँ उत्पादनका कारकहरू निजी स्वामित्वमा हुन्छन्, यी समस्याहरू दैनिक रूपमा समाधान हुन्छन् जब मालिकहरूले विभिन्न कारकहरूको मौद्रिक मूल्य गणना गर्दछन् र त्यसपछि इच्छाअनुसार किन्ने, बेच्ने, वा सट्टापट्टा गर्ने गर्दछन् । मिसेसले सन् १९२० मा लेखेको जस्तै, "हामीले उत्पादनका कारकहरूको निजी स्वामित्व र पैसाको प्रयोगबाट जति कदम टाढा चाल्छौं, हामी तर्कसंगत अर्थशास्त्रबाट त्यति नै टाढा पुगिराखेका हुन्छौं ।"


आज, साम्यवादीहरूले समेत मिसेस सही रहेको स्वीकार्छन् । सोभियत संघ, निजी सम्पति तथा मौद्रिक गणनाविनाको एउटा समाजवादी समाज, "आर्थिक गणनाको कम्पासविना सम्भावित तथा कल्पनीय आर्थिक सम्मिश्रणहरूको सागरमा हराउनेछ" मिसेसले भविष्यवाणी गरेका थिए सन् १९२० मा । र उनी सही ठहरिए !
 

Sep 18, 2020

Jul 3, 2020

The Nepali Economist Podcast: Episode 06: Where Do Prices Come From?


Dear readers,

Welcome to the sixth episode of The Nepali Economist. Why are footballers or fashion models paid more than doctors and health workers? Why is life-saving water cheaper than diamonds? Who determines the prices of goods and services? Is it the seller or the buyer? What happens if we try to control prices?

I try to answer all these questions in this episode along with discussing the Diamond-Water paradox and real-life examples from Nepal. Happy Listening! You can send me your comment or feedback at nepalieconomist@gmail.com.

You can listen to the sixth episode here:



Jun 20, 2020

The Nepali Economist Podcast: Episode 05: The Public Choice Theory


Dear readers,

Welcome to the fifth episode of The Nepali Economist. In this episode, I try to dissect the latest scandals of the government and why politicians behave that way from the viewpoint of the public choice theory. I hope you will like this episode too. Please listen to it and share it with your friends. You can send me your comment or feedback at nepalieconomist@gmail.com.

You can listen to the fifth episode here:



May 31, 2020

The Nepali Economist Podcast: Episode 04: The Law of Comparative Advantage


Dear readers,

Welcome to the fourth episode of The Nepali Economist. In this episode, I talk about the law of comparative advantage, how it was developed, and how it works. I think the law of comparative advantage is particularly relevant in the current times when self-reliance is all the rage. I hope you will like this episode too. Please listen to it and share it with your friends. You can send me your comment or feedback at nepalieconomist@gmail.com.

You can listen to the fourth episode here:



May 9, 2020

The Nepali Economist Podcast: Episode 03: The Unintended Consequences


Dear readers,

Thank you for liking the second episode as well. I am glad to present you the third episode of the podcast. In this episode, I share several interesting case studies of unintended consequences based on real events from around the world. I have shared stories from colonial India, Mao's China, Mexico, USA, and Nepal. I hope you will like this episode too. Please listen to it and share with your friends. You can send me your comment or feedback at nepalieconomist@gmail.com.

You can listen to the third episode here:



Apr 24, 2020

The Nepali Economist Podcast: Episode 02: There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch


Dear readers,
Thank you for your overwhelming response to the first episode of my podcast. I am so glad that you liked it. The second episode is available now. In this episode, I talk about the concept of opportunity cost or what the economists call "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch."I hope you will like this episode too. Please listen to it and share with your friends. You can send me your comment or feedback at nepalieconomist@gmail.com.

You can listen to the second episode here:



Apr 7, 2020

The Nepali Economist Podcast: Episode 01: Incentives Matter


Dear readers,
I am pleased to share with you that I have started a podcast of my own. Titled "The Nepali Economist", this podcast intends to promote economic thinking and generate interest in economics among its listeners. In this podcast, I will be discussing the basic principles of economics and their application in real life, various issues related to Nepalese economy, history of economic thought, and the world economy. I hope you will find it useful. Please listen to it and share with your friends. You can send me your comment or feedback at nepalieconomist@gmail.com.

You can listen to the first episode here:



Mar 31, 2020

डा. हर्क गुरुङको "मैले देखेको नेपाल": केही रोचक प्रसङ्गहरू


भूगोलविद्, योजनाविद्,मानवशास्त्री,चित्रकार, राजनीतिज्ञ, संरक्षणविद् लगायतका आफ्नो विभिन्न चिनारी बनाउन सफल डा. हर्क गुरुङले लेखेको पुस्तक 'भिन्नेट्स अफ नेपाल' को नेपाली अनुवाद 'मैले देखेको नेपाल' नेपाल जान्नका लागि पढ्नै पर्ने पुस्तकहरूको सूचीमा अनिवार्य पर्ने पुस्तक हो। धेरै लेख तथा व्यक्तिहरूबाट सिफारिस आएपछि मैले हालै यो पुस्तक पढेर सकें । यो पुस्तक डा. गुरुङले सन् १९६३ देखि १९७८ को अवधिमा नेपाल कुनाकाप्चा, पहाड-कन्दरा भ्रमण गर्दाको अनुभवहरू सँगालिएको नियात्रा हो। तर नियात्राको उपाधि मात्र दिँदा यो पुस्तकलाई न्याय हुँदैन। यात्राको संस्मरणसँगै गुरुङले बाँडेका भूगोल, इतिहास, परम्परा तथा संस्कृतिसम्बन्धी जानकारीले यो पुस्तकलाई एउटा नेपाल अध्ययनको गहकिलो सन्दर्भ सामग्री बनाएको छ। तथापि, यस पुस्तकमा चर्चा गरिएका स्थानहरू पुग्नुभएको छैन वा ती जातजातिहरूका बारेमा जानकारी र चाख छैन भने चाहिँ यो पुस्तक निकै पट्यारलाग्दो हुनसक्छ।

