Why shut down Bal Mandir ?

Sunita Giri 9:31 PM |

I have been getting links for some of my articles on my blog [see comments]. Some of those comments has less to say about the post on my blog but to focus more on the negative sides of the management of Bal Mandir. They provide me links to support, why and what they are saying. There is no doubt that, it is managed by corrupted people but more than that Bal Madir, is a children's home [an orphanage] although, those comments have hardly anything to do or to say about the conditions and children.

It mainly gives me the picture and idea that how corrupt people are in the management body and how uncontrollable things have become, as if I am not aware of it.

I could not help thinking about the suggestion by some people on some site and thier respective blogs, that Bal Mandir, should be shut down for good.

The fact is, its a social organisation an NGO; which work for the benefit of children. Non of a single person on the management body, owns it or they got the organization as an inheritance from their parents. Then how come those people have become indispensable from their exiting position ? What makes them unshakable ?

These people seem to be ignoring the core fact, that Bal Mandir, is a children's home. Not a single site or blog have any complain from children's side and can give any links to support it also, I mean children being so uncontrollable and making all the trouble to run it. They have not created any problems to operators or care takers or donors. Yes some times when government bans adoption to foreigners, they might face financial crisis, which again raise another question in itself, making people to think hard; does Bal Mandir, or any other orphanage gets its running cost, solely from those adoptions ? is the adoption is given only to raise funds for the orphanage to run ?

The big question is, how come people who are sucking blood from needy, orphans and abandoned can remain in the position and yet are indispensable ?

Why close Bal Mandir, for 20 - 30 corrupt people in management and some in staff body ? Nepal Children’s Organization, takes care of about 600 children nationwide ? Bal Mandir, or any such orphanage, exists because there are always needy, orphans and abandoned children around the country not because of the few corrupt people in the management.

If Bal Mandir, gets closed, people will think that the children were responsible for this kind of closer; instead of the management body who are the main reason for such closer. But again my questions here are:

  • What makes them indispensable ?
  • Why new management could not buzz them off ?
  • Is Bal Mandir, is what they got as a dowry ?
  • If this poor management is what triggering the buzz in the market that it should be shutdown, then why this management should be holding the chair ?
  • Why these social workers are acting like blood suckers ?
  • Is not there any body to control this kind of irregularity ?

People, who ever are the one who are saying that, Bal Mandir should be shut down; they are grossly ignoring the fact that, its a children's home. Does non-profit organization mean that one is not expected to achieve any goals, but can grab as much as one can ? The one who ever are raising this voice is also ignoring the fact that, this is Nepal. Every thing here is in total mess, due to deep rooted corruption, look at the political scenario, socio-economics, economics as whole, industry, education sector and list goes on. I bet they will also argue that Nepal as a whole country, also should be dismissed and merged in any neighbouring county who ever is ready to accommodate us from any side as they wish.

I also would like to give my suggestion here in the jungle of opinionated people. Why not make those names public and make them go through the public humiliations, not only locally but nationwide. Expose them on every possible Internet connection, hampering their future endeavours also. Why not make them feel bad until their bone aches, so that they not only feel humiliation but it will discourage the others in line too, who are waiting to do the same, when they get any chance in future.

If Bal Mandir, gets closed, its again the children, who bear the burnt of the closer not those corrupt people. After some time, some body has to accommodate them and the donors also remains the same. If any body change in the reforms condition it will be the people in management; so why not reform the management now ? There must be better way to sort out this problem that the idea of closing Bal Mandir ?

Is shutting down Bal Mandir, or any other such orphanages is the only solution to the deep rooted corruption ?
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Polenta, Pudding Dhindo, Khole

Sunita Giri 10:05 PM |

David Rocco, is our favorite chef on TV and my fourteen year old niece is smitten on his look as well. Being an Italian his specialty is obviously; an Italian food.

One day, he was making polenta on my TV screen. It was an Italian name for our very own dhindo here in Nepal. Same way of making it, but polenta was better looking than dhindo. They had added a pinch of salt on it and before eating it he added some permezano cheese on top of it, making it look so yummy.

