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The Nepal Digest Tuesday July 14, 1998: Ashadh 30 2055BS: Year7 Volume76 Issue2
Today's Topics (partial list):
Indo-Pak Nuclear War and its consequences to Nepal
The Problems of Christianity
Re: Racism IV
INCREASE IN SMUGGLING THROUGH NEPAL
Information on Banks in Pokhara
Re: creative writing.
Dr. Nita: a Homeopathic Angel
* TND (The Nepal Digest) Editorial Board *
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* The Nepal Digest: General Information firstname.lastname@example.org *
* Chief Editor: Rajpal JP Singh email@example.com *
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* Editorial Columnist: Pramod K. Mishra firstname.lastname@example.org *
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* +++++ Food For Thought +++++ *
* "Heros are the ones who give a bit of themselves to the community" *
* "Democracy perishes among the silent crowd" -Sirdar_Khalifa *
****************************************************************** From: "Shukla, Shailendra" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: "'email@example.com'" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Indo-Pak Nuclear War and its consequences to Nepal Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998 10:32:16 -0400
I had sent this article to the Kathmandu Post and have been informed by
friends in Nepal that it has been published on June 28, but I have not seen
it in the internet version, so I am sending it to TND as well.
Nuclear War and its Consequences:
Shailendra Shukla, Ph.D.
Now that India and Pakistan have declared themselves as nuclear powers,
the possibility of a nuclear war between these two countries can not be ruled
out. Given the historic enmity between these two countries, lack of mutual
trust and a lack of a reliable control and command structure, even in the
absence of deliberate policy a nuclear war could happen as escalation of a
conventional war or by accident. While the horrors of a nuclear war are well
known, this article is an attempt to describe to lay persons the mechanics
of a nuclear explosion, and its likely consequences for Nepal in the event
there is an Indo-Pak nuclear war. Much of technical matters are well known
in the scientific community. I have relied heavily on a 1987 WHO publication
"Effect of Nuclear War on Health and Health Services" for the technical matters in this article; any comments regarding Nepal, India and Pakistan are my own opinion.
The nuclear explosion is not only quantitatively different than conventional
explosions, but qualitatively as well. Quantitatively nuclear explosions are
thousands (kilotons) to millions (megatons) of times greater than that made
by a ton of conventional explosive trinitrotoluene (TNT). All explosions
kill or injure by the blast and heat produced and nuclear weapons do the
same but of course do it with much more vengeance.
The blast wave is essentially a massive buildup of pressure in the vaporized
material of the bomb giving rise to a wave traveling at supersonic (greater
than 300 meter per second in air) speeds. With time and distance, its
intensity dissipates, and the effect is typically confined to a few to tens
of kilometer for submegaton bombs (which Indian and Pakistani bombs are most
likely to be). The main factor determining the devastating power of a bomb,
apart from its size (explosive yield in terms of tons of TNT equivalent),
seems to be the height at which the detonation takes place. This is true
not only for direct effects but also for indirect effects that we will
The heat wave, produced by the intense temperature generated by the bomb,
moves at even faster speed (at the speed of light: 300 thousands km per
second!) vaporizing everything nearby, and melting solids at a greater
distance, and still further by starting fires. The combined effect of the
blast wave and heat accounts for much of the devastation within a few to
tens of kilometers from the site of detonation, the "ground zero".
As horrible as these blast and heat are for those unfortunate to be affected,
the likelihood of Nepal being affected is very low. Here I am assuming that
there are no sensitive areas near Nepal-India border that Pakistan would
like to bomb and also assuming that both Indian and Pakistani missiles or
other delivery mechanisms for the bombs are not way off target. I could be
wrong but let us hope not.
So far we have talked about quantitative difference with conventional explosives. It is however the qualitative difference that accounts for much of the horror of a nuclear war. Depending again primarily on the height at which detonation takes place and the size and type of the bomb, the fireball can touch the ground and suck up huge quantities of earth and debris along with radioactive products of the bomb. This process gives rise to the typical "mushroom cloud" associated with nuclear bombs. These are then carried away by wind. When the fireball cools, the radioactivity condenses on the particles of the materials sucked up. The heavier particles descend first by the force of gravity and also by rain if present. This is called local fallout. About half of the radioactivity released is confined to the local fallout. A 1-megaton bomb's local fallout can deliver lethal radiation dose to an area covered by 25 kilometers radius and injurious dose to an area covered by 60 kilometers radius. The lighter particles are deposited downwind from the site of explosion. Radioactivity from higher yield bombs gets trapped in stratosphere and slowly circulates around the globe. While the global circulation can deliver long-lived radionuclides like Strontium-90 and Caesium-137, since during the long time it takes for global fallout to reach the ground most of the short- lived radioactivity will have decayed, it is the intermediate fallout that we have to worry about most. This is because the yield from Indo-Pak bombs is likely to be small and thus not give rise to global fallout. The radioactivity from lower yield bombs like Pakistani or Indian gets trapped in the troposphere (the lowest of the earth's atmospheric layers lying below the stratosphere). It encircles the globe rapidly several times in a latitude band of about 20 degrees around that of detonation and then is deposited in the ground during a few weeks giving rise to intermediate fallout. It should be noted that much of northern half of India, all of Pakistan, and all of Nepal can fall under one such latitude band. Additionally, The intermediate fallout happens fairly quickly, within weeks after explosion, and the radioactivity will not have decayed to harmless levels. Some of the radioactivity will linger on long after the war has ended. Although intermediate fallout normally do not cause any acute conditions, unless due to some meteorological conditions there is a localized concentration of radioactive materials, there can be delayed effect like cancer. The radiation effect will be made much worse if the bomb explodes at nuclear power reactors, since they contain large amounts of long-lived radionuclides, which will be distributed in the fallout.
