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Rajendra Keshari Pandey

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GAZAB KASHMIR, AAJAB NEPAL

Gazab and Aajab are Urdu words. The meaning of Gazab is: Wonderful, and the meaning of Aajab is: Amazing. There is a saying in Nepal “Gazab Kashmir, Aajab Nepal” (Kashmir is wonderful, but Nepal is amazing). Thus Nepal is more than Gazab, it is Aajab. It is amazing.

Pondering this saying: Gazab Kashmir, Aajab Nepal, I see that time and again it has proved to be relevant. I will leave describing Gazab Kashmir to the Kashmiris who can express it better than me. But I am willing to jot down something on Aajab Nepal here.
We have many things that others do not, the highest and the deepest geographical locations on land. The highest peak being Mt. Everest and the deepest ravine is located in eastern Nepal, Sankhuwa Sabha area. The highest placed hotel in the world at 3,880 m. is “Hotel Everest View” Khumbu Region, a unique creation. From each and every room of the hotel you can see Mt. Everest. You may go to your bathroom and you will be thrilled to see Mt. Ama Dablam. This is an amazing hotel.
The Shortest Living Man on the planet is Khagendra Thapa Magar, age 19, from Nepal who has recently been officially certified by Guinness World Records. This is amazing.
The World Wildlife Fund in Nepal has stated that a biological treasure trove has been unearthed in the eastern Himalayas that includes the world’s smallest deer, a `flying frog’ and an ancient gecko.
A decade of research carried out by scientists in remote mountain areas endangered by rising global temperatures found 94 new species in Nepal.
There is a bird called Spiny Babbler that was first discovered in Nepal by Sir Brain Hodgson, a British diplomat, in the year 1836. Nature has given us so much that we do not appreciate it. Nepal is like an eye, small but very important.

Another abstract but amazing thing (Aajab) about this country is that it is known as holiday country (Bida ko Desh): In a year we officially get approximately 60 days holidays in the name of festivals, occasions and many events (excluding Saturdays i.e. 52 days in a year). The many other forced holidays due to strikes, bands and closures by many parties and their sister concern will add about 10 to 15 days. Official working hours are 10:00 to 17:00 Sunday thru Thursday, and 10:00 till 15:00 hrs. Fridays. When other western nations get holidays of around 12 to 15 days a year, our holidays seem enormous. Look at the difference. In the developed countries people get less holidays and do more work. Whereas we being a poor country (at present) need more holidays, less work and still we wish to become prosperous. How this is possible? We seem designed to be a lazy sate.

The bread and butter you earn from your toil are always sweet and the holidays you get after hard work are even sweeter. See how beautifully the westerners enjoy their holidays. One really enjoys the charm of a holiday when you have earned it. Here I do not see people enjoying their holidays. They are not thrilled or excited by holidays, beautiful mountains and great scenery because there are frequent holidays and views are always in front of them. They get so much holiday (Bidas) the value and charm is not there. On many occasions I have seen Nepalese spending holidays with a couple of friends usually drinking and playing cards locked inside a hotel room. We do this, when just outside the window are beautiful clear mountains and all that nature has to offer. We miss this opportunity, because we lock ourselves inside. This holiday culture has pushed us back towards 19th century. Whereas the pace of development and the result of hard work has taken others to a height of worthy status. We talk development, but we do not posses development-oriented attitudes.

We talk about development in many forums, symposiums and seminars in top class hotels and just waste money. The funny side is, we want to work less, we have made our national policies in such a manner that we are officially working less, and even get paid for not working in many cases. In other parts of the world the scenario is different: No Work No Pay. Here No Work but Pay is quite a normal phenomena and it is employees and worker’s right to get paid even when not working. That is why many establishments are phasing out gradually. Here the risk and loss of the investor is not considered. As if the investor has no rights and their money comes from sky. Here we only talk about worker’s rights, let us talk about the investor’s rights and security as well. Everything is so politicised unnecessarily here that this practice leads only to chaos. This type of one-way right and politicising workers is not going to help the country. We have not and never created a congenial atmosphere for business, finance and economy in this country. In such a holiday culture country people will think twice about investing. Foreign Investment is a mere joke and a talk of politicians here just to confuse people. People will hesitate to invest where their money is not safe and sound. But our politicians in their speeches are so confident that it is as if money pours-into this country from around the globe. They dream too much. The reality is far from their speech.

In other parts of the world only the elected person (winner) becomes Prime Minister. In Nepal a defeated person (looser) has more opportunities to become the Prime Minister. This is funny, but possible here and the show is on for Round Number 16 as I write. It has even surpassed the rules of a boxing match where round number ten is the limit. This is an amazing country (Aajab ko Desh), beautiful, wonderful, rich in its culture, heritage, tradition, simplicity, relaxed and still so laid back. With these sort of ingredients and the fantastic resource of Himalayan water, instead of becoming a great tourism and hydropower potential country, Nepal has become a growing ground for fake leaders, swindlers, and impersonators. Gazab Kashmir, Aajab Nepal. The honour, respect and the fascination received from the world by this country will go down if such activities continue. Let us hope for the best.

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  19. Well said Rajendra. What I’d like to ask is “how do you pay your civil service, and military if it comes to that ? “

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