I have never liked dhindo and was never tempted to eat it but I know so many people who loves dhindo. I find its taste, so stale and bland, besides I never know how to eat it. I remember my friend's aunt saying to me when I had tried dhindo for the first time, she said “look at her, she does not even know how to eat it.” When David Rocco, was eating Polenta, I wanted to have it. It looked so yummy. Polenta, looked so yummy than that stale, bland tasting dhindo, not just it looked yummy; its name Polenta, also added an extra flavor to that food.

A good name can add extra flavor to a food, is some thing I should have known long before, but I am not that smart to figure it out, was never that smart.

In Bal Mandir, we used to eat pudding daily for years; as a breakfast. Each day of the week was allotted for different room nannies, we used to call them didi, and accordingly, each made it their way to give it a different taste to that food. Therefore we used to have different taste daily, thought it was the same food daily. Because, most of the didis, were from very rural area; who used to make and feed Khole to their cattle and did not know the difference between pudding and Khole. But they used the same word for our breakfast also. Therefore, we used to call, that breakfast ‘Khole’.

But if you are familiar with he way they make khole, it has nothing to do with what we used to eat daily. Khole, is a stale and bland food, which is made to give cattle’ in village areas. The food wears a very pityable look as well as the pot which they use to cook that food makes any one go, Yuke ! While pudding is a good food and they make it from the best flour; which an American Agency [sorry don’t know the name and cant even goog it; as those were not the time when Google was providing service to dig in] sent to Nepal Children's Organization. There used to be one different branch, called Nutritious Food in the Bal Mandir, which used to handle the food division. So that we the children wont suffer from malnutrition. The flour was made from five or seven different grains and then they roosted it; before converting it into flour. The same agency also used to send us the best fat [ghew] from America. Nannies used to put the ghew on hot pan first and then once its property heated, they used to add flour on it and then stir it for some time and once its done with golden brown color, they used to add some water and then sugar to make it thick paste like. It is in fact not a bad food from any angle whatsoever; but, the name made it worse food to say proudly; yes we eat it.

When I was growing up in Bal Mandir, after school program was at its pick then. I doubt there were any such training centers or institutes in the valley to train their children on extra curricular activities. But here in Bal Mandir, they used to run classes on singing, dancing, drama, sculptures and painting also. Not only that, the participants could take part in the big functions, which garnered nationwide coverage and attention then, organised my Royals, during the Muma Badamaharani’s ( royal grand mother ) Birthday, every year. On the big day they could compete with others who came to take part in from across the country.

I do not know exactly, whether those classes were free of cost or paid one but I do know so many big names in the art and creative society since then. they were either giving the training or helping to rise some really good talents to come out. Young students, used to come to Bal Mandir, to take part in various programs, direct from their school. Most of them were from well to do families, so they were provided light snacks also. They used to eat the same food, as we used to eat it in the morning as a breakfast. But there was a slight twist to it. They used to call it pudding and we used to call it khole, for the same food. All the ingredients were exactly the same. The only different in between is that some times they used to get lucky and Shushila Didi, used to add some dry fruit in it; to enhance its taste drastically.

Sushila didi, used to make tea for office staff. But when royals used visit the Bal Mandir she could not even think of taking leave during those days. So she is the one who made pudding for students. She was damn good on her work and so she made that pudding so well that we used to find it a lot better than what we used to eat in the morning. She probably, was not as good looking than any of the nannies we have in Bal Mandir, but she was the best when it comes to make that food tasty. She could have won the competition, if it was the food made for a competition, even if all were given the same ingredients and same amount of it as well.