As we have seen, for people fortunate enough not to be near the explosion,
the main concern is that of fallout. For these people, the radioactive
products of the bomb may be inhaled with contaminated air or ingested with
contaminated food or water. Iodine-131 for example is preferentially taken
up by the thyroid gland and its radiation can cause thyroid cancer or cause
hypothyroidism. Stontium-90 is taken up by bone, close to radiosensitive
bone marrow; and Caesium-137 accumulates in cells. Once absorbed, these
radionuclides are only slowly eliminated from the body. The deposition of
beta-emitting radioactive fallout on the skin produces erythema (redness
of skin), blistering, and ulceration of the skin. While these injuries
are localized and transient, they may lead to infection and gangrene.
Inhalation of radioactive dust may lead to deposition in lung, which may
cause lung cancer. So far I have only listed some of the direct health
consequences; we have to realize however that there will be large
psychological, social and political consequences as well. In addition the
problem of contaminated soil and livestock will remain.
In conclusion, Nepal may not be directly affected by the initial blast
but most probably will encounter intermediate fallout. The exact nature of
this fallout is hard to predict with any certainty. The consequence of a
nuclear war between India and Pakistan, however, is certainly going to be
horrendous not only for the people directly affected but to the region as
whole, and even to the whole globe to a certain extent. It is only to be
hoped that reason and compassion will prevail among its leaders.
Date: Mon, 06 Jul 1998 11:55:33 -0400
From: Arati Cacciolfi <email@example.com>
Subject: ADOPTION information
I need some information on ADOPTING A CHILD from NEPAL.
Would anybody email to me HOW TO EVEN START the process ?
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 00:02:23 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Pramod K. Mishra" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: The Nepal digest Editor <email@example.com>
Subject: The Problems of Christianity
On Fri, 8 May 1998, Joel Hafvenstein wrote:
I continue to maintain that
> Jason was grossly unfair to Christianity in his paper, and the points you
> raise in his defense have done nothing to alleviate that basic unfairness.
> Incidentally, Pramod, I would suggest that you were similarly unfair to
> Hinduism in your post. You state (in what can only be hyperbole) that the
> Hindu's "sole purpose in life" is to call people "untouchables and
> mlecchas", and seem to identify the caste system as the most important and
> integral part of the Hindu religion.
First of all, Joel, I appreciate your full response to the issues.
you raise the question of unfairness, which is an interesting question.
What is fairness and what is unfairness? When has a religion (at least the
major religions) been fair to all its adherents? In all religions, even
in Buddhism, there has always been power struggle going on among its
followers. And this power struggle is further intensified when the
fundamental tenets of a religion make extremist remarks and seek to put
one set of its followers over another. I think you, for whatever reason,
should be fair to Christianity and Ashu, for his own liberal reasons,
should be fair to Hinduism, let Jason and me be "unfair." As far as I am
concerned, all religions, like all absolutist philosophies, need to be
hammered all the time in order to prevent them from leading their
fanatics to go berserk. And in religions, fanatics are not isolated,
eccentric, powerless bozzos. They occupy the prime positions of power
in society by virtue of the historical circumstances.
So, you see, I have no intention to be fair to Hinduism because I have
never known what fairness means when it comes to Hinduism. I have seen
the angels always overpowered by the demons. With R. W. Emerson, I
believe and want others to believe that "The religions of the world are
the ejaculations of a few imaginative men ('Poets')." And that's
that. If people believed in religion in this way, the world would
witness less pain both at the macro and micro levels.
I don't claim to be an expert on
> South Asian religious traditions, but I am still willing to claim with
> some confidence that this is no more an accurate representation of
> Hinduism than Jason's paper was an accurate representation of Christ-
> ianity. Countless Hindus have rejected the caste system as an unjust
> accretion on their religion; and any balanced view of Hinduism must
> surely at least _mention_ the degree to which Hinduism encourages
> tolerance between people of different religions as a major point in its
> favor. Unfortunately, balance is precisely the value which has been
> conspicuously absent from these recent discussions on religion --
> particularly Jason's.
Joel, I find losing patience with such wishy-washy statements as
"I'm not an expert but willing to claim with some confidence." If you want to claim, make your claim based on knowledge and investigation or just give us your opinion based on your life experience. How do you know that caste system is not the central tenet of Hinduism? Ask Ashu about it. The question, therefore, Hindus should ask is not whether Hinduism should be criticized but how deep is caste system and why adn how it can be weeded out. Such half-conceived, inadequately informed notions making claims have done much harm in society. While I know that even knowledge about others can hardly prevent prejudice against others, most people have done harm because they were inadequately informed yet because of their positions acted confident and made claims.
Most people in Hinduism who
commit crimes in the name of religiion and God are such people. Without
cold, critical analysis they make claims and want others to conform. So
your inadequately informed good will toward Hinduism is appreciated but I
want you to take a critical look at Hinduism, as you have tried to do
this time at Christianity.