आजको यस ब्लगपोस्टमा म यस पुस्तकमा मलाई रोचक लागेका केही प्रसंगहरू यहाँ बाँडन गइरहेको छु। कृपया पढेर प्रतिक्रिया दिनुहोला। बृहत् पुस्तकबाट यी केही अंशहरू मात्र हुन् । तपाईंलाई पूरै पुस्तक पढ्न लागेमा हिमाल पुस्तकले निकालेको यो पुस्तक काठमाडौँका प्रमुख पुस्तक पसलहरूमा उपलब्ध छ।

१. हर्क गुरुङको उपद्रोपूर्ण बाल्यकाल

"अर्कोपल्ट, ठूलाका जेठा दाजु भारतीय फौजबाट छुट्टी मा घर आएका बखत ठूलाले फेरि सिकार खेल्न जाने मौका पायो। जेठा दाजुले नयाँ बन्दुक किनेर ल्याएका थिए त्यस बेला सिकार खेल्ने समय नभए तापनि उनलाई आफ्नो तारो हिकाउन सक्ने सीप देखाउने उत्सुकता थियो । एक दिन ठूलाले गाउँको नजिकै बारीमा कलिलो मकै खादै गरेको लङ्गुर बाँदरलाई देखाइदियो। जेठा दाजु अति खुसी भए । ठूलालाई साथमा लिएर जेठो दाजु नयाँ बन्दुक लिई त्यस लङ्गुरलाई हिर्काउन हिँडे । बन्दुक लिएको मान्छे देखेर त्यो लङ्गुर चाँडोचाँडो नजिकैको जङ्गलमा पसी एउटा अग्लो रूखमा चढेर बस्यो। ठूलालाई पछाडि नै बस्न भनेर जेठा दाजु चलाकीपूर्वक त्यस रूखतिर बढ्न थाले । आफूतिर त्यस बाँदरको ध्यान आकर्षण गरी राख्न ठूलाचाहि उफ्रदै-नाच्दै र अनुहार बिगार्दै बस्यो। यो पडयन्त्र काम लाग्यो। ठूलाले ढ्याङ्ग आवाजसँगै त्यो बाँदर भुइँमा खसेको मात्र देख्यो। दुई आँखाको बीचमा गोली लागेर बाँदर मरेछ । ठूलाले त्यसलाई त्यसै छाडी राख्न चाहेन र मरेको बाँदरलाई पुच्छरमा समातेर तान्दै गाउँको गल्लीमा ल्यायो । त्यहाँ ल्याएर बाटो छेवैको एउटा ढुङ्गामाथि पछाडिपट्टिबाट लठ्ठीले अडयाएर त्यस बाँदरलाई बसेको झैं बनाई राख्यो । साँझतिर मानिसहरू कामबाट गाईगोरु र भँसीहरूसँग फर्केर आउँदा पशुहरू तर्सिएर भाग्न लागे र मानिसहरू एक्कासि भएको त्यस खैलबैलादेखि अत्तालिए । कही बेरपछि मात्र कारण पत्ता लाग्यो र तिनीहरू एकैचोटि आफ्ना कोदाली, हलो र लौराहरूसँगै त्यस बाँदरमाथि झम्टिन पुगे । तर पहिलो चोटमै त्यो बसिरहेको बाँदर पुकलुक्क ढल्दा तिनीहरू झन छक्क परे । डिलमाथि बसेर ठूला मरीमरी हाँसेको देख्दा मात्रै पो तिनीहरूले आफूलाई मूर्ख तुल्याइएको कुरा चाल पाए र सबै जना गललल हाँसे।"

२. नेपालका भूभागहरू भारत हुँदै जानुपर्ने समस्या

"सन् १८६६ को जून २७ का दिन आएको भूकम्पले सुदूर पश्चिमाञ्चलका बैतडी, दार्चुला, बझाङ र बाजुराका अनेक भागमा क्षति पुर्याएको पुर्याएको थियो। रेडक्रसको उद्धार दलको सदस्यका हैसियतले सन् १९६६ को अगस्त महिनामा मैले बैतडी भ्रमण गर्ने अवसर पाएँ। काठमाडौंदेखि ४८० किलोमिटर पश्चिममा पर्ने बैतडी पुग्न भारतको भूमिबाट १,२०० किलोमिटर घुमेर आउनु पर्दा नेपालभित्र यातायातको कति चर्को समस्या छ भने कुरा स्पष्ट हुन आयो। हामी काठमाडौँबाट हवाईजहाजमा प्रस्थान गरी भारतको पटना, बनारस हुँदै लखनउ उत्र्यौं। त्यहाँबाट रातभरको रेलयात्रापछि पिलभित पुगी अर्को चार घण्टाको बसयात्रापछि महाकाली (शारदा नदीको पश्चिम किनारमा भारतीय रेलको अन्तिम बिसौनीको रूपमा रहेको टनकपर पुगियो। टनकपरमा बस फेरेर पिथौरागढका लागि सुरु भएको १५० किलोमिटर दरीको हाम्रो यात्रा पूरा गर्न हामीलाई तीन दिन लाग्यो ।"

