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Editorial

Dear suicidal minds

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Hey there,

If you are suicidal, for sure your life is going through hell.  Unpleasant memories, messed up present, and dark future must be bombarding your minds, questioning your purpose of living, drowning you into a blackhole of despair, emptiness and anxiety, that you feel yourself worthless, hopeless, and helpless, and only door you see to peace is in death, and you can’t wait for the death to come to you, so your mind is compelling you to get to the death on your own.



Or, maybe nothing as such.  Maybe you don’t have as such unpleasant past, nor messed up present or dark future, but somewhere you feel yourself worthless.  Your purpose of living does not hold any meaning to you anymore.  You feel like being a loser or useless that pricks your dignity and ego.  You are tired of your near ones complaining about you not being right or you are tired of trying to fit into the expectation of people around you.  Or, you are tired of seeing failures and you don’t want to try anymore to succeed.  You feel like you are done with your life.  And you just want to give up.  Suicide seems the perfect door to exist.  Or, maybe you have some other reasons.  Whatsoever, all the reasons boil down to one thing, and that is, you want to escape quietly.

Whatever may the reason be, you are suicidal, quietly and secretly ,that no one knows yet.  I am not here to tell you “suicide is not the solution.”  You already know that.  I know you are not looking for solution.  You are looking for an end.  So, it does not matter to you, I know.  Also, I am not here to tell you, “talk to me” because I know you believe talk can only give you a short-term relief, but as soon as the talk is over, you are back to your blackhole with never-ending tunnel to darkness.  So, I am not here to ask you to talk to me.  You don’t need to.

I am only here to talk to you.  Just listen to me through these words.

Today, I was watching this documentary on human history.   It showed how 70 thousands years ago humans escaped from Africa to survive.  Some died on the way, and few finally made it to Arabian peninsula.  From there, they expanded slowly to Asia to Austrlia, and to Europe, to America.  It was amazing to learn learn how they learned agriculture, and how they learned domestication; how the religions and rituals were born, and how they learned to make tools to survive.  It was also fascinating to learn how they learned to tempt river and tempt nature to make the earth their home.  Those people were our ancestors.  In these 70 thousand years, trillion lives had been born and died, resulting the modern world as we know.  In this journey of human history, earthquake, flood, famine, war, plague, disease, accidents have killed billions, just like that.  Many had died meaninglessly.  Many had died unfairly.  But world moved on.

What we can learn from our history is that our life actually holds no meaning in broader perspective.  It gets the meaning only when we assign to it, looking at lives of those who survived.

The other day, I had gone to a funeral of a relative who had died of cancer.  I had seen him struggling for year, bed-bound, and until his last breath his existence was valued but the moment he died, he became history.  The moment he died, he ceases to exist.  Everyone gathered on his death day and dispersed soon after, like as if he never existed.  So I concluded, whether I kill myself, or I be killed by accident, or grow old to die naturally, I am going to die anyway.  My life means nothing as soon as I am gone.   That’s life in true sense.

With all that, what I am trying to say is that we mean nothing to this world as soon as we are gone.  What matters to the world is the people that are breathing and living.  Look at Yama Buddha.  He was Yama Buddha until he was alive.  As soon as he is gone, he is just a memory.  Everything stopped then and there.  People moved on.

So if you want to kill yourself, you can do that for sure.  One meaningless death which will be forgotten by all anyway.  In another 50 years, those who knew you will be gone as well.  For the generation then, you never existed.  It’s a zero sum game.  Who remembers the people who crossed read sea and made it to Arabian Peninsula? No body.  Who remembers the millions of armies died in world war II? No body.  Moment you die, your chapter is close.  It will be same in your case if you die today.

What we can learn from our history is that life actually holds no meaning in broader perspective.  It gets the meaning only when we assign to it, looking at life of those who survived.

But think this way.  If you die today, you are not going to see next PM of this country or US president.  You are not going to see new invention, new technology, new shooting stars, new bigger moon happening after 1000 years.   You not gonna see next new war, next new chaos, next new celebration.   There are full of surprises waiting and you gonna miss all of them.  By you dying now, world is not going to miss anything.  It’s you who gonna miss lot of things.



