I am in my late thirties. I have been living in the USA for ten years now. I recently finished my studies and have been teaching part time at colleges in the USA. I want to be back in Nepal and live there the rest of my life.
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a doctor. Actually, my father thought of me so. Later, I realized that is not what I wanted.
I have been living through the “to be or not to be” situations of my life. I have failed many a times to make a correct decision when emotions surpassed reason. I have become fickle frequently. When I see a rising film star, I have desired to be so. When I see people dying of diarrhea in remote areas, I have desired to be a doctor or a social worker. When I see the country languishing in famine and poverty stricken and the politicians averting their eyes and sinking in politics that tend to their hubris and interests, furthering cronyism, cynicism, nepotism, corruption, and looting, I have desired to be a good politician so I could address the plight of the country and the conditions of the marginalized and the subaltern people who do not have their own voice. I have also desired to be a journalist who could ask the people concerned the so called authorities pointed questions and make them take responsible towards the nation and nationalities.
But by now, I have become none of them, and I am writing this now.
I reflect on myself. In 2008, I moved to America to pursue another master’s degree in Professional writing, majoring in creative writing. I also applied to CNN for an internship and I was short listed to be interviewed. Somebody called me and interviewed me for half an hour but I failed it. Later, I realized it must have been my thick Nepali accent that caused this. In the country of khaire, white people, this brown man’s accent did not work, I guessed. Slowly and gradually, my desire to be a journalist died, but my desire for writing was not dead. I was still not sure whether I wanted to be a writer because I was and still practicing the art of writing.
Now I have my Ph.D. I am a married man. I have a four month old daughter.
The question now is: what is next?
Well, looking back, I wanted to be a doctor, a medical doctor, and yes the dream has come true, I have become a doctor, not a medical doctor, but a Ph.D. doctor. I cannot do anatomical surgery, but I can possibly do a metaphorical one of a human heart. I can still be a social worker that no other profession will set limits on. I just need the willingness to help others in need.
Can I be a politician still? Maybe, but I am not sure. I have vision, but I do not have the trappings of leadership. Who will buy my vision when I do not have leadership? I have to deal with thugs, culprits, sinners, traitors, and hoodlums in a way that the saying goes like “let the snake be killed and the stick that killed the snake be left unbroken.” Is that possible? What if somebody hurts me, mouth fouls me, tarnishes my image? I am emotional, and tears steal from my eyes, and people may start lambasting me, saying “runche,” “gutless,” “no balls” or whatever and that would hurt me even more.
Suppose, I entered politics, but who on earth will bequeath me a position that could help me mobilize my vision? Power monger politicians are still fighting for positions that they have been vying for since they were very young from their days of college politics and now their hair is blanched. Even the younger politicians who the nation at times thinks are good, for example, Gagan Thapa, still needs to fight for a position from where he could mobilize his vision, and now his hair is gray, let alone my chance in Nepali politics.
At times I wonder, maybe I should act like C. K. Raut: create a clique and start ranting against the government and the country. After that you will be tagged as a “traitor” and will be sent to jail. But stay with your rants against the government, and the government will eventually set a table to talk and you will have the likelihood of receiving a seat in politics. Or you may wage something like a people’s war like the Maoists did. A price on your head will be announced and slowly and gradually, you will enter mainstream politics. Is that the reason why Biplav who was a Maoist before, seems to be acting bizarrely now? But I do not want to do all these things. I do not want to kill people, the innocent lives. My hands fear death, blood-letting, killings and murdering. I do not want to push my country 100 years back again for the sake of my personal interests and in the name of Nepali people and their rights. I want to see this country peaceful and prosperous.
Then who can I be?
Maybe, I want to be a writer. That’s right. I want to write a lot, write about anything, that’s why my writing at times becomes unfocused, rambles, and, at times, becomes a brilliant piece. Maybe, I should try to be both a writer and a politician. The late people’s Prime Minister Bisheswar Prasad Koirala was both a writer and a politician.
Okay, that’s fine I do not want to be a politician, how about being a film star? When I was young I used to collect a few friends including my sisters, and I directed them to perform on the porch of my house and that passion is still instilled in me. I don’t think I look handsome enough for that, or you may ask Dayang Rai, another renowned movie star of Nepal. But it is an art through which I can send messages to society. Or maybe I can be both an actor and a politician. There are many instances of it, and I do not need to mention them here. Can one person be everything though? Why not? Look at Rabindra Mishra who is a journalist, a poet, an actor, and now a politician.
Again, who do I want to be?
I think I will be a writer, I decided. My desire to be a journalist can be mitigated through it. I can have my own blog which is what I have now. I can write about politics, politicians, people, places I visit, make podcasts or video casts, write feature news and so on and so forth.
I want to be back in Nepal and start doing that.
“Your writing does not address your living hand to mouth problems,” one of my friends says. ‘You have a daughter now, meaning more responsibilities.”
“How about me becoming a politician?” I ask for help.
He snickers making fun of my question as if he is making fun of Nepali politics and political culture.
“How about me teaching at colleges in Nepal, now I have a Ph.D.?” I ask as if I am helpless.
“You are my pride, buddy, but who will pay your worth as a Ph.D. so better stay where you are now,” he looks serious. “Look at the future of your daughter, think about your wife’s happiness.”My friend has no clue how unhappy I am because of not being in my own country. I want to be back in Nepal. I want to make a cottage house at the foothills of the Himalayas and live a happy and healthy life. I want to wake up early in the morning looking at a range of mountains and inhaling cold and fresh air, doing yoga, and basking in the sun that peeps through the hills. Thus, I want to spend my rest of life writing and reading until my hands and mind become fragile. Will I join politics? I am not sure.