३. नेपालको दासप्रथाको हालसालैको इतिहास

"हामीले निकलसैनी भगवतीको स्थानीय मान (मन्दिर) हेयौँ । यो मन्दिर जिल्लाका सातओटा मुख्य भगवती अथवा दुर्गा अथवा मालिका मन्दिरमध्ये एक थियो जहाँ उहिलेउहिले देवीलाई चढाइएका देउकीहरू बस्थे । सन् १८२७ मा प्रधानमन्त्री चन्द्रशमशेरले अब उप्रान्त कसैलाई पनि मन्दिरमा देवकन्या (देवताकी सेविका) का रूपमा चढाइनेछैन भन्ने आदेश जारी गरी दास प्रथासमेत उन्मूलन गरेका थिए । नेपालमा त्यस बेला प्रचलित दास प्रथा लिएको ऋण तिर्न नसकी दास हुने खालको थियो र यो प्रथा धेरै पछिसम्म प्रचलनमा रह्यो । सन् १९५६ मा स्वर्गीय श्री ५ महेन्द्रका भ्रमणका अवसरमा उत्तरी बैतडीबाट १५० जना दासलाई मुक्त गरिएको थियो ।"

४. जुम्लालाई योगीको देन

"जुम्लामा पाइने प्रमुख बालीमा जौ, गहुँ, फापर र आलु हुन् । यसका साथै भटमास, सिमी, बोडी. सर्य र लट्टे पनि उब्जिन्छन् । जुम्ला र यसको आसपासमा रहेको सिन्जा उपत्यकामा धान पनि फल्छ र त्यहाँ धान पाँच शताब्दी अघि योगी चन्दननाथले कश्मीरबाट ल्याएको किंवदन्ती छ। बाली रोपेर हुर्काउने बारेमा त्यहाँका मानिसलाई विस्तृत समयतालिका दिएका थिए र त्यसलाई अद्यापि स्थानीय जनता ठाउँठाउँमा केही फेरबदलका साथ अनुसरण गर्ने गर्दछन् । प्रशस्त मात्रामा सिँचाइ सुविधा भएको जुम्लाका खेतहरू हिउँको अवस्था हेरी माघ १५ देखि चैत १५ गते सम्ममा जोतिन्छन् । खेतका कुलाहरू सबै चैत ११ गतेसम्ममा मर्मत गरिन्छन् । दुई दिनपछि व्यासमा पानी लगाइन्छ । धानको बीउ कुलामा चार दिनसम्म भिजाइन्छ र घरभित्र लगेर यसलाई उम्रनका लागि चुलो नजिक न्यानोमा राखिन्छ । चैत २० गतेका दिन बीउ खेतमा सारिन्छ र वैशाखमा खेतको डल्ला फुटाई जेठमा धानको बीउ खेतमा रोपिन्छ।"

५. महिलाको चुल्ठोमाथि कर

"मुगुका मानिसलाई छिमेकीहरू मुगाल भन्थे । यी मानिसहरू धेरै पुस्ताअगाडि यहाँ बसाइँ सरेर तिब्बतबाट आएका र सुरुमा बसाइँ सरी दक्षिणतर्फ आउने सात घरपरिवारको नेतृत्व छिगु रिम्पोचेले गरेको किंवदन्ती छ। भनिन्छ, यिनीहरूले सन् १८५६ सम्म आफूले छोडेको ठाउँ तिब्बत छिचुम्कोरका 'जोङपेन' (शासक)लाई आइमाईलाई लाग्ने 'चुल्ठो रकम' र स्थानीय नेपाली शासकलाई अन्य कर तिर्नुपर्यो ।"

६ शे-फोक्सुण्डो तालको अलौकिक सुन्दरता

"बाटो छहरामाथि पुग्दा हामील बहुरङ्गी भव्य दृश्य देख्यौं । हिमनदीले छोडेको शान्त शृंखलामा हरियो सल्लाघारी र रिङ्गमोको खैरो जमिनले नीलो ताललाई घेरेको थियो। ताललाई वरिपरि घेरेर सुरक्षा प्रदान गर्न चट्टान टुप्पाहरू हिउँले ढाकिएका थिए । यो दश्य मैले धेरै बेर हेरिरहें र लुकेको यस उपत्यकामा यसअघि आउने आगन्तुकहरूबारे सोच्न लागें। सन् १८५६ मा यहाँ आएर डोल्पोमा प्रचलित बोन-पो धर्मको जीवन्त भावनालाई संसारका सामु राखिदिने डेभिड स्नेल्ग्रोभले यहाँ आइपुगेपछि बल्ल बुद्धको स्वर्गमा 'असीम प्रकाश' मा आइपुगें भन्दै यसरी बयान गरेका थिए, “पानीको किनारा चाँदीजस्तो टल्कने भोजपत्रको बनेको छ अनि पानीको अलौकिक नीलो रङको पृष्ठभूमिमा हाँगामा चमचम गर्दै चम्किने सेतोपना मैले जानेमध्ये सबैभन्दा स्वर्गीय आनन्द दिने वस्तु हो।” गोसेझिन स्कारले सन् १८६२ मा यहाँ आएका बेला यसरी उद्गार व्यक्त गरेकी छन्, “यस तालको पानी इटालीका पर्वतीय तालमा छँं विश्वासै गर्न नसकिने गरी नीलमणिको जस्तो गाढा नीलो रङको छ। शान्ति र सुन्दरताको चरमबिन्दु । ताल यति शान्ति र सुख दिने दृश्यले भरपूर छ कि म यस्तो सुखको मुहानबाट आफूखुसी कहिले पनि जान सक्तिनँ ।"