> To imagine "the peace of blind belief" to be Christianity's only
> contribution to the world shows a staggering lack of either information or
> imagination on Jason's part. When he sums up the legacy of Jesus Christ,
> he makes not the slightest mention of the millions of Christians
> throughout history whose faith inspired them to attack evils such as
> poverty, disease, illiteracy, slavery, alcoholism, and exploitation;
> instead, all he can see are "conquest, domination, repression, and
> intolerance." He makes no mention of the Christians who risked and lost
> their lives saving Jews from the Holocaust, or the numerous sermons and
> Papal encyclicals which condemned Nazi racism, or (for that matter) the
> degree to which the Nazi regime attacked Christian churches; instead, he
> simply declares that Christianity is hopelessly anti-Semitic.
First of all, if Jason had said everthing in one eight-page paper, he would
have gotten a "D" as a grade. This besides, I think you are right here.
There are good Christians and bad Christians, but how can one determine
who is bad and who is good? And what is good Christianity and what is
bad Christianity? The Pope's recent apology to Jews and advice to the
European Christians is relevant here. But those perished Jews cannot be
made alive. It is hardly the case in the history of any religion that its
establishment has led any revolutionary, progressive movements. Things
have been patched up and hurried to catch up with the times after the crime
and accomplishment by others. It seems to me that there are functions that
people like you and Jason perform, and people like Jason are far
outweighed both in number and power by people like you. Tell me one
thing. When a missionary goes to somebody's door to knock or a remote
corner to spread the Lord's message, does he or she, first of all, point
out the hisotry of Christianity and all the crimes it committed in the
name of the Lord and then of course point out the good things it
teaches? Does he or she show
respect to the local beliefs and traditions and try to learn from them. I
have never heard any prosletyzing Christian to do so. I have heard time and
time again people who are professionally invested in religion to dismiss
Christianity's not so holy history as the bad work of other people. Thus
they deny Christianity's history as others' work, while they themselves
try to win others through various means.
He makes no
> mention of Biblical passages like "In Christ there is no male nor female,
> slave nor free... for you are all one in Christ" (Galatians 3:28) or the
> notable female role models in the Bible which have led Christians to
> support gender equality; instead, he cites passages which support
> traditional gender roles, and assumes these are the most important.
You can find such paradoxical statements in all religious books. For
example, in Hinduism you can be both a believer in God and an atheist;
you can worship women and condemn them; be cosmopolitan and a flagrant
racist. And even God takes on various forms and at times becomes
formless. I'm tempted to quote here but will refrain. The point,
nonetheless, is that
whatever is written in the books, the powerful in any society interpret
the books most of the time to serve their ends. So history determines
how the book translates itself into reality.
> medicine, money, education, and shelter for the poor and oppressed as mere
> "feel-good" work would be an insult to those who owe their lives to it.
> Christians have also been (and are still today) in the forefront of
> opposition to anti-Semitism, slavery, and exploitation of poor people/
> nations. Churches have been a focus of opposition to authoritarian
> regimes, from Latin American dictatorships to Communist Poland. The
> central Christian concept of a humanity which is equal in the eyes of God
> (whether male or female, slave or free) has been a crucial element in the
> critique of oppression which has defined the modern era -- whether the
> oppression was absolute monarchy, totalitarianism, or "Jim Crow" racism.
What can I say? You must have heard recently about the Southern Baptists
institutionally declaring the supremacy of husband over wives, men over
women. Sure, as
example of Christians contributing to the suffering of the world, I have
Jimmy Carter in mind. It is his Christian faith that sustains him,
inspires him to have boundless compassion, and makes him help otehrs.
The kind of help he extends to others through habitat for humanity and
his recent Africa program of improving agriculture through the Carter
Center is the kind of help for which I have the highest regard. This
kind of help aims toward making the helpless self-reliant.
And then you have the Christianity of Martin Luther King, jr., which
enabled him to fight oppression. And then Christianity helped the slaves
and the blacks sustain hope in humanity. But the question people like
you who live on faith need ask is, Why is it that Christianity has
become time and time again a tool of oppression when it falls in the
hands of the powerful?
The kind of
help that aims at conversion, active conversion loses its humanitarian
purpose. Of course, alternative faiths should be made available to
people wherever they are
but not based on lure. I'm sure you know the history of conversion of
religions. Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity all have converted, but
just examine the history of conversion. You'll find that the process has
involved blood, pain, lures of money, politics and colonialism. Buddhism
is the only religion whose history to my knowledge is exempt from stain.
But unlike the head of some Hindu organization in India who recently crowed
in Kathmandu about conversion but had no guts to point out and do
something about the ills of Hindu society, I support conversion for those
who want other faiths. It's an individual choice. I also support it
because the caste Hindus are for the most part stubborn people when it
comes to caste; many may profess liberal Hinduism, but when it comes to
enjoying the privileges of caste, it becomes a problem. But in
Nepal, the hill tribes have their own
local belief systems that may not have a written tradition and organized
history of ups and downs as the major religions have, but, to my mind,
they are no less important and sufficient to lead their adherents to
happiness, heaven, or hell.
> > hapless multiculturalism. Don't they teach rhetoric and composition at
> > Yale, or you haven't taken it?
> That's a rather unworthy comment, Pramod.
I admit it was unworthy, but it was in response to your personal attack
on Jason, "Chip on the shoulder" and "lies." What could you folks have
done in your history if there was no enlightenment, hisotry of science,
and two thousand years of Christianity? I wonder sometimes.
