I never understood the term “middle-class” because I never understood how simply someone born in a rich family with a silver spoon in his mouth is from the “upper-class”. And of course the middle class mentality which was shoved down our throats from kinder garden. “You have to study and become a big person (Thulo-Manchey)”, Big-person meaning you have to pull us into the “upper-class”. The monthly tuition fee mom and dad paid were a premeditated, yet a risky gamble. They did not know how you were going to turn out to be, but they sure hoped for an Einstein.
As kids you learnt to obey or else face the consequences. Obedience and resilience seems embedded into our DNA. Every morning you sang praises of the MAN. And then walked into a class room and greeted your teachers in a foreign language. Some schools punished children for speaking their mother tongue. We are nourished and fostered to become the so-called global citizens of tomorrow. “Global-Citizen” another intriguing word injected into our veins by the masters to make us think we are becoming more progressive human beings but paralyzing us at the same time off our true identity. The grand plan has worked and we are breeding sheep and of course, sheep don’t bark.
The grade of education you receive and the doors of opportunities that open in front of you are decided in this country according to the location of your birth, the caste you were born into and how good your daddy is at under table connections. Yes you may dream freely in this country but there are restraints at the same time. Your dreams need to be constricted within the parallels and mandates the society has already drawn for you. You dare put a foot outside the lines or worse fall behind others rushing towards the big wall blindly. Do not forget you are a well-educated sheep. Now follow.
Somehow the indoctrinate has taken effect immaculately and along the way we have acquired a new form of primal reptilian instinct that blends in perfectly with the sheep mentality. Just like the bugs that plunge into bright things without any thought Nepalese adore the idea of migration. Migration does not become the means to realization of success but ends up becoming the prime goal itself.
I got this vaccination early on in life myself. The poison took over my senses so fast as soon as I saw the doors open in front of me I plunged directly into the bright light. To find myself lost and chasing the light relentlessly just like all my generation has done. The ones that are fortunate enough to land in a western country do so and the rest find themselves slogging for minimum wage poor working conditions. All they are content about is the fact that they are being productive in some ways rather than breaking bread at home for free. And again the “thikai cha”, “K garne yestai ho” and many such phrases are enough to keep us where we are resilient and tolerant, yet not able to mutter a single bark.
Yet these mute sheep are so proud of themselves. They watch all the Bollywood movies and when their favorite actor makes the blunder of calling their nation an Indian state they go out and burn down properties of their fellow countrymen. Migrant workers get killed in the middle-east and communal violence breaks against third generation Nepali Muslims across the nation. A Nepali man kills three innocent teenagers while driving drunk in Houston Texas what if all the whites came after all you Nepalese who so want to blend into the American way of life. Cheer your favorite football team; enjoy your bar-b-cue and when you are drunk enough talk about Nepali politics. What are you? A Nepali? An American? Or a New breed of Nepali-American?
It is nothing wrong to adopt a new culture and blend into the society that you live in. There is no shame in enjoying life and being happy. But the aspirations that are limited to us and a quarter century of mind-numbing narrowing down of our true identities have brought us where we are. Desperately trying to carve out a life and chase a dream. But we have been selfish my friends. We have thought of ourselves and ourselves only unlike our ancestors who passed on to us an “Identity” that you could actually be proud of. We have to think of our children and how they are going to identify themselves.
“Hami Gorkhali”. We the brave children of the brave Gorkhas, we don’t bow down to none. Really? We might want to think a couple of times before we sing that song and make a mockery of ourselves. How long are we going to rest our burdened and frustrated pride on those exploited mountains and poor Buddha? Stop waving your fruitless Nationalism smeared in your identity crisis all over the place.