Landslide talks to me

“ It caught my breath.” I talk to myself.

“Yes, I did.” I am thrilled to see landslide talking to me. I pinch myself.

“Take it easy.”

I start trembling. I lost myself.

“Whoa! Wait.”

The sliding body smile.

“You are speaking.” I boggle.

“You are here to study me.”

My eyes are wide open.

“Am I right?”

“Yes.” I whisper.

“Every month someone is here. They check me out. But, you know, they never return back to check again. And every year, there is a team who excavates my body and place some sort of wall around my toe.”

I see no one around me. I pinch myself again and again.

“The funniest part is. I slide every year. Ha-Ha! The wall doesn’t work. They excavate me in such a way that it is easier for me to slide.”

I utter. “And you are happy with that?”

“O, common! Now, don’t ask me that. I find it foolish, you know. Can you sleep standing? You get unstable, right? So, what about me? Can I stay unstable? My position is disturbed now and then. I need to make myself easy. I have to slide.”

I have no answer.

“And that thing on your hand is compass, right? You measure me from every angle. What you actually do with that? I mean the other team doesn’t do this stuff. They just ride the dozer over me. “

“I measure discontinuities.” I don’t know why I answered it.

“Okay, I get it. You measure my orientation. Fine! What is use of it? Do you take in account of this measurement during excavation?”

I have no answer. I actually use it for my academic report.

“It seems you have promised not to reply. Isn’t it weird? Every month there is someone like you. Don’t know, why they scan me.”

I remember five articles of this landslide. I mean those are articles are amazing. The result of stability analysis is really good. But don’t know where the articles are used except for literature reviews for other researches.

“Will you move down this Monsoon?”

It is rude. “I will for sure.”

I think of unfolding its mystery behind the movement. I do have constraints. It does as well. Who wins the race?

“Can you tell me about the team extending the road?”

The body is still.

“Did you hear me?”

It doesn’t move.

I get call from my supervisor. “How are you doing?”

“Sir, I will get back to you later.” I rush to find the team excavating the slope.

 

~From Badal’s Memoir

July 9, 2017

Dealing days after BSc. Geology

I really wanted to write this since a long time. After we give final exams of our undergraduate course, most of us go blank on what to do next. You are not BSc passed out yet as you have no certificate in your hands. And most of the vacancies are for the “Experienced Geologist” or “BSc. passed out”. You must be feeling like you fit nowhere. Don’t worry , I too had the same feeling. Many of my juniors had asked me on utilizing their time before they enroll for Master Degree. I am not a Professional Geologist. May be I am not the right person to suggest for your next step. But I want to write what I feel out of my experiences.

Internships

Doing internship is one of the best options. You get to know how geology things are done. And, you will be excited to see the chapters you read in your classes being applied practically. But how to get internship? This seems challenging. It is true that mostly, we don’t see advertisement for internships. Despite this, you can at least make a try. Drop your CVs in related offices or working firms. You can write an email about yourself and your interest in working as an intern to the related people. If nothing comes out in your hand, you can visit the working sites. For an instance, we see a lot of drilling work going on these days. The best learning is when you yourself see the work process.

Learn Software Applications

We are in era of advanced technology. We sketched the maps/cross-sections in papers during our field work in BSc and plotted stereonets in tracing papers. This is how we learn the fundamentals of our work. But if you really want to upgrade yourself, I suggest you to learn applications like GIS or anything you feel like. You can even do programming things like MATLAB or Python. Now, it’s up to you on how you catch the track.

Somebody had asked me on taking GRE classes

Now this depends on your future plans. I personally cannot say if GRE is the best option to choose. You know, it is important to utilize your time and explore the things. If you intend to make abroad study, go with it. But remember, you must be best in what you do.

