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Nepal’s earthquake diary – What Nepal needs is IT industry.


It has almost been more than two months since the devastating earthquake in Nepal, the world has finished rallying for it in great deal and gone home by now, and the country is left alone to start the monumental tasks of healing and rebuilding the nation by its own. It took almost ten thousands lives, made more than twenty thousands injured, broken the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of people, and affected millions. People are still busy on playing politics, fulfilling personal interests and enriching themselves and the ineptitude of the government can be said in just one word – sitting-duck. Talking is cheap, if talking alone can make a nation great, Nepal would have already been undoubtedly the greatest country of the world by now, and all they need is a platform so they can keep talking on forever. If you don’t have one, create one and divide the nation – but the talking must go on.

You can say “You are also doing the same here, writing from the comfort of your office and blaming others and nothing more.” I do agree with you, but my friend, I am a writer and my job is to write. My responsibility is to find problems in our society, try to highlight them and bring it to the public and relevant authority so they can find necessary solutions. We are all just like a part and screw of a whole machine, each and every part must play its role properly in order to make the big machine roll, and all parts have equal significance and responsibility in the running of that very big machine. The big machine is needless to say the nation, every citizen must play its role and I am no exception.

If you are familiar with my writing, I am sure that you are pretty aware of the fact as well that I have already written a lot about Nepal’s grim situations and I am not going to bore you to the lull again by repeating the same things again here. Having said that, there is still one fact about Nepal that we can all agreed upon, and if we are to gain some respect and dignity from the outside world, there is still a lot to do by all of us, and we must start working together now. It is precisely what I am trying to do here; my job is writing and I am just doing my bits to the cause of rebuilding our nation.

After the party is over, all the guests will go home and at the end it is us who have to clean up all the places again. The current situation in Nepal is no different; we must come together by putting all the differences at a side, and start making the big changes as required by the urgency of time. But this time, we must not only work smartly but also take difficult decisions and we must realize that a new approach on building our nation is a long overdue. Instead of wasting time on already tried and tested methods, we must find a new industry that can not only give us a new direction but also compliment our existing facilities, and eventually take us to the new height that we have been dreaming for so long. Nepal is a landlocked country, it has no direct access to the ocean, and industries which require heavy transportation are simply unviable in our place. Mountainous terrains won’t make roads building easy, without sound transportation system and easy access, no industry can survive and air cargo is too costly for all. It also doesn’t have a good source of skilled workers; the governmental system is too bureaucratic, crippled with corruption and red-tapes; and the atmosphere is simply not good enough to sustain any new business. As of that, the only way to improve is to create a completely new business environment, educate its people and the whole government system including banks, and start building a new industry from the bottom one brick at a time. And for that purpose alone, there is nothing better than the Internet Technology, IT in short for Nepal, and it should start developing a new, vibrant and nascent IT industry that can serve the world without even having to leave your place for once. It will save all the hassles of exporting goods through India’s troublesome ports; you don’t need to have good roads system; everyone can learn and train to be an IT professional; it is also the demand of the modern age; delivering it to the final customers won’t be that cumbersome as it is now; receiving payment is also very easy through internet hence banking system won’t become a hindrance; final goods can be delivered by air; and finally if we try it really hard as a united nation, believe it or not, it is a viable option.

Now here is the list on how we can achieve that.

1. First of all, we must believe that it can be done, and that is the hardest part.
2. For the sake of the nation, let’s believe for once that we can do it.
3. We must put all of our efforts, time and money into this one and nothing else.
4. We must convince everyone to stop being selfish for once.
5. All the governmental officials and leaders must stop taking bribe for at least now.
6. Ask our big brother from south to help on this noble cause.
7. If they refuse, ask our northern giant neighbor and they will certainly come.
8. Invite all of our best brains from the diasporas to come back home.
9. Hire the best ones from the industry to lead the industry until we are ready.
10. Tell all the youngsters from the nation to study there for free.
11. Let the professionals plan, build and run it until it is fully profitable.
12. And never intervene.

