Mysteries of Brain

Sunita Giri 12:04 AM |

I must have been in class seven or eight, when I have heard Hansa Dai, the most shy and hard working guy in his studies had some problem in his head. In fact, the problem in his head meant that there was insect crawling inside his head.

Even today it really nags my intelligence even trying to understand how come the insects crawling in his brain was detected ? See, it was 80s Nepal and we did not have that much state-of-the-art instruments to find out those crawling insects inside our head, I bet MRI or CAT Scans which could detect anything in our head, were developed bit later and was in medical practice long after that. Lets leave that now but it was not what I had thought about it when I was about 14 year old girls who have heard this news.    

Because, he was one of the best student during my time in Bal Mandir and he was pretty good at his studies and on top of that he was a good boy also. So one day I wonder loudly  “how come a guy who has insects  in the brain is good in his studies ?” Is not his brains are chewed up by those creepy crowing insects. Hearing this Radha didi counter questioned me me, rather blunt question if that has to be believed then, “why are you not a good student even though you have a brain which is not infected by harmful insects?” I looked at her in bank way. True. I was kind of very average student and he on the other had was very bright student.

How come it was possible ? But then in my adult years I came across an article that was on the National geographic the mystical power of brain, when a doctor had removed his left side of the brain to cease the seizure which was troubling this boy, when he was about six years old. What is so interesting is even though his half brain was removed his brain function was in fully active and the boy had not lost his personality as well. Of course, there was a slight defect on his one leg rest all his learning math, English and science was never affected much as expected including his creative power. Oh yes, the boy had nothing to worry about the seizure.  We keep watching in classic Indian movies that when a person encounters a serious accident hitting his/her head the person forgets the past life totally even though there is whole brain inside the skull. In the same kind of accident it has also been seen that the person loses his/her prior personality and they emerge as completely new person, again there is no loss of brain part just the strong hit on head during the accident. Sometimes they come back to the normal self as of before and sometimes they never come back to the old self.

I have read in one article which have appeared in the famous international magazine Reader's Digest under the title, ‘the boy could not stop running’. One day a man took a gun and shot at his head, because he just could not control the movement of his hand that used to go on holding things and places despite his conscience telling him that it should not have been that way. To his and his loved ones delight even after taking a bullet on his head the man did not died but his compulsive disorder vanished just like that. No one could explain it, why ? not even the doctors who were treating him.

A little more than a year ago I had a chance to talk with him over the phone. We were supposed to meet personally, but our schedule did not allowed us to meet thus the phone call. It was my first time talking with him over the years. I have never ever spoken with him when he was in Bal Mandir. He had been the principal of a school in remote area Humla [ it could be Jumla also], which is his home town. He was talking about the retirement which is very near and was thinking of what to do next after completing his tenure at the school where he taught for many years in various positions over the year. But the most interesting thing for me is  the man who had insect in his brain was now had ranked up to the position of principal of a school and I never ever made anywhere close to that position when I have the healthy brain.

It is said that every day about 250 million brain tissue die and almost the same number will be developed. Is not this interesting we don't even change much of our personality when there is so much changing in our brain ?

read more

Finding identity I discrimination and determination

Sunita Giri 11:34 PM |

Whatever Michael Jackson said about his changing color from black to white it was because he was not taken at par with white singers, although he was the King of Pop. Tiger Wood was trained by his father at the age of three to be the golf legend because of his fathers determination that the white people would not be able to discriminate black americans anymore and definitely not his children. Obama was the dream of Martin Luther King who dare visioned the black president for US at a time when black americans have suffered so much discrimination from white Americans. And Abraham Lincoln who was white but the son of a shoemaker had to face the insulting remarks from his fellow senators reminding him about his father when he stood to deliver his first speech. Well, they wanted him to look at their shoes and told him to repair it. Remember here, by this time he was newly elected President of US.