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 19:27:23 -0400 (EDT)
From: Ashutosh Tiwari <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: re: Racism IV
I sympathize with Prakash Bhandari's comments (TND July 2). He
operates on ignorance from two levels, of which he could have taken
care of one.
First: Prakashji admitted that he had not read the original
articles (of May 18 and June 16 re: Parmendra Bhagat). That said, he felt
surprisingly comfortable to dispense comments as though he knew precisely
what the thread and the content of the discussion were. This is
disappointing, coming as it did from an arm-chair logician of Prakashji's
stature. (Remember, "rulebook for arguments"?) Couldn't he have done his
homework before dispensing advice?
Second, and this is NOT Prakashji's fault: My letter to TND (June 26) was SUPPOSED to include an attendant letter by Mr. Kiran Sitoula. Mr. Sitoula had sent me a private e-mail, and had permitted me to forward it to TND and SCN. And I had posted his letter on SCN where it received no comment. But I am baffled that the Sitoula's letter, which I had also forwarded to TND, did not appear on TND at all and ONLY my response to it did. I regret that Prakashji had to jump the gun a tad too early without being able to evlauate different viewpoints.
At any rate, my response to Sitaoula was that in criticizing the
racist attacks on Mr. Bhagat, I was not being just another critic of the
BKS school, and making all this "a school thing" but being critic of all
of us who keep quiet (i.e. NOT raise public halla) re: racism when it
This caveat was IMPORTANT to me personally given my already notorious credentials on TND/SCN as a critic of "the governmental financing of BKS" school (refer to the TND debates of '94 and '95).
Finally, I agree with Prakashji in that: Racism is racism, no
matter who commits it. To that I add: Acts of racism need to be PUBLICLY
denounced, not privately mollified. Other than that, Prakashji is entitled
to his credible opinions and advice.
%%%EDITOR'S NOTE: We are not sure why only half of any article would %%%%%
%%% get posted on TND. The only way, possibly, it can %%%%%
%%% happen (sendmail programatically speaking) is %%%%%
%%% if there is a period "." at the begining of a %%%%%
%%% line. /usr/lib/sendmail thinks that a period "." %%%%%
%%% denotes end of data stream for the body of that %%%%%
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%%% Pramod ji's piece sometime ago. Please resend them.%%%%%
Date: Wed, 01 Jul 1998 22:01:34 GMT
Subject: INCREASE IN SMUGGLING THROUGH NEPAL
Forwarded by: email@example.com (Dr. Jai Maharaj)
To: The Nepal Digest <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Smuggling Through Nepal Rises
By Alpana Varma
Business Times Bureau
Thursday, July 2 1998
Nayee Dillee - The quantum of seizures made from
illegal trading of goods from Nepal to India has
steadily been increasing in the last few years.
According to sources in the directorate of revenue
intelligence, illegal entry of goods from Nepal
accounts for almost 10 per cent of the entire
seizures made from illegal trading taking place
In 1997-98 Rs 49-crore worth of goods coming from
Nepal had been seized. In 1996-97 the seizures
amounted to Rs 45 crore, while in 1995-96 goods
worth Rs 32 crore had been seized. In 1997-98, the
total quantum of goods seized all over India amounted
to about Rs 500-600 crore.
The use of the Calcutta port by landlocked Nepal for
import of goods has led to the diversion some of those
items into India. The 1800 km long unmanned border along
UP is the other route for entry of goods from Nepal. The
items smuggled include electronic goods like chips,
cellphones, cameras; photographic films and paper; silk
yarn; spices and ball-bearings and narcotics. . . .
The news article continues at:
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 23:43:41 -0700
From: Ed Burgess <email@example.com>
Subject: Information on Banks in Pokhara
This may be an unusual request, but I am trying to determine if there is a
"Grindlage Bank" in Pokhara Nepal, at Lakeside. If you can confirm that such a bank exists I will appreciate it very much.
Thank you and Namaste
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 19:03:43 -0400
From: Prakash Gautam <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: adding in the list
We have recently launched a periodical, the Everest, from Toronto, Canada.
Everest is published by the "Nepalese Cultural and Publication Community"
and is registered under the Ministry of Consumers Affairs. Everest is a
quarterly magazine and covers article in various professional areas.
We would like to add Everest in your list. Please advise us about it.
%%%%%Editor's Note: Please send your URL to email@example.com. %%%%%%
Date: Sun, 05 Jul 1998 18:21:37 +0200
From: Internetcafe Spring 6 <ispring6@dx1.HRZ.Uni-Dortmund.DE>
Subject: (no subject)
i am alexander post-doctorate research fellow in germany at dortmund
university. i come from nepal and my area of interest is politics in
nepal. i think you can be of a great help to me as you know the
libraries in uk more throughly than me who has never visited any of
in fact, i would like to come to england to explore some secondary data
with regard to the nepalese politics. can you tell me where i can find,
besides yours, the news papers like press digest and press report
published by mc. regmi or suresh c. regmi, kathmandu. or the library
that has regularly been subscribing these papers.
i shall,indeed, be thankful to you for your this information.
expecting your reply.
my email address is : firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr suresh c. chalise
From: "Prospex Research Ltd" <email@example.com>
Subject: Electricity sector
Date: Mon, 6 Jul 1998 11:07:03 +0100
Sir or Madam,
I am looking for information about Nepal's electricity sector.
Tel/fax +44 171 385 7538
Date: Fri, 3 Jul 1998 15:59:06 -0400 (EDT)
From: Ashutosh Tiwari <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: reply to Hutch: re, creative writing.