Now, when I look back; I think its the name that added the extra flavor and taste to that pudding; making it so delicious yummy. If there was any difference in its taste, it was the name not the ingredients and at the same time the cook who made it. Who makes it and who will be eating it makes any food, a whole lot of different, than the ingredients in it.
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Why hate when Yamraj loves his work

Sunita Giri 10:19 PM |

Today, my fourteen year old niece, who is studying in ninth grade; gives me a total glimpse inside the teenagers mind, how much we lacked it.
Whenever one of us used to get scolded with heart piercing words by one of the nannies or the other housemothers, at times she as well, and when one of us used to cry, during that time she used to shout, “go hang yourself in chilly plant, if you have that kind of soft heart.”

Once, in her most fake furious tone she shouted “go and commit suicide on chili plant.” Me, now full grown up my height is less than 5”, then when I was in my early teen or may be preteen, I was almost as tall as a chilly plant. Therefore, I went to tomato Plant, which was lazily lying. There was a thread on my wrist, which a pundit put during janai purnima day and it is believed here in Hindu Nation, if we keep it until the laxmi Puja during Tihar and tie it on a tail of the cow it will take us to the heaven after we die.

I don't know about going to heaven but I thought of using it to suicide by hanging myself on that tomato plant. I told it to wake up, so I can hang myself on it. But the plat did not even bother to raise its head and look at me. It ignored me totally; refusing even to listen me, I can only guess, probably looking at my height it had ignored me.
You know when you are small; the whole world don't pay much attention to you and may be I am alive today because that tomato plant did not listen to me, when I asked it to wake up, so that I could hang myself on it. Otherwise who knows, I would have died by hanging on myself on a tomato plant.

As for being stupid and not knowing, where to go and buy brain on two pennies, she had offered to give is also good for us. As you never know, we would have ended up in very cheap bargain and may have satisfied with whatever brain that much money could have got us.

I did carry lots of grudge against this woman, who enjoyed waging her tongue for the filthiest and dirtiest abusive words for us through out our teenage period and smacked us on our back from all size of sticks. I was so angry with that housemother for so long, who hated us when I was preteen and teen. Who filled so much hatred in our young minds.
But now, I hate her no more, because; I can see Yamraj, who is so dark, looks so oily and greasy, has the bushiest mustache on his face. The mustache, that was unbeatable for ten continuous years on Rajasthani mustache competition. Of course, he is very tall about 6” 4’, definitely not the kind of height we Nepali have here in our country. He is heavy and potbellied too. Who is enjoying frying her in the big hot pan, where oil is boiling at 200 cc or more. She is tied on a rod, as a screwier, like they do for barbecuing a whole wildbore on the camp fire. Her every panic stricken high peach plea is a music to his ear, which he seem to be enjoying a lot with ear-to-ear grin. When he is all ear-to-ear grin, I am just wondering how his all that square shaped teeth can be seen. Should not that bushy mustache be able to hide it all ! With all those plea, I see hers hands and legs throwing up in the air for help, burned and charred , yet how come she still can cry for plea is some thing to wonder about but to Yamraj its not enough. With his occasional clearance of both ears with his forefingers, he seem to be asking more of those plea from her. Just to add more of those plea, he is constantly checking the meaty part of her body with the long big fork, as if trying to be sure, has she been well fried or not.

On his side, I see a small girl, who is on her preteen perhaps, who is thumping on her right feet only and clapping her hands joyfully, seeing this scene. She too want to check on her, with that long fork pocking on the raw most part of her the body on the big pan. As I see from a distance, Yamraj letting her do that, without hesitation. That girl’s face seem very familiar to me, I think I know her.

When Yamraj does his job pretty well and loves it so much, why should I carry any grudge against her or perhaps any one on earth ?

Hail Yamraj !

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Super nanny Kunti Didi

Sunita Giri 12:49 AM |

Kunti Didi, was a nanny, she was the head nanny of the small children’s room. There used to be about four room nannies, for a room full of children, which had about fifteen or sixteen infants. It was more, if you see that there used to be only two for about eighteen to twenty preteens and only one for the same number of teen boys or girls room.

There in this room, there used to be about eight or nine young children, who were younger than a year old, many children a little over a year old and remaining, all toddlers. It sure was not easy to handle all of them. Because when an infant cries all cries at the same time asking for attention, and needs to be taken cared of.