In the above case its not just about the act of discrimination but determination of those victimized have changed the situation. Was it our fault if some people discriminate us so badly based on our background and make us feel bad for our condition all the time ? And oh yes, they remembers to remind us on every given opportunity like Lincoln had to face or in my case in not said words - that you are raised in Bal Mandir and there is divine punishment associated with your life ? I doubt so. Most of the time people  simply pass on what they feel deeply but, unconsciously; and they think we also have to feel the way they feel about ourselves.  Fine, the truth is; majority of lower class people still feel insufficient in front of rich  people or people in power for no reason. Should all that must add to our inferiority ? Should their superiority behavior, has anything to do with our own low self esteem and then make us feel humiliated for no reason ? If not then what is this ?  

This is what I tried to find out in my last blog post. And I keep digging deeper to find more about it. Self esteem is just a state of mind and it is unseemly interconnected with superiority/inferiority complex. What is so interesting is; we ignore the reality that this low self esteem and inferiority complex is not the exclusive property of the people who come from the poor family back ground. I can say this with my  personal experience. I know a lady, who used to be in the management of Bal Mandir during my childhood. When I was in college she was the one who was there to make sure I finish my college, keep in mind she was appointed for this job. 

Despite her disapproval and resentment of my idea to complete graduation I got opportunity to complete it; because Bernhard who was supporting me for my college study did not see anything wrong if I wanted to complete my graduation. During that time and in the following years, surprisingly, there were times, everything I said used to offend her, and everything she replied used to be so defensive; which kept me wondering for so long. I did not know it then; why she used to react like that and it really took me long what is was. Having been raised in Bal Mandir, I used to think being touchy, fragile self esteem and inferiority complex is our exclusive property but why she was behaving like that and wanted to claim her exclusivity in all that ?  There is difference there when they say about fragile self esteem; they make it pride and prestige issue. When they say it was their prestige at risk they fight for the reputation and all we feel insulted and humiliated ?

Oh yes, there are times when we need to know, when not to be the part of such competition and let others win. This is one of that time when they win and I be happy.

Now, we are living in a society where men still refuse to give us equal status in society we call 21st century. This is really shocking to accept. We don't mean to undermine their status and position, we think that we are equal and we should be on the equal footing on every aspect of life. On this gender biased society, one gender is facing tremendous disrespect and discrimination almost like second class citizen compared to male counterpart and this offends the female sex. It is viewed that being feminist is being rebellious. There are some parts in the world which make rules that, she should not have right to vote, choose man for herself, carry mobile, ride car, wear jeans or go to college. Malala a young Afghanistani girl was shot at, when she was 14 years old purely because she wanted to go to school. 

What is so interesting to pay attention is the country which bars women from such extremes are the one who do rank among the lowest in the global rankings of the countries in most of the parts compared to other developed nations, which are slowly changing its view on women and openly discussion on this matter.  The question is should all this add to our self esteem shrinking to the max and not even have confidence to look into any man's eyes to ask, “why you think so ?” Should we see us from his narrow lence and presume that we are really inferior to men in all sector ? I guess our answer has to be big No !

There is no doubt that, I grew up in a society where people suffered from not just low self esteem but also negative self esteem, which is very hazardous to the growth of a society as it has its lasting yet negative impact on every society.

Self esteem in fact is just a state if mind, and we are what we think about ourselves. Therefore, we are not what other people think about us. If we feel good about ourselves, we do not let others impact our own belief in ourselves. We unconsciously pass our self appraisal to others and people accept or reject us accordingly, in their own unconscious mind. Sadly, this is what  I have been unaware for so long. 

Back to my childhood, I would like to point out to the fact, that the very people who used to treat us roughly where the people who were hired to take care of us, by those who really wanted to give us better life. Had we not been in Bal Mandir, the staff at the top or lower level would not have got their job, which gave them pride and prestige in the society. This one truth makes so hard to shake my head off even today.

Here at this moment I remember what Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” and when we do not allow people to treat us the way they feel about ourselves; then conflict arise. How I wish, I knew it, when I was growing up in Bal Mandir.

read more

Finding Identity

Sunita Giri 11:38 PM |

Ever Since, I started writing my blog the subject of dignity, respect, self-esteem, love keeps coming again and again and again. Honestly speaking, this is not my favorite subject to talk about but I am forced to talk about it repeatedly for may be very obvious reason as I grew up in Bal Mandir under the pressure of feeling  human in very odd situation.  Although I was never smart enough to know it at the time when I was young but still I remember people looked at us differently and treated us differently and they have the different smile reserved for us. When I say differently, this means; we were treated like a second class citizens in Bal Mandir. Its so that we were never given due respect, with few exception people felt comfortable to humiliate, insult, disrespect us and staff ignored the very fact that we were the one who have given them the position and status in the society for being a social worker.