"F. A. H. ('Hutch') Dalrymple" <email@example.com> WRITES:
>Subject: Re: 'Can Creative Writing Be Taught?'
>Ah, you can fool young people most of the time, Mr. Upadhyays, but you
>can't fool me any of the time (after 40 years experience in the 'reel'
For the record, let it be said that Samrat Upadhyay was not fooling
anyone. He simply wrote an essay, asking whether "creative writing can be
taught' (he thinks 'yes'), and this is not fooling anyone.
>By writing your article for The Nepal Digest, you were just marketing
>your school in Phoenix (Arizona is my home state, by the way).
This is ridiculous. Samrat is a doctoral student at the University of
Hawaii. Once in a while, he contributes essays and reviews to The
Kathmandu Post Review of Books. His readers are free to agree otr disagree
with his views. But why would he market some school in Phoenix, Arizona?
This is silly.
At any rate, as anyone looking at the financial structure in
American higher education market knows, the University of Phoenix
in Arizona, with its radical (for academia, anyway!) FOR-PROFIT mission,
is better off hiring someone OTHER than Samrat as its salesperson :-)
>hoping more wealthy Nepalis will come to your school (from Nepal),
>paying exhorbitant fees to learn how to write 'creatively!' No doubt
>saving your job in the process! This is what 'bureaurcrats' are good
>at, saving their jobs!
This is just more silliness. Samrat is no 'agent' for any university
in Arizona. Hutch seem to have misread Samrat's essay.
>For Mr. Upadhyays is must be going to the 'cliche jar,' and using words
>like 'polished,' and 'high calibre!' The 'nuvo' literate...
You can attack the notion of "creative writing" for what it is or what is
not. But why attack the writer, and pooh-pooh him?
>Papa! Where are you, in what bar? Please come and rescue me from these
>new immigrants who teach 'creative writing!'
Thankfully, new immigrants -- from Bharati Mukherjee to Amy Tan to Pico
Iyer in America are adding fresh, divergent and unique voices to the
American literary scenes. Even our own Greta Rana has published short
stories in mainstream American magazines.
Besides, my question to Hutch is this: Well, tell us, why can't creative
writing be taught?
If a talented but callow Michael Jordan out of the University of North
Carolina (Chapel Hill) could be COACHED for many years to play
artistically and creatively as he plays today, couldn't callow but
potentialy talented men and women be TAUGHT/COACHED about the fine art of
writing very, very well?
More to the point, in what other field of human endeavor is there an
inherent assumption that coaching/teaching/training is detrimental to
or not-at-all-needed in mastering a craft?
Date: Sat, 04 Jul 1998 09:36:06 +0530
From: "F. A. H. ('Hutch') Dalrymple" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: editor Contributions <email@example.com>
Subject: "Dr. Nita: a Homeopathic Angel"
DR. NITA: A HOMEOPATHIC ANGEL
"In therapy, first, do no harm,
Life is short!
Art is long!
The occasion fleeting!
Experience deceitful, and
Hippocrates (circa 400 B.C.) - the father of western medicine
It came back... the illness, and this was unusual for me, as I've rarely in my
life had an illness return after getting better (cured).
But, I was in Nepal for the first time, and had a feeling that Nepali viruses
(as this seemed to be) were stronger than the American ones my body was inured to defending itself against. Additionally, I'm 58-years old. For whatever reason, I couldn't seem to get rid of this 'bug.' I had been successful during the first 'siege,' to ward it off with my usual combination of vitamin C, Echinacea, grape seed extract, golden seal root, and garlic. But, then the 'dis-ease' came back and worsened, and I found myself with a fever and that achy, very-similar-to-influenza feeling. Worse than the symptoms, I was growing weary of 'it,' of being ill (had too much to do). Thus, I ended up calling, Dr. Nita, a homeopathic doctor in Kathmandu
(and I'm very glad I did)!
But, before I go into that, let me express my total abhorrence of 90% of the
doctors in the world. Worse still is my absolute hatred of hospitals and my
avoidance of them at any and all costs! I mean I have to be 'dying' before
calling a doctor, and I only go into hospitals (as a patient) if I'm
unconscious. Then when conscious and able to walk, I'm outta there!
I'd have to be drugged, strapped down, or otherwise incapacitated to stay!
Hospitals are places where people die!
For example, several years ago I found myself having the severest physical
pain of my life! It was like a red hot iron held internally on my liver
(or gall bladder)! And I diagnosed myself as having gall stones
(or gall bladder/liver attacks). I can put my finger on the exact spot where the pain emanated from to this day: kinda low in front on my right side, just below the rib cage. I remember these attacks started one night in bed, mild really compared to the ones that followed... And there were about twelve attacks in all, over a six-month period, the last of them, two in one day!1 These attacks would come on slowly, building to intense pain, until all I could do was walk (my antidote to just about everything) in circles for about an hour. Whenever I had one of these attacks I would walk, pray, and every once in a while fall on my knees and 'dry heave,' get up and continue walking until the pain subsided... And it ways did! Thank God! I remember one of these attacks happened in the middle of a business meeting in Navarro, Italy. But, I don't believe the group (except for my business partner) ever knew. Although they were aware of my strange behavior: I couldn't sit still, and kept retiring to the men's room. At one point I told my associate, that if I passed out, not to take me to a hospital. But, this attack subsided, and we went to have lunch, where I ate risotto and drank wine! Pretty amazing in retrospect...
