The Wait

I had recently joined the Writing English course at Bishowbhasa Campus. And today was my first day. Actually, the first day of the class was yesterday but I was too busy with some of my stuffs. So anyways, I went to the campus, browsed through the classroom information chart and entered the class right at 5:30. I had thought that there would be very few students in the classroom. I was wrong. As soon as I opened the door, the classroom was silenced. There were three students sitting in each bench. There were two rows and almost all the benches in both the rows were occupied. As I entered, I could sense that the class mistook me as the teacher for some moment. I kept a beard. I was carrying a heavy laptop bag. I was dressed casually and I was wearing a cap. I must have definitely looked like a teacher. I walked past the staring eyes towards the end of the class until I found a bench with only a person sitting on it. I settled in my new found place, took off my jacket and my cap. And the wait began. The wait for the actual teacher.

I don’t know if it’s a good habit or a bad one but I hate waiting. I tend to grow restless when people keep me waiting, especially those who arrive late and say those three damned words as an excuse, it’s Nepali time. Anyways, I took out my mobile phone from my pocket and read a book that I have been reading for the past few days. Digital Fortress by Dan Brown. There was an interesting twist in the plot but I quickly lost interest in it after a few pages because I was eagerly waiting for the class to begin. So I put the cell phone back in my pocket and kept staring out of the window. The view was not new to me. Same old police club on the left, R.R. Campus on the right and the administrative block the Bishowbhasa Campus on the back. I was in the same room during my German language first semester exam a month ago. Our exam was delayed by forty minutes. Forty long minutes. I had enough time to look around. Coming back to the present, somebody then entered the classroom. This must be the teacher, I thought. I was about to stand up on my feet to greet him. But then he kept on walking and sat on the bench behind me. Damn! People kept coming in and the classroom was buzzing with side talks. The person sitting next to me was silent too. May be he too was desperately waiting for the teacher. We could’ve had a decent talk but I didn’t feel like talking at all.

I took out my mobile from my pocket and checked the time. 5:43. This is why Nepal is still far from being developed, I thought. People just don’t care about time. They take it for granted. I opened the QPython console and practised writing some programs. I learnt to generate a Fibonacci series. That is one of the achievements of the day. If you’re familiar with programming stuffs, you must be laughing at me right now. I get it. That is such an easy thing to do and I’m calling it an achievement. Well, it is for me. And if you’re not familiar with programming, may be you too should learn at least a programming language. It gives you a whole new perspective of life and everything around you. Apart from being able to write codes, of course.

So when I was indulging myself in the feeling of pride in generating the Fibonacci series, a man entered the classroom. I didn’t pay much attention towards him until he rested his bag on the first bench and started to talk very softly. This is definitely the teacher. I was very sure this time. I checked mobile one last time. 5:48. I took a deep breath of relief and opened my copy and pen.

Zombie apocalypse strikes World Cup

Progressive Culture | Scholars & Rogues

Suarez bites again. And it isn’t funny. No, seriously, it’s not. Stop laughing!

Serial biter Luis Suarez of Uruguay took a hunk out of Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder in today’s 1-0 win over the Azzurri.

With FIFA certain to review the incident, it appears that Suarez may have bitten off more than he can chew.

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‘Mr Joe B Carvalho’ is a laughing riot

I watched Mr Joe B Carvalho yesterday at the Big Movies, Kathmandu with zero prior knowledge about the movie, except the fact that Arsad Warsi was in it. I like Warsi as an actor but the were only about 20 people in the hall. So I did not know what to expect from the movie. In fact, I did not know the name of the movie until it started. But when it started, I was not disappointed at all. The movie was a complete fun to watch.

The story is of Joe B Carvalho (Arsad Warsi), a small private detective. He gets a case to bring back home the daughter of a rich man (Shakti Kapoor) who eloped with her lover. An international criminal Carlos (Javed Jeffrey) has an assignment to kill a girl. And inspector Shanti Priya (Soha Ali Khan) has a mission to nab Carlos. Things get mixed up and a laughing riot breaks out. The plot is simple but the humour in it takes it to another level. There are some what-the-hell-is-happening-here moments but the humour won’t let you cling to those.