Kunti Didi, could pacify four childldren, at the same time. One on her shoulder, two on her big lap, which she used to spread widely; to accommodate two young infants on her lap, and one at nearby floor.

She used to give them, oil massage, daily under the warm sun, regardless of various seasons summer or winter. Today, its scientifically discovered, that oil massage under the sun makes the bones of young children very healthy and sturdy. The sun is regarded very good source of vitamin D also, even for adults. After that she along with other nanny used to put powder all over the children's body and then, they were properly wrapped on clean clothes. When it comes to giving young children bath, she was the most sought after nanny. She in fact was super nanny.

Others, used to help her in many works. I do remember her clad in heavy ethnic ornaments, on her nose and ears especially. I am quite not sure; where exactly she is from and her marital status, but in my vague memory, I think; she was a Thankali by caste and perhaps for that reason she was tall compared to other nannies, who were mostly Tamangs or Magars. She looked very sturdy, and was average looking woman. But when it came to taking care of small children, she was at her best, with so much warmth in her heart. No body could handle or pacify those young infants, more tenderly the way she did. Others did the job as they were handed to do the job; but for her its more than job. She liked the job and did it so well, beyond any body's expectations. She loved every child so dearly and when it comes to taking care of them, so carefully, she should not be blamed for any partiality.

Yet, like every body has a weak spot, she also had a weakness. She too had her heart set on one child; her favourite child, among all the children, she took care for many years. Her name was Aruna. She loved her so much that, when some couple used to come to visit her room for adoption, to take a look at; for a prospective child, she used to hide her, fearing they would pick her up first.

This went on for couple of years, but as days pass by Aruna, grew fast and started wandering out of warmth of her lap and she moved on to sleep on crib and started taking wobbly steps, Kunti Didi could hide her no more under her shawls and then, during those years; she was adopted by a foreign couple.

Just cant help thinking, what would have Aruna, thought; if she could have missed the adoption. But children lived in her room until they were about five and then before they joined the nursery school, they were moved to other rooms and some couple still adopt child about five or six year old.
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He should not be punished for the murder of his friend

Sunita Giri 10:26 PM |

The sight of Prakash, behind the bar; on my TV screen was so haunting. Until today, I have been very fast when it comes to judging people, when they murder. Especially, those who kill their loved and dear ones, but Prakash’s story was different than other murderers.

Prakash, would have easily escaped from that brutal and ruthless murder of Sanjive, if and only if, Sanjive, would not have involved in some fraud case of policy buying from seven different insurance company. But that fraud of him is what needed him to be dead as per the plan.

If one pays the monthly premium regularly, there is nothing wrong buying insurance policy from multiple company, right ? That's what Sanjive’s father thought. Therefore, he went to claim the insurance money after the death of his son. During normal enquiry by insurance company staff, there Sanjive’s father revealed one truth without being aware of the fact, that was the major clue of the murder. Insurance company suspected something cooking in the case.

Taking insurance policy from multiple company is acceptable, but its wrong when one does not declare about it to other insurance company and by default it makes that particular client a fraud. If not declared the truth, an insurance company can go to court against the person, who is claiming it.

Logic of Sanjive’s father was, if his son had paid the monthly premium diligently, even if; he had not disclosed with you about the other company policy, we are still entitled to claim it, because that is our hard earned money for which my son had shed his sweat. Just like me he to did not get it, in the beginning, why insurance company was not willing to give the money, which his son had paid monthly. They had paid hard cash, which they had earned sweating hard. Sanjeve, had ensured himself for a hooping sum of Indian Rs. 10.5 million. His family members, his father and wife were not aware of his insurance documents, until his death.

It seems Sanjive, failed to understand the vary same rule which is clearly written in every company policy’s terms and conditions, not declaring other company’s policy is an act of fraud for which a company can go to the court against the claim. 10.5 million money is a hooping sum of money as a policy, which he had taken for is what made the case even more suspicious, and not declaring it to other company added more to doubt the intention of the death of the insurance client. Some of the policy were taken only months before his brutal murder.