७. हुम्लामा न्याय माग्ने तरिका

"सिमीकोटबाट हामी भोलिपल्ट बिहान चारओटा घोडा, दुई जना प्रहरी रक्षक, एउट पथप्रदर्शक, दुई जना सयस र तीन जना कुल्ली लिएर हिड्यौँ । हामी गाउँको पश्चिम भागमा पुगेका मात्र थियौं जहाँ हामीले मस्टा मन्दिरमुन्तिर सडकमा एक जना मानिस पिठयूंमा ढुङ्गा बोकेर हातखुट्टा टेकी घस्रिरहेको देख्यौं । यो न्याय खोज्ने स्थानीय चलन हो भन्ने कुरा हामीलाई प्रहरीले बताए। यसरी न्यायका लागि बिन्ती गर्ने त्यहाँको अर्को प्रचलनअनुसार मानिसहरू मुखमा घाँस हालेर जनावरजस्तै चार खुट्टाले टेकेर हिँड्ने र एक खुट्टा ठाडो गरी हात जोडेर नमस्ते गर्ने चलन रहेछ । ढाडमा ढुङ्गा राखेर न्याय खोज्न हिडेको त्यस मानिसका नातेदारहरूले खोल्ची गाउँमा भएको उसको बारी जबर्जस्ती हड्पेको गुनासो गर्यो ।"

८. पोखरामा यातायातका साधनको इतिहास

"हिमालपार व्यापारका लागि पोखरा एक महत्त्वपूर्ण भण्डारस्थल र पुरानो पूर्व-पत्रिका सडकको उद्भवस्थल भएको छ। एउटा चाखलाग्दो कुरा के छ भने पोखरामा आधनिक यातायातका साधन उल्टो क्रममा पुगेका हुन् । सबैभन्दा पहिले सन् १८५२ मा हवाईजहाज पुग्यो, त्यसपछि सन् १८५७ मा जीप पुग्यो र अन्तमा सन् १८६१ मा गोरुगाडा पुग्यो।"

९. प्रगतिशील गाउँ धम्पुस डाँडागाउँ

"प्रगतिशील गाउँलेहरूले साँझमा साक्षरता कक्षा सञ्चालनमा बाधा पारेकोले रोदी घर (गाउने घर) को प्रथा हटाएको र पाँचदिने पेर्य वा अर्घुं (मृत्यु संस्कार) लाई फजुलखर्च रोक्न एक दिनमा सिध्याउने चलन बनाएको कुरा मैले थाहा पाएँ।"

१०. सबै जातको फूलबारी

"देवघाटमा जात्राका लागि सबैतिरका बाटा आएर मिल्दथे । बस, ट्रक, ट्याक्टर, डुङ्गा बाट र पैदल आएका अपार जनसमूहको त्यहाँ ओइरो लागेको थियो। सखवाको बाक्लो जङ्गल मानिसहरूको खल्याङमल्याङ र मोटरको चर्को आवाजले जीवन्त भएको थियो। नदीतिर जाने बाटोमा रूखपातले बनेका कटेराका लाइन थिए । अनेकौं कटेराहरू त्रिशूली गण्डकी फराकिला किनारमा नदीका दुवैतिर थिए। राति बगरमा बालेको दाउराको आगो र लालटिनको उज्यालो नदीभित्र प्रतिबिम्बित भई अझ बढी उज्यालो देखिन्थ्यो। देवघाटमा एकत्र भएका मानिसहरू असङ्ख्य किसिम, थर र जातिका थिए । लँगाैटी लगाएका माझी र कुमाल थिए, साधारण सुती कपडामा थारू र दराई थिए अनि चेपाङ, तामाङ, गुरुङ, मगर, नेवार, छेत्री र बाहुन पहाडी मानिसका वेशभूषामा थिए । आइमाईहरू बढी रङ्गीन पोसाकमा थिए। तामाङ र नेवारका नीला रङ थिए भने मगर या गुरुङका धमिलो खैरो-रातो अनि हिन्दू बाहुन-छेत्री रातो रङका लुगा थिए । चुल्ठो राखेका स्थानीय थारू र माझी आइमाईहरूले कौरीको माला र रङ्गीन प्वाला लगाएका थिए।"

Mar 28, 2020

असल अर्थशास्त्र अडियो बूक : खण्ड १ (अर्थशास्त्रका बाह्र प्रमुख सिद्धान्तहरू)