Live your passion

It is not bad idea to take guitar class either. If you don’t come across any of the above options, don’t think you are useless or you did mistake choosing the subject. Just talk to yourself and discover what you are passionate about. Life is not a race. Go with the flow. If you want to shape your dancing skill, take the classes. Or, if you think you need to sharp your vocal, make it done. You can also learn photography or swimming or driving if you want to.

I love painting and sketches but I am too bad in it. Ha-Ha! If you are into it, I really suggest you to practice sketching or painting. You will not regret for sure.

Do you love teaching?

I have always loved teaching. It is appreciable if you are teaching in school or taking tuition. We always learn new things by doing so. Also, it’s fun going for shopping once you get the salary.

They say free time makes you a writer

May be they are right. You need to try this once.

These are not only the options

This is what came out of my mind and experiences. There might be other good ways of bringing out best of your free time. I once again say, go with the flow.

 

Badal Pokharel

May 13, 2017

P.S. I am writing this as a student of MSc. Engineering Geology -Third Semester, not as a counselor.

Verses

When I was awestruck
               When I was awestruck

He descends
From heaven
And intoxicates me
With his lips
Pressed on my
Wet lips
Painting his love
All over me

He sings song
Of the colors
Love threw on us
His tone drives me crazy

I am drawn
Towards him
I flow free
As I reach him
I fall off my dream
Murmuring the
Verses of his song

~Badal’s Memoir

March 17, 2017

I am not loser

I was flying high
Until my wings got hurt
I tried floating on air
Till I stroke the ground

I found none
When I had to talk
I knocked the door
Of that house
We partied
I saw no friends

I started feeling love
With the frustrations
I had collected
Till they engulfed me

I bought the rope
To tie me
As I put in my heads
My inner bangs me
Reflecting the history
Of my passion
I had in my eyes
Expectations my
Parents had on me

I threw the rope
As my inner
Screamed hard
“You are not the loser”

~Badal Pokharel

Rest in Peace Yama Buddha 🙁 (Dedicated)

Matina (माया)

Her brown shiny hair

Running through her neck

And touching her curves

It touches her red cheek

Now and then

Just like the river

Kissing the bank

Time and again

 

As I dive in her eyes

I get lost

She doesn’t smile

Or speak

I judge her

Mysterious

 

She comes to me

We get along

I sketch her heart

She smiles then

Her sparking teeth

She is a desire

 

Her heart is gold

I fall for her

As she emerges

As Matina , Love

 

~Badal Pokharel

 

Life

Don’t ask me ,
What is the most delicate?
I won’t say your feelings
Or the deep love
Neither the relation
Nor your emotions

Can u hold the breath?
What if bullet hits it?
And if the illness kills
Your breath everyday
Till it kills it

Isn’t the life most sensitive?
Common, confess me your love
Surround me with your arms
Let me feel the warmth
Because you never know
If I would reply
Your silence confession
As I am filling myself
With those doses
That lifts me to freedom

 

~Badal Pokharel

January 10, 2017

Thesis’s Story

9

The stationery guy is stitching me with thick covers. I am waiting to see my mom’s face after she sees me. She must be very happy. Right now, I am remembering many things. You know, how I came to existence, how my mom helped me grow into a thick book and how I got chance to be dresses well in these thick black covers with her name coated on it.

She actually started with my name, “A thesis on Seismic Site Assessment of ABC valley”.  I have heard her talking that she had to change my name several times before she fixed the final. She keeps saying I am unique and people will read me. She has tried every best ways to nourish me well. I just hope she does well with her presentation today. I don’t know much about it except that she is presenting me in her campus. I am sure her supervisor will be happy too.

There comes Mom.

I feel happy to be inside her bag. She has put on the clear cover over me. Mom has been a fast rider always. We are speeding up to reach her college. I have never felt silence in Three Moon College. Students are always rushing. She greets her supervisor and head of department. I can see book like me on her friends’ hands. I greet them as my mom greets her friends.

