Ever since I was a young kid, I had a very active sense of imagination. I didn’t see any imaginary characters or anything as a kid but I used to imagine ‘situations’ that would possibly follow an event that I witnessed. I remember gathering my friends and telling them that since our teacher or a friend said this today or did this today, she will most probably do this or say this tomorrow. “You wait for it!” I would say. (지금 보면 어릴때부터 눈치 빠른 것 같기도 하고요.)
I was fascinated by supernatural powers (초능력). My earliest memory of learning about supernatural powers was probably from the cartoon show called Barbapapa, a French animation series which originally started in 1973. It used to be telecasted in our national TV channel years later, probably when I was 5 or 6 years old. It featured a family of shape-shifting blobs who could change their body shapes into anything they wanted. I was absolutely amazed by the Barbapapas and I really loved the show. To this day, I am quite animated to talk about the show and am thrilled to meet anyone who remembers watching it and shares childhood memories similar to mine.
Another huge influencers to this interest, I would say, were two other American classic fantasy sitcoms “I dream of Jeannie” or simply Genie, as we called it and “Bewitched”, which featured supernatural beings as the lead characters: the 2,000-year old Genie and the Witch, who could do anything with a blink of her eyes or a spell.
Since then I wished I had dozens of supernatural powers both as a kid as well as an adult. Strangely though I always believed from a very early age that supernatural powers do not or cannot exist in real life. So I only wished and longed for them. Some of the supernatural powers that I wished I had included: 순간이동 (Teleportation), 텔레파시 (Telepathy), 순간기억능력 (Photographic Memory), 양손잡이 (Ambidexterity), 음악, 무용, 미술에 뛰어난 능력 (Enhanced skills in Music, Dance, Art), 시간 여행 할수 있는 능력 (Time Travel), 투명 인간 (Invisibility), Ability to fix broken things or construct things, and Of course, the ability to understand and speak all languages (I think it’s called Aligist or something like that).
But there is one particular 초능력 I wish I had even today as an adult. It’s somewhat vague but it’s basically the ability to know things or learn secrets, whether they could be about events that happened in the past by somehow being present in the event that I was not the part of originally. It may somewhat sound like 사간여행자 i.e., Time Traveler, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that. 어떻게든 제가 알고 싶은 사건에 대해 알 수 있는 능력 – 그 순간 속에 직접 참여해서 제 눈으로 직접 목격할 수 있는 능력이나, 애초에 그 순간에 제가 참여하지 않았음에도 불구하고, 그 순간을 생각하면, 영화 한 장면 처럼, 그 사건에 대한 모든 것을 회상할 수 있는 그런 초능력 갖고 싶어요. I want to be able to know about past events either by somehow being able to go into that moment and witnessing everything with my own eyes or by simply having the ability to recall everything about the event just like a movie scene, even though I was not present in the event in the first place.
Let me give you an example. Although I have countless of things that I am curious about, one particular event stands out the most (at least for now when I am writing this blog). I think I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that there is one specific historical event of Nepal that the majority of the world may not be familiar with, but which changed Nepal and the lives of us Nepalese forever – It’s the June 2001 Royal Palace Massacre of Nepal, that wiped out 10 members of the Royal family including our beloved King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, Queen Aishwarya Rajya Laxmi Devi Shah, their two sons (including the crown prince) and their daughter, the princess as well as 5 other close relatives of the royal family and injured 4 other members. It was essentially a mass shooting that took place on Friday, June 01, 2001 in the Narayanhiti Royal Palace of Nepal, allegedly by the Crown Prince Dipendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, who again allegedly killed himself after basically killing everybody.
Although you might have guessed why I am curious about this specific event, let me give you a brief background on Nepal’s history as a kingdom and especially on King Birendra’s reign. King Birendra was probably one of the most popular, loved and revered monarchs in the 240 years of Nepal as a kingdom. In his 29 years as a King of Nepal, he established a constitutional monarchy in Nepal reestablishing democracy that was earlier abolished in the country. He was known as the kind king who kept people very close to him yet protected the country when necessary. Not only the king, his entire family including: Queen Aishwarya, Crown Prince Dipendra, Prince Nirajan and Princess Shruti were all loved by the Nepalese people. So about a week or so after the massacre, when the official national press conference (which was live televised) concluded that the Crown Prince Dipendra Bikram Shah Dev (who, while in a coma, was declared the King of Nepal after King Birendra’s death) was the perpetrator, NOBODY BELIEVED IT. Literally, nobody believed it, including my family and everybody I know!