गत वर्ष मैले Common Sense Economics: What Everyone Should Know About Wealth and Prosperity नामक पुस्तकलाई नेपालीमा अनुवाद गरेर प्रकाशन पनि गरेको थिएँ ।अर्थशास्त्रका आधारभूत सिद्धान्तहरूलाई एकदमै सरल भाषामा र व्यावहारिक उदाहरणहरू सहित व्याख्या गर्ने उक्त पुस्तक प्रति निकै राम्रो प्रतिक्रिया आयो र हाल पनि उक्त पुस्तक विभिन्न पुस्तक पसलहरूबाट विक्रीवितरण भइरहेको छ । पाठकहरूबाट प्राप्त प्रतिक्रियाले म निकै उत्साहित भएको छु । त्यसैले उक्त पुस्तक अझ धेरै पाठकहरूसम्म पुर्याउन पाए हुन्थ्यो भन्ने लागिरहेको थियो । यसै अभिलाषालाई पूरा गर्ने उद्देश्यले मैले साथीहरू अनमोल बज्राचार्य, सौरभ तिवारी तथा गोविन्द शिवाकोटीको प्राविधिक सहयोगमा उक्त पुस्तकको श्रव्य पुस्तक बनाएको छु र अनलाइनमा नि:शुल्क सुन्न मिल्ने गरी अपलोड गरेको छु । 

उक्त श्रव्य पुस्तकको खण्ड १ (अर्थशास्त्रका बाह्र प्रमुख सिद्धान्तहरू) यहाँ तपाईंहरू माझ तल साझा गरेको छु । सुनेर प्रतिक्रिया दिनुहोला । साथै यो पुस्तक उपयोगी हुनसक्ने कुनै व्यक्ति छ तपाईंको नजरमा भने उक्त व्यक्तिलाई पनि यो पोस्ट साझा गरिद्नुहोला।

सिद्धान्त १ : प्रोत्साहन महत्वपूर्ण हुन्छ ।


सिद्धान्त २ : संसारमा केही पनि सित्तैमा आउदैन ।


सिद्धान्त ३ : निर्णयहरू सीमान्तमा गरिन्छन् ।


सिद्धान्त ४ : व्यापारलेआर्थिक प्रगति ल्याउँछ ।


सिद्धान्त ५ :कारोबार लागतले व्यापारमा बाधा पुर्याउँछ।


सिद्धान्त ६ : मूल्यले क्रेता र बिक्रेताको रोजाइलाई सन्तुलनमा ल्याउँछ।


सिद्धान्त ७ :नाफाले व्यवसायीहरूलाई उत्पादनशील क्रियाकलापतर्फ डोर्याउँछ।


सिद्धान्त ८ : अरूलाई मूल्यवान हुने वस्तु तथा सेवा प्रदान गरेर मानिसहरूले आम्दानी गर्दछन्।


सिद्धान्त ९ :उच्च जीवनस्तरको लागि रोजगारी मात्र होइन मानिसहरूले मूल्यवान ठान्ने वस्तु तथा सेवा पनि आवश्यक पर्दछन्। 


सिद्धान्त १० :व्यापार,लगानी,काम गर्ने शैलीमा सुधार तथा कुशल आर्थिक संस्थाको माध्यमबाट आर्थिक प्रगति हुन्छ।


सिद्धान्त ११ : बजारको 'अदृश्य हात' ले क्रेता तथा विक्रेतालाई लोकहित गर्ने गतिविधितर्फ लैजान्छ।


सिद्धान्त १२ :प्राय: जसो कुनै पनि कार्यको दीर्घकालीन प्रभाव वा परोक्ष प्रभावलाई मानिसहरूले बेवास्ता गरिराखेका हुन्छन्।


Mar 24, 2020

Social Entrepreneurship in Nepal: The List of Major Social Enterprises


Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels
Social entrepreneurship is still at a nascent stage in Nepal. Lack of conceptual clarity on what a social enterprise is and what it is not, as well as the lack of legal framework (no separate legal provision for social enterprises), has impeded their progress in Nepal. Additionally, when the overall business environment is so unfavorable, social enterprises are bound to face numerous hurdles. Despite this, the social entrepreneurship scenario is abuzz with lots of startups in different sectors and many of them are performing exceptionally well. I was curious to know which were the major social enterprises of Nepal. Therefore, I carried out a small research. After consulting a few studies and several websites, I was able to find out the following social enterprises in Nepal:

