Kathmandu, Syria and Olympics


Streets of Kathmandu were literally flooded by the evening downpour. And an impromptu had-taal in Koteshwor meant I had to walk back home and it turned somewhat interesting. Interesting because, I hadn’t walked down the road for a long time now.  One thing that I couldn’t help but notice is, all the gum boots are gone. I had a favourite pair when I was young and I used stroll feeling like an army man. Kids this generation are taller than we were. Hairstyles have changed. Pants look tighter. And slangs seem to come out easy, of every youngster’s mouth. Words we used to hesitate uttering are like part of the lingua franca now. Not so long ago.

And I thought the girls of our generation looked more beautiful, but maybe that is just ageing.

Out of habit, I flip over from news channel to news channel. Politics make a good deal of news in Nepal, almost all of it. Bad decisions by government, so frequent that none of them manage to garner the proper attention, or say criticism. And opposition relentlessly soliciting a share, a part in government as if it were a bumper car in a Disney land and it was their turn now, to bump the system, or say take people for a ride, pun intended.

Like insurgency once upon a time, rest of the nation is flooded. But it doesn’t quite affect Kathmandu. It is not right but it is so. This is a time of public apathy, from Guwhati molestation to Yue Yue’s run over in Foshan, China, it doesn’t really affect you until it comes to you. Our time is when the civilization has learned to tuck its tail between the legs and hide from tyranny. Because this is time when cons and cheats are revered as heroes in Bolywood flicks, promiscuity is a trend and conscience is big setback. Kathmandu is only dancing with the tunes.

Revolution is reverse of apathy. It is when people let go of their petty interests and fight for something bigger, better- collective good.

One who’s watching the Arab uprising closely can realise a definite pattern. In most of the cases, these nations from Tunisia to Syria in post colonial era struggled somewhat for stability, which they found in forms of Ben Ali or Mubarak or Gaddafi, good leaders and in long run dictators (terrible?). These leaderships not only brought economic and other forms of prosperity, they also ensured good deal of social equity in those Islamic nations. Problem was, they got corrupt and held onto the power for too long. But I can’t really comprehend why should it cost so many lives for a man to step down? And is it really worth it, when it is so infective after the revolution, there’s no clear cut leadership, and everyone wants a bigger piece of the kill. There is good chance that radicals take advantage. And good indication too, because for one, civilians can’t really fight against a well trained army with strong foundations. Another, where do they get all the fire power?

History kind of, repeats itself.

Reports say that a big chunk of freedom fighters in Syria learnt in Afghanistan, practiced in Libiya, to be able upset a full out Syrian assault. Thousands of civilians are killed in cross fire. It was different few weeks back when Russia and China vetoed, but everybody is reluctant to intervene now, because they are confused about the enemy. Should they fight alongside foes, just because Assad is a pro Russian?

Putin was in London to see a Judo final. Lucky for him, the Russian got the gold defeating the Mongolian champion, and by the looks of the events that followed, he didn’t have hard time convincing his British counterpart, about Syria. Looks like they are going to watch for a while, like they watch Rohingas in Myanmyar.

Watching Olympics is always intriguing. Nowhere else is more intense expression of emotions like in Olympics, happiness, disappointments, and the whole other drama.

Greek athlete Papachristou was disqualified for a racist tweet. So was a Swiss footballer. Strong stand against racism, appreciated. But International Olympic Committee that disqualified 8 badminton players; Chinese, Malaysian and Indonesian for trying to lose,  did not feel obliged to do the same with English cyclist Philip Hindes who himself told in very clear words that he deliberately crashed to secure a restart. He eventually won the Gold.  IOC says because ‘audience was not deprived of a competition’, but the burden of guilt should lie more with Philip, who made a personal decision to ‘crash and restart’ than those Asian players, tipped to lose by their coaches. They were sent home, disgraced. I think this discrepancy in action by IOC is some kind of racist too.

And so it was when US swimming coach John Leonard accused Ye Shiwen, China of doping when she swam brilliantly to grab a Gold, knocking one second off the world record. Fielding only 54 athletes North Korea, gets 4 golds, and western media (likes of Huffington post) responds by telling it is because if they fail to win, they are sent to labor camps, that is why they get golds! Doesn’t that sound out right stupid? Twitter is full of similar allegations against China.

It is much like interpersonal relationship, how the countries interact with each other. If you are good, they will complain. If you are sad and suffering, they will pity upon you and if serves them right, they will even extend a helping hand. But creation or resurrection, both a country and a man has to do it on its/his own. Because afterall, we are master of our own destiny.

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