If we can do it, our future is safe and we all who have a pinch of care about our country can take a sigh of relief. But I am sure that just like all the other times before, it won’t make any differences at all to most of our people and its value will remain nothing more than the pica of this space that I have used to write it onto. Pardon me for my skepticism expressed here, but sadly that happened to be the truth of our people and you should understand my position – no offence but nothing can be expected from the people of Nepal in return. If I keep writing about it, it is simply because it makes me happy and as you all know, I always write for my own self. Nonetheless, if my writing makes someone out there happy, that is a bonus for me and I will take it as a compliment and accept it with a warm and grateful heart. Thank you!


How I survived the greatest tide of China and lived another day to tell my story?


It was early 1993, I just retired from the army as a Gurkha soldier and joined an international company in Hong Kong as Quality Control that has interests mainly in mainland china and my new job required me to be in China for at least four days of a week. Everything was new to me, the nascent civilian life, my job, and my regular incursions to China and many more. Since my young family was still in Nepal, I was alone in Hong Kong and rented a small room nearby my office that I hardly used, and in order to avoid boredom and loneliness I tried to remain as long as I could at work so I don’t have to wander around through those unknown places. It was also pretty hard at the beginning for me to adapt my newly found civilian life, unlike in the army I had to do everything by myself here now and the transformation from the heavily regimented life to a free civilian life was not that easy. I was my own as a free bird, I did whatever I felt like I was doing and there was nobody to stop you.

My first trip to China was a fast ferry ride that took almost one and half hour and took us to a small town at the tip of Southern China nearby Macau called Zhuhai. It was still a very small town surrounded by empty farmlands, it was still less crowded and people were simple, nice and unassuming. The factory I was to work on with was a small one story warehouse with tin roof and aptly situated just at the outer rim of the city center. It was just an assembly plant with no big machines, the white marble slabs that we used as table tops were cut out from the hill-mine and brought here from nearby province called Guangxi, and the cast iron legs that we used for table bases were also casted at the same province and transported back to here by heavy blue trucks. My main task was to check those marble tables one by one before packing, make sure the packing were strong enough, and the final loading into the container was done properly. Since both marble and cast iron parts were very heavy, it was a backbreaking job, and due to fragility on the product’s nature, the damages were quite substantial. The container port was just a few miles away from the factory, empty containers were brought to the factory and sent back to the port again after the loading and custom was done. We used to do ten to fifteen containers in a normal month by then and most of them were exported to Europe.

Although I already had some basic knowledge on Cantonese, it took almost six months for me to fully grab the basic understanding of the local dialect and it was only after that I was able to communicate freely with my associates in China. It was not only the language that I had difficulty with at the beginning; it was also the people, their livelihood and other social issues that would eventually affect our life. People were still pretty simple and ordinary, nobody had passport yet so venturing outside of China was almost non-existent, and we still had to use different currency called FEC (Foreign Exchange Currency) than the locals, but Hong Kong dollar was widely welcomed and accepted. Initially I felt the Chinese foods were bland, no taste at all and almost 80% of the foods they usually take as regular foods were unpalatable for my taste buds. It took quite a long time before I could get used to it and I have no problem whatsoever since then.

Everything by then was still pretty underdeveloped, roads were old, narrow and congested, and vehicles were all old and bulky. The basic monthly salary of a lowly skilled worker at the factory was a meager 340 RMB, foods and lodging was pretty basic and duly provided by the factory. More noticeably, the mammoth task of nation building had already been started in great earnest and whichever direction you looked at it, the only scene you could see was construction work and it felt like everyone was building something all at the same time.

After my wife and two children had joined me in Hong Kong, I tried to spend more time with them in Hong Kong but it wasn’t easy. Although most of my works were done in Southern China, I still had to visit northern part of China occasionally and in the terms of development, the north was a far cry from the south, and vestiges of old and poor China were still existed in abundance. Due to its proximity with Hong Kong and Western world, Guangdong Province was a way ahead from other parts of China and it is still known as the head of the dragon that propelled China to its current status in the world and Guangdong has undoubtedly played a great role on it. Hong Kong roles in making China as one of the greatest nations of the world can never be underestimated, it has always led with example and Hong Kong businesses have a huge hand on making China so successful today.

