Some things just have to change. The government in general is not concerned with the convenience of the public and regulations are usually based on their convenience not ours. So there are a lot of inconveniences we face which ought to be remedied with regulations specific to those issues. Development also means changing and amending Rules and Regulations according to need and circumstances in keeping with the times.
Use of the same name by too many entities in the same industry often leads to confusion. Such practice should be stopped at the registration phase but so far no action has been taken in this regard. A classic example is the way so many hotels share the name ‘Kathmandu’. Most of us remember Kathmandu Guest House as the first one followed by others such as Kathmandu Guest Home, Hotel Kathmandu, Kathmandu Lodge and many more. This has led to confusion and I remember tourists being driven to Kathmandu Guest Home instead of the Guest House. Such cofusion can be avoided if the authorities take a litle trouble to find out if a name is already in use and avoid duplication. After all, there is an endless choice of names under the sun, so why do we need to confuse customers. Of course many do it deliberately to confuse people into coming to them.
People who love the Newari style mamacha are aware of how many momo shops named Everest Momo have sprung up solely in Kathmandu because this eatery became extremely popular with Kathmanduites. Of course they are not branches but eateries opened by different owners capitalising illegally on another’s success. Why nothing is done to remedy such malpractices is simply because nobody cares and some of them are not even registered. In the west they are so particular about brand names that when Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in the US named their computer ‘Apple’, The Beatles in the UK filed a law suit because they had already registered a company named Apple under which they had Apple Records and Apple Boutique etc. After a lengthy court battle they eventually came to an agreement that as long as Apple in the US had nothing to do with music they could use the name. Years later when Apple came up with iTunes and began selling songs, they were sued again. That’s how seriously thay take a brand name in the west.
One mistake that I find unacceptable is the officially accepted name Bhadrapur Airport in Chandragadi. The name written on the airport building is Chandragadi Airport and when pilots make announcements they make it a point to call it Chandragadi Airport but officialy it is still Bhadrapur Airport. My sister once called someone to book her flight to Bhadrapur but the person had booked her on the Bharatpur flight. She found out only because of the difference in fares. It happened to me as well when I booked my flight through Tiger Tops. These guys were so used to booking Bharatpur flights for clients going to Chitwan that without giving it a thought they booked me on the wrong flight. If India can change the name of several cities and Burma can become Myanmar, it shouldn”t be too difficult to change the name of an airport. Most Indians are used to tne name Bombay but it was changed to the original pre-British Raj era name Mumbai and the new generations will know it only as Mumbai.
I’m not aware of any corrections being made here in Nepal but they took the trouble to remove the word Royal from all names except the Royal Bengal tiger. If it is in their interest, changes are made disregarding the cost involved. It must have cost a fortune to change from Royal Nepal Airlines Corporation to Nepal Airlines Corporation. Think of the cost of changing all the stationary, painting the name on all NAC aircraft, buildings etc. and that goes for NAC offices abroad as well. It is indeed a daunting task but that’s just one entity; others following suit were Ronast, the Royal Nepal Army, Royal Drugs, etc. It also meant officially changing the registered names for legal matters.
Then there is the frustrating case of using the same acronym for different organizations. The most interesting one being the acronym CAN: Cricket Association of Nepal or is it Computer Association of Nepal? What about ‘Community Action Nepal? One of them could go for NCA! Once HAN stood for both the Hotel Association of Nepal and Handricrafts Association of Nepal. There are countless examples of many different organisations using the same acronym. We all know what WHO stands for or UN or WWF. Remember a time when the World Wrestling Federation started using the acronym WWF and that’s what we saw on TV, but they were soon forced to change to WWE. It should be the same here in Nepal.
In the bottled water industry which started as mineral water, there seems to be no restrictions or guidelines that the manufacturers have to follow. Though it started as mineral water it is now just clean drinking water as the fake companies pushed the genuine companies out of business. It costs a lot of money to produce real mineral water. What amazes me the most is the number of new brands that come up every few months while the the old ones keep vanishing. It is such a lucrative business that at one time, retailers were buying the water for Rs 8 a bottle, paying a little extra for transport and selling for Rs 20, and to think it’s just plain water. However, since the blockade crisis, wholesale prices have gone up. We are forced to buy them while out in the countryside no matter how dubious their production. They also give you no choice but to buy a liter bottle. Elsewhere in the world one can buy a half liter, two liter and in countries like the UAE even smallér bottles as small as one containing just a glass of water. Now that's the kind of choice I'd like.
But the biggest joke is the addition of the word 'New' in front of the old firm name for obvious reasons. A friend of mine used to change the name of his firm every year but since he had an almost fixed number of very well-paying clients, it didn't matter what he called it. Then there are those more creative businessman who can come up with a meaningful addition. Take for instance the name 'Narayan'! Add Laxmi in front and you have 'Laxmi Narayan'. Sounds good too. I used to tease my friend at 'New Dish': "Why don't you change your name to New New Dish?" He didn't find it funny at all.
Then there are the schools and colleges that have names like Chelsea and Liverpool and some even have St. as a prefix even though they are not Christian schools. And why are there two colleges named Xavier? Just because they added International to the name doesn't change the fact that it is named after Xavier. Is it alright to name a new school Chelsea International or Rato Bangla International or Gems International? Something to