Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011

The pleasure of books by William Lyon Phelps

The habit of reading is one of the greatest resources of mankind; and we enjoy reading books that belong to us much more than if they are borrowed. A borrowed book is like a guest in the house; it must be treated with punctiliousness, with a certain considerate formality. You must see that it sustains no damage; it must not suffer while under your roof. You cannot leave it carelessly, you cannot mark it, you cannot turn down the pages, you cannot use it familiarly. And then, some day, although this is seldom done, you really ought to return it.

But your own books belong to you; you treat them with that affectionate intimacy that annihilates formality. Books are for use, not for show; you should own no book that you are afraid to mark up, or afraid to place on the table, wide open and face down. A good reason for marking favorite passages in books is that this practice enables you to remember more easily the significant sayings, to refer to them quickly, and then in later years, it is like visiting a forest where you once blazed a trail. You have the pleasure of going over the old ground, and recalling both the intellectual scenery and your own earlier self.

Everyone should begin collecting a private library in youth; the instinct of private property, which is fundamental in human beings, can here be cultivated with every advantage and no evils. One should have one's own bookshelves, which should not have doors, glass windows, or keys; they should be free and accessible to the hand as well as to the eye. The best of mural decorations is books; they are more varied in color and appearance than any wallpaper, they are more attractive in design, and they have the prime advantage of being separate personalities, so that if you sit alone in the room in the firelight, you are surrounded with intimate friends. The knowledge that they are there in plain view is both stimulating and refreshing. You do not have to read them all. Most of my indoor life is spent in a room containing six thousand books; and I have a stock answer to the invariable question that comes from strangers.

 "Have you read all of these books?"

"Some of them twice." This reply is both true and unexpected.

There are of course no friends like living, breathing, corporeal men and women; my devotion to reading has never made me a recluse. How could it? Books are of the people, by the people, for the people. Literature is the immortal part of history; it is the best and most enduring part of personality. But book-friends have this advantage over living friends; you can enjoy the most truly aristocratic society in the world whenever you want it. The great dead are beyond our physical reach, and the great living are usually almost as inaccessible; as for our personal friends and acquaintances, we cannot always see them. Perchance they are asleep, or away on a journey. But in a private library, you can at any moment converse with Socrates or Shakespeare or Carlyle or Dumas or Dickens or Shaw or Barrie or Galsworthy. And there is no doubt that in these books you see these men at their best. They wrote for you. They "laid themselves out," they did their ultimate best to entertain you, to make a favorable impression. You are necessary to them as an audience is to an actor; only instead of seeing them masked, you look into their innermost heart of heart.

William Lyon Phelps - 1933

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Trend of brain-drain

Nepal is in deep crisis, and everybody must be aware of the problematic situation. We are not only facing the energy crisis, but also many other problems. Among the many other crisis, an eye-catching one is migration of intellectuals to foreign land. It is not sad that we are poor, underdeveloped and less educated, but it is regrettable that many are migrating abroad for the sake of rosy jobs, higher education and opulent income.

The money that is earned comes with energy and efforts in a foreign land. When we are young, the best option is always to go abroad for the so-called higher education. However,

recent data suggest that few graduate with a degree or with quality/skill. Many divert from their real goal to do some alternative form of work either in restaurants or something similar. People should always focus on their real goal/objective.

The increasing trend of brain-drain is not only due to opportunities, political and economic stability, social and financial risk, liberty and healthy living, but also because of family and cultural impact. People tend to think if somebody has gone abroad, earned a hefty sum of money, and also built his own house, why not my son/daughter?” But, many diaspora are well aware of the bitter truth of foreign land. There are goodies to be fetched if one puts a lot of effort. People are moving quite a lot these days.

It is evident that many intellectuals who fly out will try their luck for an “American dream” or “European holidays”. But, who will look after the prosperity of Nepal? If only women and children are left behind, who will provide the helping hand? The crisis deepens when these scholars come back after spending quality time in foreign land, in their old age. It might also be hard for them to adapt in their own land. I would like to request all the Nepalese intellectuals and scholars to think about their priorities, to love their motherland, to put culture and bravery as their stereotypes, to love themselves and to use their level of thinking. Please consider coming back to your land, we need you.

Published: The HImalayan Times
Letter to the Editor

Santosh Kalwar, Tandi,Chitwan 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I Am Dead Man Alive reviewed by

Santosh Kalwar is a prolific writer. His latest offering is a book of poetry with the theme of death. I Am Dead Man Alive’s verses are short. "God Save The Flag" speaks of the many patriots that sacrifice their blood for the flag. "O Dream" speaks of the release of death. "The Child" speaks of the death of a child. 

"Old Women" was one of my favorites. It made me think of someone dear to me. There comes a time when death is a welcome release. Our friends and family have gone before us, and we seem to be left behind. Another favorite was "Nobody Remembered Me." We will be remembered for only a short time after our death. 

Santosh Kalwar speaks with great wisdom. Death is inevitable. It happens to all living things. A tiny seed sprouts, pushes its head through the soil, and eventually blooms. Slowly the bloom dries out and the plant withers away to make room for the next generation. Death is a vital part of life. 

I Am Dead Man Alive is a short book at a mere 60 pages. The poetry is well-done. Santosh has penned several books. I believe this one to be his best. 

Source: Readers Favorite 
Rating: 5/5

Second International Airport

The idea of spending $600 million to build one more international airport in Nijgadh as advanced in the editorial and the news 2nd Int'l airport possible in 4 years at $600 million (April 10) is indeed a praiseworthy view if the estimated amount gets spent for the completion of the project. But if it goes into hands of top-notch politicians, bureaucrats, leaders and officers, this colossal investment will only warm up their pockets and people and the nation will gain nothing.

Santosh Kalwar
via email
Published: Republica
Your Say/Letter to Editor