I remember having one of these attacks, when I was staying over night at this
same associate's parent's house (in North Dallas). This time it got so bad I
banged on, what I thought was my host's bedroom door! This attack was so
painful I was going to awaken them and succumb to an ambulance and hospital.
But, I had chosen, inadvertently, the door to the garage, and I woke no one!
Luckily, and ultimately, as always, the pain eventually subsided!
The day I had two of these attacks (unusual), I was with a friend who I was
driving to where I was living at the time (about a two-hour's drive southwest
of Dallas, Texas): Pecan Plantation.
The first attack I'd had that morning was at our office in North Dallas and
I had gone to the back parking lot to walk it off, which I always did. Thus,
my friend hadn't experienced this scene.
But, then the second occurred in the automobile on the way, and I had to stop
to walk in the parking lot of a Macdonald's in Benbrook (Texas). This time my
friend insisted that we drive to the nearest hospital... Which I did, although
I could barely drive (there's something about not being able to move that
makes pain worse).
But, by the time we arrived at the hospital the pain was subsiding. I went
inside anyway at his insistence and checked in...
Typical of Emergency Rooms, we had to wait. I remember there was a Dallas
Cowboys football game on the TV in the waiting room. Finally, we were called,
I described what I thought was a gall bladder attack, and I was directed back
into a large room partitioned by beds and curtains (pulled for privacy).
I was directed by a nurse into one of these 'cubicles,' and told to undress.
She handed me the standard hospital 'gown.' Without thinking, I began to take
off my clothes, and got to removing my belt, my shirt already off when I
stopped. Suddenly, presence of mind restored, I put my shirt back on and
walked to the lobby hardly noticed. I motioned my friend to follow, and we
walked outside into 'freedom,' got into the car without anyone stopping us,
and drove on to Pecan Plantation (about an hour's drive) where I lived.
There I lay down on the couch in the den, and in the warm sunlight fell asleep,
never to have another painful attack! To this day I've never had any more of
these painful attacks, some five years later! Nor, was I ever specifically
diagnosed by a physician as having gall stones. But, I'm the kind that
normally doesn't need (or want a doctor).
Thus, for me to call a doctor, of any kind, well, there has to be some large
I suppose in this most recent case in Kathmandu, it had to do with three
things: I was ill in a 'foreign' country, the doctor was female (find them
much better physicians generally speaking), and this doctor, was a
homeopathist, recommended by my sister (all the way from L.A.). So, I called
her... Dr. Nita Pokharel. Sometimes your intuition tells you what to do...
We, obviously, were destined to meet!
Additionally, my sister, a homeopathic doctor in Los Angeles/U.S.A., had
suggested I meet this woman (found in a listing of homeopathic physicians in
Kathmandu), and I'd actually tried to telephone Dr. Nita prior to becoming ill.
Luckily, she understands and speaks good English... And I told her I didn't
feel like finding her office that day (not so easy in Kathmandu), but I would
eventually. She said she'd come right over to where I was living in Lazimpat,
Kathmandu). This is unheard of in America... That a doctor would come to you,
especially on short notice!
Several hours later she showed up with her sister.
My room is small at the Rayamajhi's, where I live in Kathmandu, so we all sat
on the floor, or they did, I lay in bed... I knew what was about to transpire,
as I knew all about homeopathy.
Years before, 22 to be exact, I'd had another 'illness experience,' and had
ended up meeting a 'famous' American homeopathic doctor (and M.D.), John Renner.
The first thing a homeopathic doctor does is spend a long time interviewing you
(the patient)... They ask you many questions, and some strange ones, I might add! Like do you prefer hot over cold? Do you go to sleep on which side, in which position? What is the consistency of your shit (something I always have trouble describing). This is called 'case taking.' They inquire about food preferences and aversions, thirst, sleep patterns, sweating, cleanliness, as well. This they call, 'case taking.' And the final focus is on 'case modifiers,' specific important questions, like, 'Do you notice feeling more or less anxious after you eat?' 'Tell me more about the anxiety?' As, James Tyler Kent, said, aphoristically, 'A case well taken is half cured!' And it's somewhat of an 'art form,' this interviewing... as they watch for any distinctive mental emotional or general physical symptoms. They also note your exact words as they know there's a significant difference between, 'I thought of killing him,' and 'I wanted to kill him,' or that 'I was afraid I might kill him.' Note here too what the father of western medicine Hippocrates said, almost 2,500 years ago: "The nature of the human body can only be understood as a whole!"
Emphasis is placed on the individuality of the patient and subsequently in
individualizing the remedy. According to Homeopathy, each patient suffers,
according to him/her, from a nameless illness, which never before has occurred in that same manner!
Once this is done, and this interview can take hours (can you imagine an American M.D. taking this amount of time with an individual patient?), a homeopathic physician prescribes a 'remedy.' Sometimes this is spontaneous, if they have much experience (in the case of Dr. Nita), and sometimes they will think about it and confer with other homeopaths, before prescribing.
Homeopathic 'remedies,' however, are different than allopathic 'pharmaceuticals,' and the basis for homeopathy. Thus, the history of homeopathy, discovered and developed by German physician, Christian Samuel Frederich Hahnemann, is worth noting at this point.
Hahnemann, a man who could speak seven languages, had toiled in the 'vineyards' of chemistry, before discovering the principles of homeopathy.