I understand your life is hard now, but hey think about those humans escaping from Africa through Sahara desert.  Think about the humans that had to survive in ice age.  Think about those people from world war.  Think about Japanese living in Hiroshima then.  I can give you 1000s of stories of struggles and pains.  Just because there is no war, no famine now; just because everything looks so easy and smooth, does not mean human world has become less challenging that you are the only unfortunate human with problems.  Problem has always been there, problem will be always there.  It’s about going through the problem, facing it, growing through it, and still breathing and moving on.  That’s what took we humans from Africa to all over the world.  Those who still chose to survive despite of hardship didn’t choose so because they could have easy life or be next president.  They chose to survive because they know their death would not be other’s loss but of self.  So I say, you can choose to be a human who chooses to jump off a cliff than walking 1000 miles in search of foods and waters or you can choose to be the human who would take the heat, take the burn, take the flashes and wounds but move on. not for any other reason but because you want to live and see the world as it unfolds.

See world today is quite messed up, in sense it is so defined.  “You should be like this and be like that.”  List of do’s and don’ts.  Obsessed to build an Utopian world that never existed before nor will ever exist.  Somehow you are programmed to think that by not fitting into people’s definition, your life will be waste and useless.  That’s bullcrap.  Don’t buy them.  Buddha would not have become Buddha, if he was sold on that.  I can name 1000s of people who didn’t buy that crap.  Most suicidal people have this feeling of not being at the par of others and they feel useless.  If you read between lines, problem lies in our self constructed idea of how a human should be, as a child, as a sibling, as a spouse, as a citizen, that some people take literally and feel like unfit, manifesting their suicidal thought more.  Please don’t buy them.  People never gonna understand you unless you align with their narratives and beliefs.  Don’t try impossible just to trigger your suicidal tendency.

There is a Nepali saying, “marnu bhanda bolaunu jaati” which literally means better be crazy than be dead.  So I say if you are to choose between ending your life or be crazy, be crazy enough to become egoless, be crazy enough to travel the world, be crazy enough to look for world fighting and surviving, new invention and discoveries, be crazy enough to leave your parents, loved ones, and everything and detach from the world if they are cause of your sorrow.  Be crazy enough to pursue your true hobbies and passions.  Be crazy enough to be happy by doing whatever makes you happy.  Be crazy and still survive to see the world unfolding right in front of your eyes.  But don’t choose to die.  I repeat again, world is not going to understand you unless you talk like them, walk like them, but if that’s what making your life hell, better be crazy than end your life to escape.

When you close your eyes, everything will stop then and there for you.  World is not missing anything here, but you are missing everything.  So whenever your mind tells you to die, tell the mind, “shut up.  I will die forever, but not gonna live forever, so let me see the world as it unfolds.”  Everything else is secondary.



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Editorial

Entrepreneurship, Money, and Common Nepalese

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“The fear of being different prevents most people from seeking new ways to solve their problems”

I don’t know from where to start because sometimes I really need to take a delicate approach when I have to explain something to some of my Nepalese fellas. You know they are just so sweet and innocent, the way they think and perceive is mostly emotional, and above all, with all that years of brainwashing on absurd ideas and concepts and political philosophies, it’s really hard to explain certain things to my people, especially when it comes to business and money and things like that. Anyway, let me try to explain this.

Someone posted this in a start-up group expressing dissatisfaction for our attempt of monetizing the context. I could hear similar allegation on the comment section of the post as well.

Let’s start from this.

What is money? It’s a medium of exchange. You want a shoes, shoemaker wants rice. Money works as a medium to exchange. Is there anything evil there? No.

That’s exchange of trade for need.

You want a gem, gem dealer wants ticket to Goa to chill. Money works as a medium to exchange. Is there anything evil there? No.

That’s exchange of trade for luxury.

You want to build a road in your village, you pay the dozer guy for the work and the money received will be used for his need or luxury by the dozer guy. Again, money is a medium of exchange here. Is there anything evil there? No.

That’s exchange of trade for societal cause.

Money is nothing but a medium of exchange and it’s the most popular medium of exchange because everyone accepts it. Money itself is neither evil nor divine. A money received by a prostitute may be donated to temple or in paying school fee for her children. Also, money received by the most reputed man in town may go to a thief to buy a knife.

