When people call my country ‘poor’ it really does rub me the wrong way. I realized how materialistically poor we really were after having lived 8 long years in a country that consumed like barbarians on a fresh kill. With abundance of wealth comes, abundance of everything else. Including confidence. People in America had something that we never did, confidence. Confidence in believing in our own ideas. And taking steps towards achieving those ideas and goals. We all have heard numerous quotes about ‘believing in a dream ‘and all the other feel good and mushy stuff.
But what does it really mean to believe/dream?
I feel I have experience a little bit of that. Growing up all we were taught to do was dream the ‘trendy and well accepted dreams’ like ‘ doctor bannu parcha’or ‘bank ma jagir khanu parcha’(no offence intended towards bankers). No one really had a clue what I really wanted to be. All I wanted to be was Axl Rose from Guns n Roses for heaven’s sake. And when I told anyone about it they laughed at me. No one told me keep believing we are here to support you.
I came home from US and saw nothing had changed one single bit. In fact the worse had happened. We had gotten even more pessimistic. Even weaker in our ‘mentality’. I joined the Green Soldiers Nepal and help initiate the movement because this issue of us being eternal pessimist had to change, and in what better way than cleaning up the mess we have created ourselves. So I thought. And after a year of active service I had to quit because of my business. Yet, I am still a Green Soldier at heart.
Did I succeed as an environmentalist and an utter optimist?
No, in many ways and Yes, in some ways I did. I feel the reawakening is yet to come. I have made legion of friends from all over the world. Been a part of a documentary made by an Italian film maker. My street level activism about waste is still on. It’s something I am passionate about and the same passion that I took to Swayambhu each morning now resonates in other things I have done and have to do in life.
When you speak of change others bitterly and promptly discharge you with all their arsenal of negativity. And they fail to understand I have an equal and opposite reaction to their general negativity. Their smirk makes me work even harder. And I do not always come out as a winner . I have made a fool out of myself many a times. My brother always told me my “green soldier” activism was only fueled by my readjustment phase of being back from a foreign country. We argued. He often forecasted that I’d be out of that mode in a few months. But he fails to understand that it really does not matter to me. Because it was never about failing or winning. IT was more about I really believed I could and I tried.
Indian PM Modi’s address to the parliament of Nepal today was an example of how we differ from the others. And that leaders are never the doers they are the ones that DREAM BIG, they motivate. And they are so passionate about these dreams that they are infectious in their madness to be where they dream to be with everybody and with the intent of the common good. I did not vote because I simply thought the choices in front of me were not good enough. If nothing had changed in my ward in the last decade I really did not want to help elect the same guy again. But he did any way. Point being, we have a choice. Whether to believe or not. To do or not to do. To speak or not to speak.
I say we have to speak. At every given opportunity. Modi, a son of an everyday “chai-wala” became the PM of such a big nation by doing what? I say BELIEVING. And his speech was in itself about believing.
We need an Indian to reconfirmed to us that this is the land of BUDDA. We run after lies and forget the truth in the meantime. We need a foreigner to come and reinstate the value of our natural resources. We need Modi to come tell us how much potential we have in Tourism. All because we have stopped dreaming and owning those dreams. Because we have stopped BELIEVING.
I believe – fate brought Modi here today. The fate which had started when he took under his wings that young man from Nepal, who had lost touch with his family. If Modi can believe in his Nepali brothers so much, why can’t we do the same for ourselves? So much so that it’s infectious. Like we all got infected my Modi’s today.