I mean, a vast majority of Nepalese people did not believe it at all. Although the press conference recounted the events of that unfortunate night with gruesome details, nobody believed it. Further, there were actual survivors who were present in that dinner party at the palace that night (some who sustained serious injuries) who gave their account of the Crown Prince, allegedly extremely drunk, intentionally killing the King first (with multiple shots) and open firing at anybody and everybody who came in his way. Still hardly anybody believed it then and probably doesn’t believe it to this day.
This is probably because the event was so unimaginable for us Nepalese that the Crown Prince (who was so popular and loved like his father) would be able to do something so horrible (끔찍한) as to kill his entire family for the rumored dispute with his family over the choice of his bride and then kill himself.
- I was 12 years old at that time and I was so shocked by the whole experience that I still remember the chain of events that followed the massacre. The day following the massacre was a Saturday and we were on a term break at school at that time. The whole morning was very strange. All the TV channels had been blacked out including BBC, CNN, the only international news channels we had back then and the only Nepali channel NTV was playing religious/mourning songs about life after death and freedom after death. Then there came the shocking rumours about the bloody rampage in the palace and rumours that the King and Queen were dead and Crown Prince was still alive but was seriously injured and was in ICU, which we thought was a complete nonsense at first (but the blacking out of TV and the mourning songs made us quite uneasy and nervous). But we had no ways to confirm the rumours then. We then heard the rumour that BBC had reported the news, the very previous day and we, here in Nepal, did not have a single clue.
- After that I think the news was confirmed by the government the same afternoon through the national TV channel and radio, but I don’t remember hearing or watching the announcement. But I remember watching the funeral procession of King Birendra, Queen Aishwarya, Prince Nirajan and Prince Shruti live on television which was done so hastily on the very same day, i.e. the day after the shooting. Thousands of people were out in the street, around the palace and following the funeral procession crying their eyes out. The entire nation was in mourning and we were no different. It was a very shocking experience. (I even had an opportunity to meet Princess Shruti in person a few years prior to this event, very briefly though.)
- The catch here is even though there was the official report that reported Crown Prince as the killer, there was so much lack of information as to why the incident took place, the TV channels were all blacked out, and the media did not explain what people were wondering. So there was a lot of mistrust on the information that the government was giving. There were accounts of survivors which started popping out much later in unofficial media sources, not officially shown or shared by the government. This groomed many conspiracy theories across the nation.
So, even I, who has done my own fact checks on the event on the world wide web of internet and media, and I know for sure that the official report is correct and that Crown Prince Dipendra Shah was indeed the perpetrator, it is still very hard for me to believe it. So, I wish that I could seek the truth for myself if I had this 초능력. I wish I could see the whole event with my whole eyes, because it’s so unbelievable. It might be a traumatizing experience, but I wish I could then delete the horrible details from my memory and only remember the truth. There is actually an Indian documentary which re-enacts the whole Royal Massacre of Nepal, but it is highly unpopular among Nepalese viewers in general, for one, we are all in denial; second, we valued our royal family very highly and the documentary does not do full justice to their true image & persona, and lastly there were some popular conspiracy theories making Nepalese people rather sensitive about the whole issue especially with the Indians.
Nevertheless, feel free to share what kind of supernatural powers or 초능력 you wish you had?
I think I wish every day that I could control my phone with my mind and scroll the screen of my phone with my mind. I wish I could literally have my phone floating in the air, without me having to hold it for extended periods of time. ㅋㅋㅋ, 초능력 that a lazy person really needs!
Featured Image Link: Mike’s Collection Blog about Barbapapa
CHEERS TO ALL LANGUAGE LEARNERS! 화이팅!