Basically, money is nothing but a medium of exchange. However, some people in Nepal has considered money as something special, something rare, something big and something like …I don’t know what to say, a God, maybe? They have this idea that you should exchange only certain things for money and not for everything …definitely not for societal or political thing.

Like for example, if someone is making road for all, don’t ask for money..just work for free. If someone is trying to raise voice for all, don’t ask for money, do it for free.

Now, in reality, it does not work that way, because everything is exchange in this world and money is invented as a solution to ease the exchange.

Today, humans have everything from nano robot to rocket because of the concept of money. Money itself has no meaning. It’s we humans who have agreed to give a meaning to it to self-motivate and let the exchange to go beyond daily needs. As a result, we have this world full of devices and gadgets and technologies, books and toys and cutters.

That’s what money does.  It motivates people to think beyond and produce stuffs, which otherwise would not be produced.  It motivates people to be creative, innovative, so that they could make something that others would buy, and the money in return could be used to buy foods for home, or pay bills and fees for kids or go for a vacation with loved one.

Coming back to badge

If I have to distribute that badge for free, I need to get it printed for free, which means printer guy has to get his ink for free.  The chain goes on.   If not, someone has to fund the project and I distribute it for free.

This country is f* because of that very same idea of “better get funded than monetize, when it’s for societal or political cause.”

Dull boring posters everywhere, whenever it comes to political or societal activities.  Dull, boring people everywhere, when it comes to political or societal movements.  Because we think it’s so f*cking wrong to exchange anything for money when it comes to political or societal thing.  Guess what? Only dull and boring people with their talent-less works and activities.

So dear cute little innocent Nepalese fellas, there is nothing wrong in selling badges or t’s or even dance party tickets for social causes.  Yes, the other side will collect some money, so what??  What do you think the money will be used for? It will be reinvested on people and market to get more creative and innovative that would inspire many others, filling market with more talented and creative activists.

In the end, society gets social message in more creative, innovative and effective way.  Team gets better motivation and energy to carry on.  Market gets more money flowing in.  No one dies taking money.  It all will be in the economy.  But, new products, new scope is added on.

Take the money out of the equation and see what will be there.  No money in economy.  Boring and dull products distributed for free, thus no value, nothing.   No scope, no motivation.

Which one is better?

So, go sell something for Nirmala, for Kalapani, for climate change, for whatever you are deeply moved by.  There is a name for it, and it’s called social entrepreneurship.   That’s better because you don’t need to beg around for funding, and it’s sustainable way of carrying on.  It’s hard for socialist and communist to understand that.  You don’t be the kind.

Just remember this:  We collectively have been so poor for so long – from generations to generations – because we never understood the concept and idea behind money.  How will you make something, that you have not understood in first place?

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Editorial

We are poor because we hate money

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“If you hate rich people, if you hate money, if you hate how economy works, you are destined to die poor,” a wise man once told.  

During my recent Bangalore visit, I got to meet some start-up founders.
 
One of them was a lady probably in her mid-20s. Her company is into digital marketing. They call themselves branding experts and they claim themselves to be quite creative. Went through couple of videos made by them and also couple of their works. They also do social media marketing. I asked, “how much do you guys charge for handling a page?” She said “depends…starts from 2 lakhs.” She employees 15+ people.
 
Met another team who runs a research company. They charge anywhere between 5-25 lakhs for conducting a market research.
 
Likewise, had also met entrepreneurs, business enthusiasts, freelancers. They all have similar stories, similar spirits and passion and they all are hungry for money, bold enough for money.
 
Meeting those people, I didn’t find myself any less or inferior, nor I find my people less creative or less talented, but I noticed there is something in them that we don’t have and that is, guts to throw numbers, guts to dream numbers, guts to chase numbers. Personally, my heart would tremble to ask 6-digit fee for a consultancy or a month-long research and they ask the number for social media handling. By the time, they start their business, they are in few crore valuation. In a year or two, 10 cr company. In 5 years, 100 cr company. That’s the trend and target, they all are up to.
 
