BY THE BOOK
A disease called darkness
by POOJA GURUNG
The challenge of churning out an article before the power cut is pushing all sorts of buttons in my head. Push the 'think' button and it activates a noisy idea just like the angry growl of a generator. I sit in my cubicle ticking like a watch whose hands are accustomed to point and blame the sweet defects of our times. As kids we used to break up the letters in NEPAL and sow it with meaning like 'Never Ending Peace And Love' but now as we shed our naive skins to become cynical citizens, the acronym has morphed into 'No Energy People Are Lazy'. It is very apt. I look out from my window and wonder as to how many people are confined to their share of the darkness that revolves in groups and routes with the convenient exception of the area around the Prime Minister's locale. I imagine school children squinting their eyes over heaps of homework by a flickering candle light. I see women shaking and laying down their gas cylinders to cook meals on a slow burner. I detect a deep problem on the faces of men whose businesses are clogged without the even flow of cash. I see and I sigh.
IMAGE: SAM KANG LI
As the world prepares to usher yet another New Year, I worry about the prospects and problems it's going to bring forth with the novelty of new calendars, agendas and constitutions. For 2009, astrologers have already started prophesying the problems that nearly all countries are going to face; extreme environmental changes, political thawing and economical upheaval. I am almost bracing myself for the war that is brewing in our neighbouring boundaries. When will the inevitable Third World War happen? From which part of the world will it rupture? My trail of thought is disturbed by a commotion. Downstairs, a pack of rowdy street dogs are gnawing at each other, not for a bone or a piece of bread but for the breach of their territory. We have noticed that nearly all dogs lift their hind legs to pee around their boundaries; they sniff and restore their claim over their area. They are after all a man's best friend.
We are in the state of depression, triggered primarily by 12 hours of loadshedding. It has been scientifically proven that human beings undergo a certain form of depression in the absence of light. Could it be that this prolonged process of loadshedding is acting as a catalyst to corrode our sanity? Otherwise, how else can we justify the alarming rate of crimes in our capital. Darkness is a disease and I just don't mean literally. The way we have cast our votes blindfolded in the ballot box speaks eloquently about the spread of this disease. Now all we can do is sit tight and conjure enough patience to illuminate ourselves with other alternatives. Gautam Buddha says that, "patience is the most beautiful prayer" and for those of us who lurk in the darkness, may time tame our ways.
Pooja Gurung is an actor, a television personality and a music video director.