The program, “Thesis Defense” begins. I can see my mom’s friends are keeping their books on the table. I too have mentally prepared myself that today is the last day to be with mom. I am feeling sad but I am determined to reach that big place where people will read me. Mom’s name is announced. She carries me and watches me for a long time before she puts me on the table. I feel emotional as she turns and starts her defense.

The entire team of judge after asking her questions gives her a standing ovation. She looks towards me as she receives “Best Thesis Award”. Her supervisor on his thanking speech says, “Saba is an excellent student. She toiled a lot for this thesis. I am glad to have her as a thesis student. I really hope this thesis will help people to revise the policies we have in disasters.”

Mom is emotional. I feel emotional too as a man collects all of us and proceeds towards store room. He rudely places us in a dusty corner. It’s painful.

After, two months I see the stationery man, who had dressed me, enter the store room. I am not charming like before and no one has read me yet. He must be here to take us to place where people can read us. He has a big box with him. He picks us one by one, cleans us with a thin white cloth and places us inside the box. I feel hopeful.

We reach his shop. I am clueless. He places us in a rack with a board “THESIS ON SALE”. I feel angry and shocked. I shout but he doesn’t listen. I call mom but she is far. I feel helpless. I feel bad for mom and her supervisor. I remember her saying her dad, “I have worked a lot for thesis. The data is fresh and maps are drawn accordingly. I really hope this will be something.” Tears roll down my eyes as the shop owner pastes the price tag of “Rs. 2000” on me.

 

~ Badal Pokharel

Dec 13, 2016

Sarita questions a Geology Learner

An ordinary student in a research team

“Let’s locate the spots for Accelerometers.” Professor John was talking to himself. I kept looking at his style of work, how he thinks, how he interprets thoughts in sketch and how long he can keep working. In a team of three researchers, I was an ordinary student. I was actually selected to be in the team so that I would see how researches are conducted. Apart from Professor’s John activities, I was interested to hear Professor Sharma who added another little detail to the explanation of Dr. Lucy. Professor John and Dr. Lucy were from an international team researching the nature of aftershocks of Gorkha Earthquake 2015. And Sharma sir was a representative researcher form Nepal. I would remain silent most of the times observing every science they applied in selection of accelerometer spot. And at times, I shared my queries with Sharma sir. He would clear every of my questions and even discuss it with two foreign researchers more on it. I didn’t miss the important points to note in my diary.

“Are you enjoying the field Ashrima?” Dr. Lucy smiled.

“Yes, I am.” I could only understand few things going on. But still, I was learning something.

“Ashrima, don’t stress yourself much. See, you have just completed BSc and it is natural for you not to get every details of the work. Just, concentrate on techniques and keep noting. Later, you can browse more of it and clear your ideas.” Sharma sir was always encouraging.

An aftershock

After completing installation of accelerometer in Hilepani, Okhaldhunga, we marched towards Ramechhap. Ramechhap was among the fourteen worse affected districts in Gorkha Earthquake. The roads were bumpy and narrow as we took the short way to reach the location. On the way, I could see the flattened houses, tents and debris. As soon as we reached the spot, we experienced a jolt. I was blue and pale but the three other were so normal that I had to pretend like I felt nothing at all. People were seen rushing out of their houses which were already cracked to some extent.

“It’s just an aftershock fellow, stay calm.” Professor John shouted. I am not sure if people understood what he meant.

It was not easy for people not to panic with aftershocks that time as this was probably the huge disasters in decades of years and we were not at all prepared to deal with such disasters. And still we haven’t.

Sarita’s questions

While we were continuing to place accelerometers, a girl patted me. I smiled and continued looking at the process just to revise the steps taken during installation in Hilepani. She patted me once again. I took her aside the working site and asked politely, “What do you want little girl?” Her eyes were beautiful and full of curiosity. She had put on the blue shirt and skirts which were full of stains unlike her heavenly smile.

“What are you doing here?” Her voice was soft.

“We are installing an accelerometer. Anyway, what is your name?”

