Sunday, January 8, 2012

Nepal: Going through an identity crisis

By Prajwal Kafle

Dear Diary,

My name is Nepal. I am approximately around 250 years old. There was a time when I understood what it is that I was supposed to be. Now I am not very clear. There is a lot of pressure on me these days to be a lot of things. I feel a little confused. Considering what I have gone through in recent years, can anyone really blame me for feeling confused?

There was a time when I was a monarchy. But this did not satisfy a lot of people. So I changed. I became a democracy. I thought that would make everyone happy. But it didn't satisfy everyone. There was a time when I was a Hindu. So I changed. I declared myself "non-religious." I thought that would make everyone happy. But, as it turns out, it didn't satisfy everyone.

Now I simply feel lost. I don't know what I am nor who I should be. All I know is that I look around and there is a lot of dissatisfaction about my performance. Everyone has a criticism. And no, it is not all constructive criticism.

All I know is that I am surrounded by very volatile opinions. There are very opinionated people who surround me. Judging, screaming voices. They all yell at me. It's frightening, really.

"Nepal, you're not good enough," they say. It hurts me. I want to be good enough. I want to satisfy everyone. I want to make everyone happy. But no matter how flexible I am trying to be, the message is the same: "Nepal, dammit, why can't you get your act together? You're still not good enough."

"OK, OK, I'm trying, I'm trying," I try to tell them. "What do you want me to do? Who do you want me to be?"

But they don't have any clear answers. It is so exhausting dealing with such people. I feel tired and drained. I simply feel pulled and yanked and prodded and shaped. But no matter how flexible I try to be, no one seems fully satisfied. Very few actually have a solution. Almost everyone simply sees me as a problem.

Meanwhile, I have just had it. I don't feel I can continue to take this type of beating and yelling for long. But it doesn't seem like it is about to stop anytime soon.

Today, coming from my 250 year history, I am clearer about what not to be than what to be. But it is almost like no one notices my confusion. Or, if they did notice my confusion, it is almost like they don't care.

Seriously, sometimes I wonder who has my interest in mind. It seems like most of the people in my family are so engrossed in their particular issues that no one cares to truly understand how I feel. It's painful for me to acknowledge this. I want to feel like someone cares. Is that expecting too much?

I am afraid to speak up. Seriously. I am. I am afraid what the people in my family will do if I approach them and say, "Guys, I really don't feel heard and I don't feel you are considering my long term interest in mind."

Seriously. I have no idea what they will do. The first thing is that it will be the shock of their lives that I even spoke. I have been queit for so many years simply following the dictates of the more influential people in my family, that, if I actually spoke up in one of our family meetings, most of the family members will simply open their mouth agape and rub their eyes in disbelief. I know it.

A secret part of me almost wants to pull this off just to see the utter shock on their faces. It would be priceless!

But I'm not just going to do this for humorous kicks. I feel there is something more serious at stake here: my future. I think it is in the interest of my family members to consider my future. Seriously. I am really concerned about my future.

1 comment:

  1. Nepal is like a little boy in a dysfunctional family. His mom and father are fighting all the time. Both the parents only care about money and their own prestige in society and don't care about the little boy. Both the parents are busy doing politics in their society to make themselves, individually look good. But they have long forgotten about the welfare of the family and they have long forgotten the welfare of their son: Nepal.

    Nepal's family is so dysfunctional that other families in the community (The United Nations) has to get involved just to keep Nepal's family together and working. You all remember how the United Nations had to get involved between the Nepalese Army and the Maoists to try to strike a peace deal, don't you?