  1. Anthropose: An eyewear company that sponsors a free cataract surgery for every ten pairs of sunglasses they sell.
  2. Association for Craft Producers: A not-for-profit Fair Trade organization that provides a great variety of services (design training, technical training, management training, and marketing services) to low-income craft producers (primarily women).
  3. Bakery Café: Not exactly a social enterprise but provides employment opportunities to people with hearing disabilities.
  4. Bhattedanda Women Farmer's Cooperative: Established by Fulmaya Tamang, it provides a loan to female farmers who want to start-up enterprises in the agriculture sector.
  5. Bihani Social Venture: Offers innovative and diverse services and activities to promote a society inclusive of elders.
  6. Café with No Name: Situated in Thamel, 100% of the profit made by this café goes towards projects supporting street children in Nepal.
  7. Chhahari Services: Caters to women with no skills to generate income by empowering them through capacity building and income-generating training.
  8. Circus Kathmandu: A circus founded by and comprised of trafficking (children sold to circuses in India) survivors.
  9. Communityhomestay.com: A network that supports liaison between travelers and communities providing homestay services in Nepal.
  10. Doko Recyclers: Provides a complete waste management solution.
  11. Friends Handicrafts: Provides employment for Nepali women and sustains the ancient technique of felting.
  12. Hampaal Allo Tatha Kapada Bunai Udhyog: Trains women in nettle fiber weaving and employs them. It also trains women to set up similar enterprises in other districts of Nepal.
  13. Hamri Bahini: Employs underprivileged women to produce eco-friendly products such as reusable bags made of cloths. 
  14. Hatti Hatti: Trains and employs women from marginalized communities to produce various clothing items.
  15. Higher Ground Nepal: Runs a bakery, café, and a crafts center to provide income generation skills, job opportunities, rehabilitation & counseling for disadvantaged and marginalized women and youth in Nepal.
  16. Inclusive Empowerment Cyber: Runs cyber café for visually impaired people and provides various other skill development training to them.
  17. Jamarko Paper Nepal: Established in 2001 as a small cottage industry, Jamarko helps create awareness about the importance of reducing consumption and waste, and reusing and recycling materials, and provides handmade recycled paper and products as an alternative to consumers. 
  18. Jawalakhel Handicraft Center: Established in 1960 jointly by the International Committee for Red Cross & Swiss Association for Technical Assistance (now Swiss Development Cooperation) to support the Tibetan refugees in Nepal. It is now one of Nepal's largest manufacture of carpets.
  19. Junar Kendriya Sahakari Sangh: A cooperative representing over seven thousand five hundred Junar (Sweet orange) farmers from across Nepal.
  20. Kakani Himalayan Natural Dyes: Employs marginalized women while preserving the natural dyeing craft of Nepal.
  21. Kalash Milk Industries: Provides sustainable livelihood to more than 200 farmers in the region.
  22. Khalisisi: A waste management company working with local waste entrepreneurs (who come from extremely marginalized communities) with a mission to build Nepal as the TOP 20 Recycling nations in the world.
  23. Kirtipur Hosiery: One of the pioneers in manufacturing and exporting Nepalese handmade knitwear by a group of women.
  24. Krishak Ra Prabidhi (R&D Innovative Solution): Provides support to farmers through information flow and research & development support. 
  25. Local Women's Handicrafts: A fair trade textile and handicraft collective offering unique apparel, accessories & gifts made by Nepali women.
  26. Mahaguthi Craft with Conscience: A not for profit, World Fair Trade Organization Guaranteed Fair Trade Organization which produces, markets and exports Nepal’s crafts. 
  27. Maiti Café: The social enterprise arm of Maiti Nepal, one of the renowned NGOs in Nepal. The café serves freshly brewed coffee along with appetizer and fast food items.
  28. Matribhumi Urja: Provides clean cooking solutions to rural households in Nepal.
  29. Maya Universe Academy: Provides free education to the children of three rural communities with revenue generated from its various social enterprises including a poultry farm and a handicraft center.  
  30. Miteri Recycle Center: Collects used clothes from Kathmandu to recycle and resell them to people from low-income groups. Revenue is used to support women empowerment projects.
  31. My Earth Eco-friendly Bags: Sells affordable cloth bags.
  32. Nepal Connection Café: A café run by the famed social entrepreneur and innovator Mahabir Pun. The profits from the café go to National Innovation Center.
  33. Nepal Society of Disabled Multi-purpose Cooperative: Develops the vocational skills and capacity of people living with disabilities and/or their guardians to help them become financially independent.
  34. Nepal Traditional Handicraft Training Center: The Center offers seminars, workshops, and exhibitions on the development of traditional art. 
  35. Pad2go: Offers sanitary napkin vending machines installed in ladies’ washrooms in different places such as banks, malls, schools and so on.
  36. Sabah Nepal: Works toward strengthening the livelihoods of financially deprived and marginalized women home-based workers in Nepal. Sells textile and handicrafts made by women.
  37. Sarangi Vegetarian Restaurant: Created as a social enterprise to support Gaaines, a small caste of musicians who used to earn a living by going from village to village playing music and spreading the news.  
  38. Seeing Hands Clinic: Provides training and employment opportunities for visually impaired people through massage therapy.
  39. Seven Women Center: Teaches women how to produce products for sale locally and abroad.
  40. SmartPaani: Develops, installs and maintains environmentally friendly rainwater harvesting systems, water filtration, and water recycling.
  41. Sochai: Sells educational bracelets (information on nutrition and reproductive health) made by local artisans and uses the revenue generated for women empowerment.
  42. Tamakoshi Community Resin and Turpentine: Working to extract, collect and sell resin from pine tree sap, the venture uses the revenue for forest conservation, to uplift the local marginalized communities, and to conduct other community development activities.
  43. The Candlestick Women: Employs women from marginalized communities to produce and sell scented candles.
  44. The Himalayan Rabbit Farm: Promotes rabbit farming among Nepalese farmers and provides the necessary technical support.
  45. The Village Café: Serves various traditional cuisines cooked by the women themselves using the ingredients that they have grown in their own fields. Also provides related training to the women.
  46. Tyre Treasures: A green enterprise that produces various household and decoration items using old, used tyres.
  47. Upcycle Nepal: Converts old, used clothing material, along with pre-consumer and post-industrial fabrics into utility products. 
  48. Vijaya Develoment Resource Center: Runs various enterprises (a community FM, microfinance, consultancy etc.) to generate resources for its community development programs.
  49. Welcome to my Yard: Provides day-tour of Kathmandu. The profits thus made go to its various projects which provide community-based support, practical education, training and savings schemes for at-risk youth and families in the community
  50.  Women's Dream Beauty & Multi-Service: Set up with the aim of modernizing the traditional "Dambarkumari" fabric (typical in Newari culture). Trains and employs women to make shawls, baby’s apparel, handkerchiefs, and masks, among others using the fabric.