I was not only honest, hardworking and loyal as most of the Gurkhas were but also a fast learner and it helped excel my career very fast. For the next seven and half years, I worked extremely hard, learned the trade inside out and somehow managed to reach at the top. But at the same time, I was also growing bigger on my own shoes and as an outsider at someone’s company, I couldn’t fit in well for too long and I had to move on. It was when I decided to be the master of my own destiny, our new company ISSL & CO., (HK) LTD was established in 2000 and as the saying goes the rest is the history.

But of course, it wasn’t that easy working in China alone. I am not sure if I was the only Gurkha or Nepalese guy working in manufacturing and exporting furniture from China but I have never met another one hitherto and that already suggested how rarest my position had been in China. China is not a place for fainthearted; things are not as straight as they seem from the outside and you need knowledge, understanding and skill in great deal to survive there. Especially for an outsider like me, it was not that easy but I had some very good friends on hand, we had not only known each other for many years but also working together even today – so to speak. Initially, we had started with just one or two containers in a month and had just a few workers in a small place. We worked really hard to find new customers, exhibited in places like China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Germany, UK, and France and gradually grew to an established company. Chinese are not only hardworking people but also very astute businessmen and they can be a very tough competitor. China is also a communist country, not everything is free there as outside and the only thing they were allowed to do by their respective government was to make money and that gave them an extra reason for working harder than the outside folks like us. Competing with such clever and determined people is an easy task at the first place, coming out at top is even harder and I had to work extremely hard to survive amongst them. And that was obviously easier said than done.

We produce more than 20k metal bases in a monthly basis at our own factory in China nowadays and export them to various countries from the globe. We are also known as one of the best and reliable manufacturer of table bases in the industry now in China and obviously it didn’t happen overnight. I had not only invested my utmost time, money and effort to the work but also put my heart into it and built it one by one brick at a time. Due to our work and involvement on different field than other Nepalese community in Hong Kong, we didn’t get that much chance to get mixed with other Ex Gurkhas and my family was isolated from my other friends and relatives. Hong Kong business people are a very materialistic bunch, everything is related to money, and you can remain friends only as long as you have some business to do together. It is quite pathetic but sadly that is the reality and making friend with Hong Kong people is not that easy. Insofar, I found the mainland Chinese much better than Hong Kong people and they are also not racist. I was lucky enough to find some good friends in China and without them it would have been very difficult for me to be where I am today.

At the same time we were also raising our two young children, my wife had two jobs at home and the office, and we both worked extremely hard to establish our business as well as our life at the same time. Throughout our journey, my dear wife has always been the main pillar of our family, she did not only take care of our home but also brought up our two children singlehandedly and that gave me more time on concentrating in our new business. What’s more, she also kept a full time job during those earlier years so we can have additional income at our household and stopped working only when our company had become big enough to support us. Thanks to her, at the end, I think we have done pretty well. My children have completed university, our business is still very good and well running and life could not have been any better.

China was developing really fast, if you visited the same place again only after three months, the whole place would have changed to almost unrecognizable shape. The living standard has also improved drastically, empty places would become a town, town to a city and city to a mega city overnight and people are becoming richer with time. As a result, things are getting expensive, government’s new rules are becoming more stringent and running a factory is getting harder by days. It is not only the salary of the workers but also the demands of the workers which are rising up fast and producing goods in a cheap way as before is almost getting impossible. The Guangdong province, also known as the factory of the world, can no more attain its name and most of the big and cheap factories have already moved out to the hinterland of north China.

Today, the same workers we used to pay RMB340 in a month get RMB3500, the lodging and foods also cost a lot more nowadays and they are still willing to work less than the old generation. It shows how China has changed now, development has been put in its fastest gear, and it has come a long way since then. So has my life, I did not only witness and survive the greatest tide of China but also take pride on being a part of this phenomenon and lived another day to tell my story. Although I was born in Nepal it was Hong Kong & China that have made me a good and successful man that I am today and I will always remain grateful. And I won’t ask for a change in a thousand year.


Is it possible to solve the world’s ongoing refugee problems?

A Nation for Refugees!