At the time, when he was taking so many insurance policy; he was having sever financial stress as well. He was main bread winner of the family being the only son. He could not see the financial problem his family was facing neither could think of facing it in future.

To get rid from all this; he plotted a murder plan, a murder of his own. He tried to kill himself on road accident, which took place twice within a week, before his cruel murder on his own car. However, that did not went well as planned. Both mock accidents failed. Sanjive, was well aware that suicide case victims, can not claim insurance money. So as a plan B he forced his shakay and unwilling best friend Prakash, to kill him and for that he provoked him so badly. Poor Prakash, chocked under pressure and then stabbed him cold bloddedly.

It was only after his death his father and wife found the policy papers. Within weeks of Sanjive’s death, Prakash, came to collect Rs 90,000/- the loan amount, which Sanjive, had taken from him and in return, had handed him a handwritten letter saying that ‘....I will return it within a week and ‘if in case some thing happens to me during this period my father will give you the money....... When Sanjive’s family went to claim the money, the sharp defectives from special crime division, smelled something in the case and when they mobilized all the networks in the immediate circles of Sanjive’s family and close friends, then they slowly unfolded the plot of self murder by a fraud person. There were so many bills to be paid, which was left by Sanjive; and Rs. 10.5 million was more than enough to clear all the pending bills. Its only that his plan failed.

As every one must be aware of this fact insurance compnay hires the best detective to find out the faul play when their clients tryies to outsmart them for the policy claim but this case was sorted by special crime division on January 2011 almost after four moths later the incident happend. Seven insurance company went to court, because of fraud, which Sanjive, had plotted by not declaring the insurance policy, which he had bought from each company. Each company was not aware about another company’s policy buy. Court ruled the case against Sanjive. But in all this the one who landed behind the bar is Prakash.

Yes, he did murdered his best friend, Sanjive. Just best friend is not enough to describe him. He was more than that as Prakash, admitted meekly everything without hiding anything from beginning to end to sharp interrogating police officers, amid fear and true deep guilt trips, “who I am, where I am and what I am, is all just because of his support.” Sanjive, was his boss too.

When the court ruled the case against Sanjive, the answer is right there in the verdict but it seems that Prakash, is a poor guy from not so well to do family, who could afford expensive lawyers, just like the one; hired by the insurance company to protect them from the fraud clients. Had he been able to afford them, then he would not have ended up his life behind the bar.

Should he get life sentence for the murder of his best friend ? A murder which he never ever wanted to do and was only dragged in the case by his fraud friend. If the court ruled against Sanjive, not to get the insurance claim is not there any court which can rule out his life sentence ?

If prakash, is to get life sentence then court should never have ruled out the insurance claim made by Sanjive’s family. He should not be punishment and the answer is right on the court verdict against Sanjive.

Prakash, is very helpless guy who got trapped in the plan of his shrewd friend. Yes, Prakash; did the unthinkable and very unexpected act as a good friend, like murdering his best friend because he was indebted under the gratuity of his friend. Its just that he obeyed an order from his boss and best friend, who dragged him, to murder self. The price Sanjive, asked, was much more than Prakash, ever could imagine; his whole life behind the bar.

Note : Sanjive, had chosen a date of his own death on October 4, 2010, but that happened only on October 17, 2010. In January 2011 the case was moved to special crime division from local police and then the above story of Sanjive, was unfolded. This incident happened in India.
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Corrupted staff & Murphy’s Law

Sunita Giri 10:10 PM |

You must have heard about the Murphy's Law, according to this law some of the things in this universe happens, once in a million time only and the next thing that happens in your life is; that exact same logic. I came face to face with this logic when, I was in school and must have been studying in eighth standard, but then I was not aware about the existence of Murphy's Law. The following incident reminds me of this law. It all happened with the flip of the bed in front of me. Who needs to flip their bed corner, when there is a guest in your home ? I am sure that flip of the bed in front of me falls on this law.