Mar 9, 2020

The Rebel Barber : A Short Story


(This short story of mine was shortlisted in the Writing Nepal 2019: A Short Story Contest.)
 
"Kathmandu is getting too cold, just like Terai", Umesh Thakur thought to himself as he yawned lazily one November afternoon in his eponymous hair salon in Buddhanagar. The business was slow as usual in the festive months, although the festivals were already over. The rhythmic "snip snip snip" of his assistant's scissors on a customer's hair drove him further into drowsiness. His thoughts turned to Chhath.

"Those asses ruined Chhath too", he thought. "Politics everywhere. They could not even leave Chhath alone."

Terai had been simmering with rage and discontent since September as the country promulgated a new constitution. The rage that erupted like a volcano and spread like wildfire had soon engulfed the whole of Madeshi communities. Umesh's village had not remained untouched. There were closed-door meetings, anonymous pamphlets, and hushed up conversations. The environment had reminded people of the times of the civil war. Everyone was scared and apprehensive. Everyone was suspicious of each other. All of it bothered Umesh. He did not want to be bothered with one more bloody revolution, one more deceit by the leaders, more deaths, and more shattered families and dreams. All he wanted to do was pass through this life quietly as if it were a narrow, dark alley that had to be passed through to go to a brighter side.
 
But then, the revolutionary fervor caught his younger brother, Mahesh who was susceptible to the fervor as much due to his youth as his disposition. Mahesh had stopped coming home. The infrequency and unpredictability of his visits had compelled the family members to cajole him first and then finally, just ignore him in resignation. Umesh had wanted Mahesh to join him in his shop and earn a living doing what people of his community were supposed to do. But Mahesh was adamant that he would not join his brother. "Who knows what's up with the young people these days?" Umesh thinks with a sigh.
 
Photo by: www.insidehimalayas.com
"I was never a rebel", he reminisced. He was never the one to complain, never the one to express his discontent. He still remembers how as a child he never complained even when he had to go hungry the whole day as his mother remained busy with the household chores, providing for the family. He remembers how his elder sisters would create a scene or steal mangos from Alok kaka's orchard but he never felt the urge to do so. He still remembers how his Pahade teacher would punish him and his classmates when they failed to correctly recall the grammar rules and make them sit like cocks. Enraged his classmates would find ways to prank on the teacher. But not him, never. Even when he was among the accused by the teacher and got the revenge beating. He still does not understand why he never felt the urge to rebel. It was as if he was a traveler too lost in thoughts, who had only his destination in his mind that all the dogs barking at him failed to register in his mind. 

"If only I had a destination on my mind", he sighs poignantly
.
But then, there were times when he had taken the initiative to express his desires. That one time when he had been swimming in the Berang Khola with his friends, he had an intense urge to hug Bishwash, his friend from the locality and he had just gone ahead and done it. He had hugged Bishwash as one would hug his lover, as a child would hug its mother's leg. Bishwash had quickly recovered from the shock and pushed Umesh away from himself as if Umesh was a water snake that had suddenly stuck on him. Although Bishwash had not said anything out loud, the intense hatred and disgust Umesh saw in his eyes had brought him back to reality and kept him in check for the rest of his life.

Many years later, one rainy day, when Umesh saw Sandeep being dragged into his salon by his shoulder-length hair by his father, all Umesh could think of was that incident at Berang Khola. The same kind of feeling had simmered in his heart and he had felt the same kind of urge to just go and hug this guy who was red with shame and the pain.

"Oie Bhaiya, come here! Cut down this hoodlum's hair", Sandeep's father had roared. Umesh had quietly pointed Sandeep towards the empty chair. Sandeep had glanced at his father before quietly sitting down on the chair. His father meanwhile had sat on the waiting bench with his arms crossed and eyes looking at both of them piercingly.

"What a useless son I have? Does nothing all day except pruning himself and his hair like a girl! Just look at that hair longer than that of a girl!" Sandeep's father had muttered.

Umesh had tried his best to save the hair but finally gave up under the scrutinizing gaze of Sandeep's father. Umesh had then asked Sandeep if he wanted a massage too. Sandeep had just looked at his father and said nothing. His father also said nothing. Umesh had given him a massage anyway.

Half of Umesh's heart had expected that Sandeep would push him away and look at him with disgust as Bishwash had done many years ago. But Sandeep seemed to enjoy it and taking it all in albeit with trepidation. When he was finished, Sandeep had silently followed his father out of the salon without even turning back to look at Umesh.

Umesh had felt a mixture of joy and sadness. "Which father beats up his grown-up son like that?" he had wondered but then quietly filed it at the back of his mind where all his wonderings regarding the world used to go.

"Will I see him again?" Umesh had wondered. His heart was divided. He would have loved to see him again but then again he was filled with trepidation at the thought of giving in to his temptation.

It was Sandeep's father who came again. One early morning, right before the festive seasons had started, drunk and in an irritable mood.

"Oie bhaiya!" he had roared. "Cut my hair! Make sure I look good or you will get a beating."
Umesh was too scared to move.

"Didn't you hear me?" Sandeep's father roared again.

Umesh picked up his scissors and started cutting the hair. 'Snips, snips, snips', his scissors navigated across the hair.

"You madise people are whiny, crybabies! You are never satisfied, are you? The country gets a new Constitution after so many years and all you people want is to create chaos?", Sandeep's father had grumbled. "You call our Constitution day a black day? Then, why are you living here? Eating our food, taking our money?"