Refugee problems are nothing new to this world. It has been invariably going on and on for centuries, and yet, mankind has miserably failed to solve it. It must have been started since our first civilization, mankind talks about touching the skies, and yet, this century’s long problem still persists on. We aimed at landing at Mars, fathoming the unfathomable things from the entire universe, and yet, millions of people still go hungry on our same earth. It is not hidden from the whole world that the refugee problems of this world have become rather serious in recent years and the world simply cannot look away. We all know that Iraq & Afghanistan war have displaced millions, the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Middle East have created millions more refugees, the Rohingya Muslims are fleeing Myanmar in hundred of thousands, and Africa has never been able to shed its bad image off its back as the wellspring of refugees for centuries. It has became so prevalent and serious these days that if we don’t deal with it now, it can become a serious threat to the peace and stability of the world and it is about time that the world must come together and react. If not, history will definitely banish our generation.

The ongoing refugee problems are undoubtedly huge, for big problems we also need big solutions and if we can agree on that, we can make a big difference here. In order to solve this pressing issue, first of all, we must unite and work as a united team, and be brave enough to make necessary changes as I have listed here below:

1. Prevention is always better than cure – we must have heard this saying for almost thousand times and yet we always failed to put it on practices. We must change the old habit for good and must start action.
2. We must create a completely new organization solely responsible for handling the refugee issues independently and it must be represented by each and every nation of this world. You may say, we already have UN, but for this matter, UN is too slow, bureaucratic and have no real power thus ineffective.
3. It must create a new law that makes the acceptance of refugees mandatory for all nations and they must take their share of refugees without any excuses.
4. For the selection process of genuine refugees from the fake ones, we must create a super computer that can munch all the necessary details and provide a definite result that will have no whiff of unfairness or predilection as we humans do. The decision made out by the super computer must be final and no humane intervention must be allowed to run it.
5. The distribution of the refugees must be determined by the severity and urgency of the case, race, irredentism, and family connection. No one should have the choice of their destination country and the final transportation orders have to be carried away instantly without further delay.
6. Those fake ones have to be sent back to their country of origin immediately.
7. And those humane traffickers who prey on other peoples’ misery will have to be hanged to a tree and left out there so their horrible death could be used as deterrence for others.

As you must have already known by now, I have written a whole book about it, and you can find more details in my 6th book called A NATION FOR REFUGEES. It can be bought from my official website for paperbacks and at for e-books.


Why I am allergic to rice, jean trousers and French fries?

It certainly sounds absurd to you all but for me it is a reality and I even have a little sweet story to tell about it. You can check with my family, I might have already told them a dozen times about it and they can surely attest it on my behalf. I am a very sensitive guy, I have my own unique ways of expressing my likes or dislikes and for good or bad I have a habit of sticking with it for lifetime. I always try to live a very simple but disciplined life, I always endeavor on honoring my promises, and it is the main reason why I am writing about it here today. Like it or pity on it, here is the story for you all.