I was very close with my sewing teacher, but calling Krishna Shrestha, as a sweing teacher is not the correct introduction. She was a cutting master, because more than teaching us about the stitches or designs or to make a good dress, rather she used to cut the cloths and we used to run it under the machine, to give it a complete look.

When I was in Bal Mandir, occasionally, Krishna Miss, used to take me or one of us to her home. Mostly, when she had some ‘Bhoj’ at her home. Her ‘Bhoj’ - food delicacies - used to taste a lot better than the bland taste of food, we used to get at the Bal Mandir.

What was the occasion, I can't remember, all I remember is, I was in her home. It must have been long summer days. I was sitting in the biggest room, which served them as multiple purpose. There was a TV, it was also the couples bedroom, it also served as a living room. That day her children were also in the same room.

She has two daughters and a son, but there was another boy also, of her son’s age, who was living with her. She used to tell me, she had two son and they were twins; only that the color of her sons were like day and night. Her biggest daughter Ruby, was about a couple of year younger than me.

As I was staying in a chair, very timidly like any girls from orphanage sits, uncomfortable and uneasy out of my comfort zone, which obviously is Bal Mandir. Blankly staring at the walls and looking at TV that was playing at one side of the room. Krishna Miss, as we used to call her was busy in her work in between kitchen and her four children.

Suddenly, Bobby, her other daughter asked, “mommy, where is my pencil ? I cant find one” “Why don’t you use your brothers pencil ? I am busy now”, she tried to calm her down. But before she could say another line one of her son, who was near by the room responded, “it must be under the mommy’s bed.” Hearing that, Bobby tried to look under the bed but Krishna Miss, stopped her saying, “why not you wait for some time to do your homework ?” Bobby said “No, I have to do this homework now, otherwise it will be late for me to finish my homeworks.”

Krishna Shrestha, is very loving and caring mother, I have ever known. She hardly, raise her voice, when talking to her children. It may be, because, she is the only woman, I have known then with children and how respectfully they treat them, unlike the nannies behaved with us. No wonder, I have huge respect for her. Some where down the line, I used admire her so much, the way she handled her children, as well as how polite she was with us. Then I was drawn towards her due to these virtue of hers without being able to put it in words. It wont be too much to say that, she has got the silk patience.

But, when Bobby wanted to look for her lost pencil again, under her bed; she sternly reprimanded her not to do this. As I mentioned earlier, she hardly lost her patience and she maintains her very good side, specially for outsiders ( in this case I am the outsiders ) it was some thing new, for to me to witness that side of her.

What Bobby did next, stunned her; that did not give her much time to do anything. She flipped the corner of the bed, to look for her lost pencil. That was the moment, I realised why she was trying to frobid Bobby, to look for the lost pencil. Her bed had been made from the cloths which was from Bal Mandir. I can not make mistake recognising it. It was our nighties cloths, I not only wore it daily, but I also made it for all the girls.

Only a couple of weeks ago she had taken leave from her work for about a day or two. She even had shared with me, reason for the leave, she needed to re-do all her bedding's.

I cant remember, whether Bobby found her lost pencil or not. My mind was busy judging her and at the same time not talking about it. Our eyes met and we looked at each other like a stranger. I never spoke about it to her and she never have to give any explanation about it to me tha why she had exact the same cloths of all beds in her home. You know, I am only a girl from Bal Mandir, she is not answerable to me.

Whatever, she is the vary same one, who not just taught us; not to say any one [outsiders] that we are from Bal Mandir, because people will look at you very demeaning way. They will look at you very differently, if you tell them you live in Bal Mandir.

When I look back and reflect about the incident I think, I think about what I was thinking then; when I saw those bed cloths ? She [like other staff] had the mentality to inject this kind of thought in our young head. What she was doing was with all the corrupted mindset, stealing and using things meant for us. Staff at the orphanage stole cloths and food the and they taught us don't feel good about on your skin and who you are and where you live ?