One the way back home, I was thinking, why do we fear so much to dream big numbers? why do we tremble? why are we so cheap? why do we settle with peanuts? and many similar questions.
I think I found the answer in those thinking. It has something to do with the society and culture I belong to, and what they say and how they say when it’s about money and numbers, especially big numbers…and I grew up thinking as if it’s a shame and insane to think big numbers, chase big numbers.  Somehow, I am psychologically programmed to fear the number beyond certain point.
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Editorial

Nepal deserves the best…let’s not see the world in East and West

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Every now and then, when we differ on values and ideas and concepts of how life should be, how society should be and how country should be, we start labelling each other as eastern and western, and I know where it is coming from, so I am writing you this opinion piece, not to change you but to make you think, make you understand to help you make an informed decision on concepts, ideas, philosophies, beliefs that you would be living by and nurturing your children and grand children by, because kids that are nurtured by informed elders will make a wonderful country and society, and I care about that because my children and grandchildren are going to be in the very same society and country. So, please read it with patience with bit of smile on your face.

“Our country is not west. Keep your western sh*ts away.”

If I could really take away “western sh*ts” to make you happy, I would be ending up taking away democracy, gender equality, human rights, property rights, constitution, concepts of power division, freedom of expression, science and disciplines, and many many more things that guide today’s business, politics, industries — almost everything — based on which all the great inventions have been made, been distributed, and consumed. What would you be left with?

Sorry, I didn’t mean to make you feel inferior but just give you a bit of reality bite.

See? That is why we should not make things about east and west. Because if you remove the label, it’s all about human things.

Let me take you to history. Somewhere, 300-400 years back, in another part of the world, which happened to be west of Earth, some humans were pissed off with church, their priests, bible, the so called culture and tradition, their kinds and their kins and clans. They deeply felt something not right with their world, so they started thinking, discussing, debating on how the world should be, how politics should be, how human lives should be. They would write essays on, books on. Those humans would be later known as philosophers and thinkers, based on whose thoughts and ideas, modern values and principles were set, politics were based, movements were anchored, that pave the path for science, industry, technologies turning the world into as we know.

What were we doing that time? I am talking about the so called Eastern world, or to be more precise, Indian subcontinents? British came much later if that’s what you want to blame to. Answer is, we were in our own religious interpretation of the world and instead of making it a discourse driven, we were imposing it through kings and his kins and clans- sometimes Muslim empires and sometimes Hindu empires. When humans from west were dumping their Bible and trying to search answers from multi-dimensional approach and spreading it through essays and books, humans from east were only busy proving if answer is in Geeta or Veda or Quran or other doctrines.

That’s how humans from west got ahead of rests. Then came the Prithvi Narayan Shah, then became Nepal. Sadly, source of knowledge for this newly born country was only from North. And we know what happened for next 200 years.

So here we are, the humans from Himalayas, fighting over east versus west, who historically neither had a role in making of western philosophies nor in making of eastern. For what??

I tell you for what, and where your hate towards west is coming from. There is again a history, but I will make it short. If you remember when you were a kid, you would hear something like “paschatya sangit” “paschatya sanskriti” in a hatred tone as if that is such a bad thing. Those running radio/TV were quite against them. Where was that hate coming from? Who was behind? I leave that up to you to your own rational thinking, that you are capable of. All I am trying to say is that this East Vs West thing in Nepal, which anyway had no contributions whatsoever on any front, been into this division long before you were born.

Now, here we are and the steering is in our hand. Our option is to either see the world as East and West like some people want us to or see the world as One Earth, humans as one race, and pick up good things from every corner possible. I understand your concern for cultural identity but hey it’s just an illusion. Our grand father thought lighting a ghee candle is culture, dad replaced it with wax candle and called it culture, and we replacing with electric bulb and calling it culture.

Anyway, in short, everything that we call east, west, Chinese, Indian, is nothing but a label we created just for our own ease of communication. Problem arises when we make it a matter of ego, dignity, pride, identity, and get more political that we only miss the broad options available otherwise.

We are in a way fortunate that we are the youngest country who is building its foundation in the era of Internet and social media that information is freely available on anything and everything.

Unlike old Nepal, this time, we are neither east nor west. We are a part of the world, who deserves the best and taking only what’s working. We don’t want to be the kind who goes around talking about benefits of cow pee but only visits Manipal Hospital. That happens when your ego is bigger than your rationalism.

Our children and grand children deserve better. It starts from us. Let’s cut the East/West crap.

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