Rice is the staple diet for almost all of us here in Asia, we eat rice almost in our every meal and living without it must feel like having to live without air. And yet, I have been trying to live with lesser use of it if not totally abandoning it and unsurprisingly that has landed me in quite an awkward situation in many occasions. It could certainly raise many eyebrows – why someone with right set of mind would abstain oneself from the good old rice at the first place? Nothing can take its place in our Asian kitchen after all. I must be out of my mind, you would think and I don’t blame you for that. But my predicament is not with practicality but psychology, sometime over-sensitiveness gets better of me, and I am rather a victim of my own mentality here and nothing more. When I was very young back at my old village, we had a very simple and old-fashioned practice of determining rich from the poor, and rice had a very important role on it. Those ones who could afford to eat only rice throughout the year were deigned rich and those who couldn’t, would automatically fall into the poor side, and needless to say my family happened to be on the wrong side. It has profoundly upended on my young mind and somehow stuck there forever. Today my situation had already changed by thousand folds but I still cannot omit that weird notion out of my mind and my resentment towards rice is nothing but my own way of showing my personal dislike about it. Because of that, I just try to eat as less rice as possible.
When I was in the high school back in the village again, I could hardly afford nice and expensive clothes, and jean trousers happened to be one of those luxuries at our pitiable life back then. Then, one of my younger relatives, whose father obviously happened to be still serving in the British army as a Gurkha, had a few new sets of jean trousers and perhaps out of pity or something, I couldn’t tell but he let me borrow it for a week. And needless to say, I wore it ostensibly for the entire week with extreme joy and when it was time to return it to him, I felt extremely bad and angry. It was not because I had to return it back to him but because of a simple fact of my pathetic life that I wasn’t even able to afford one. Today my days are changed for better, I can afford as many jean trousers as I want, and yet, it still bothered me as it did by then. And as a remedy of that undignified pain caused by my own shortcoming, I decided never to wear any jean trousers for the rest of my life again and I am sticking to it for life. On the bright side, unlike rice, it has no implication whatsoever in my life and I could easily make do without it.
jean trousers
It was in 1986 when I was still a young Gurkha soldier serving at Sandhurst Military Academy in UK, our main duties were to provide necessary manpower and supports to the ongoing training of cadet officers, and we used to work together as a team at the outside fields. It was on one of such outings, we were staying in a temporary barrack on the outside field, and both British and Gurkha soldiers were having dinner at the makeshift dining hall. Then, a British Staff Sergeant, who was tall, heavily built and sporting a light mustache, suddenly addressed us with a snobbish voice – hey! We squeaked on our seat with utter surprise, looked towards him and we were just four of us Gurkhas there finishing our meal. Before we could realize what had happened, he was eating french-fries and sneering us at the same time with a flagrant smirking face. “You Gurkhas are as cheap as those french-fries, ha….” – were his exact words, it certainly boiled our hot blood and we started to look at each other with utter outrage and humiliation. We definitely wanted to chop his head off by Kukri right there at that very moment, but our ethics as well as position didn’t allow us to do just that and we had no option but to swallow our pride and remained mum. It has already been almost 30 years since then but every time I see french-fries, it reminds of that horrible incident again and makes me sad again. In the fit of emotion, I have found my own way of showing my disapproval on such lopsided statement and I decided on eating less french-fries since then so I don’t have to remember that again.
It also happened to be the very same incident that somehow changed my perception towards British Gurkha relationship, I instantaneously knew that something was not right, and I tried to find an alternative way in life. The belief, respect and trust that I had towards it were gradually diminishing, I knew somehow I was on the wrong place and after few more years of thorough consideration, I decided to quit it before it was too late. As I had wanted, I officially left the army in 1993 after serving it for 13 years and returned back to Nepal with my young family. As you all already know by now, I came back to Hong Kong within a month, my dear wife and children joined me two years later and we have never left Hong Kong since then. And as the saying goes, the rest is history.

We all have our own different ways of dealing with our problems in life; it happened to be my way of dealing my own issues and it perfectly worked for me. Now you all know why I am allergic to rice, jean trousers and French-fries. Hope I have not bored you all to the lull, thank you!


Wish I had a White, I mean Right face…!

Disclaimer: This article was written in a lighthearted way and no harm is intended!

If I had a white, I mean right face, I would have already been allover the pages of Hong Kong’s media outlets by now. Pity I don’t and I wished I had one. I know I will get a lot of flaks by bringing up such a controversial subject here but admit or not, sadly it is the reality and before we start throwing epithets at each other, please let me explain.

So what have I done so great of importance that deserves full credit from the media then? You might wonder and that is fully understandable. Now what I can tell you is this – what I have done is not something of just ordinary, I have spent my last six years to write them, paid piles of doss to edit and print it, and published all of my six novels at once so you folks can read it. I am a writer of conscience and righteousness, I write on serious global issues and my books are not only informative but also useful to people. Here are the brief content details of my books as below for references:
Five Steps!
FIVE STEPS – It is the book of forgetting past grief by helping others. It deals with American ongoing occupation in Okinawa that is heavily resented by the locals; Chiru –the Tibetan antelope that was almost made extinct through illegal poaching for its fur; the ongoing Kashmir issue that nobody wants to talk about; global financial crisis of 2009 and America’s love with unregulated guns in New York; and Yobs, also known as the hooligans that almost crippled UK in 2008.