We end up in orphanage not by choice but they steal things from the orphanages with full conscience and that to by choice. In fact, the staff at the orphanage are a lot worse, in terms of their mentality, I mean the dirty and rotten corrupt mentality.

I really want to understand in true sense, what makes them feel, they are any better than us ? Why other people [any body who has never spent time in orphanage] view us demeaning way .
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Truth or gossip

Sunita Giri 9:55 PM |

“Have you heard about the brothers, who was adopted by a foreign couple and then was used as a means to smuggle drugs” Kunjrii* asked.

“Never’ I answered promptly and then asked her “who told you ?”

“Everybody knows about it, and its strange, you don't know about this big story from Bal Mandir, she snapped.

“Where was I, when all this happened ?” I asked. “In the Bal Mandir, where do you think you were ?” she replied fast. “Then what is the name of those brothers ?” I asked with more concern, because I am curious now.

“I don’t know”, came the answer, but then she continued with, “one of them was killed and then with he help of plastic surgery and other technics, it was designed to create a look of a smiling child, all the time. Who looked unusually content, the child never cried and threw usual tantrum of a baby. The couple traveled back and forth to Nepal and unknown western country for many more years to come.

“After some time one air hostess got suspicious about it, why this child never cried and wore a smiling face and very easy going look on his face and when stroked blinked like animated one.” at this point, she gave me the mimicked version of the child’s blinking eyes and the smile, which did bring involuntary smile on my face. “She reported it to her higher authority and the couple got caught. The case was on the court later on.” she continue.

“why don’t I get a chance to read it in any papers ?” I am doubtful about its authenticity.

“I don’t know”, she lost her patience, as I doubted her and she hates being doubted. “Okay tell me, who told you this story ?” I asked straight forward question. She gave me a name of a peon who was working in the Bal Mandir, at that time when the incident happened. But besides that other people also knew about it.

Let me add here one thing, almost all the junior staff at the Bal Mandir, loves to gossip and spread mostly negative rumours and at times baseless stories, of course occasionally; it turns out to be true.

“It was Mohan Kumari Shrestha, who had given these child for adoption with the handsome money in return. You support her and may be that's the reason, you close your eyes from this kind of truth” She did not even blink her eyes to accuse me now.

This supporting Mrs. Shrestha, really amused me. Mrs. Shrestha, should hear these lines, so I asked her “what makes you to think, I support her ?”

“Everybody knows this” came the prompt reply, now this was tickling my funny bones.

Let me add one thing here, when I left Bal Mandir, one Swiss couple came forward, looking for a person who wanted to pursuit college degree. Mr. Shrestha, recommended my name to Bernhard and we are still in touch. Then it was something new trend and I was that lucky person who got Bernhard, as my sponsor. I am thankful to Bernhard, more than I am to Mrs. Shrestha. This is the reason many of my inmates of the Bal Mandir, thinks I was indebted to her than to him.

“What happened to the case ? who won and who lost ?” I wanted to know more.

“That I don’t know ”, she replied, but then she warned me, saying “you be very careful, if you think Mohan Kumari, is not the corrupt one on the lot. She is very dangerous and its only that, she does it very discreetly, unlike many in the senior management of the NCO - Bal Mandir. When she was head of Nutritious Food ( a branch of NCO at the Bal Mandir premises just the entrance gate is different ) she used to sell so many packets of milk and flour which came from America.”

I listened her silently, I have nothing to say, but she is not the only one who thinks Mrs. Shrestha’s house and land was accumulated purely from the bribe she collected while she was in the key position in Nepal Children’s Organization - Bal Mandir. When she used to go to Children's Vocational Center at Shiphal, on her regular visits, boys there used to pass comments at her making sure; she hears all those remarks, that the gold bangles she used to wear was also from the bribe money.