What is so intriguing now is, we were customized to believe that its because of our karma, we ended up in Bal Mandir because we had done something horribly wrong in our previous live, and this was our divine punishment. So, it was the belief system of the people, mainly junior staffs at the Bal Mandir, who used to treat us so roughly.

But, then again; when I read the stories of black Americans, they also felt the same thing,  I mean, what I have gone through when I was growing up in Bal Mandir. At this very moment, I can think of the movie Glory and The Help which gives us the inside story of black american in america and we cant escape from is very moving and soul searching feel. What  is really so striking is, America is considered comparatively a lot civilized society than the one I grew up in 1980s Bal Mandir. To be honest, I was not quite sure about all this fancy words of dignity, respect and self esteem. I began to understand it all when I looked back in my life and started writing. Those movies helped me to understand my own feelings back in Bal Mandir.

And then, the Jews were treated like less than humans, when Hitler came into power in Germany. Who can forget the memories of holocaust ? Movies like The Pianist and the Schindler's list do give us close glimpse of the other side of the so called superior people in Germany. And then there are the very people in my society who act like they are so called upper class people because they come from higher caste and they treat some segment of society in such a way that its worth reading their behavior pattern because they  treat people with discrimination.

Are the people really superior if they treat other human beings a lot less like humans ? There are some people who treat poor people with same kind of discrimination than the white used to treat the black Americans during the 1900 in US. But was not the white were richer to buy black Americans and then treat them like animals ? were not they doing the same to Indians in India during the British ruling era ?

Do I have to feel good that my condition was not as bad as the victims of the holocaust or the black Americans who have to go through nightmarish life in white peoples society ? Are we really talking about self esteem or the inferiority [ superiority] complex when we talk about situation like this ?  when we know that this is about basic human rights issue. Is this really the talk of lack of self confidence, fragile self esteem or there is more to it ?

Why majority of lower class people feel insufficient in front of rich people and their show off lives ? Should all that must add to our inferiority ? Should their superiority behavior has anything to do with our own self esteem and then hit our ego ? If not then what is this ? What we are talking about ?

Are we not talking about our basic humans rights here ?  don't we all have to fight for our own Identity in one point of life or other ?
read more

The Fruit

Sunita Giri 10:34 PM | ,

The month of July and August  is when rain and storm joins hand  and sometimes this light storm which shakes off the big and unshakeable trees from the top is good for children. The rain and the slight storm used to work as the force that used to shake tall, and hard to climb trees so easily and then we used to get the fruit in the morning.

This fruit used to be as big as a football and some times it used to be bigger than that. It has perhaps uniqueness to it. I yet have to come across a fruit which is whole from outside and it yet it could be distributed with each person without cutting it. All we have to is to count the pieces and person and then distribute it among us.

If was hard to pluck the fruit from the tree, even for the most daring tree climber, which of course used to be schoolboy; but the strong breeze used to shake the top of the tree  in such a way; most of the time it used to fall from it  without much effort. Most the morning birds used to get the chance to claim the fallen big fruit as it was a surprise gift for them during the rainy days.

What is so unusual about this is, I dont even know the name of the fruit, but most of us liked it very much. Then we used to call it Rukh Kattar, but then now I came to know that jack fruit is called rukh katter here and it was nothing like the jack fruit.

As for the taste it was not much sweet nor it  had the citrusy taste. Nothing sharpness in its taste and its scent. Just the gentle sweetness to it. More than that it was enough to kill the sharp hunger we felt any time of the day. Some adult also used to like it after barbecuing it, but because it was a fruit we like it just the way it was.

This fruit just killed the fun part to climb the tree and then run with the fruit like other fruits we used to steal from those chaser, when we were young and wild;  but still it was a fruit which we used to enjoy without an inch of effort, so I think sometimes we must enjoy things in  life just the way it is. Just enjoy it while it last.

read more