Arsad Warsi and Javed Jeffrey are good as always. But Soha looks clumsy, especially in the songs. One thing’s for sure, she needs to learn dancing. The rest of the cast have also been effective in their roles.

If you love movies where you can just sit back and relax and don’t have to think much, this is the movie for you. And for the rest of you, if you could watch Dhoom 3, you can definitely watch Mr Joe B Carvalho. You may like it more.

The Fox

A fox looked at his shadow at sunrise and said, “I will have a camel for lunch today.” And all morning he went looking for camels. But at noon be saw his shadow again – and he said, “A mouse will do.”

– From The Mad Man by Khalil Gibran

Meeting an Astronaut

The lady proudly announced the name Vladimir Dzhanibekov. A tall, bald but well-built man, may be in his late sixties, climbed up the stairs and reached the dais. There was a huge applause from the crowd. I was quite surprised because I had thought the man would be younger, in his fifties may be. He sat on a chair quietly. I was waiting when he would come up to the microphone and start his talk. After a brief formal session, there he was, the man himself, Vladimir Dzhanibekov.

Earlier today in my college, I was told that a Russian cosmonaut would be delivering a talk at the Russian Center of Science and Culture today. I had read about many astronauts but never had a chance to meet one in person. I have always been amazed by space,  space ships and space explorations. This may be the effect of Star Wars, Star Trek many other sc-fi movies (I know I watch a lot of movies!). I immediately cancelled all my plans for the day and headed to the venue where the program would be held. How could I miss this opportunity of meeting an astronaut in person?!

And there was the man of the moment, twice Hero of the Soviet Union (1978 & 1981), Vladimir Dzhanibekov. I held my nerves when he came up to the podium and started to speak. Damn, he spoke Russian! Everyone in the audience looked perplexed (including me). A few moments later, a Nepali guy translated his words, in Nepali of course. The crowd was relieved. I took out my diary and a pen and scribbled a few notes as he spoke.

Dzhanibekov in 1974

Dzhanibekov in 1974

Vladimir Dzhanibekov was born on May 13, 1942 in the middle of the Second World War. He had always been interested in flying. In 1965, he  became a flying instructor in the Soviet Air Force. In 1970, he was selected in the team of cosmonauts. He made five flights,  Soyuz 27, Soyuz 39, Soyuz T-6, Soyuz T-12 and Soyuz T-13. All in all, he stayed 145 days, 15 hours and 56 minutes in space over this five years.

Dzhanibekov started by talking about zero gravity in space, its usefulness and its danger for humans. He talked about the sixteen sunrises he observed each day from the space, about the oceans and high Himalayas on the Earth. At one point he joked that he saw so much water in the Earth that sometimes he wondered why the Earth was called Earth instead of Ocean. He said that he could spot Nepal from up in the space because of the snow-clad high Himalayas. A loud applause greeted his comment. This was a proud moment for me as a Nepali. Technically, Nepal is the nearest country from the space because of Mt. Everest. A friend sitting next to me said, “Now I understand why Mt. Everest is called the Roof of the World.”  I just smiled at him.

In the later part of his talk, Dzhanibekov said something that went straight to my heart. He said, “From the space, we did not see the borders of any country, we only saw one Earth, our home. But when we got back, we could see people divided by land, by race, by language, trying to destroy one another. The sight was very disheartening. We have only one home and that is the Earth  We should all work together to protect the planet for the betterment of humanity.”

This day changed my perception about astronauts and space exploration. I came to know that astronauts too are humans. They do not have any super power but they are the real heroes who risk their lives for the success for the mission to explore the unexplored arenas of the cosmos. Meeting Dzhanibekov made me realize that any one can be an astronaut, the only thing you need is the desire to be one.

(This post is from my personal diary dated April 11, 2013, Thursday.)