It was while translating medical books into German, that he came across an idea to test the action of a Peruvian tree bark (Quinine) in the treatment of Malaria. He took Cinchona (Quinine) himself to prove that it (in his healthy body) evoked the symptoms of ague (Malaria), as well as, curing it. This lead to his Principle of Homeopathy: that like cures like (but in minute doses).
Basically, and I always find this somewhat amazing, when I describe it to the uninitiated: that what can kill you in large doses (like Belladonna or Cobra venom) can cure you in small doses!
Similar observations with Belladonna and Scarlet Fever followed. Dr. Hahnemann was able to cure and prevent Cholera using substances (Arsenicum album, Camphor, Cuprum metallicum) which caused severe, uncontrollable diarrphoea (in allopathic doses).
With these initial experiments with Cinchona and other substances, Hahnemann began to realize that it is by their very power to cause illness that the same substance in minute doses, may cure the same illness!
This was developed into his famous, The Law of Cure: that like cures like! But, additionally, as he went on to develop: "to cure mildly, rapidly, and permanently, choose in every case of disease, a remedy which can itself produce a similar affection!"
Hahnemann, observed that the use of small doses (minute actually) of 'potentialized medicine' by succusion (diluting liquids and soluble substances down) and trituration (diluting dry and insoluble substances down) appears to 'excite' the latent curative (vital) force (Qi, or Chi in China, and prana in India).
Beyond this simply explanation, I refer you to his own The Organon, published in 1810, on which Homeopathy is based, for further explanation and study. Or, the one book I have quoted from, given to me by Dr. Nita, Clinical Homeopathy, by Anton Jayasuriya (of Sri Lanka).
Simply, I know that homeopathy works from my own personal experience!
Recently, here in Nepal, Dr. Nita proved it to me again! She cured me (of influenza or Scarlet Fever) practically overnight with Belladonna Atropa (the deadly Nightshade plant in allopathic amounts).
Before that, some 22 years ago, Dr. Renner, had relieved me of other symptoms ('dis-ease') with Lycopodium Clavatum (wolf's foot; club moss) and Nux Vomica (poison nut), after prolonged alcohol and drug abuse.
Thus, homeopathy, is my kind of therapy for several reasons!
For one thing, the homeopathic physicians that I've met over the years have been unusually kind and caring people! These are special people, who have a sincere interest in your well being, and charge very little for it (Dr. Nita refuses any compensation). This is always the litmus test for me, whether a doctor is into it because of the money (greedy or not?)! If they are I avoid them!
The first homeopathic doctor I ever met was Dr. John Renner, a man in his eighties.
I'll never forget our first meeting at his house in Cathedral City (next to Palm Springs, California) in 1976. I ran the doorbell, but there was no answer. I finally looked in a front window to discover an old man asleep in a chair. I knocked on the window to awaken him. He got up slowly with the aid of a cane, and hobbled to the door to open it. I thought to myself, ah an old man crippled with arthritis... How wrong I was! I was to find out later that he had broken his ankle from a fall off the roof, where he'd been (at 80 no less) repairing it. Dr. Renner spent three hours with me, letting me listen to my heart, drawing diagrams, and basically educating me to what I'd been through ('mauled by Saturn'), and what I had to do to get better: he told me to stop what I was doing (writing screenplays - trying to 'crack' the 'veil of Hollywood') and go find something that required physical labor. He taught me (physician in Greek means 'teacher') that health is, by in large, lifestyle! He charged me $25U.S. for those three hours (and that included several remedies). He was also the first physician I'd ever experienced, besides my ex-wife (now a Naturopathic Doctor), that used astrology in discussing illness (i.e. 'Mauled by Saturn!') Then there's my sister, Sally Kneifel, a homeopathic doctor in Manhattan Beach, California/U.S.A.... A more loving, caring person, you'll never meet! She was the one, at the time (1976), the first one in fact, that knew what I was ultimately suffering from was hypoglycemia. This is after I'd spent $80,000 with the traditional/A.M.A./M.D.-type of medicine, the group that finally 'threw in the towel' when they couldn't find 'anything wrong' (always they wanted more expensive tests)! Their final advice was to see a psychiatrist (and pay more money)! And just recently sister Sally (with the help of her 'teacher') cured her own husband of Bell's Palsy! Finally, of this 'triumvirate' of homeopathic physicians, there's Dr. Nita (Pokharel) and her Center for Alternative Healing (Maligaon in Kathmandu). When I first met her recently, I thought... here is a married woman, who decided to study medicine after her daughter (Krishna) was raised (Dr. Nita attends a Homeopathic school in Bhaktupur). Then one day she showed me her 'curriculum vitae.' I was amazed to discover some five-pages of accomplishments ('Tis the women in Nepal that amaze me), including a Ph.D., a degree as an 'M.D.' a degree as an 'N.D.' (Naturopathic Doctor), a 'Bachelor of Science,' degree, a nursing certificate, and the list continues on and on... Gosh, and now she studies to obtain a degree in Homeopathy... And this woman doctor charges nothing... refuses to accept compensation because she hasn't yet passed the homeopathic degree test! Additionally, Dr. Nita has published three books, two manuals, and numerous articles, attended training seminars and international conferences too numerous to mention. Read her C.V. sometime! Believe me, she's qualified, and she ought to be charging for her services. But, when she tells me that 'doctors just help,' I understand! Although, in her case you can discard the word 'just.' When she tells me she can cure Meningitis and Typhoid, I believe her! And why not, she cured me practically overnight in one try! Here is a person, who since her first encounter with 'medicine' as a child (attended one of sisters in a hospital) has been helping others, healing the sick, comforting the dying, motivating and inspiring people like me... for almost fifty years! When I found this out, the first question I asked her was, 'Tell me about the most interesting cases you've ever been involved with?' She thought for a long time, then told me two stories: The first was about a woman who couldn't stop bleeding. They tried everything! She had to be given many transfusions and many liters of blood were donated. She'd stop for a time, but something would trigger it, the bleeding, and then it couldn't be stopped. That is, until Dr. Nita showed up. A single dose of Phsosphorus cured the woman forever... She never had the problem again after that! Think about it... a single dose of a homeopathic remedy! Remember what Dr. Hahnemann said, "Cure mildly, rapidly, certainly and permanently!' The second story involved a major bus accident near the Indian border. The patient, the wife of a man Dr. Nita knew, was returning to Kathmandu, when a head-on collision with another bus changed her life, severely injuring and traumatizing her (the driver's severed head ended up right in her lap). All the people in the other bus were killed. This woman couldn't return to work, couldn't even raise her arms above her waist, as flashbacks of the driver's severed head in her lap traumatized and incapacitated her. She couldn't sleep afraid the same nightmare would occur! With one dose of Arnica, the woman could lift her arms above her head. Suddenly the pain was gone. When Dr. Nita administered Aconitum, the woman could sleep! And it wasn't much later after that the woman returned to work and a normal life.