MISSIONARY OR MERCENARY – It is a book about giving back to the society, helping the needy ones and finding solace through altruism. An old man with the heart of gold went back to his home country after spending most of his adult life abroad, he wanted to get rid off street children from the the capital city and when he almost succeeded on doing just that, he was chased away by the greedy, selfish and ungrateful people of his own.
Missionary or Mercenary!
A TREE CALLED TENALPA – It is a book about migration and discrimination, told allegorically in the voices of six different colored birds, and highlighted their plights as we are facing it in real world. If people think it is the problem of the early nineties, they are not only ignorant but also wrong, and the problem of discrimination is as lively and prevalent today as it has always been.
A Tree Called TENALPA
AFTERLIFE – It is a book about reincarnation and afterlife, it deals with a subject matter that is as lively as real in our daily life especially in the eastern world, and it tries to provoke an interest on the belief on heaven and hell. But you will be totally surprised to learn that I am not trying to impose any religious or spiritual beliefs in this book and everything I have used here is just pure imagination and nothing else.
THE CURSED NATION – It deals with such a poor and unfortunate nation that is not only run by corrupted leaders, the system is venal and people are naïve, irresponsible and selfish, individualism has priority, self-enrichment is national hobby, and nobody cares for the nation but themselves. Talking is cheap, nobody budge unless it serves their own interests, and everybody is busy on looting the nation with both hands. It is not hard to find such nations in this world.
The Cursed Nation!
A NATION FOR REFUGEES – Refugees problems are not new to this world, most of them are created by human’s sheer greed, selfishness and desire for power, and it has become a major issue in recent years. We don’t have to look far or think hard to realize it, the persecution of Rohingya people in Myanmar, the Syrian people displaced by dirty war, and the African and Middle Eastern people uprooted by Arab Spring are far more than we need to see. This book tries to highlight those pressing problems and provide some necessary solutions so we can avoid such humanitarian crisis in the future.
A Nation for Refugees!
Furthermore, I have also finished writing my 7th & 8th book which I will publish soon. My 7th epic book is about Hong Kong, it chronicles Hong Kong from 1980 to 2014, and I have written this book as a gift to Hong Kong and its people.

As you can see here, all of my books deal with serious issues and they are definitely very beneficial to our society. What’s more, I am also using all the proceeds from the books to run my charity, ISSLCARE, which in turn helps finance needy families back in Nepal so they can send their children to school. This purpose alone serves a very important part to the society and even humanity, media should support such noble cause and help promote it as much as they can so the respective parties could eventually benefit. With that hope, notion and expectation, I wrote to almost each and every media outlet such as newspaper, TV channel, radio, bookshop, school, library and university allover Hong Kong, but not even a single party replied. Why? I was not only disappointed but also perplexed initially. After all, I have written and published six damn good books, it was not an easy task and I have seen many articles on the local papers that had nothing in comparison of my works in its merit as well as value.
I have read an article about white people in the weekend, it has 3.7k FB likes and it had not only created uproar amongst certain readers but also prompted counter articles and made rounds. Then I remembered that one of my articles also had 3.7k FB likes and yet nobody talked about it. Maybe it has something to do with the color of my skin, I wondered and the more I think about it and the more I got convinced and finally I had to admit that it actually has something to do with my face. I have no white face, I don’t have any friends in the media and I have no such face that anyone cares to remember or respect. So much so that I don’t even have a yellow face that my Chinese compatriots could feel comfortable with, my brown face is even much harder to sell to the locals than to the white ones, and I was doomed even before it was started. The locals have a stereotype mentality that hardly anyone can overcome with, whiter face means superior hence respect, swarthier face means inferior hence no respect. Thanks to the domestic helpers’ policy in Hong Kong, the locals think everyone with darker skin is dirt poor so they can be looked down upon. In the contrary, people with whiter skin automatically command respect and easy access. As of that it is mostly the color of your skin that would determine how you are going to be treated in this city and admit or not, there is no escape. Why would they like to talk with a poor guy like me? I am not rich, not famous, and most importantly, I have no right face. Why bother? I may sound pathetic but it is the reality. If I had a white, I mean right face; everybody would have queuing up at my door by now. If you think I am still wrong, congratulation, you have the right face to survive in this city and trust me – you will go a very long way in your life.


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