Interestingly, Mrs. shrestha, is aware of this kind of accusation towards her and perhaps for this vary reason, she thinks we ‘the children from Bal Mandir’, are so ingrate and lack the gratitude for their [officers at the orphanage] work.

“Do you know, she was expelled from Nepal Children’s organization; because of this case ?” she asked me. This is not the case, she was out. She was out from the Nepal Children's Organization due to power play with Mr. Thakur, who was on top management, he was an artist. More precisely, he was a famous sculpture artist; rather than the social worker and was appointed by government. During the year 91-92, Bal Mandir, was such a mess place due to major political stir in the country.

Kunjrii, does not remember this, but I do. This was all over the newspaper then. Though i did not read it but i am aware of all this.

“Let me tell you one thing here, she hates taking bribe and refuses very rudely, whenever she is offered bribe, I have seen her", I told her.

“Tell me she refused for what ?” she asked. “Mainly vegetables and herbs from their kitchen gardens.” I replied. “you said it, that does not give the scent of dollar right ?” She again counter questioned me.

That left me speechless. I could only stare at her in total silence.

* name changed due to privacy reasons.
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Age of innocence

Sunita Giri 9:58 PM |

It was during Dashain, sunny and bright day of october afternoon. Most of the children were at the statue yard of the Bal Mamdir. There was a reason for them to be on that particular yard, because there was a swinging ping, just erected to to keep them busy during the long vacation of Dashain and at the same time it was also a great source of entertainment for children. Children were on line waiting to play swinging ping, as their turn comes. Near by the scene a housemother, Kedar Shrestha, was sitting on a chair with a long list of childrens name on her hand and busy taking the sizes of shoes for each children, who were playing there.

There were about a little more than a half dozen children, who have gathered around her to try out shoe, just to find out, the exact size of shoe, and slipping it on their feet, the one that was handed to them by the housemother.

I was also nearby, perhaps waiting for my own turn to come. Before me there were many, but now its Achyut Panta, who was trying a shoe on his feet. when he slipped a shoe on his one feet, some thing did not feel right. Housemother checked it, in front of his toes and there were still some space, but shoes did not fit him. it was a white cotton shoes, for which we used to call it tennis shoes, its ear had gone inside, while he tried to slip on his one foot. So, just to guide him, she said, “why not you pull ear [shoes’ lobe] ? and then it might fit you”. Even then, he could not slip his whole foot inside that shoes.

Achyut, was half standing while trying on a shoe and the housemother was sitting on a chair but now her whole concentration was focused on his foot. during all this, he was pulling his own ear lobe instead of shoes ear, his ear lobe had turned red, and even then the shoes did not fit him. The housemother, did not see him pulling his own ear lobe.

After some time, Achyut figured out what she meant when she said pull the ear, then the shoes fitted him, perfectly. By this time Achyut, was about to cry with pain as he really had pulled hard, his ear lobe with repeated request coming from the housemother.

Reflection of this incident gives me a glimpse of how stupidity filled the age of preteens or teenage can be.

There is one more incident, it could have been long summer vacations, so boredom must have created unusual hunger pang. So, we were hanging in the kitchen area, a midday snacks was being prepared. Such unusual visit often distract them, more often than it becomes a helping hand. Just can not remember whose turn it was to make the midday snacks. She was not even around. There was two big clay built oven, on one side of the oven wood fire was already doused but on the another side of the oven, a big pan was placed where water was boiling to the max, down the big pot a big fire burning. That water was for milk for young children and tea for youngsters.

Seeing water boiling like that Alka, panicked and scream, “somebody, please douse the fire, otherwise water will burn down, please douse the fire.” Perhaps, at around that very moment Didi [room nanny], who was in charge of that day of midday snacks as well as the kitchen, must have entered the kitchen and asked us to leave, so that, she could do her work quietly.

Teenage or preteens are really funny and interesting phase of our life. We think, we know a lot better than the elder people, around us, but when we reflect back, those incidents brings; unintentional smile on our face, for it being filled with full of stupidity. but more than that it being age of innocence.
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