Umesh said nothing. He felt nothing. "Which caste do you belong, sir? What makes this country more of yours than ours?" he had wanted to ask out of sheer curiosity more than anything else but could not gather the courage.

"Now, don't you slit my throat for that, understand?" the drunkard had mumbled. But still, Umesh had said nothing.

"How would have Mahesh reacted? He would have slit that drunkard's throat", he had giggled at the thought.

A few days later, to his pleasant surprise, Sandeep came back to his salon. He was not only in a jovial mood but had also smiled pleasantly at Umesh. Umesh had tried to hold his gaze in an effort to take peek into his soul.

"Dai, I want a head massage", Sandeep had said.

"Such a lovely boy. Such nice manners. He even calls me dai", Umesh had thought with delight. He was not sure if he liked being addressed as Dai though, at least by Sandeep.

Umesh had been unable to contain his joy and excitement. His hands had moved through Sandeep's head rhythmically and gracefully as if he were performing magic. As Sandeep has closed his eyes and submerged himself in the pleasure, Umesh had gathered the courage to venture beyond the head and neck.

The next time Sandeep arrived at the salon a few days later, very few words were spoken. Very few words needed to be spoken. From the next time, the gap between the visits had shortened considerably.

****
Umesh was jolted out of his trance by violent shaking. Someone was catching him by his shirt and pulling him. Before he could make sense of what was happening, a fierce blow of a fist landed on his face. The pain and shock made him feel giddy. But before he could respond, another blow landed on his face and with it, countless punches and kicks followed. Umesh fell from the bench to the ground. He instinctively tried to block his face with his hands but the punches were too forceful for him.

As the shock wavered and he became able to make sense out of things, he saw the large, red, swollen, and livid face of Sandeep's father coming at him like an out of control truck.

"You fucking madise! You filthy bastard! How dare you spoil my son? How dare you try to make a eunuch out of him? Didn't you have anyone to fuck because you madises burned all your daughters and wives for dowry?" Sandeep's father was uncontrollable. He, then, caught a broom nearby and started hitting Umesh with it randomly. Umesh's assistant who was over the shock by now tried to stop Sandeep's father. But his frail and emaciated body was no match for Sandeep's father whose energy had been accentuated by the rage.

The commotion had already attracted a crowd of spectators but none of the people ventured to come forward and intervene. Most of them whispered to each other with curiosity to find out what was happening. A Madhesi getting beaten up was not a new thing for them but such violently and within a business establishment was a rare sight.

"He is going to kill him. Please help! Someone, please help!" Umesh's assistant pleaded as he tried to match his strength with that of the assaulter.

The plea seemed to have acted as a trigger to bring the crowd out of its trance. A few of them came forward and caught the assaulter from behind and tore him apart from Umesh.

"Oh dai, please stop! What's up with you? Why are you beating him like that?" Someone said.

"What happened here?"

"Oh, this guy is drunk!"

"Oh, it's Rameshwor Uncle! He is usually drunk. Not a big deal with that."

"But why would he beat up the barber? He does not seem to be here to cut his hair!"

The cacophony rang in Umesh's ears as he tried to recover. The feelings of shame and rejection he had felt in Berang Khola many years ago came rushing to his mind.

Startled by the crowd closing in on him and the questions, Rameshwor looked around and looked at Umesh one last time with disgust before hurriedly leaving the shop.

"It must have been the Madise's fault! They are like that. He must have tried to con him or something!" someone in the crowd said. "They are trying to con the whole country, don't you see?" another person remarked.

Umesh got up from the floor and sat on the bench again silently like an injured dog licking its wounds.

With no more spectacle to see, the crowd slowly dispersed.

****

Umesh peered out of the thin blanket he was covering himself with as his assistant gently poked him awake.

"Here, drink some soup bhaiya! You must be hungry", he said.

"What time of the day is it?" Umesh asked peering out of the tiny window. All he could see was the wall of another house.

"It is evening. Are you feeling any better? It has been almost a week!"

Umesh nodded. All of a sudden, his mobile phone rang. His maai had been calling. Reluctantly, he picked up the phone.

"Yes, maai! What is it?"

He could only hear sobs on the other side.

"Maai, what happened? Why are you crying?" he sat up concerned and then squinted in pain.

"Umesh, they say our Mahesh has been arrested", maai managed to say between her sobs.

"What? When?" Umesh asked.

"No one knows for sure! A week ago they say. Some say he has already been killed by the police", she started crying irrepressibly.

"Beta, could you come home immediately please?" she said after a while.

"Sure, maai! I will take the bus early morning tomorrow", Umesh managed to reply.

"I told him so many times not to join those groups. Why would anyone with common sense go against the masters, the police?" maai kept crying. "He was always so disobedient. Always asking questions, always questioning the masters. Now, we have to see this day! Why always us, dear lord?"

"Maai, listen, listen to me! I am coming. I will take care of everything, okay? Now, don't you worry? Keep calm, until I am there", Umesh tried to placate his mother.

Maai sobbed for a while more before reluctantly cutting off the phone.

"Why always us?" maai's words kept ringing in his ears as he covered himself up and tried to sleep.

"I really have to sleep", he told himself.

"I have to go back home tomorrow. Early in the morning!" he told himself.

"Is it going to be just another day or truly a new day?" he found himself questioning as he was drifting into sleep.

"A truly new day? Promise?" his heart asked him.

But Umesh quickly suppressed the thoughts to the back of his mind and firmly closed his eyes as he tried to sleep.

The End