"Cure mildly, rapidly, certainly, and permanently!" This is homeopathy. This is Dr. Nita, a homeopathic angel! I don't know... Maybe it's too easy, efficacious. Maybe it's that it doesn't involve any expensive hi-tech equipment, or that it doesn't cost very much, that people, patients, still seek the complicated and the expensive! Whatever is 'the latest,' and whatever is 'scientific!' If it's expensive it's got to be good, right? Wrong! I've learned too, over the years that a patient (one suffering from symptoms) has got to want to get well! I know that sounds ludicrous... Doesn't everyone want to 'get well?' 'Well,' I wish it were that simple, but the dynamics of 'dis-ease' are multifaceted... I can tell you that from my own experience. Many people (patients) choose not to get 'well,' or for that matter to become 'ill,' for a number of reasons... Remember what Dr. Nita said, that, 'Doctors can only help.' The mind is a powerful thing! Patients have 'to choose,' to get well! My definition of 'ill-ness,' and 'dis-ease,' is, 'Nature's way of keeping us alive!' We learn from pain, we grow and change; we adapt... We change our lifestyle, or we die! Death (the end of the corporeal body) is an inability to adapt! My experience with Dr. Nita, wasn't just about getting over influenza... It's learning about homeopathy in this part of the world... The history of Homeopathy in Nepal, according to the Nepal Human Development Report, 1998, is not long... "...it was introduced in Nepal as early as 1920, as a natural healing system. Homeopathic healing is largely a private sector initiative which encompasses approximately 500 practitioners and fewer than 100 clinics, roughly ten of which are in the Kathmandu Valley (MOH, 1997b). There is only one hospital that can accommodate six patients." However, I should say that Dr. Nita and I have plans to launch a homeopathic healing center and Spa up in the Himal somewhere. It should also be said that homeopathy is not about hospitals (when you're treated by a homeopathic physician, you usually don't need a hospital!). It's about sharing information. It's about educating. It's about healing the mind and spirit, as well as the body! Dr. Nita 'heals me completely' because I know this woman cares about my well being... Truly cares! If and when you ever find a physician that feels the same way about you, who truly cares about your well being... I don't care what system or modality they're using, latch onto that person, and never let them go! They are few and far between... I'll bet I can count on maybe a half-dozen in my entire life and I've met hundreds of doctors! The ones that truly care, and charge little, these are people who can heal you... they make you want to get well (whether or not you want to). And they do it with the 'l' word... You can have all the expensive, hi-tech equipment in the world on the day you die... I'll take one kind, loving human being... And when my time comes, I hope Dr. Nita is around... In the meantime, if I'm attacked by another nasty 'bug,' I know who to call! Currently Dr. Nita practices out of her house in Maligaon, Kathmandu, Nepal: (977+1+) 431934
F.A.H. ('Hutch') Dalrymple
Lazimpat, Kathmandu, Nepal
1 You can check with a friend of mine named Nigel Bush, a man who lives in Dallas, Texas, as to the voracity of what happened that day. These two gall bladder attacks, and the one he participated in caused him to 'force' me to go to an emergency room of a hospital (Huguley's) in Fort Worth, Texas (as we were on the way to where I lived at the time in Pecan Plantation (near Lake Granbury, Texas).
2 But, I can tell you this, having had these 'attacks.' I now have some idea what a woman goes through in giving birth to a baby!!!
4 This experience is worth relating, at least the highlights... He spent three hours with me and charged me $25U.S. He told me I'd been, and I'll never forget this phrase, 'mauled by Saturn' (the first doctor I'd been with that acknowledged astrology). Note: Twenty years later I was 'mauled by Saturn again, thus the title of my autobiography: 'Saturn Twice!' Finally, he told me to stop what I was doing, that I was killing myself ('Mind As Slayer...'). To go and work at something physical (thus I ended up in the Northwest renovating my sister's house).
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