The country is in a state of total lockdown to prevent potential community transmission of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Along with millions of Nepalese across the nation, I have chosen to suspend the freedom of free movement and stay home. The transition from social cohesion to social distancing has been brisk, yet we have no option but assimilate with the culture of distancing at the earliest. I find that in our attempt to distance ourselves from other humans we have come closer to our homes. A home is an inanimate object but for once I can feel it breathe and enjoy its privileges.
The government of Nepal has declared 2020 as the Visit Nepal Year (VNY). The government hopes that two million tourists will come to the country and each will spend above $75 a day. Undoubtedly, our economy needs a boost and what better than backing the tourism industry to catapult our growth story to the next level? Meanwhile, there has been criticism on the role of the government, especially, the pace with which things should have moved forward. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that it is “Visit Nepal Year” and not “Visit Nepal Government Year”. Therefore, we the people of Nepal have a solemn duty to contribute to making VNY successful.
It did get a bit awkward walking into a hair and beauty salon on the eve of my marriage. No doubt I wanted to look good, but I felt guilty about spending a handsome amount on a facial that would barely last twenty-four hours. There is a well-established visual order in our day to day lives. I think I had just dared to challenge one by consenting to have the beautician bombard my face with numerous cosmetics. The glow on my face on the big day could be partly attributed to this investment and hence provided some consolation. I get complimented when I put on my favorite bright pink shirt to work. I presume the complements are a consequence of a disturbance in the visual order brought about by feminine tag to the pink.
If dengue was a person fighting for a cause it could have easily been described as a long march to Kathmandu in a bid to seek national validation. Dengue has done well to showcase that we have been arrogant and oblivious of its ability to infect people in thousands and even claim precious lives.
My wife knows it all but still, I have an honest confession to make. I am a culprit of reinforcing the age-old patriarchal practice of welcoming the bride into bridegroom’s place. I got married in October 2018. Post the October event, I have come across several instances where I have had to battle a self-imposed mental entanglement, primarily originating from my conscience. Here are three stories of entanglement.