“What’s that? My name is Sarita.”

“Well, it is device that can detect the vibration. So, we are recording every aftershock for the further research of earthquake. These foreign experts are funding this research project. We will have an outstanding data. I shall explain more but first tell me which grade are you studying?”

“I am studying in tenth. But don’t know if I will continue.”

“Okay, let’s leave accelerometer for a while. Tell, me why can’t you continue your study?”

“Do you see any house standing around? My house has become flattened and doors are the only standing thing. How can I afford going to school when I am spending nights with empty stomach?” She pulled my hands and took me towards her house.

I could hear Sharma sir. “Ashmira, where are you going?”

I replied. “I will be back in a while. Need a break.”

“Come soon.”

She took me in front of a collapsed house. There was a fragile tent structure supported by two bamboos. There was a man digging something in the debris.

“Do you see him? My mom and brother are inside this debris. It’s been fifteen days of the major shock and he still thinks they are alive.”

“I am so sorry to hear that. It is not at all safe to be in the damage area. He needs to come out of it.”

“Do you think he will? And don’t you think I didn’t try?”

“Now, will you tell me, the significance of your research data making my dad come out of the collapse? Can I ask you something more? You people came for your research and you know the roads are salutatory and rugged. Yet you managed to come here. But why didn’t anyone come here to make sure people alive are safe?”

I couldn’t answer her question. It is always difficult to connect sentiments of people when you are focusing the core researches. They are done to build up the better society but still you cannot explain on it when such types of questions are raised.

“Tell me how will it help us? And this is not the first team I have seen coming here and digging the field, placing box and connecting wires. You are third. You come do your work and go. Every time I expect, someone to come and tell us how we should for prepare further aftershocks. I am not expecting or asking for any relief as we already got two packets of biscuits last day.”

“Okay, calm down sweetie. We are conducting these study and researches for the better world and obviously this will help our government to prepare for the disasters. You are a school girl now. You will understand it more when you go to higher levels. But I am sorry for not being up to your expectations in conveying the people what we know about disasters.”

She was not satisfied with my answers. I moved towards the destructed house.

“Please call your father.”

“Dad, someone wants to meet you.”

I talked to her dad and he was mentally sound but was full of hope in finding his beloved wife and son. I convinced him to get out of the damaged house.

Let’s do disaster awareness

After an hour, I reached our site. The work had completed by then. “You look down after your one hour long break.” Sharma sir blasted into laughter.

“I just participated in rescue operation.”

“Your sense of humor is amazing, Ashmira.”

“Sir, what do you think of disaster awareness during our researches?”

 

Badal Pokharel

MSc. Engineering Geology (Second Semester)

Tri-Chandra Multiple Campus

Ghantaghar, Kathmandu

Life has taught me

Spring used to be the best holidays during my childhood. Ama would make “Ping” for me in Sallo trees. My dad had planted a lot of big trees then. I thought those Khayair , Sallo , Sisam were planted so that Ama could put ping on them. And I would pick the leaves of Lychee tree in our garden, put a little sugar and chew it and spit something that was red colored. Munu named it “Paan” and I had to agree with her as she was elder and a boss. Dad had planted a mango tree and a guava tree for each member in family. Ama’s guava tree used to be my favorite and I was an expert in climbing her tree exclusively. Sarita, Munu and I celebrated picnic beside the temple in our “Aagan” everyday and we played “Dhiki”. Firfire was our favorite sport. During holidays we spent our time under “Baas Jhayng” (Bamboo Tress) and ran crazily whenever we heard snake’s hiss. Our favorite spot of hanging was “Maccha Faram”. I enjoyed observing the freely moving colorful fishes in those small ponds. When Barsha was born, we had three peacocks in our home. And I would spend my day watching them dance as most of the time mom used to be with her. They were gone after few months. Don’t know who took them away. My days passed away running after “Tithra”, catching “Titlis”, searching “Putalis” and thinking about this all the time.